Tag: travelchat (page 1 of 40)

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Renuka Walter from Voyager For Life!

Current city: Mumbai

Age: 37

Total countries visited: 5 (including India)

What makes you interesting: I follow my heart. I have created a new definition of success – “You are a success if you are living the kind of life that you really like.”

What brands do you love: Airbnb, TripAdvisor

What does “Travel” mean to you: A better way to live. If I have money I think I won’t be home!

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels and why: I mostly like wandering, taking in the vibe of a place, taking lots of photographs and then settling for a cup of good coffee.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: My first travel experience was way back when I was a child – perhaps 8 or 9… it was in the rural part of Uttarakhand (North India), which is also my birth place. My very first remembrances of my travel are the mountains of Uttarakhand – our long walks (my siblings and cousins).

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be and why: I think it would be Udaipur (Rajasthan, western India) because I think Udaipur is calm, beautiful, relaxed, laidback and a dreamer like me.

Best travel advice: Travel as much as possible. It’s one thing you will never regret.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag: Sleep as much as you need to and for the sake of it.

Next travel destination: I’m anticipating traveling to a few destinations, but nothing is sure as of now.

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Janice and George Mucalov from Sand In My Suitcase

Current City: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 Age: Are you supposed to ask that of anyone over age 50? We’re young for ours.

Total countries visited: We’ve not kept count, but many – everywhere from Panama to Estonia to Mozambique. Between us, we’ve explored all 7 continents, including Antarctica.

What makes you interesting: Who says office romances don’t work! We’re both lawyers who met at a firm. Janice then tried writing a romance novel, getting many rejection letters before following her true passion – travel writing. George? His lucky escapes range from a circling tiger shark (while scuba diving) to a toppling out-of-control motorcycle to a horse intent on rolling over him.

What brands do you love: Four Seasons always get it right with their sense of arrival – to reach their private island resort in Bora Bora, you take a 15-minute boat ride through the popsicle-blue lagoon. Viking Ocean Cruises is a new favorite; the chairman famously said Viking passengers would “rather have free laundry” (found on every deck) than a casino (not found on any ship). UnCruise Adventures is great for anti-cruisers. And you can’t beat Windstar Cruises’ sailing-style, tall-ship yachts for romance on the high seas!

What are your travel rituals: We love a good glass of wine and fine meal at the end of a day. And then we try to figure out how to work that off the next. Hiking? Snorkeling? Maybe stand-up paddleboarding (Janice) or “fall-down” paddleboarding (George)?

What’s your favorite passport stamp and why: Namibia. We needed a Namibian stamp to check into the “Zambezi Queen” safari riverboat. We had to cross the Chobe River in a small boat from Botswana to the Namibian side, where we trudged up the river bank through ankle-deep sand to a wooden border shack. But the immigration officer wasn’t inside – he was sleeping under a tree out back. We woke him up so he could stamp our passports. Then we got back into the put-put boat which ferried us to the “Zambezi Queen.”

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: On our river cruise in Myanmar, we started chatting with an elegant, silver-haired woman working quietly on her tablet at the WiFi hotspot. She told us why boat guides continuously plunge wooden measuring poles into the water of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, barely six-and-a-half feet deep in places. Turns out the river’s sandy bottom is constantly shifting, and no one wants to get stuck! Later, we discovered she was Mrs. Sherwood. Her husband founded the fabled Orient-Express (now Belmond) group of luxury hotels, trains and river cruises – so it was “her” riverboat.

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling and why: Taking along the perfect shoes (Janice) – flats for walking, strappy sandals for the pool, runners for the gym, heels for dinner… George: He says he never breaks the bank . Though there was that irresistible Turkish carpet – a treasured reminder of Istanbul.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: Time away from the computer and Internet. Of course we take our laptops and phone with us. But we make a conscious effort to immerse ourselves in the travel experience and be in the “here and now,” staying away as much as possible from social media and emails.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: We’ve loved the many different cultures and people we’ve met. We hope our travels will continue to give us a broader perspective on the world to share with our readers.

Next travel destination: Sri Lanka.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Sheila Berrios-Nazario from Golden Age Trips!

Current city: Lakewood Ranch, FL

Age: 28

Total countries visited: 7

What makes you interesting: I am a science major who edits life sciences and medical research papers, and who is now also working as a Travel Agent and blogger.

What brands do you love: Under Armour sneakers, Herschel backpacks, and Supergoop! sunblock.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: Iceland, because it has been the most incredible travel experience up to date.

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling: Definitely food. I also enjoy a good night sleep and don’t like to compromise too much on accommodations.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: It had put numerous things in perspective. Especially how much there is to see and learn, and how we as humans don’t have that time available to us because of all our responsibilities and bills.

What are your travel pet peeves: I’m scared of doing something that offends locals. Crying babies and loud talkers are also not my favorite things in the world.

Describe the last time you tried something new: I tried Soda Bread for the first time, drove on the left side of the road, and hung out with hawks and owls just this last week.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: This is a difficult one… but during a summer internship at the University of Iowa I met a group of peers from different backgrounds who had gone through so much to be where they were. We all had our challenges and struggles but were trying to be the best version of ourselves and ‘save the world’. I would say that as of today most of them are actually doing something meaningful and helping their communities in their own way.

Next travel destination: Probably Portugal or Norway.

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 Month – February 2018

Twipper of the Month – February 2018: Jane and Duncan from To Travel Too!

Oscar Wilde once said, “to live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” It’s a cynical statement that holds a lot of truth for most of us. Not for Jane and Duncan who are February’s Twippers of the Month! This Baby Boomer couple believes it’s never too late to truly live rather than to merely exist. With their bucket list and wanderlust in check, they set out for a ‘gap year’ inspired by their son which turned into a decade of unforgettable memories and new adventures. After checking off 55 countries on their list, Jane and Duncan are still ready for more! “Travel is a freedom that brings new experiences and adventures every day of your life,” says Jane and Duncan.  They’re an inspiration to baby boomers by showing it’s  never too late to go on that ‘gap year’ you once planned and that age is just a number.

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