TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Sabina Trojanova from Girl vs. Globe!

Current city: Vienna, Austria

Age: 23

Total countries visited: 40

What makes you interesting: Being a full-time blogger is an interesting job in its own right, but I know bloggers are a dime a dozen these days! What makes me unique is my perspective. I’ve recently committed to living more responsibly which has completely changed the way I think about travel. Despite being 23 I’m also not new to exploring the world. I first moved abroad with my family when I was 13 and on my own at the age of 17. I’ve lived in five countries so far and speak five languages, which makes having really authentic local experiences much  easier.

What brands do you love: I love brands that take time to think about the world we live in. I don’t want to name any particular names here, but would like to urge everyone to look at how their favorite companies operate.

Where are you the most authentic you: Anywhere, as long as I feel comfortable. That usually depends on the people I’m with rather than the location.

What is your most favorite travel memory: I’ve hitchhiked through France dressed as a nun, spent hours at a Russian police station and went on a sunset mountain hike in Iceland. In other words, I’ve had my fair share of hilarious and memorable travel experiences. But my favorite memories are always times spent with local families. Staying with a Berber family in Morocco, making dumplings with a Chinese family in Beijing or learning about authentic Italian recipes from an elderly couple in Tivoli – those are the kinds of things that really stick with you!

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: Antarctica! Cruises aren’t exactly my thing but this would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: Travel has taught me a very valuable lesson. The people you meet on your travels may look different, sound different and lead vastly different lives, but at our core, we’re all very similar. We all love to laugh, spend time with our loved ones and enjoy life to the fullest. I believe that’s the most important lesson we can learn in today’s world, filled with so much hate and fear mongering by the media and politicians.

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: I spent a month living in Beijing and studying Mandarin. This was the only time in my life I’ve truly experienced culture shock. Going forward I want to turn my focus to places outside of Europe and North America and be pushed outside my comfort zone again. It’s exhilarating, not to mention eye-opening.

Describe yourself in three words: I’m curious, ambitious and a little bit crazy. You have to be to do this job!

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: Syria, Somalia and a handful of other countries where violent conflict has finally subsided. That’s my biggest wish.

Next travel destination: I’m going on a nature and wildlife trip to Wales in the United Kingdom. I’ll be hiking, sea kayaking and hanging out with seals, puffins and dolphins. I’m beyond excited!

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Chris Walker-Bush from Aussie on the Road!

Current City: Beijing, China

Age: 33

Total countries visited: 21

What makes you interesting: I’ve been an almost non-stop expat since I left Australia back in 2007. I started out as an ESL teacher before transitioning into being a full time writer and working as a safari expert. I maintain a 1,000+ item bucket list that I regularly check off, and my blog is a mixture of brutal honesty, wildly inappropriate humor, and descriptive narratives of some once in a lifetime experiences such as gorilla trekking and hiking the wild Great Wall.

What brands do you love: Shadows of Africa, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Apple, Bethesda, World Nomads, Tarocash, Gentsac, and Amazon.

It’s 2050, list all of the places you are most proud to have visited: My goal is to have explored the entire African continent before I die. My abiding fascination with its diverse cultures and wildlife demands it.

If your personality was a country or city, which one would it be: If I were a city, I think I’d be either Seattle or San Francisco. Laid back, tech savvy, food and craft beer loving, and just genuinely fun. If I were a country, I think I’d be somewhere Scandinavian. Liberal and occasionally depressing.

What are your travel rituals: I am always at the airport entirely too early. Between being paranoid about missing a flight and just hating being rushed, I’m often having a bite to eat or a coffee before check-in has even opened for my flight.

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: My first time in Africa, I was definitely taken aback by the chaos and the poverty. I’d landed in Nairobi running on zero sleep, and taking the shuttle bus from the city down into Tanzania was one jarring encounter after another. I would later call Tanzania home, so it all seems very normal to me now, but I remember just being both scared and enchanted by it all.

Where are you the most authentic you: Probably in the sleepy mountain village in which I was raised. There’s not a lot to do, so you’ve got plenty of time for writing, contemplation, and long conversations.

What item will you never leave home without: It’s a sad cliche, but probably my iPhone. Not so much because I need to be connected 24/7 (although I kind of do), but because it’s where I do my photography and my editing, my draft writing, and my music listening. It’s become such a vital part of my travel ritual.

Next travel destination: A two month African odyssey in November.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Elizabeth Raflowitz from ER: Where to Next?

Current city: Boston, MA

Age: 32

Total countries visited: 52 countries/territories, 7 continents.

What makes you interesting: No to sound too nerdy, but I love learning all the anthropologic elements of other countries – the culture, language, architecture, and of corse the food. I love embracing their traditions and trying to pick up a few words in their native tongue.

What brands do you love: Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade and Lacoste are my faves, but while abroad I always look for Bershka and Zara (it’s better than U.S. Zara).

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Acceptance of other people’s cultures. Every country has a unique history, and the point of traveling is to expand your outlook on people and the world.

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: When I was in college I studied abroad on Semester at Sea. I spent 100 days on a small cruise ship and traveled around the world beginning in the Bahamas, traveling through South America, across the Atlantic to Africa, Asia, across the Pacific and docking in San Diego. We visited 9 countries, and it was the most eye-opening experience and was where I met some of my closest friends.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: My favorite passport stamp is definitely my one from Antarctica. It was such an achievement to be able to visit my 7th continent, but my coolest passport stamp is from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales – the longest town name in the world!

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling: Just one? I really love to live in the moment when traveling but food and unique home decor are things you have to do right. No one makes that place’s food better than the locals, so I be sure to take it all in. For home decor, I like to bring a piece of the country back home with me, whether a piece of art or decoration. It’s always a talking point when people are at my condo.

What is your most favorite travel memory: One of my favorite trips was spending Christmas in the Malaysian rainforest with my family. We spent the holiday in a treehouse hotel, hiking through the rainforest, and seeing Santa in a bathing suit!

What item will you never leave home without: My passport! But sadly, it’s probably my cell phone because it sometimes acts as my camera, my boarding pass, and my way to pass the time on flights.

Next travel destination: I just booked a very spontaneous trip to Oslo, Norway for Labor Day Weekend with my two friends from Semester at Sea. We found great deals on flights, so how could we not book?! We’re still figuring out the details, but possibly also heading to Bergen on the west coast to see the fjords while we are there!

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Chris Backe from One Weird Globe!

Current city: Zagreb, Croatia

Age: 35

Total countries visited: 21

What makes you interesting: I focus on the weird, bizarre and offbeat destinations. That means while I haven’t been to Disneyland, I have been to America’s only true medieval structure, watched snake venom extracted, and been to a museum of garbage trucks – and that was just Florida.

What brands do you love: Big fan of Google everything! Lowepro‘s makes a great camera bag that has taken more than a few licks.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: Toronto – mainly for its diversity.

Best travel advice: Group destinations by geography so you’re not bouncing around from one side of town (or the country) to another.

#1 thing you must do when traveling: Allow yourself to wander when you’re not on a schedule. With that said, you never have enough time while traveling, so schedule your time and research ahead to make the most of it.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: At around 17 I went to Mexico as part of a mission trip with my youth group at the time. We interacted with the locals a little bit, but our primary goal was to witness to the locals. This was the first time I’d been to a new country and definitely was an eye opener on how big the world is.

What is your most favorite travel memory:  The former Star Wars set is set in the middle of nowhere, Tunisia. If  you need that ‘desert-on-all-sides’ feeling, and that’s what you get. There are no roads on the way in, though you’ll take some on your way out, and it’s a over a half day trip. The site was abandoned in the desert after filming, but a local group has decided to save it. 

What does “Travel” mean to you: Travel means freedom. The freedom to live life on my terms, the freedom to choose where to go and the freedom to never feel stuck.

Next travel destination: The rest of Croatia, and later the rest of Eastern Europe.

Twipper of the Month – May 2017

Twipper of the Month – May 2017: Linda Dumpe from Have A Good Journey!

Some people like to visit a foreign country to get a taste of different cultures, but for Linda that’s simply not enough. As a seasoned traveler and blogger of Have A Good Journey, she doesn’t just visit a new destination, she lives there. From tasting wines in Napa Valley to solving an ant problem in India,  Linda knows how to makes the best out of every situation and this is why we have named her our Twipper of the Month for May. “My experiences have widened my horizons, made me a more open-minded person and not judgmental, and more self-confident. I’m very grateful I can live my life traveling,” says Linda. Even with no new destinations set, we can’t wait to see where she ends up next.

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