Tag: france (page 1 of 4)

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: 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: Tirthankar Bose from The Poor Nomad!

Current city: New Delhi (India)

Age: 30

Total countries visited: 13

What makes you interesting: I am good at starting conversations and making it lively as well as I have a lot of experiences and stories to share. However, I am a good listener too.

What brands do you love: I mostly prefer three brands for all my travel needs: Northface, Wildcraft, and Quechua.

What does “Travel” mean to you: You cannot define travel as everyone has their own definitions. Some like to travel for freedom, some just for fun, some travel with friends and so on. To me travel is exploring new cultures, food, meeting new people, knowing their style of living and decoding some untouched lands. However, travel always empower me with freedom and discover that how everyone is wrong about other countries.

What is your most favorite travel memory:  My favorite travel memory is my first solo backpacking trip, which I did in the year 2006. When I had no idea how to travel still I went for the trip with little and no money and after some huge goof-ups, I finally completed it. But that trip gave me a lot of confidence that I am still carrying with me even now.
For more, you may check out the story of my first backpacking trip:My First Solo BackPacking Trip To Yumthang Valley – How It All Started

#1 thing you must do when traveling: Being a solo traveler, sometimes it’s very hard to keep your travel under budget, getting information and knowing all the do’s and don’ts about the destination. So the best way to tackle all these is to start a conversation with a local. I always try this trick to get ideas on how to travel and where to stay and all. As most of the times, the locals have more idea about that place than Google. The best way to do break the ice: “Hi, I’m from [insert home country or city] and I’m here for a week, do you know any good hotels here or any good place to visit?”

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go:  I would go to Pakistan. Being an Indian, unfortunately, we were always told how vulnerable Pakistan is. But I would like to crack this myth and would love to show the world that even the local Pakistanis are peace loving people and are hospitable too. However, Pakistan has its share of some amazing places but most of us have no idea about this.

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: I don’t know whether it can be termed as unique or funny but there is one experience which I would really like to share.
I was in Udaipur with two other travelers from France and Spain. We went to a local bar and ordered a beer each, after an hour or two we were all out and toxicated. And I promptly had a ‘micro sleep’ on one of the tables. After 15 minutes when I woke up, there were smashed glasses, broken chairs and tables everywhere. Apparently, one of my mates told me that 5 minutes after my nap two groups started fighting after a heated discussion and the best part was that all this was happening just 5metres from me. Glasses, chairs, and tables flying everywhere, and I just slept through it all completely unscathed. When I woke up, one of my friend was covered in bits of glass and I didn’t have a clue what had happened… haha!

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: I would say, it would be Nepal. I love backpacking and exploring new cultures with a pinch of adventure. And Nepal has it all. It is a haven for backpackers and for people who love adventure.

Next travel destination: Nepal

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: Clark Norton!

Current city: Tucson, AZ

Age: 71 (though since I can’t really picture myself as 71, I prefer “veteran travel writer” or “cutting-edge baby boomer”)

Total countries visited: 120

What makes you interesting:  People seem to find the life of a travel writer interesting – that you can actually make a living traveling and write about it. I don’t like to talk about my work all that much – there’s a lot of sitting in front of the computer pounding out (I hope) golden or at least silver or bronze words, and that’s anything but glamorous  – but I do love to talk about travel, and I can do that for hours. But only if the person on the other end of the conversation is genuinely interested and asking questions and isn’t fidgeting or dozing off; not everyone wants to hear about your latest trip. Otherwise, I put my work out there and let it speak for itself.

What brands do you love: LL Bean, Travelsmith, Magellan’s, REI, Columbia, Keen – all for travel clothes and travel gadgets.

What motivates you to travel: Of course, as a travel writer I’m motivated to travel when an editor sends me somewhere on a paying gig, but in truth, I would – and often do — travel even if I’m not on assignment. I can only say that I love it and there’s some sort of burning pit inside me that propels me to want to go anywhere and everywhere at just about any time. I think it’s mostly being curious about the world. What’s a place I’ve only read about really like? I never feel I can answer that question until I’ve been there and seen it for myself (and, often, write about it afterward – which helps me clarify my thoughts). Then there are countries like France, Spain, Italy and Greece that I return to again and again just because I like being there so much and enjoy the ambiance, people, and food.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: I’ll have to divide that into two parts. My parents were both teachers, had summers off and loved to take driving trips around the U.S., so I had traveled to 48 states by the time I was 12. My first big trip was at age five when my family visited New York City and Washington, DC; I’ll never forget the impression the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and the U.S. Capitol made on me then. But of all our trips, I was especially enamored of California and the “wild” West, which seemed incredibly exotic to a boy growing up in Indiana. My first overseas trip was to Europe when I was age 20, in college. Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam, Lucerne, and London were magical places to me and really opened my eyes to the world. And I’ve been traveling every chance I’ve had ever since.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: So many, but one quickly comes to mind: Margaret Mead, the anthropologist. She was quite old at the time and I was quite young, on my first trip to Africa trying to dig up stories for a news service but finding myself more interested in seeing the sights (naturally). I was sitting in the outdoor cafe of the New Stanley Hotel in Nairobi when I spotted her, cane in hand, standing at the corner of a busy intersection, clearly wary of facing the traffic. I recognized her immediately and jumped at the chance to help her cross the street, then accompanied her to a conference she was attending on environmental issues. She was incredibly smart, of course, but also very funny – she couldn’t get over how there was a KFC (which she called “that chicken place”) right across the street from the conference center — and I got a good story out of it.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: Walking around a city or hiking through the countryside, just observing, soaking in the atmosphere, people watching and relishing the scenery: The world’s best freebie.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: Probably the stamp I got on Easter Island (“Isla de Pascua”) on October 17, 2006. It pictures the moia – the giant carved stone heads the island is famous for – and epitomizes to me getting to someplace that’s in the middle of nowhere but absolutely fascinating.

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: Besides my laptop and camera, which I couldn’t do without, I still rely on good old-fashioned print guidebooks (often with the appropriate pages torn out to reduce the weight). My most useful guidebook was when I bought Arthur Frommer’s Europe on $5 a Day back in 1971 while spending three months traveling around Europe. Until I picked up that book, I was sort of aimlessly wandering around, and when I started reading it I realized how much I’d been missing. I’ve been devoted to print guidebooks ever since, no matter how smart my phone is.

Next travel destinationJapan: Tokyo, Kyoto, hot springs, cherry blossoms, bullet trains, great noodle dishes, a culture very different from the U.S.

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