Hello and happy Thursday (and St. Patrick's Day)! This week I've got a fun way for you to get to know me a little better: a travel survey! What part time traveler DOESN'T love thinking about past and future trips, am I right? This was super fun to take, but I would LOVE if you could choose a couple of letters and comment so I could get to know my readers better too. For real. Please! Thanks to Chloe from Wanderlust in the Midwest for filling this out so it could catch my eye. You can always check out her answers here.
The ABCs of Travel Survey
A) Age you went on your first international trip:The first time I used my passport was the summer before my freshman year of college. I went to Canada! It was pretty exciting crossing that border for the first time.
B) Best foreign beer you've had and where: Oh gosh, my friend Jeremy is going to be so disappointed in me. But I wasn’t a big drinker when I went abroad at all, so I don’t know how to answer this question! I can tell you that it’s NOT Guinness. Sorry, sis.
C) Cuisine (favorite): Give me any kind of Italian food and I’ll be a happy camper, always. I’m a pretty adventurous eater, so I’ll try anything once. But Italian will always be a love.
D) Destinations--favorite, least favorite, and why?: Oh there are just so many places I could pick depending on my mood. Right this second, knee-jerk reaction? San Francisco and Rome are my favorite places, and I would go back to either just as readily. Both just felt right. You know? And they’ve weaseled their way into my heart. My least favorite destination was Florence. I actually have a bit of a post in the works about it, so hopefully I get to explain why further. But for now, just scroll to my “L” answer!
E) Event you've experienced abroad that made you say "wow": This isn’t one huge event or turning point, but interacting with people that don’t speak English leads me to this answer. When I am a) confident enough to try out language skills or b) we both mime things to each other until it works…seeing communication across borders is always something that will make me step back and say “wow.” If we can do it with smiles and laughs? All the better.
F) Favorite mode of transportation: A bike or my speedy feet! A bike is just fast enough for me to get around the city and actually see a huge portion of it. But there’s nothing like going on a walk or a run and wandering into a coffee shop that catches your eye. It’s my favorite way to explore a city!
G) Greatest feeling while traveling: One of the best feelings I get when I travel is after a busy day of exploring, when I finally get to sit down with my journal and write about all of my experiences. It’s funny, I sometimes think that blogging takes the place of it…but I am so wrong! Journaling is totally different and I shouldn’t neglect it!
H) Hottest place you've ever traveled to: Woof. Las Vegas in the summertime. I remember going as a kid and standing near the Luxor (the big pyramid) and just feeling like I was going to evaporate.
I) Incredible service you've experienced and where?: This isn’t “service,” per se, but a lot of my AirBnB hosts have been out of this world. I would have to say the best place I stayed though, was my AirBnB in Austin. When I can finally rent out my place on the site, I will strive to be like them for sure!
J) Journey that took the longest: My longest flight was to Rome. It was my first overnight flight and it was a rough one. I can’t imagine some of these travel days that take a whole day or more! Maybe one day.
K) Keepsake from your travels: My favorites are my Christmas ornaments. I love decorating my tree with memories. Other than that, I love picking up other decorations for my apartment that I can keep up year-round. I only wish my mug collection were a bit smaller so I could buy all of the adorable city mugs I see!
L) Let-down sight, where and why?: I was most let down by Florence. Again, I have a post planned to talk about why, but I think studying in Rome just set Florence up for failure. People didn’t even let me try talking in Italian before they jumped into English. Tourists were also EVERYWHERE. I was surprised that I felt it more in Florence than near the Spanish Steps or Coliseum in Rome.
M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling: My family went to Disney World a lot when I was a kid. EPCOT was always my favorite park, and I loved when I got to get a “passport” and travel around to all of the countries. So I think it was always there to a certain extent.
N) Nicest hotel you've stayed in: On my recent trip to New Orleans we stayed at Le Pavillon. It had a rooftop pool, which would have been enough to make me feel like I was royalty. But the PB&J bar every night…that really took the cake.
O) Obsession--what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: I have just gotten really into my travel photography, so I’m kind of discovering this as I go! I have found that just landscape pictures are not my preference. I really like to go through past pictures and see peoples’ faces and go on their emotional ride for a moment. So this may still be developing, but my answer is my fellow travelers!
P) Passport stamps--how many and from where?: Well, let me tell you one thing. I definitely have less passport stamps than I imagined, because a lot of places didn’t actually stamp my passport! I don't even have one from Canada when I just went. I have 9 stamps, with Ciampino airport in Rome taking the cake. I can’t say why, but if somebody knows the answer…let me know! Is it an old fashioned thing now?
Q) Quirkiest attraction you've visited and where?: I need to visit more quirky places, apparently! I wouldn't describe this as quirky, but it was definitely outside of what I have grown up with: I went to the Voodoo museum in New Orleans! It was really interesting to delve into some of the beliefs, even if I didn’t necessarily follow along with them. It’s always good to open your eyes to other cultures.
R) Really frightening: where's one place you've visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy? I’ve been really lucky in that I really haven’t felt unsafe anywhere I’ve visited. I always keep my wits about me, but I haven’t felt scared while traveling. I would venture to say that I’m more anxious about Philadelphia than anywhere I’ve visited!
S) Splurge--something you have no problem spending money on while traveling: I am more likely to splurge on food than anything else while I travel. Especially if I’m hangry. Nobody wants that.
T) Touristy thing you've done: Maybe this isn’t a cool destination, fine. I love Disney World. You’ve already read that it’s where we used to go when I was a kid all the time. My senior week of high school was there too! Then when Paul graduated, I took him as a grown up grown up. And it was STILL fun. Everybody has their opinions about Disney, but it has definitely been a big part of my life!
U) Unforgettable travel memory: When my sister was studying abroad in Northern Ireland, my parents and I went to go visit her that November. It was my Mom and Dad’s first time heading overseas and it was so cool to see that. Seeing the castles were really fun, but navigating the roundabouts is something I will never forget.
V) Visas--how many and for where?: I've got one visa, and the picture is even worse than my passport picture. I had a student visa for Italy.
W) Wine--best glass while traveling: WHY did I not drink wine when I was in Italy? I kind of hate myself. But it's all good. Malbec is my favorite kind of wine, so I need to get my butt to Argentina. My favorite wines more locally can be found in Charlottesville, Virginia.
X) eXcellent view and from where?:My Instagram feed is full of beautiful views from all of the people I follow. It can be kind of overwhelming, you know what I mean? Honestly, my perfect view is sitting on the beach as the sun is setting behind me (East coast problems), watching and listening to the waves. It’s my happy place!
Y) Years spent traveling: I am 100% a part time traveler, so I’m not totally sure how to answer this one. I think I’ve gotten more enthralled with traveling since I studied abroad in 2011!
Z) Zealous sports fans and where?: I don’t have to travel very far for that answer. I just have to go to the end of the subway. Philadelphia definitely has a passion for its teams…even when they are terrible. Which is unfortunately quite frequent.
So now you know at least 26 travel-related things about me. I wish I could fill out travel surveys all the time. It brings me back to Xanga days, that's for sure. Now it's your turn!!
- Answer one (or more than one!) of these questions in the comments. Can you tell I'd love to learn about you, or what?
- What question would you put in this travel survey if you got the chance?