Tag: China (page 1 of 7)

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

Twipper of the Week: David and Veronica from The GypsyNesters!

Current city:  Ventura, California

Age:  David 58, Veronica 54

Total countries visited: Our current count is 54,and we are always looking to add to that total.

What makes you interesting:  Hmm, can’t say we have been asked that before. We have had quite a life, married for 35 years, living in Nashville, St. Croix, New York, and now Southern California, and having dozens of different jobs through the years, along with all of the stories from our explorations. It’s all in our book GOING GYPSY: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All.

What brands do you love: We love our iPhone, can’t imagine traveling without it. As for travel companies, we love Backroads, Viking Cruises, Road Scholar, Discover Corps., Country Walkers, and VBT for amazing adventures that are well planned and cater to folks like us that want to be more than just tourists. When we visit a destination, we want to do more than just take a quick look.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you:  There is great quote from Mark Twain:  ”Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” We have found this to be very true. Our greatest discovery in our GypsyNester journey has been that people all over the world are basically good and decent, friendly and welcoming.

What destinations are on your bucket list and why: There are still a few. We call ourselves “greedy travelers” because the more we see, the more we want to see. Antarctica would have to be near the top of our list since it would make all seven continents visited for us, but there are plenty of others as well. We’d love to see New Zealand, Scotland, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, the South Pacific, or almost anywhere else that we haven’t been.

What are your travel pet peeves:  The fact that we are both sitting here trying to think of something must mean that there really aren’t any big ones. There are always little things, but we have become quite good at letting them slide.

Describe the last time you tried something new:  It wasn’t the last time, but certainly the worst. Eating silkworms in China certainly stands out, but not in a good way.  Of all the crazy things we’ve eaten (and it is quite a few, we have a whole category on our website) it is by far the nastiest. Thoroughly disgusting, but we found the humor in it, even at the time.

What is the best part about having a travel partner:  We discovered that by trying and experiencing so many new things together we really reconnected as a couple and found those crazy kids that fell in love decades ago.

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited and why:  One thing we really like is visiting places that were not allowed back in our younger days. Russia, China, Cuba, Poland, Czech, Estonia, Slovenia, and Hungary, were all forbidden so were extremely interesting to see. But that wouldn’t be our proudest, that would have to be our voluntourism experiences. We have had the chance to help while traveling in Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and right here in the states, and hopefully by 2050 will have added significantly to that list.

Next travel destination:  We are off to Hawaii, which will mean that we both have visited all 50 states.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Sarah Gregg from Backpacks and Dreams – Travel off the Beaten Track!

Current city: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Age: 35

Total countries visited: 47

What makes you interesting: This is a difficult question! What makes me interesting is that I travel full-time with my husband. A year ago, we made the decision to quit our successful jobs. We sold our house, our car and our belongings. People warned us that leaving was a risk, but for us, the biggest risk was staying. Life is too short not to do what you love.

What brands do you love: For technology, GoPro & Lenovo, Revolut for travel money card Liha Beauty for cosmetics.

What motivates you to travel: The world continues to amaze you when you travel. There is always something more to see, do and experience. I love exploring places of natural beauty, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.

What is your most favorite travel memory: There are so many! My favorite from this trip is receiving a blessing from the youngest high priestess in Bali, Ida Resi Alit. Her story of how she returned from the dead really intrigued me. Meeting her in person and receiving a blessing was very a special experience.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: I love the challenge of getting off the beaten track. Getting off the beaten track means different things to everyone. For me, it’s simply finding places where you can connect with local people. Some of my most memorable experiences have been in places you wouldn’t find a guidebook.

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: China. We arrived after travelling overland by train on the Trans-Siberian. I remember getting off the train and feeling overwhelmed. The language barrier, the volume of people and the cultural difference was so vast. To beat the culture shock, we sought refuge, and coffee, in the only place we could recognize – McDonald’s!

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: GoPro Hero 5. It’s captured some amazing, natural moments.

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: I would love to do the Mongol Rally, a 10,000-mile car adventure across Europe taken in beat up old cars. I’ve never entered a travel challenge like that before so it would be an incredible experience.

Next travel destination: I am heading home to Belfast, Northern Ireland next week. I am excited to see family and friends. The one thing I am not excited about is the cold! Then we fly back to SE Asia to continue travelling.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Richelle Gamlam from Adventures Around Asia!

Current city: Ben Lomond, NSW, Australia

Age: 26

Total countries visited: 33

What makes you interesting: I lived in China for five years, and I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese! 

What brands do you love: REI, Osprey, Pacsafe, Eagle Creek, Context Tours, Tinggly, Skyscanner, Lost Plate 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Travel taught me how much I can do on my own. Traveling solo and living abroad has really forced me to rely on myself in a way I just didn’t have to when I was back home in the US. I had to solve problems and deal with “disasters” and tough situations all on my own. It was a great lesson in what I’m truly capable of, and it’s shown me that most of the time, travel disasters aren’t actually as a big of a deal as you might think!

#1 thing you must do when traveling: Get lost! Spend a day wandering around the city, or take a motorbike around your town or island. You’ll never imagine what incredible things you can see if you just get off the beaten path.

Most magical place on earth: I’m a little in love with the island of Siargao in the Philippines. While this island is known for surfing (and I’m not a huge surfer), there are plenty of other things to do. Rent a motorbike and ride around the island, go scuba diving, swim in rock pools, touch stingless jellyfish in a lagoon, explore the mangroves, and have BBQ with friendly locals.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: I think Taiwan fits my personality most out of any country. Taiwan is such a fun, friendly and welcoming country full of outdoor experiences and incredible (and cheap) food, night markets, beaches, mountains and more. I’d love to live in the cosmopolitan city of Taipei and spent my time hiking, swimming, diving, and stuffing my face with cheap Chinese food and fresh fruit. I love Chinese culture, and after five years in Mainland China, I think Taiwan is a much better fit for my personality.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: The first travel experience I can actually remember is a trip I took to France and Italy with my parents when I was in 4th grade. This trip was actually a bit of a fluke- we gave up seats on a flight and ended up with enough miles to almost get us to Europe! This trip really taught my family that travel isn’t as expensive as you might think, and inspired many more trips throughout my childhood.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag: Take a small nap and then get out and explore! If you keep yourself busy, you won’t fall into a pattern of sleeping at the wrong times.

Next travel destination: Kenya and Tanzania! I’ll be heading home to the US for just over a month to see my family, but after that, I’ll be heading to Africa. 

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Edward Rivera from Roving Rivera!

Current city: Beijing, China

Age: 32

Total countries visited: 35

What makes you interesting: Well, I guess one thing is that I have lived in 4 different countries for over 1 year.

What brands do you love:  I love Canon cameras, they are my go-to brand for sure.

What motivates you to travel:  Culture, languages, and constant adventure.

#1 thing you must do when traveling:  Eat local cuisine definitely.  Learn some of the languages.

What is your favorite travel memory:  There are many, but I guess I would say my favorite memory was when I first left the U.S.A study in Italy. I remember waking up, opening the window seeing rolling hills and finally realizing I was beginning my dream career in travel.

Describe yourself in three words:  Driven, Open, eclectic

What’s your favorite passport stamp: South Korea, I lived there for 4 years.  It really brought me a lot of opportunities.

Who is the most interesting person you have met and why: I’ve come across a lot of interesting people but I guess I would say I met an American guy on a beach in Phuket Thailand.  He sold all his businesses bought a bamboo hut and placed it on a beach.  He lived the simple life on a beach in a bamboo hut.  He would literally wake up walk out his hut swim in the sea come back and just talk about how he decided to settle on a beach alone.

Next travel destination: Borneo, Thailand, Vietnam

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