I was recently invited by Ben from Adventures with Ben to participate in “My Travel ABC’s” – an alphabetized summary of my travels. Here’s my take on this interesting travel round robin.
A: Age you went on your first international trip: Does Canada count? Ok, it probably does, in which case I was ten when we traveled with my grandparents on a day trip to Newfoundland. It was perhaps the most boring day of my life as we toured a reproduction 19th century farm.
B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: It’s not as much the beverage as it is the situation. Sitting on the patio of a restaurant in Bangkok, listening to the river taxis and watching the sun set over the Chao Phraya river with a glass of Singha in hand was the best beer I’ve ever had.
C: Cuisine (favorite): German. I honestly don’t think I could ever tire of schnitzel and spaetzle.
D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: It depends. Favorite city, favorite country, favorite whatever, I’m all over the map. I guess my favorite destination is the one I’m about to explore.
E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: Standing on top of Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand.
F: Favorite mode of transportation: It may not always be practical or necessarily efficient, but I really love train travel. There’s nothing quite like a well done locomotive adventure.
G: Greatest feeling while traveling: Accomplishing something you didn’t think you could do. Whether it’s using a map without getting lost or bungee jumping, that feeling of accomplishment is the best.
H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Thailand. I love it there, but it’s always oppressively hot and humid.
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Toss up between the Four Seasons Lanai and the Intercontinental Melbourne. Both hotels exemplify what luxury travel is all about.
J: Journey that took the longest: Flying to Australia isn’t an easy feat, no matter what anyone says.
K: Keepsake from your travels: I have a lot, but I am currently very partial to a Santiago Apóstol Festival Mask I picked up in Puerto Rico.
L: Let-down sight, why and where: Athens, the entire city. Seriously, no one should ever go there for any reason. Ever.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: I was born with an innate feeling of wanderlust, and have always passionately wanted to travel. Now that I’m able to, there’s no better feeling in the world than exploring as much as I can.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: Four Seasons Manele Bay holds a special place in my heart.
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling? Dogs! I have three rescued dogs at home and am obsessed with chronicling pups whenever I travel.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where? Many, from all over the world. Have visited around 40 countries.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: ZAM – the Zentrum fur Aussergewohnliche Museen (Center for Unusual Museums) in Munich. It’s sadly closed now, but when open it hosted museums dedicated to chamber pots, the Easter bunny, padlocks and perfume bottles, among others. It was so completely absurd and I loved it.
R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Anywhere you haven’t been and anything you haven’t done, as long as it’s legal.
S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: Nice hotels, they can make a huge difference in the overall quality and enjoyment of a trip.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Many, but the worst offense may be doing a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour.
U: Unforgettable travel memory: Sleeping in a Bedouin camp in the middle of Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan.
V: Visas, how many and for where? Silly question. Next…
W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? I once had an ice wine martini in San Francisco that I loved.
X: eXcellent view and from where?: Anywhere driving along State Highway 6 on New Zealand’s South Island.
Y: Years spent traveling?: All my life.
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: I think you’ll find them everywhere. Soccer, rugby and football all seem to breed crazed fans.