I have been nominated to do my own ABC’s of Travel post by Norbert from GloboTreks . Now everyone can know my deepest inner soul, which I’m pretty sure is filled with icecream.
A: Age you went on your first international trip: 8 or 9. I walked about 10 feet over the bridge into Canada and got yelled at for walking up the wrong side of the bridge – in a language (French) I didn’t understand.
My next trip was at about 25 to Croatia and the Balkans, and I taught myself some words and how to sound out Bulgarian Cyrillic before I left.
I also taught myself how to say , “I am a stupid American. Do you speak English?” in Croatian. That phrase became SO HANDY! : )
B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: Ožujsko! Its Croatian beer and I love it!
C: Cuisine (favorite): Does icecream count? Seriously though, I love food. I recently learn my guinea pig would have been delicious if I had put her in the oven (Cuy is really, really delicious). But I think Ceviche is my all time favourite (I feel raw fish should be in my tummy at all times)
Least favourite?… I don’t know. Probably Miami. I lived in Miami for a year. The weather is beautiful, but I don’t do enough coke or ecstasy to make techno music sound good.
E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: You want me to pick one? If you aren’t getting ‘wow’d’ on a constant and daily basis while traveling you should really become a hermit. Even little things (like a gourmet icecream with strawberries and brownies in Medellin) can become a ‘wow’ moment. (damn it, I really want icecream now)
F: Favorite mode of transportation: Metro. I don’t know why I love metros so much, but maybe from growing up in Boston, whenever I’m in a city with a metro I feel at home.
G: Greatest feeling while traveling: Being in love with wherever you and whatever you are doing right now.
H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Las Vegas. I don’t know if that’s cheating , cause I live in Las Vegas, but I haven’t experienced 120F heat anywhere else yet.
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Sophia, Bulgaria. I was in a restaurant and my waitress I could see had tables downstairs, upstairs, and outside…yet every time she came to me she acted like I was her only customer and never made me feel rushed, or bad that I don’t speak Bulgarian. She took the time to explain, or find someone who could, anything I asked – even when I could see it was putting her in the weeds. I was a waitress for 10 years myself, and I ended up giving her a 50% tip (which in Bulgaria tipping is not common). Hands down, best waitress and service I have ever had.
J: Journey that took the longest: I think I’m on it right now. I bought a one way ticket to South America a little over 3 months ago, and at the moment, have no way to get home. Or desire to do so.
K: Keepsake from your travels: Money. I keep money from everywhere I’ve been. I actually have about $80 worth of Kuna still from Croatia (because I know I want to go back). Usually I only keep a few paper notes and some change.
L: Let-down sight, why and where: Dubrovnik. As much as I love Croatia, Dubrovnik did nothing for me. Its beautiful, I have some amazing photos from there, but its touristy, expensive, and I just wasn’t overly impressed. But anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m just not a huge fan of crowded, touristy stuff.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: I’m not sure. The first time I moved I was 2 months old. I moved a lot growing up. But when I was 7 I bought a 110-speed film camera for $3 at a church flea market, and told my mom (a few hours later, after using up the film) that “I’m going to travel the world and take photos when I grow up”.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: Nicest Hostel – Che Lagarto Hostel and Suites in Santiago, Chile. Nicest hotel is the Regency Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut (I stay there when I work a roadie gig in Greenwich)
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: Nuns. I don’t know why I love nuns. The most boring photo looks cooler with a nun in it. I also love people. Like random people on the street just doing everyday stuff.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?: Well, I had to get a new passport right before this trip, so at the moment I only have stamps from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: The Painted Desert Indian Center on Rt 66/Rt 40 in Holbrook, Arizona. It’s a rest stop with giant dinosaur statues and tee-pees. I love the south and mid-west American roadside attractions.
R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Going to a town festival. Anywhere. I love town carnivals. There are few if any tourists, local people, food, music, and just real local culture. I love being at small town celebrations and country fairs.
S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: ICECREAM! I cant eat it in the States (something to do with the hormones and chemicals we feed our cows), but since most of those hormones and chemicals are illegal in the rest of the world, I‘ve discovered I can eat icecream almost everywhere else. I gorge myself on icecream when I’m traveling.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done: I went to the Medellin Christmas lights 2 nights ago. Its super touristy. But I went with people dressed as zombies. So it was super touristy, but with my kind of spin on it.
U: Unforgettable travel memory: Wow, you want me to pick one?
V: Visas, how many and for where? Luckily I’m from the States and don’t need visas for many countries. But I also have really only traveled to countries I don’t need one. I did have to pay for one to enter Chile by plane, and its good for the life of my passport.
W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? St. Nicholas wine in Melnik, Bulgaria. What made it so special, is that I was invited by the owner of the café to come have wine and food, and ended up spending a few hours in great company, eating, drinking, having my photo taken…and then I bought 2 bottles of wine to bring home with me.
X: eXcellent view and from where?: Where I am right now (at my friend’s house in NW Medellin) I have a pretty awesome view of Medellin city. I’ve had some excellent views in every country I’ve been to. Pretty much, open your eyes and you can see an excellent view of something.
Y: Years spent traveling?: Not sure how to answer this. I’m 32. I’ve moved about 25 times. I ran away at 17 to get out of New England finally. I left the country officially at 25 for my first time. I was voluntarily homeless traveling around the States , working as a roadie for 5 years straight. I’ve always moved around a lot for different reasons, and I never want to stop.
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: Ecuador. Ecuadorians threaten to kill you because you are walking around Quito with 8 Chileans (all in full Chilean futebol gear) after Chile just beat Ecuador. We got 3 whole blocks from the hostel before the military escorted us back. I was surprised we made it that far. I knew exactly what would happen when the Chileans asked me if I wanted to go out with them. I love Ecuador.