Twipper of the Week: Richelle Gamlam from Adventures Around Asia!

Current city: Ben Lomond, NSW, Australia

Age: 26

Total countries visited: 33

What makes you interesting: I lived in China for five years, and I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese! 

What brands do you love: REI, Osprey, Pacsafe, Eagle Creek, Context Tours, Tinggly, Skyscanner, Lost Plate 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Travel taught me how much I can do on my own. Traveling solo and living abroad has really forced me to rely on myself in a way I just didn’t have to when I was back home in the US. I had to solve problems and deal with “disasters” and tough situations all on my own. It was a great lesson in what I’m truly capable of, and it’s shown me that most of the time, travel disasters aren’t actually as a big of a deal as you might think!

#1 thing you must do when traveling: Get lost! Spend a day wandering around the city, or take a motorbike around your town or island. You’ll never imagine what incredible things you can see if you just get off the beaten path.

Most magical place on earth: I’m a little in love with the island of Siargao in the Philippines. While this island is known for surfing (and I’m not a huge surfer), there are plenty of other things to do. Rent a motorbike and ride around the island, go scuba diving, swim in rock pools, touch stingless jellyfish in a lagoon, explore the mangroves, and have BBQ with friendly locals.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: I think Taiwan fits my personality most out of any country. Taiwan is such a fun, friendly and welcoming country full of outdoor experiences and incredible (and cheap) food, night markets, beaches, mountains and more. I’d love to live in the cosmopolitan city of Taipei and spent my time hiking, swimming, diving, and stuffing my face with cheap Chinese food and fresh fruit. I love Chinese culture, and after five years in Mainland China, I think Taiwan is a much better fit for my personality.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: The first travel experience I can actually remember is a trip I took to France and Italy with my parents when I was in 4th grade. This trip was actually a bit of a fluke- we gave up seats on a flight and ended up with enough miles to almost get us to Europe! This trip really taught my family that travel isn’t as expensive as you might think, and inspired many more trips throughout my childhood.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag: Take a small nap and then get out and explore! If you keep yourself busy, you won’t fall into a pattern of sleeping at the wrong times.

Next travel destination: Kenya and Tanzania! I’ll be heading home to the US for just over a month to see my family, but after that, I’ll be heading to Africa.