Twipper of the Week: Patti Morrow from Luggage and Lipstick.
Current city: Greenville, South Carolina
Total countries visited: 50+ countries/islands
What makes you interesting: I was named by TripAdvisor as one of the “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” My motto is “Above all, life should be fun” and I don’t take myself too seriously. I think the fact that I’m more adventurous than most women my age is intriguing to a lot of people and has resulted in most of my followers on social media. I travel approximately 50 percent of the time and except for Mexico, which I visit a couple of times a year, I seldom return to the same country twice. It’s a big world out there and there are just too many destinations still on my bucket list. I love to tell travel tales to encourage others to step out of their comfort zones and experience all the exhilaration life has to offer!
What brands do you love: Nikon DLSR and GoPro cameras, Clarks walking sandals, Heys polycarbonate luggage, Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen, Santi Nello Prosecco, TripAdvisor, Viator, and Great Escape Publishing.
What’s your Travanality: Maverick! I’m an adrenaline junkie and always looking for the next thing to add to my bucket list. I love airborne activities like skydiving, hang gliding, jet packing, zip lining and parasailing. I’m a certified scuba diver, and enjoy diving reefs and wrecks around the world. Some of my favorite water adventures have been snorkeling with sea creatures like whale sharks, sea lions, manatees, stingrays, nurse sharks, reef sharks, eels, barracuda, and all kinds of fish and marine life, as well as regatta boat racing, and cave tubing. I like dog sledding in the cold snow and I’ve never met a roller coaster I haven’t loved! My bucket list still includes running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, cage diving with Great White Sharks in New Zealand, diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey, and swimming with the pigs in Exuma, Bahamas.
Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: Last year I met Ketut Liyer, the medicine man from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love. He is rumored to be somewhere around 100, but still has such an incredible presence and aura of kindness. His health has rendered him too frail to do readings, but he sat next to me while his son told me about my past, present and future. It was an incredible experience!
What is the most interesting food you have ever tried and where: Roasted, chopped up cockroaches in La Paz, Mexico. It was served as an appetizer with freshly made guacamole and warm nacho chips. The cockroaches added some saltiness and crunch. It really was pretty good especially since you couldn’t discern the insect shape at all. Perhaps it was because it was my birthday and the free-flowing margaritas may or may not have influenced my judgment!
It’s your first day arriving in a country with a language so foreign it might as well be gibberish, how do you plan to get by: That is actually a double whammy for me because I’m also directionally-challenged. I can get lost just about anywhere, regardless of the language. I try as soon as possible to get a detailed, color-coded area map, particularly a city map where I will be doing a lot of walking. The visuals help my left and right brain function in tandem. I also try to learn the key phrases like “please and thank you,” “excuse me,” “I’m sorry, no speak (language),” “find,” “bathroom,” and that all-important, “coffee!” Engaging eye contact, hand gestures, and a genuine smile usually help as well. Speaking in a louder voice is never helpful, in any language.
What are your travel pet peeves: No Internet access at my hotel. I usually have work to do when I get back at night, whether it’s writing, research or social media. I’m not a backpacker nor do I stay in hostels. I love nothing more than a day filled with adventure, but I do want some creature comforts/amenities at night, preferably a small, somewhat quirky boutique hotel, which would also include a relatively soft bed.
What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: I really like my packing cubes. Since I frequently live out of my suitcase, spending just a night or two at each stop, it helps me to stay organize and find what I need quickly, so I can spend less time in my room and more time on adventures.
Next travel destination: I’m going to the Dominican Republic on Fathom’s Impact Cruise in May. We’ll stay docked for four days and, during that time I’ll be providing community services like teaching English to village children and helping local women who run a cacao farm. I’m really excited! I am so blessed to be living my dream as a travel writer and can’t wait to give something back.