Twipper of the Week: Rachael Wilson from The Travel Thread.

thetravelthread-greatwallofchina

Current city: Yokohama, Japan

Age: 28

Total countries visited: 30 and counting!

Next travel destination: British Columbia, Canada.

What makes you interesting: Every few years, the wanderlust hits. I sell everything I own, pack a few suitcases, close my eyes, and pick a place on the map. It’s usually without a job, a plan, or a place to live- but everything always works out in the end. I try to live each day as if it could be the last. As Eleanor said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”

What is the most interesting food you have ever tried, and where: Living in Japan for 2 years, I’ve eaten everything from raw horse sashimi to the tip of a shark’s fin floating in my sake. But probably the most interesting food I’ve ever tried was also the most deadly- fugu, the Japanese puffer fish. The intestines and liver contain a poison called tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. If it’s not prepared correctly, a single fish contains enough toxin to kill 30 people. Although exciting, the taste itself is actually quite mild.

What is the most impractical item you have ever packed: My hand-held sewing machine. My top two passions in life are travel and sewing. What can I say…some people bring books to the beach, I bring my portable sewing machine and a pair of pants to hem.

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: Train. It’s fast, efficient, and allows you to see a lot of different landscapes. I also love the train culture. You can learn a lot about a place and its people inside a coach car! One of my favorite memories is riding the bullet train to Kyoto.

Most magical place on Earth: I recently returned from a trip to New Zealand, which I swear is the land of rainbows. I have never driven through such beautiful landscape. Within hours, you can switch from lush, sprawling countryside to remote beaches followed by misty, magical mountains. It’s unreal.

Where and when were you most culture shocked: India takes the cake for culture shock. I thought I was prepared- I wasn’t. The first surprise came when first stepping into the streets of India – chaotic traffic, animals weaving throughout, piles of trash alongside the road and extreme, severe poverty. I was then shocked by how differently society is run, even in today’s modern world. But, I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the local customs and traditions. Turns out that eating different Indian foods using only your hand, no utensils, is actually really fun!