Tag: italy (page 1 of 5)

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: Penny Sadler from Adventures of a Carry-On!

Current city: Napa, CA

Age: I’m a woman of “ a certain age”

Total countries visited: 8 with at least 10 trips to Italy and even more to Mexico

What makes you interesting: I’ve just blown up my career as a professional makeup artist for 25+ years and moved to Napa Valley to learn the wine business. Most people eligible for AARP discounts do not do this! I’m still curious, still interested in adventures and trying new things. I think that makes for an interesting person.

What brands do you love: I guess it depends what you are referring to? As a professional makeup artist I love Dior and other luxury cosmetic brands but rarely purchase them. In the wine world I love any brand that offers high quality to value wine. Alsace varietals have my heart. 

What’s your favorite passport stamp and why: My favorite stamp is the one I got when I went on my first media trip to Italy in 2013. I felt like I’d really arrived traveling to Italy all expenses paid.

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling: When traveling I have no problem spending money on unique local experiences. Hot air balloon rides, and private tour guides are totally worth it!

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: Travel has made me tolerant, patient (which I’m definitely not!) and adaptable. It’s also honed my creativity and my appreciation for just about everything in life: food, wine, art, culture.

What are your travel pet peeves: I think my biggest pet peeve is people who work in travel and tourism but dislike tourists.

Describe the last time you tried something new: I try something new almost every day. Especially as a new resident in California There’s always something to do, see and try.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: I’ve met many many interesting people while traveling, it’s truly hard to narrow that down. I think the most interesting people are the ones who are curious about others, willing to share and listen too. That said, I once met a rather famous Italian author while sitting in a Piazza in Pavia. I didn’t know it at the time because he really didn’t speak very much English and I don’t speak much Italian. He invited me for a tour the next day but somehow I missed the connection. Che casino!

Next travel destination: I’ve just taken a 9  – 5 job which does limit my travel options quite a bit. However, I’m determined to go back to Italy this year. And hopefully Alsace too. I’ll definitely be exploring more of beautiful Northern California.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Joe Looker from Joe Travel Blogs!

 

Current city: Reading, United Kingdom

Age: 21

Total countries visited: I really can’t remember but roughly 15! I think I am doing quite well considering I didn’t start travelling until I was 18 years old.

What makes you interesting: I always travel on a budget as cheaply as possible, so I can maximize the countries I go to. I always stay in hostels or with friends abroad, it means I can see so much more of the world.

What brands do you love: National Geographic because their work is incredible and constantly inspires me and Osprey for there rugged travelling bags.

What destinations are on your bucket list and why: Japan was the biggest thing on my bucket list for years. But I ticked that one off in January which was incredible after dreaming about going for so long. Now I would say highest on my bucket list is Norway or Canada! If you want to see more, my full bucket list is actually on my blog.

What is the most interesting food you have ever tried and where: When I traveled to Peru I tried Cuy which is wild guinea pig. I was in the Sacred Valley and it was cooked on a spit. However it was a bit boney, I am not really in a rush to try it again.

What was your best and worst travel experience: My best travel experience was going to the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand because we trekked the whole glacier and even got a helicopter ride to the top. It is also something that is becoming harder and harder to do now because of glaciers melting. So I’m really glad I did it when I had the chance.

My worst experience was at the Bolivian border. I was on a long haul sleeper bus and we just had to get off the bus and hand in our passports, get a new stamp and go. But my entry card had fallen out of my passport, which was unknown to me. It was so confusing because they were talking Spanish really quickly and I was only understanding parts of the conversation. Then I got taken into a different room and he said for 5 sol he could make me a dodgy new one but to keep it quite. It was all very sketchy. Then about 5 minutes later I got back on the bus and into Bolivia.

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: I think in 2050 I will be really proud to have visited Cuba before it was turned into a tourist hot spot. I believe it will change hugely soon because of how the country is trying to come out of communism and change to capitalism. The government also drives tourism massively with it being there biggest and most profitable sector.

What people say when they travel with you: Wow he never spends money! Haha

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Money is only a number and is worthless compared to experiences and memories.

Next travel destination: Italy because I have never been before and it is only in Europe so it is very close to me in the UK! I love the food and culture of the people. I really can’t believe I have never been before.

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.

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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