Tag: China (page 1 of 6)

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

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Robert Michael Poole from RMP

Current city: Okinawa

Age: 38

Total countries visited: 127

What makes you interesting: I’m from the UK but lived in Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Japan, before recently becoming a full digital nomad sharing images via @robertmichaelpoole.

What brands do you love: Ted Baker and Paul Smith

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: Hopefully all remaining other countries on earth! I plan to tour the Pacific Islands next and then South America.

What have you learned about yourself during your travels: I think the greatest lesson anyone can learn is that you are who you are because of where and when you are born. Your morals, thinking processes, values, ambitions, and desires, are all a product of the society you grew up in. It’s important to understand how different you’d be if you were by chance born somewhere else, and so it’s good to try to step out of your bubble because until you do, you’ll never truly know who you really are.

Describe the last time you tried something new: Fortunately, in my life, every day brings something new, since I had no base and no routine. Yesterday I tried an incredible spa relay course in Okinawa, 14 spa pools each different to each other, offering different ways to relax the body. Tomorrow I’ll head to China to experience a helicopter ride over the Great Wall of China, which should give me an incredible perceptive of this mammoth structure. I do feel the need to try new things every day, though most are much smaller in scale, from new food combinations to new conversations with new people I’ve crossed paths with.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: Probably the Dalai Lama, though I’m a firm believer in the fact that everyone you meet has some knowledge and experience that you don’t, and it’s up to you to discover this in each person. Some people may be interesting up-front, but everyone has something interesting to share, and the fun is in discovering them.

It’s your first day arriving in a country with a language so foreign it might as well be gibberish, how do you plan to get by? Smile and use hand signals. I don’t think any languages are really so obscure once you have some experience traveling, all world languages are connected to each other in some ways and have imported words from each other.

What are your travel pet peeves: Encountering people who are only capable of viewing another culture from their own perspective, and thus pass judgment on others rather than finding value in understanding the variety of this world.

Next travel destination: China.

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