I’ve not yet participated in a travel tag, but thought why the hell not!? I really love reading my favourite travel bloggers’ ultimate travel tags, and have learnt a lot as a result. Given that travel isn’t really on the horizon for many of us right now, I see it as a chance to do a little armchair tourism. So, sit back and grab a cuppa (or a cocktail – it’s 5pm somewhere), and learn a little more about my travel experiences, plans, and bucket list. Here’s my ultimate travel tag – let me know your thoughts and share yours after.
1. How many countries have you visited?
As of July 2020, I believe it’s at around 22 countries. This isn’t a ton, but I feel like I’ve explored a lot of the USA and Canada, so it seems a little unfair the states and provinces aren’t factored in! Jokes aside, I’m so excited to explore more countries and discover more of this amazing world. I just can’t wait for lockdown to be over so I can get out there and see it once again.
2. Which destination is number one on your bucket list?
A tough one, but I have long dreamed of visiting Bora Bora, the small South Pacific island north of Tahiti in French Polynesia. The landscape and water look absolutely unreal. I always envisioned it as my dream honeymoon destination, but that still seems a little way off for me! Maybe one day.
3. What are three other places at the top of your bucket list?
- South Africa
4. What does the ideal holiday look like for you?
I’d stay in a beautiful boutique hotel with a giant, marshmallowy bed that’s perfect for a lie in. I then want to wake up to heat and sunshine, eat excellent food, and have a morning of exploring incredible sights. I want a delicious lunch al fresco on a terrace with a view, then to laze sleepily on a beautiful beach. Dinner will be a star attraction of the day, followed by chilled bottles of wine and dancing. That to me, is a perfect holiday!
5. Favourite picture you’ve taken during a trip?
I might not have exaaaactly taken this myself, but it’s one of my favourites from a holiday. It was on holiday in St Ives, Cornwall last autumn. It had rained all afternoon while we arrived, before breaking out into sunshine and the most stunning sunset over the harbour. Such a lovely memory, and a really nice picture too.
6. Have you had to travel for work? If so, where?
I have! I was very lucky with my job in Vancouver – I was regularly travelling to San Diego, San Francisco, Jacksonville, New York, and Toronto, and loved it. There’s nothing quite like wining, dining, and travelling on work’s dime!
7. With whom would you like to go on holiday sometime?
I love a girl’s trip – no holiday is more fun! I like going with a romantic interest (not that I have one right now), and travelling with family is fun. It all very much depends on where you go.
8. Who or what would you take with you to an uninhabited island?
I guess first of all, let’s consider who would come with me – a romantic interest would be nice! I’d leave my phone, but pack my suitcase full of wonderful books that would keep me occupied. I believe in keeping it simple, so let’s say: bikinis, books, and music. That’s all I’d need.
9. Would you rather go to a theme park or a zoo?
I’m not hugely interested in either, but I think I’d pick a zoo depending on my mood that day. Especially if there are penguins.
10. Mountains or sea?
Both? I did live in Vancouver for a few years, after all. But fine, if I have to pick – sea. I’m a Pisces and most definitely a water baby.
11. Which countries will you visit this year?
Well, I had some big plans this year but now I’m not so sure about going away because of COVID-19. It’s extremely disappointing, but in my mind, the right thing to do. I have even bigger hopes for next year as I turn 30, so fingers crossed I can get away for it – hopefully to the Bahamas.
12. Where would you never visit?
Never say never. In fact, there are some crazy countries that I’d actually love to explore and experience somewhere new. Obviously it depends on their political climate, but honestly, there’s nowhere I wouldn’t go.
13. Which place did you think was so special that you wanted to return immediately after leaving, and still want to revisit now?
Melbourne in Australia. It has such a wonderful vibe, and I was very tempted to go and live over there before COVID-19 changed the world. Maybe one day, but I’ll certainly be visiting again.
14. A place you’ve been to that you would not go back to, and why?
For me, despite being half Canadian, I was really underwhelmed by Niagara Falls in Ontario. I think it was mainly because it’s so commercialised with amusement rides and casinos which takes away from the natural beauty of the waterfalls.
15. Which was the last country you visited?
Poland. In February, I was lucky enough to visit beautiful Gdansk before lockdown struck. It’s a gorgeous city with pastel coloured houses and the cheapest beer. What’s not to love?
16. What is your favourite place that you have been to?
Sounds like the same question as number 13!
17. Favourite place in your home country?
I’m lucky enough to be from the beautiful Cotswolds, with their sprawling green countryside and rolling hills. However, my favourite place in English is undoubtedly Cornwall. My family and I head to Carbis Bay near the tip of the county, and it has the most beautiful golden sands and aquamarine waters. It’ll always be my favourite place in the country.
18. You’re in an airport and you can board a plane to any destination. Which part of the world would you choose?
Australasia – as far away from the UK as I can get!
19. What’s your cup of tea: tropical island getaway, snowy ski break or city break?
This is hard for me to pick between a tropical island getaway and a bustling city break for exploring. I think I’d pick a tropical island getaway, because there’s nothing quite like leaving a destination feeling refreshed, sunkissed, and relaxed.
20. What are your top three hand-luggage must-haves?
My kindle, my sunglasses, and my iPhone for listening to music.
21. Which three things would you take on holiday if you could?
Probably my bed – there’s no bed I can sleep as well in. Other than that, a fun travel companion, and well… I can’t think of a third thing.
22. Any travel tips to share?
Research and plan as much as you can. I love reading travel blogs for the best traveller and local advice. I also find Instagram really helpful for seeing which places look interesting, and where to eat and drink.
23. What is your most pleasant trip memory?
This is such a difficult memory to pick. I’d probably go with sipping spicy margaritas on the beach on the Riviera Maya in Mexico. You know that fuzzy feeling you get when you’re just so relaxed and happy? That holiday had so many of those feelings for me.
24. What is your most unpleasant trip memory?
I really, really hate flight delays. I was travelling for business from New York City to Vancouver. Stupidly, I didn’t check before leaving the office to see if my flight was on time. I arrived and realised it had been delayed – by 8 hours. Then I was stuck in Newark Airport, with the flight getting further and further delayed. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I arrived home!
25. Most surreal travel moment?
Being at Hula Hula Beach Bar on the party island of Hvar in Croatia. It’s such a fun and lively beach club. At one point each day, people arrive in from their yachts to all shake and pop rose champagne bottles. I remember seeing corks flying everywhere. It was just such a fun and surreal experience, and one I wish I could go back to.
26. Most embarrassing moment?
I’m sure I have many. Possibly wearing not too much when taking a late night dip in the sea in Ibiza with a friend. On exiting the sea, we noticed our clothes had been moved. Turns out it was a guard from our hotel who wanted to make sure he kept them safe before anyone else took them!
27. Biggest disappointment?
It’s always a bit of a shame to talk about the disappointments of travel. Travel, after all, is a very luxurious and fortunate thing that we’re able to do. Despite loving many things about the Italian capital of Rome, I was disappointed by its super commercial nature. I’m talking promos on every corner trying to get you go into restaurants, and probably around 300 people trying to sell us selfie sticks over a weekend.
28. Nicest surprise?
I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I recently visited Tallinn in Estonia. It was cold and I was visiting for the day from Helsinki. I expected an old medieval city, but not too much. Tallinn blew my expectations away – it was colourful, with beautiful medieval architecture. We visited during the Christmas markets and it was so magical. The food and drink was cheap, and the atmosphere was wonderful. I highly recommend it to anyone.
29. Favourite food discovery during a trip?
Probably salmon soup in Helsinki. It tastes far better than it sounds. It’s a simple salmon and potato soup with a creamy broth, fresh salmon, and plenty of dill. I love seafood and this was absolutely delicious.
30. Why do you travel?
Travelling is when I’m truly at my happiest. I love experiencing new cultures, seeing incredible new sights, meeting different people, and trying new food and drink.
31. Have you picked up any phrases from travelling?
A word I recently learned in Sweden is ‘lagom’. There’s no direct English equivalent, but it means ‘just the right amount’; enough, sufficient, adequate, just right. It’s positive, and I think it’s a word we should all use more often.
32. Your dream travel companion?
Other than people I’m already lucky enough to travel with already, I’d probably say someone like Louis Theroux. He’s so open minded and curious like me, I think we’d have such an interesting time exploring. Other than that – possibly someone like Kim Kardashian so that I could travel in VIP and experience a next level party lifestyle with. Don’t judge me!
33. Favourite city or country?
My favourite city is probably Barcelona, and my favourite country is Australia.
34. Best item purchased abroad?
I don’t think there’s a particular standout purchase – I don’t really travel to go shopping necessarily. However, I always try and pick up souvenirs wherever I go. Things like a jade buddha from Hong Kong, a hula girl from Hawaii, and a piece of Aboriginal art from Australia.
35. Advice for those who want to travel but think they can’t?
Sure you can! I think nowadays we’re so lucky that travel’s so accessible to so many people. The world is a big place, and I think we all have a responsibility to see as much of it as we can.
36. Travel accessory you always pack?
My iPhone – it does everything!
37. Your most treasured passport stamp?
I feel like you don’t too often get passport stamps any more. It’s a shame, and I really wish you did more often, from every destination you visit. I guess my passport stamp from Antigua and Barbuda is probably one of my most unique.
38. Can you recite your passport number from memory?
Sadly not – can anyone? I also have two passports, so this is even trickier for me to do so.
39. Preferred mode of travel: planes, trains or cars?
I think car is the most comfortable method of transport because you can throw in all your worldly possessions and snuggle up (if you’re not driving). That said, travelling by plane is always the most exciting because you know when you land, you’ll be in a completely different destination.
40. Hostel, hotel or Airbnb?
I’ve been lucky enough to manage dodging hostel stays for most of my travel experiences. I do love the luxury of feeling like you have your own apartment when away, so an Airbnb is probably my favourite. That said, there’s nothing quite like being pampered in a luxurious hotel.
41. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I really do try and branch out and visit new places when I can. That said, I am ‘guilty’ of being a repeat visitor to plenty of cities across the USA and Canada. I think I’ve been to Florida around 10 times, although some of these visits were for business.
42. Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or wing it?
I’ll often have a quick check over the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice just to ensure there’s no major risk. It feels like all of this has kind of gone out of the window right now due to COVID-19.
43. Favourite travel website?
I love reading travel blogs as much as I can before flying away, in order to make sure I can plan an itinerary and fit in everything I want to see. One of my favourite sites is Atlas Obscura – I love trying to find quirky sites and monuments on my travels. There are so many things to see in London.
44. Where would you recommend a friend visit?
A tough one really as it completely depends on their personality and interests. I’d probably say the island of Maui in Hawaii – it’s completely stunning and relaxing. You can eat delicious food, relax, and indulge in some water sports if you fancy it.
45. To which destination did you first take a plane?
When I was younger, I went on holiday to Mallorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands. I remember loving the feeling of turbulence on the plane. Not sure I would say the same again now!
46. Suitcase or rucksack (backpack)?
Nine times out of ten I would pick a suitcase! I find it such an easier method of travelling, and it really takes the strain off of your back.
47. Is there something you do on every trip?
I guess every trip is different, but I’ll always try and sample the local cuisine. It’s one of the best bits about travelling! I like to familiarise myself with the area and the culture wherever I can, too.
48. When travelling do you talk to locals easily?
This is one of my favourite bits about travelling. It’s so interesting speaking to Uber drivers and asking them local questions. It’s fun going to bars too and having interesting and unique chats and discussions with locals. Obviously this also depends on a language barrier, but I’ll try to talk in Spanish in Hispanic or Latin countries too.
49. Do you feel like you’re different when travelling?
‘Different’ is a funny word. Not on the whole, but I guess sometimes you can really feel like a tourist, depending on where you’re visiting.
50. What is the greatest travel dream you would like to accomplish before hitting your next big life milestone?
Well, I turn 30 next year. I had really hoped to fit in a lot more travel this year, but COVID-19 has had other plans for me. Therefore, I think I’ll be happy as long as I can be in some kind of glamorous destination to celebrate my milestone birthday in style. Overall, I’ve been very lucky and already have managed to visit some beautiful places.
And that’s my ultimate travel tag! Be sure to do your own and tag me in it.