Twipper of the Week: Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet!
Current city: Stevensville, Montana
Total countries visited: I’ve never counted how many countries that I visit, or states, either, but it’s a lot. I’m more focused on quality travel experiences than numbers. However, I have visited all seven continents.
What makes you interesting: My willingness to try new things makes me interesting, especially as an older traveler, which probably makes me unique for my age. And hopefully, my boomer travel adventures will inspire other baby boomers and seniors. The activities I try are not necessarily hard or dangerous but they do take a willingness to experience something new.
What brands do you love: As a luxury traveler, I’m big on companies that provide that extra touch of personal service. When it comes to cruising, Silversea and Seabourn are experts at the personal touch. So is Ritz-Carlton. And I love visiting properties where they’ve thought of everything before I have. Triple Creek Guest Ranch in Darby, Montana, is a perfect example.
What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: When traveling, I especially enjoy going somewhere new to me, trying a new activity or discovering an off-the-beaten destination that I return to again and again. Bonus points if the destination includes fantastic scenery and abundant wildlife.
What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: Put me on a small ship luxury cruise and I’m a happy traveler. I know that cruises sometimes get a bad rap, but small ship cruising allows me to travel to lesser-known places. I consider it an introduction to a destination to decide if I should follow up with a land adventure. Plus I only have to pack and unpack once.
What’s your favorite passport stamp: Egypt. I traveled to the country when circumstances were still a bit unsteady. The people were kind, hospitable and so happy to see a traveler exploring their country.
What are the top reasons should someone travel with you: I’m an easy traveler who doesn’t become ruffled when flights are delayed or other problems arise. My husband, Alan (and partner at My Itchy Travel Feet), tells me that I’m the most patient traveler that he’s ever seen.
If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: Oh, that’s a hard one so I asked Alan. He says my warm, sunny personality reminds him of the islands in French Polynesia. I’m good with that.
How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: I believe that travel changes all of us. For me, travel has changed the way I approach life. I’m more open to trying new activities, even if they’re hard, like that time I learned to paddleboard in Maui. I ended up sitting on the board more than standing but the exhilaration of trying something new far outweighed the fact that I wasn’t good at it. And I’ve learned to slow down. I tend to be a person who is busy all the time but I’ve learned that seeing or experiencing everything a destination has to offer isn’t necessary or desirable. Taking my time to observe and listen gives me a new appreciation of the world and the people in it.
Next travel destination: I’m traveling on a 42-day cruise to Taiwan, Japan, China, Korea and back across the Pacific to Alaska. I’m looking forward to an interesting combination of travel experiences.