My ABC’s of Travel
A: Age you went on your first international trip:
My mother was born in Dublin, Ireland so I have been traveling back and forth to visit family there since I was very young. The following photo shows me experiencing my first Guinness back in 1985. I was born in 84′!
Oh, and who in the world thought that hat looked good on me? WTF Mom, you’re cramping my style!
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B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:
I’m not too much of a beer drinker but I can certainly appreciate an ice cold Kopparberg. Liz and I went out to watch some live music over at Fitzsimons in Temple Bar (Dublin, Ireland) and ended up kicking back a few Kopparbergs while there.
C: Cuisine (favorite):
Note: I was never really a fan of Thai food until I visited Thailand back in 2010. While there, I feasted on all sorts of minimalist Thai dishes (Pad Thai, Pad Pak Raum, and a simple Garlic Chicken dish).
Don’t Miss: Street Food and Foot Massages on Khao San Road
D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:
Some of my favorite places in the world include Thailand (Chiang Mai/Ko Lanta), Egypt (Cairo/Dahab), Greece (Santorini), France (Paris), Ireland (Dublin/Galway), and Nicaragua (Leon, Ometepe). My least favorite places on earth are Kuta, Bali – Vang Vieng, Laos – Vientiane, Laos.
E: Experiences abroad that made you say “WOW”:
I have had so many “WOW” moments through out the years. A few of my most memorable “WOW” moments were Volunteering with Elephants in Chiang Mai, Visiting the Great Pyramids for the first time, sleeping under the stars in the Sahara Desert, walking through the bloody streets of Cairo, and my family trip to Death Valley National Park.
F: Favorite mode of transportation:
Tuk-tuk. Just kidding! On a serious note, there’s nothing like renting a scooter or small motorbike in a foreign country and taking off into the wild. I also love the idea of riding bicycles in cycle friendly cities!
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G: Greatest feeling while traveling:
The feeling of FREEDOM. There’s nothing like showing up in a new and unfamiliar place knowing that you have no time limits or anything holding you back from exploring.
H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:
Siwa Oasis, Egypt. Hands down the hottest and driest place I’ve ever been. I can remember sitting in my hotel room with Liz, dripping sweat, and thinking… what the hell are we doing here?
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:
The most incredible service Liz and I have ever experienced was during our stay at Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. We recently spent our anniversary weekend in a beautiful fire place room at Inn by the Sea and we couldn’t have asked for more.
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J: Journey that took the longest:
A 28 hour bus ride from Vientiane, Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a nightmare and I highly recommend you check out 28 Grueling Hours from Vientiane to Hanoi before even thinking of making the trip.
K: Keepsake from your travels:
My keepsake from my travels is all of the incredible memories and the friends I’ve made along the way…
L: Let-down sight, why and where:
Laos. Prior to traveling to Laos, we had heard so many great things about it. Once we arrived in Vientiane we realized Laos wasn’t for us. We then moved to Vang Vieng in hopes to find something interesting only to find a bunch of drunk backpackers returning to town with bandaged bodies after tubing down the Nam Song River. Not cool.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:
The day I arrived in Alicante, Spain. It was not only my first time traveling solo in a country completely foreign to me but it was also my first CouchSurfing experience. I was instantly hooked.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Inn by the Sea – Cape Elizabeth, Maine
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
I enjoy taking photos of locals as well as the environments that surround me. I prefer shooting in cities versus rural areas.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?
Too many to count.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:
R: Recommended sight, event or experience:
If you’re ever in Chiang Mai, Thailand do yourself a favor and splurge on spending the day volunteering with Elephants. I also highly recommend you take a trip out to Death Valley, hike a volcano in Nicaragua, rent a bungalow in Ko Lanta, and don’t forget to visit the Pyramids!
S: Splurge; something you splurge on while traveling:
I really enjoy eating so I tend to splurge when it comes to food. I will also splurge on an activity or adventure sport if I feel it’s something that I might not have the chance to do again.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done:
Visited the Pyramids, held up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, played with baby tigers, went indoor skydiving in Las Vegas, took a Segway tour of Washington DC, took a gondola ride in Venice and more.
U: Unforgettable travel memory:
The day Liz and I were shown what Egyptian Hospitality is all about. Looking back, we’re still not sure why we trusted Mohammed, an Egyptian man we had just met in a hostel to bring us to his friends’ family home. In the end, it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.
To this day, Mohammed remains one of my closest friends and I’ve even been back to Egypt two more times to visit him since the first time we met back in June of 2010.
V: Visas, how many and for where?
Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica
W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
I’m not too much of a wine drinker but Liz and I were treated to some nice wine upon arrival when CouchSurfing in Paris. The unfortunate part is that I had yet to realize that I left my day pack on a bus. What a nightmare!
X: eXcellent view and from where?:
One of the best views I’ve ever had was from the top of Volcano El Hoyo in Nicaragua. In the distance you can see Volcano Mombotombo and Mombotombito at sunrise.
Y: Years spent traveling?:
I’ve been traveling on an off since 2008. My first trip was a 3 month backpacking trip through Europe back in 2008, followed by a 6 month around the world trip in 2010 with all sorts of short trips in between.
Here’s a photo from way back at the beginning of my backpacking trip through Europe. Don’t I look so happy!?
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:
The most zealous sports fans I’ve ever experienced were in Leon, Nicaragua. I recently attended a professional Nicaraguan baseball game in Leon and I had the time of my life! The people of Nicaragua are so passionate about baseball and it was incredible to sit amongst the screaming fans.
Did you enjoy my ABC’s of Travel? If so, please leave a comment below telling me which letter(s) you enjoyed the most!