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TWIPPER OF THE MONTH

August Twipper of the Month: Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet

 

According to an article by discovercorps.com, now more than ever, thanks to technology, ease of travel and finally getting the kids out of the house, baby boomers are looking to travel more. Although we now have the internet to help us navigate through our travels with thousands of advertisements to lure us in, we are still saturated with millions of concerns and questions about these places that can only be answered by travelers who have experienced it first hand. My Itchy travel feet aims to help out baby boomers who are interested in travels no that they have more free time but do not know where to start or what to expect.

Scratching her itchy travel feet with new destinations, Donna Hull, our August Twipper of the Month is busting myths about baby boomers winding down with age and not knowing how to have fun. When Donna Hull started my Itchy Travel Feet, the goal was simple; create a travel journal to share travels with family and friends. Now, the blog has the answers (suggestions) to everything a  new aspiring traveler might need. My Itchy travel feet aims to help out baby boomers who are interested in travels now that they have more free time but do not know where to start or what to expect.  Along with Donna’s husband, Alan they are proving that baby boomer is more than just an age range and a solid market in an industry saturated with millennials.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

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!

 

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet!

Current city: Stevensville, Montana

Age: 67

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.

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Santa and Daniel from lets_do_this.de

 

Current city:  Dobele – a small little village located in Latvia– it´s Santas hometown and we visit her family after our trip through Asia. Santa lived here during her childhood and never thought about going around the world. Latvia seems so big when you are a child. But later she moved to Germanyto work and then she met Daniel. We both came from a communist system and our parents were not able to travel a lot. We both discovered our passion to travel and so it all begun.

Age: Santa was born 1987 and Daniel 1978.

Total countries visited: 18 in total – 13 during the last year.

What makes you interesting:We quit our jobs to travel Asia for one year – Santa after a difficult heart surgery and Daniel after 20 years in the same office. Daniel came home and proposed the crazy idea of a trip around the world to Santa – after a bit of thinking she said: LET´S DO THIS!  https://instagram.com/lets_do_this.de That´s how we came up with our name.

What brands do you love: We don´t have a favorite one but for cameras, we like Sonyand GoProand for software, we love Adobe– although we never had a drone we like the work of DJIand are always impressed of their achievements. Most of the time we buy what we love and what works but don’t care too much about the name on it. We are more focused on function and usability than on names.

What is the best part about having a travel partner?First of all, you are never alone and can share all the memories and adventures during and after travel. Your friends at home can´t relate to what you did our where you have been and what you´ve seen. Your travel partner knows exactly what you´re talking about and can add little details to your story. Also, you share costs and don´t have to sleep in a dorm. You keep pushing each other to break new boundaries but also have someone to take care of you.

What does “Travel” mean to you?Freedom – not knowing what happens tomorrow and still be able to figure a way to make it the best day ever. The best travel experience happens when you travel without a plan. Locals are the best resource and push you in the right direction – learn to trust them and find new undiscovered places.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels?Explore new places and see things that you only know from history or television – to meet people from different cultures and religions – talk to new friends about their travel goals and destinations – we found many places that we visited due to these conversations. We also enjoyed to just listening to the stories of local peoples life.

What are your travel pet peeves: When people see you as a walking ATM just because you´re white. Also finding good places to sleep was not always easy. If you have a lower budget it will get even harder. Pillows are hard, rooms smell or are dirty, mosquito nets are missing or broken and sometimes planes flying through your room. As a vegetarian, it is also a problem to accept that some countries see chicken as a vegetable.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag? Our most important tip is to travel slowly. Don´t travel long distances – travel in shorter ranges like 6 to 10 hours. We never did a jetlag flight – and we never will. Most of the time we traveled from one country to the next and stayed a month until we get to the next one. Otherwise just sleep, sleep, sleep.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling? In every country, we met interesting people with great stories but the most inspiring where Bethanne and Dough – a 75 years old couple that lives on a ship since 40 years and travel around the world with it. They raised two children on the ship and had so many stories to tell – best thing: we traveled 7 days together with them on the ship through the Andaman sea of Thailand. Our deepest respect to them.

Next travel destination: Germany – we traveled for one year without a break and want to come back for a while to work on our blog and write some stories down. During our travel, we had no time to do so because we wanted to enjoy our journey 100% without wasting too much of it on the computer.

TWIPPERS OF THE MONTH – JULY 2018

July Twippers of the Month – July 2018: James and Susan from The Savvy Backpacker

 

Are you looking to travel by yourself for the first time and in need of advice? If your answer is a YES! then you better get to know our July Twippers of the Month, James and Susan (and maybe their dog Henry too). Inspired by their experiences as first-time travelers, James and Susan guide readers to survive their first travel. These Savvy Backpackers are Twippers of the Month because of their willingness to share what they learn and help others which we here at TWIP think is what travel is about. Sharing your knowledge and inspiring others through experiences!

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