Bolaoyebade at travelnoire recently nominated me for the ABCs of Travel Tag, so I’d like to give her a massive thank you for giving me the opportunity to think back on some of the amazing trips I’ve been on over the years. I haven’t been following her blog for very long, but every post I’ve read I’ve really enjoyed!
So without further ado, let’s get on with the tag…
Age you went on your first international trip
Although my family and I are Scottish, I wasn’t actually born in Scotland – I was born in Hong Kong when my parents were living and working there….so I guess you could say birth?! I think (Mum, please correct me if I’m wrong on this) I went on my first international trip back to the UK to see family when I was 6 weeks old.
Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where
I didn’t actually start drinking alcohol until my year abroad in Spain that I’m just back from, so I’m gonna have to say Cruzcampo.
As a Brit, I think I’m contractually obliged to say that I love a good roast dinner.
Destinations – favourite, least favourite, and why
My favourite destination has to be Costa Rica. I went for a month between my fifth and final year of secondary school with four other pupils and it was amazing!! We spent a week on a turtle preservation sanctuary helping build accommodation and research the baby turtles, another week living with indigenous people in the mountains improving sanitation in a local school, and another week trekking through the rainforest, with some days off in between to relax. It was honestly an incredible experience that I would love to repeat (especially now I can actually speak Spanish).
Experience abroad that made you say “wow”
During a holiday to Split last year with my friend Louise we went on a five island boat trip one day and one of the stops was this amazing cave just off the island of Komiža. Just look at how blue the water is! Definitely a “wow” moment. There are only certain times of the day when you can witness the water lighting up this colour due to the sunlight from outside the cave reflecting off the white cave floor.
Favourite mode of transportation
Those of you who’ve been reading since I started this blog back in September will have read my tangents about how much I adore Spanish high speed rail, so it should come as no surprise that trains are my favourite mode of transportation.
Greatest feeling while travelling
Communicating and making friends with locals, whether in English or another language.
Hottest place you’ve travelled to
Definitely Sevilla and Alcalá. It was getting up to 38/39 degrees the week I left and my pale Scottish skin couldn’t handle it.
Incredible photo you’ve taken and where
That obligatory Nyhavn photo in Copenhagen.
Journey that took the longest
Picture the scene: a bus load of around 40 13-17 year olds en route to Fürth in Germany for the annual school German exchange. We’re all sleep deprived thanks to the boys at the back of the bus singing ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me’ at about 3am. More than a day into the journey, we get stranded on the autobahn miles from Bavaria. The sun is blazing down, and we’re starting to overheat because we should have arrived hours ago and have now ran out of water. A family in the Audi next to us start taking out disposable barbecues and firing up the burgers right there on the road. We’re all slowly losing our minds, even the teachers. Eventually traffic starts moving again, and 32 hours after setting off, we finally arrive in Fürth. By far, the longest journey I’ve ever taken.
Keepsake from your travels
I always keep my tickets: trains, planes, and automobiles. I have half a wardrobe and various scrapbooks filled with them.
Let-down sight, why and where
Not so much a sight, but rather a city. Said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t put my finger on why exactly but I don’t really like Málaga that much.
Moment that you fell in love with travel
There isn’t really a single moment, more the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a lot in my fairly young life has made me love it and want to do more of it.
Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in
I’m not counting the hotels my parents have paid for in this, so the nicest place I’ve ever stayed was Sara Apartments in Split last year with my friend Louise. It was just the right size and in a perfect location! #notspon
Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while travelling?
I mean, this doesn’t just apply to when I’m travelling, but cats. Always.
Passport stamps – how many and where from?
I don’t have any on my current passport because I’ve only travelled in the EU since renewing it, but on my previous one I had quite a few: Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, the USA (New York City), Costa Rica, and Croatia (Dubrovnik).
Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where
Croatia making yet another appearance on this list with this absolute gem of an attraction: Froggyland. A museum dedicated to over 500 taxidermy frogs set up in various situations and poses. Trust me, it’s definitely weird as it sounds. If you’re ever in Split, please do yourself a favour and go visit this place.
Recommended sight, event, or experience
If you’ve never done it before, I’d recommend solo travel. Even if it’s just for a few days, it helps you learn a lot about yourself. Maybe surprisingly, I only solo travelled for the first time just last year when I went to Copenhagen in June. I’d travelled with friends and family before then, but going completely alone somewhere helps you become a lot more independent.
Splurge – something you have no problem forking out for while travelling
Food. I’m a sucker for a good meal. This is the delicious dinner I had on my last night in Faro last year.
Touristy thing you’ve done
Did you mean the entirety of my trip to New York City with my family back in 2008?!
Unforgettable travel memory
The time the sole of my hiking boots broke on day three of four of trekking through Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. During the last day the soles were literally held together with string so that I didn’t have to hike barefoot. I will absolutely never forget the feeling of elation when we finally finished the trek and I could ditch the boots.
Visas – how many and where for?
I was lucky enough to go to Australia with my family back in 2004 and we stopped off in Hong Kong on the way there and Singapore on the way back. I honestly can’t remember whether or not we needed visas because it was so long ago, but I guess we probably did. I also needed an ESTA to enter the USA when I went to New York in 2008 and again when travelling through en route to Costa Rica in 2010.
Wine – best glass of wine while travelling and where
Not a wine drinker, I’m afraid. Although I did try some sherry when I visited Jerez which was very nice, even if I was loaded with the cold and couldn’t fully appreciate it.
Xcellent view and where from?
Þingvellir national park in Iceland.
Years spent travelling
I guess 24 because I’ve basically been travelling since birth. Having said that, I only really started travelling properly last year (2016) when I went to the Isle of Man, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia, Spain, and Portugal.
Zealous sports fans and where?
The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. My family and I were lucky enough to get tickets for both the swimming and the athletics, and the roar of the crowd any time a Scottish competitor took to the track or the pool was unreal. We also made it on the TV during the first night of the swimming when Ross Murdoch and Hannah Miley won gold for Scotland!!!
I’m going to duck out of nominating anyone in particular and instead open this up to anyone reading this who wants to do it. Looking forward to reading your answers! 🙂