Twipper of the Week: Jill from Reading the Book!

Current city: Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Age: 43

Total countries visited: 56, with another three lined up for next month!

What makes you interesting: I love to be culture-shocked and the more so the better! Any situation where I’m seeing a life that’s totally different from my own makes me very happy.

What brands do you love: I’m not really a brands girl, to be honest. All of my money goes on travel so I tend to buy cheap! But I’m definitely a sucker for anything Apple or Nikon, or travel-related gear like Trespass or Rohan.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: Travel has made me much more aware of how small my place is in the world and how many more ways there are to live successfully than just the culture I’ve grown up in. I hope it’s made me a lot more tolerant and open-minded.

Best travel advice: Buy your mosquito repellent when you get to the destination. The brand that’s popular there will be the one that works on their mosquitos!

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: Antarctica. It’s a dream, but just so expensive.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: That a small amount of money to me can be a fortune to someone else. It’s never worth haggling over a few pence. Decide what the item is worth to you and then stop there. You would have spent that extra money on a beer, but the stallholder will use it to feed his children.

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: Walking. I’m normally pretty sedentary at home but I can walk for miles and miles when I travel. You also can’t beat a tuktuk for a fun way to get around!

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: Singapore, 2008, on a metro train. Not for any particular reason other than this was the first time I was ever the only Caucasian in my environment. I looked around and noticed everyone else in the carriage was another ethnicity, and that, with good reason, I was the outsider. Having grown up in Europe, it was an eyeopener, but also really cool.

Next travel destination: Central Asia: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I can’t wait!