Twipper of the Week: Xanilyn Red 

Current city: Edison, NJ

Age: 24

Total countries visited:13 and counting! My goal is to hit 30 countries under 30.

What makes you interesting? I just got a puppy, does that make me interesting?

What brands do you love? I’m not really big on brands- like if it’s functional and cute, I’m a sucker for it. But recently, I got my first luggage from CalPak and I’m obsessed with it. It’s made traveling and packing a lot easier and more organized.

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling? Food! Nothing is more authentic about a country than having cuisine that was curated by years of history and by the hands of locals. When I went to Italy, I traveled with a bunch of my cheap Filipino relatives. The first place we ended up eating was a Filipino restaurant because they gave a great deal on food. My soul was cringing.. eating Filipino food in Italy. Like their hospitality was great, but I’m craving some pasta or pizza.

What motivates you to travel: I work as an ICU nurse, so the population of patients I work with is usually older, on the sicker side, with the conversation of dying openly on the table. It’s a privilege to hear people’s stories of when they were younger, how they met their spouses of 50+ years, and to form connections with other family members. Having these interactions is always a reminder of how short life is, and how there is so much life waiting to be lived and explored. I once had a patient who had the thickest Italian accent, and it turned out he was born and raised in Naples. I had just traveled to Italy at the time, and we both started to laugh over how trash the pizza in NJ is compared to Italy. Traveling enriches you as a person, and allows you to connect with people on a deeper level- it’s addicting, and I can’t get enough of it.

What are your travel pet peeves: People who are close-minded and are disrespectful of the culture of the country they’re visiting. Just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you’re entitled to be catered to. You are a guest in this country, you should be open to what the country has to offer you. Having the right mentality in a new place makes or breaks the experience you have.

Describe the last time you tried something new: Cliff jumping! So I’ve jumped off cliffs that were like 10-15 ft, which now seems like large rocks rather than cliffs haha. But in Jamaica, there’s this place called Rick’s cafe where they have a 35-foot cliff people jump off of. I was so NERVOUS if you didn’t jump far out enough, you’d hit the rocks on the side. I just had to keep telling myself, like “hey you came all the way here to do the damn thing.” and boom. Also the beers I had prior to jumping may have built up my courage lol. * do not recommend jumping off cliffs and drinking tho *** 

If your personality were a city or country, which one would it be? My personality is a lot like New York City– very fast paced and ambitious. Whenever I’m in a new place, I always notice that I’m walking waaaaaaaay too fast compared to the people around me. I always laugh to myself like “chill Xanilyn, we’re not back home. Take it down a notch”.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age? My first time traveling was when I was 4 years old. I went to the Philippines for the first time to meet my grandparents.

Next Destination: I’m heading to France next month!