Wayward ABC’s: Travel Stories

Sydney, AUS

I was nominated twice (can we say populuuurr) by the amazing Miss Melly Boo herself of TheMellyBooProject and also by one of my favorite new blogging friends Bobbi of Heels and Wheels to participate in this fun little meme floating around the travel blogosphere these days. So, without further ado…

A: Age you went on your first international trip: That depends on if you want to count Canada. At the time I crossed the border for the first time you didn’t even need a passport to do it. Things have changed now and since then I hopped on my first ever international flight to Puerta Vallarta when I was 21, and not long after I took the trip to Sydney that changed everything. I didn’t even know I wanted to travel when I got on that plane!

Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: Hmmm, I have been testing out some of the tasty craft brews that Sydney has to offer in the past couple months, and shamelessly comparing them to the list of the Northwest at home. Otherwise, I’d venture to say that the beer in Munich is pretty delicious and Guinness really does taste better in Ireland and as a once avid hater, I have reformed.

Sydney Craft Beer Week Brewer's Brunch @ Hart's Pub

C: Cuisine (favorite): Don’t make me choose please. The Italian in Italy is pretty much impossible to beat (or replicate), but I do prefer a little kick. I love Thai, Indian and Mexican but am always a fan of trying new things, especially when spice is involved.

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: Favorite is Sydney (obviously!) and Whistler definitely tops the list. Bars full of partying Aussie snowboarders, yes please! Least favorite would be Corfu in Greece. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the careless and rude hostel workers or the “jizz-cuzzi” at the famous Pink Palace hostel.

Students getting on the booze cruise-Corfu, GreeceStudents wait to get on the famous Pink Palace Booze Cruise… oh the memories…

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: While I’m in the moment traveling, I can never quite grasp the magnitude of what is actually happening and it is always someone else’s life that looks like a fairytale. That said, I think that my Italian Christmas was one of the few times that I was able to smack myself in the middle of the moment and enjoy experiences another culture, one completely different from mine. A family whose words I could barely understand welcomed me into their home, into their age-old tradition and treated me like one of their own. Pretty insane!

F: Favorite mode of transportation: I love a nice easy train ride where you can relax and let the country pass you by. Buses are good for that too, but then I’ve never been on a long-haul bus ride in South America or Southeast Asia…

G: Greatest feeling while traveling: That’s tough. As I said above I think it’s hard for me to always grasp the moment but I really love both arriving at the airport to take-off and landing in a new city. Something about the city lights just gives me so much energy and excitement about what’s to come. It’s the anticipation of something special coming up.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Italian summers are seriously hot. Like walking around in a completely asphalt and stone built city in 100+ degrees hot. Like no AC anywhere hot. I have plenty left to learn.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: We had some particularly memorable service in a some of the places we stayed in California. Just the general niceness and helpfulness of people is refreshing.

J: Journey that took the longest: I haven’t had too many bad ones yet to be honest but our hop over to the States was a bit roundabout as we landed in London, had an overnight then flew out to Iceland. In Iceland we were delayed nearly 4 hours, until about 7pm but the biggest problem was that everything in the entire airport was closed and we were starving. On our budget Iceland Express flight we had to pay for food and since we’d been delayed the entire flight was ready for dinner and with all of the transactions… it was a while before we had anything to eat. Chasing the Iceland summer sun meant we were pretty confused when we landed in New York City finally at about ten o’clock at night, a couple of days later.

K: Keepsake from your travels: Besides my thousands of photos, a couple of fun accessories and pieces of clothing, I guess Lorenzo counts, doesn’t he?

Lorenzo at Starbucks in Madrid, SpainNot exactly a pocket-sized souvenir.

L: Let-down sight, why and where: That’s tough. I wasn’t enthralled with Venice the first time I saw it, but then again I hear that a lot and I feel like that is one of the reasons that I wasn’t excited about seeing it. The second, third and fourth visits allowed me to see it from a different light. I haven’t been let down all that often by destinations thankfully!

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: It was probably in a Sydney karaoke bar when I managed to stop and look around and notice a room filled with amazing people from all over the world whom I just met but somehow felt as if I’d known for years. That, and the feeling of running down a beach on some beautiful coastline.

Karaoke in Sydney, AustraliaThat’s love.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: That would be the Radisson Blu just outside of the the Vienna City Center. The biggest, warmest shower and softest beds ever! Lovely and all to myself!

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: Beaches or any water, especially when it reflects the sun. And food.

Beach in Lagos, Portugal

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where? Five from Australia, one from New Zealand, two from Fiji, two from Paris (although I’ve never traveled to France just arrived and exited Europe via CDG), six from Italy (five or which are completely illegible), one from Iceland (passing through) one from Ireland and two from London.

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: That’s tough… I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Isn’t there a giant banana somewhere around here in NSW?

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Anything in Rome; never ceases to amaze me. Surfing in Australia.

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: Plane tickets. That’s what the “savings” is for!

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Plenty. I would say that spending St. Paddy’s Day in Dublin probably tops the list. And I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, Ireland

U: Unforgettable travel memory: At the risk of sounding deathly uncreative, pretty much all of them!

V: Visas, how many and for where? One (student) from Italy, and two electronic ones from Australia (student and Working Holiday).

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? I don’t discriminate when it comes to wine, especially when it’s shared with amazing people but a brand new bottle from a wine cellar somewhere in the hills of Tuscany is pretty incredible. I’m also a recent lover of Malbec.

X: eXcellent view and from where?: As much as it is (quite literally) killing me, starting work at the crack of dawn means that my workday mornings are filled with brilliant sunrises over the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House at sunrise (Sydney, Australia)

Y: Years spent traveling? Family trips to Canada started when I was about ten years old. They were followed by snowboard trips in high school and drinking trips in college. All-in-all I have been consistently traveling without realizing it for about five years. But my real love of travel sparked from the first solo journey across the Pacific when I was 21, only three years ago.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: I’d say that the most amazing show of home team pride was when I was in Vancouver during the Stanley Cup. Many of the other bloggers that were there as well can attest to the amazing scene that took over the city as we exited pubs everywhere when the Canucks came out with a win in Game 5. A-MAZING. I felt like one of them.