Tag: eating (page 1 of 11)

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 MONTH – MARCH 2018

Twipper of the Month – March 2018: Doreen Pendgracs from Chocolatour!

TOM – Doreen Pendgracs

Mix wanderlust and a love for chocolate, and you have Doreen “The Chocolate Queen” who’s looking to pave the way for a new type of traveling; Chocolatourism. Starting from a love of chocolate, Chocolatour has evolved into a personalized brand of hosted chocolate dinners, chocolate and wine pairing events, chocolate tours, and chocolate chats with Doreen as your host.  And while most of us can only use a word or two to describe chocolate, Doreen wrote an award winning book, Chocolatour: A Quest For The World’s Best Chocolate.  The Chocolatour mission, “to educate, entertain, and inspire chocolate lovers to gain greater knowledge of the world of chocolate through travel,” and she does just that. Through her travels she has learned to appreciate cultural differences and personalities, but nothing has stopped her sweet tooth and to appreciate the best chocolates the world has to offer. Furthermore, she proves that there is more to chocolate than just its sinful goodness.  Doreen’s unique and sweet (literally) way of traveling makes her Twipper of the Month for March.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Shubham Mansingka from Travel Shoe Bum!

Current city: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Age: 32

Total countries visited: 4

What makes you interesting: I believe that the best stories on the road are the unexpected ones. We realize that the world is amazing and most people are good when we travel. Unexpected love makes me feel good, I try and give myself a fair chance of receiving the same and hence ‘the goodness of strangers.’

What brands do you love: Brands that have long stayed true to their word. I love Adidas and Apple products.

What motivates you to travel: Travel has made me realize the world is a wonderful place and there is so much goodness everywhere. From natural beauty to culture, local food, crafts, folklore, architecture, there is a whole lot to explore. Travel has taught me to live in the moment and not worry about what’s gonna come next.

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling: When I am fulfilling a dream adventure in the mountains!

Describe the last time you tried something new: I recently tried skiing on a long slope for the first time.

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: Among the greatest memories for my entire life, the solo trek to Zanskar will most probably be an experience that I will be forever proud of : https://travelshoebum.com/2016/05/11/doing-the-unthinkable-solo-trekking-to-zanskar/

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: Once on a long journey in India, I met a young bloke who was roaming on his bike for more than four months. We travelled together for a bit and also did a trek together. I really enjoyed his company.

What item will you never leave home without: Himalaya Lipbalm

Next travel destination: Kerala.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Doreen Pendgracs from Chocolatour!

Current city: I live an hour north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Age: Old enough to appreciate cultural differences and personalities

Total countries visited: 35

What makes you interesting: I travel the world in search of the best chocolate experiences. That means I search out the most fascinating and innovative chocolatiers, chocolate makers, chocolate events and attractions and chocolate spas. Yes, I’ve been slathered in molten chocolate from head to toe in a growing number of countries and love it! I’m also a terrific listener. Maybe that’s partly thanks to being a Toastmaster for the past 17 years. But I truly love hearing and telling people’s stories.

What brands do you love: I love NAOT footwear and have worn them for years. Comfort and fashion combined to perfection. I love MAXIM ice-cream bars as they are coated in really good quality chocolate. I love the APPLE brand and have an iMac, MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone and love how they all communicate and share via the iCloud. I also love WESTJET Airlines and fly them as often as I can for their great pricing, reliability, and friendly staff.

What people say when they travel with you: “When you travel with Doreen Pendgracs, it is a first-class experience. Doreen works with tourism officials to arrange every detail and special extras for the trip and makes sure that accommodations are always up to her high standards. Even having to deal with three days of rain in Miami, Florida, couldn’t dampen her enthusiasm and it was the best time to take the bus tours she’d arranged for us.” And from another friend and colleague: “I was honored and delighted to be Doreen’s travel companion/interpreter on the inaugural Chocolatour to Belgium, France and Switzerland. I was most impressed with her organizational skills, her contacts, and her ability to find great places to stay and great deals for travel. She researched everything before we left Canada and booked interviews with key chocolatiers in all three countries. The entire trip was educational, but most of all, fun!” And from another friend and colleague: “Being stranded behind a mudslide on your way to visit cacao farmers in the Ecuadorian jungle isn’t so bad when you have Doreen along to entertain you for eight hours. She even had the wherewithal to bring snacks, and the generosity to share them with our fellow passengers in the taxi.”

So far, where have you tasted the most delicious Chocolate: I guess if I had to pick one country, it would be Switzerland. Switzerland makes the most amount of milk chocolate, and they are the highest consumers of chocolate in the world (according to some polls.) They really know their chocolate, and make exquisite chocolate creations of every variety and from a wide range of cocoa origins.

What is the longest period of time that you have been away from home and where did you go: The longest time I’ve been away from home has been six weeks. We went to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I absolutely love Vancouver Island as it is a nature lover’s paradise. Clean air and water, magnificent forests, and plentiful wildlife. What could be better?

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: My favourite mode of transportation is flying first class on long haul flights. I think my most memorable flight was to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on Etihad Airlines. The quality of service was absolutely amazing and having a comfortable bed to stretch out on during the 13+ hour flight was fantastic.

What are your travel pet peeves: I have two. One is when you are in a hotel room and the alarm goes off at 6 am because the cleaning staff had neglected to delete any settings made by the previous guests. I think hotel staff should be trained to always ensure the clock is set correctly, and that any previous alarm settings are deleted when they clean the rooms between guests. My other pet travel peeve is encountering fellow travellers who do nothing but complain because something is “different/not as good as at home.” Travel is and should be an adventure. If you don’t want to take chances and seize the opportunity to encounter and experience different customs and foods, stay home so you don’t spoil it for the rest of us.

What have you learned about yourself during your travels: That I truly love people. I enjoy meeting people from different countries and cultures and feel that I am the person I am today because of the incredible travel experiences I’ve had over the past 40+ years.

Next travel destination: Scottsdale, Arizona later this month. I was there quite a long time ago (BB — before blogging!) And so, a return visit to explore their chocolate scene and familiarize myself with what’s new in their lodging and culinary scenes will be terrific.

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. 

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