I saw this tag-style post by Kaelene and decided to give it a shot myself and think about my travel history.
A) Age you went on your first international trip:
I was 1 year old I think when I first went abroad to France with my Mum and Dad. Originally we were heading to the Pyrenees, travelling from the North of France down through the Dordogne to visit some friends on the way, but my parents fell in love with the Dordogne region so much that they ended up putting an offer on an old farm house. This was to become our holiday house ever since!
Me (eating the duplo) and my childhood best friend in the denim dungarees and her brother and sisters. The VW van was the one we went to the South of France in every holiday. Sadly when my parents split they sold it.
B) Best foreign beer you've had and where:
I actually can't drink regular beer as i'm a Coeliac, but i'm partial to a bit of cider. The best cider I've probably had was in a bar in Tasmania called Dickens Ciderhouse but I can't for the life of me remember (even after researching) what it was called- sign of a good night clearly!
C) Cuisine (favorite):
I love spicy food but my absolute favorite it Pakistani cuisine. Coming from a city where there is a significant Pakistani population, I was spoilt for eating out when I was growing up. I really miss it now living in Australia- I can't find a decent curry here anywhere. I love pakoras, poppadoms and yogurt mint sauce, aloo gobi, paneer, dal tadkha and burfi sweets to finish off. As you can see I love it!
D) Destinations- favorite, least favorite, and why?
This is such a difficult question! I think my favorite place will always be the Dordogne as it's stunning and I have so many happy memories there. I actually can't think of anywhere that I've totally hated, but I found Amsterdam a little disappointing. Whilst the canals were pretty and I loved how many bikes there were, I found the whole Red Light District a little much (and disturbing when I did some more research) and I think it tainted my perception of it. Maybe one day this will change if I ever go back!
E) Event you've experienced abroad that made you say "wow":
The gorgeous beaches here in Australia are pretty amazing and I love how relaxed they make me feel. I've also been stunned in Barcelona at Park Guell which is one of my all-time favorite places in the world.
F) Favorite mode of transportation:
Either a combination of car and foot or boat. Being able to drive somewhere far away from your stomping ground and then being able to explore is pretty amazing. But having the wind in my hair and being among the sea is also amazing. I only enjoy flights when I have multiple seats to stretch out in.
G) Greatest feeling while travelling:
Exploring and not knowing what you're going to stumble across around the next corner.
H) Hottest place you've ever traveled to:
That would be right now, living in Queensland. It gets to the stage where it completely knocks it out of you and you're forces to drive to a local shopping centre just to utilise their air con. #FirstWorldProblems.
I) Incredible service you've experienced and where?:
The guy at our local petrol station is pretty damn friendly. We've had plenty of great experiences, for example when we went to stay at Freycinet Lodge in Tasmania where I was probably the illest I have ever been in my life and they refunded our stay when we had to leave the next day and provided me with a sick bucket, yummm. That was pretty good. Aside from that though I can' think of any times when we have experienced outstanding service.
J) Journey that took the longest:
I was so ill I have no recollection of this..
When I was travelling from Manchester to little old Tasmania, Australia. My flight itinerary went a little something like this Manchester > Dubai > Singapore > Perth > Melbourne > Hobart. It was pretty grim. This might explain why I was so ill (as mentioned above!).
K) Keepsake from your travels:
I actually keep a lot of things from my travels like plane tickets, tickets to places I've visited and random bits and bobs from along the way. However I would say Mr. Nomad was probably the best keepsake from my travels!
L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
I think just Amsterdam in general. There just wasn't much there to spark my interest.
M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
Probably when I was old enough to appreciate going to the Dordogne each summer holiday where I found escaping from everything in the UK to be really therapeutic for me. There's something nice about going to another place and no one knowing you or your life from back at home. I felt calm and grounded among all the natural landscape, and spent pretty much my whole time there swimming, cycling or building tree houses with my French best friend communicating in Frenglish.
N) Nicest hotel you've stayed in:
Hmmm, this is a difficult one. I've never really stayed in a massively fancy hotel as we usually use AirBnB as it tends to be a lot better value for money. Freycinet Lodge in Tasmania was an amazing place we stayed in but I honestly can't remember any of its beauty due to being so sick. A few other honorable mentions would be the Lancaster London (London), Village Inn (Scotland) and The Mussel Boys (Tasmania).
Our amazing cabin at The Mussel Boys, Tasmania.
Two words: food & drink. Although they're all pretty much on my phone so don't have too many to hand!
P) Passport stamps- how many and from where?
|Sipping wine in Bruges.|
Eating vegetarian food at El Piano in York.
My favorite breakfast in Paris.
Eating Michelin food in Birmingham's Simpsons Restaurant.
I recently got a new passport but the main ones have been Australia a few times and the USA. A European passport means minimal stamps when travelling in Europe!
Q) Quirkiest attraction you've visited and where?
The hands down weirdest place I've been was the Frites Museum in Bruges. Picture a potato mobile and an old guy playing a musical instrument he had constructed out of potatoes. I think it's also one of the times I've laughed the hardest in my entire lifetime.
R) Really frightening: where's one place you've visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
I'm clearly impressed...
Walking in Montmartre when I went to Paris with one female friend was a little intimidating when a girl tried to scam us. After researching afterwards it's a pretty common problem, but I know my travel buddy was pretty shaken up by it. It basically involved a girl pretending she was deaf and trying to get us to sign a petition for a deaf and blind charity. As soon as you obliged to write your name, a flock of these women came running towards you trying to pickpocket you (which they did not succeed in as I pushed them away). However as soon as we carried on walking, they chased us down the street and pulled our jackets etc which was scary. We ended up running into a shop knowing the locals would not allow these girls in (they are well known to the locals- so they prey on tourists). As soon as the police started patrolling the area, they flocked. It was around the Sacre Coeur and the streets around it, although I know it happens all over Paris.
S) Splurge- something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
I wouldn't consider myself a splurger in general when travelling as we always try and travel on a budget, but we do try and prioritise value for money which sometimes means booking a more extravagant accommodation if it means better value for money. This is where AirBnB is great as you can get amazing rental houses for much cheaper than you would a hotel, but with amazing facilities. This means we have a bit more money to play around with when eating out etc.
T) Touristy thing you've done:
Went to the Heineken museum in Amsterdam because we literally couldn't find much else to do. It was a complete waste of money and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
U) Unforgettable travel memory:
Travelling to Australia knowing I would see Mr. Nomad again. Cringe.
V) Visas- how many and for where?
The only visa's I've had to get are the ones for Australia. I've had a tourist one twice, a working-holiday one that i'm currently on and a partner visa we are currently applying for (nightmare).
W) Wine- best glass while traveling:
The wine in France is pretty damn good, and the price is amazing.
X) Excellent view and from where?:
For my mum's 50th birthday she got a Virgin hot air balloon flight which was amazing. She got to take one person with her, and whilst I encouraged her to take a friend she ended up taking me. You don't normally get a photo at the top, but the balloonist had a camera set up on a pulley system in which he could take a photo and sold them at the end- such a great idea! Another excellent view I've had was when I went flex-wing flying with Mr. Nomad. We got this as a Christmas present from my mum last Christmas and we both really enjoyed it.
Y) Years spent travelling:
My family has been travelling as I already mentioned since I was born, but my first trip outside of France was to Belgium and Germany on a school trip. My solo travelling started when I was 18 and went to Australia on my gap year.
Z) Zealous sports fans and where?
Hmmmm... I would probably say tennis fans at Wimbledon every year cheering on Murray. There's something about the tennis that seems to get everyone on board! Maybe it's the British summer heat and the lure of strawberry's and cream...
I'd love for you to choose a letter and share your travel experiences!