Category: Twipper of the Week (page 1 of 41)

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Kiara Gallop from Gallop Around the Globe

Current City: Shrewsbury – a large medieval town in central England, whose claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of Charles Darwin!

Age: 42.  Although I still think I’m 24 most of the time!

Total countries visited: I actually had to check this, as the last time I counted was when I arrived in Bolivia (country number 34) in 2004! I had a vague aim to visit at least 40 countries by the time I was 40 and I think I made it! I’m now on 44.

What makes you interesting? This is probably a question I should be asking my friends! It’s really difficult to know how other people see you! I’d like to think I’m interesting because I’m curious, quirky, enthusiastic, intuitive, positive, intelligent (although my boyfriend will tell you that what I have in intelligence I lack in common sense!) determined, and independent.  I’ll also happily talk to you for hours about travel, blogging, photography, music, books, and food.

What brands do you love: I use a lot of brands, but I’m not sure I know too much about the people behind the brands and their business ethics / personal morals.  But based on the fact that they offer great products or services, Booking, Airbnb and Skyscanner when it comes to travel planning, Dr. Martens and All Saints when it comes to fashion, Cotswold Outdoor for outdoor and hiking gear and Lush for beauty products.

What’s your favorite passport stamp? Ahhh, that’s so difficult to answer! But I’ll probably have to say the first one! As I’m from the UK, we don’t get passport stamps when we travel to EU countries (at least, not at the moment; with Brexit looming, things may change) so the first passport stamp I got was the first time I traveled outside the EU.  It was 2002 and I went to Thailand.  It was the beginning of a very long love affair with the country.

What does “Travel” mean to you? So much! The anticipation of travel lights a fire in my soul. Travel satisfies my hunger for new experiences – new sights, new sounds, and new flavors.  Each day brings with it a new discovery, a new adventure.  The people, landscapes and situations I encounter are an endless source of inspiration to me, and constantly provide me with knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of a country which is often so very different to my own.  I have a favorite quote about travel which you’ll find in my “about me” section of my blog and it pretty much sums up what travel means to me – “Travel is not a reward for working; it’s education for living.”

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: Jees, these questions are getting harder and harder!! I think in a way all travel experiences are unique.  Even if we visit the same places and follow the same paths as others, we all take something very different from our experiences.  However, I can think of a couple of funny stories from Southeast Asia involving monks.  Neither was funny for me at the time (one was awkward and the other was embarrassing), but they make amusing tales to tell.  The first was the time a monk tried to seduce me at a deserted temple in Savannakhet, Laos.  He lured me in with the well-versed line about helping him to practice his English, but once inside his study he kept wanting to hold my hand, touch my leg and hug me.  He subsequently became rather ‘aroused’ – which is a bit difficult to hide under loose saffron-colored robes! I promptly made my excuses and ran! The second was when I got on to a crowded bus in northern Thailand. I did as I normally do when I get on a bus – sat down in the first available seat I could see.  My bottom had barely touched the seat and EVERYONE on the bus lurched towards me, a mixture of horror and shock on their faces, and removed me from my seat.  I’d only gone and sat next to a monk.  As a woman, this is not just frowned upon; it’s considered hugely disrespectful.  One of the ladies on the bus took me to one side and kindly explained my mistake.  It’s one I never made again! I also feel I should mention that the first incident happened AFTER the second.  If it had been the other way around, I think I would’ve avoided sitting next to a monk anywhere!!

Is there anywhere you will not travel to and why? Although I do love to travel to off the beaten path destinations, I always check the Foreign Safety Advice for the country I’m planning to travel to on the gov.uk website, and if they advise that it’s not safe to travel there then I won’t.  I’m not prepared to risk my life for the sake of travel so I will avoid countries or regions where there is social, political or religious unrest. Other than that though, I’m open to traveling pretty much anywhere!

What are your travel rituals: My travel rituals? If you mean something I always like to do regardless of where I travel to then I love to browse local produce markets.  They’re always so vibrant and colorful and can teach us a lot about a country’s food and culture.  Trying a few of the local delicacies is obviously a necessity too.  Something I also love to do when I first arrive in a new place is head to a high point in order to gaze down upon the city/town/village below.  It helps me get my bearings and to orientate myself with my home for the next few days.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be? Wow! Um…can I pass on this one? I think it would have to be a city of contrasts.  I love the great outdoors but I’m just as happy snuggled up indoors in front of an open fire with a bowl of hot soup and a good book, I’m an introvert but I love nothing better than a great night out with friends, and I love the energy of cities as much as I love the quietness and solitude of the mountains.

Next travel destination: At the end of this month I leave for a 10-day adventure around the Puglia region of Italy.  My boyfriend and I have got a few days in the cave city of Matera and then we pick up a couple of bikes for the remaining week.  We’ll be staying in a traditional Truli house in Alberobello and subsequently cycling along the coast of the heel of Italy, visiting Ostuni, Gallipoli, Santa Maria di Leuca, Otranto, and Lecce.

 

 

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Diala Shuhaiber from Frame With a View

 

Current city: Beirut, Lebanon

Age:  I like keeping that a mystery. Leave people guessing 🙂

Total countries visited: around 30 countries and over 100 cities.

What makes you interesting:  I speak five languages? Don’t know if that’s interesting. lol

What brands do you love: I’m an any brand kind of girl. Usually, I love to support locals and start-ups.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age? Been traveling since I was a baby due to my father’s work. I was born in London and my first trip was to France, I was probably a year and a half.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you? It followed me my whole life. I was raised between London, Japan, Zimbabwe, Spain, Kuwait, and Lebanon, so I don’t think it changed me but rather formed me.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels? exploring and discovering hidden treasures and beautiful gems.

What is the longest period of time that you have been away from home? Never really had a place called home, the longest country I ever lived in was for 6 years, and I usually move every couple of years.

What is the most interesting food you have ever tried and where? Raw cow liver in Lebanon

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling? This homeless guy called Radio Man who has appeared in over 150 movies. A very inspiring guy; there have been documentaries made about him now.

Next travel destination: Crete, Greece

 

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Nicole Nguyen from Nicole Buzzing 

 

Current city: Cambridge, Ontario (1 hour from Toronto)

 Age: 27

Total countries visited: 7 (8 if you count layovers)

What makes you interesting: I would say my perspective on travel, with the aim to learn more and learn it better. With an education in business and tourism under my belt, I travel to immerse myself in experiences that offer new knowledge and different perspectives, then I apply what I’ve learned in my own life. On a few occasions, I have had the privilege of traveling and staying with locals and have found travel with a local (friend or guide) is the best way to see a country. Traveling ‘like a tourist’ has its place, but it is really refreshing to get an insider’s view. I strongly believe that you can learn something from every experience, person or place, good or bad. I love sharing what I learn from travel and from life in general with my readers.

What brands do you love: I’m a Canon girl when it comes to photography and always travel with my camera in hand. I won’t leave home without a pair of Birks (Birkenstocks) packed. Leatherman multi-tools are also incredibly handy and I always have my Micra on me.

What’s your favorite passport stamp? My Taiwan (ROC) stamp – it’s the furthest I’ve been from home to date and reminds me that even countries on the other side of the world are only a plane ride away.

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip? A printed copy of my itinerary with addresses saved me in Taiwan. I had trouble on two occasions finding a friend’s address when traveling solo, both in Taipei and Tainan, so having a physical copy of my itinerary on hand (because phone batteries don’t last forever) to show locals and ask for directions really helped. Now I always travel with a printed copy of my itinerary. Also, a neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs for the plane ride…

Best travel advice Explore outside of your comfort zone to try new/local things (especially food!).

What does “Travel” mean to you? To me, travel encompasses knowledge and experiences that lead to a better understanding of the world around you – of cultures, people, cities, food, wildlife, terrain, everything really!

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling? No one person stands out, but I really enjoyed hearing about local life from a family our small tour group visited near Göreme, Turkey. Their daughter had just gotten engaged, so it was interesting to hear about Turkish wedding customs and family traditions.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag? Make sure you drink lots of water while traveling and preemptively adjust your sleep schedule to local time if possible, sleeping on the plane if need.

Next travel destination: Orlando, Florida this December to fulfill my childhood dream of going to Walt Disney World – Universal Studios is on the list too!

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Jenni and Mark from Just Chasing Rabbits

 

Current city: Tupelo, Mississippi.

Age:33 and 36

Total countries visited:14 (Jenni) and 16 (Mark)

What makes you interesting: Our travel blog is for the young-at-heart. We travel every chance we get and experience the world with curiosity. We’re always ready for the next adventure and find the iconic, amazing, and unusual sites at each destination we visit.

What brands do you love:Our most important travel accessories are our cameras, and we’re definitely Canon lovers! Trtl makes a fantastic travel pillow and Stream2Sea is a wonderful option for biodegradable/reef safe sunscreen.

#1 thing you must do when traveling: We must learn something new! Whether we are visiting a museum, trying a new food, or mingling with locals, we are always eager to learn about the places, people, and cultures of the places we visit.

Where and when were you the most culture shocked? During our first visit to Japan in 2011, we were thrown so far outside of our comfort zone.  I am so thankful for that trip because it really pushed me to listen and interact with others and try things that I normally wouldn’t. The people of Japan were so kind to us, which is great because we were totally at their mercy. We couldn’t read any of the signage, couldn’t speak the language, and honestly, we had no idea what we were eating half the time!

What item will you never leave home without? Our cameras! Capturing images of the places we visit and our experiences there is one thing we have to do. I think I could get by with just my phone’s camera… if I had to.

What have you learned about yourself during your travels? I (Jenni) have learned that I am not equipped to be a solo traveler. I’m sure the fear is because of my social anxiety, but traveling with Mark is one of the easiest things in the world. We complement each other so well with overlapping interests and always look out for one another. No matter the situation, I feel that we can get through it together. I’ve also learned that I am a huge scaredy cat, but if something is amazing enough, I can push through those fears. Mark has learned that he has a love for photography and that every trip only fuels his desire to visit even more places!

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go? We’d probably opt for a place that is more expensive just to save ourselves some money. A free trip could take us to Easter Island or Antarctica!

Is there anywhere you will not travel to and why? We are totally open to traveling anywhere in the world, but only if it’s currently safe to do so.

Next travel destination:Probably Canada! (We’re really good at last-minute plans!)

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!

 

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