I normally try to stay under the radar when memes start circulating but the folks at Easy Hiker tagged me and I need a break from working on other projects so here you go, my A to Z of travel.
A: Age of first international trip: It was a long time ago but I believe I was 12 when I first left Australian shores and headed to Singapore and Malaysia with my family. Back then Singapore was super cheap and I remember buying loads of fake Lacoste t-shirts!
B: Best (foreign) beer: I don’t usually drink beer, foreign or otherwise but I did try a flavoured beer on my last trip to Lille. I hated it.
C: Cuisine (favourite): In the past I would have said Italian but I’m a little bored with that and now choose Turkish cuisine whenever I can.
D: Destination (favourite and least favourite): This is a tough one. There are so many amazing places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. I’d have to say Croatia is right up there with it’s beautiful coastline and relaxed way of life. Of course I love Paris too but it’s different when you live somewhere for a while, the reality of day to day life takes the shine off after a while. Least favourite destination would be Singapore, without a doubt. I’ve been 4 or 5 times now and I hope my trip last year will be my last.
E: Event experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: On my first ever trip to Europe I was travelling by car with my parents. I was driving and we were completely lost. I kept asking, ‘where are we, where are we?’ and then out of the blue a massive iron structure was in front of me. I was in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower and it was definitely a ‘wow’ moment.
F: Favourite mode of transportation: I love to travel by train but now that I finally have a car I’ve been enjoying going on road trips around the continent. Last year we drove from Paris to Innsbruck, down through the Balkans then over to Italy and back via Annecy. It was quite a trip and I can’t wait for our next big road trip which is coming up soon.
G: Greatest feeling while travelling: I’m sure it’s the same for many people but the greatest feeling for me is the excitement of visiting somewhere new. Seeing different things, experiencing new cultures and especially trying new food is always a lot of fun.
H: Hottest place travelled to: Kalgoorlie, for sure. The last time I was there the temperature gauge in my car said it was 52 degrees and it wasn’t even in the middle of summer! Needless to say I didn’t stay long.
I: Incredible service experienced and where: I can’t think of any one experience in particular but when we were in Japan two years ago I felt like the people there went out of there way to make sure we were taken care of and had everything we needed, even though there was a huge language barrier.
J: Journey that took the longest: Back when I was a student in Paris I took a 24 hours bus ride to Prague. That wasn’t fun but it’s still less than a typical journey from Paris to my hometown Perth.
K: Keepsake from travels: Other than photos I don’t really have any keepsakes from my travels. For me, travel is all about the experiences and great memories, not so much about things I find along the way.
L: Let-down sight, why and where: The Grand Canyon. I flew over the Grand Canyon and then visited a small section not far from Las Vegas. Maybe it was the part of the canyon where I was but it didn’t exactly blow my mind. It probably didn’t help that I had been sick on the flight.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: I’ve always been interested in visiting far away places but I vividly remember my high school English teacher coming back from a trip to Petra and falling in love with idea of visiting Jordan and the rest of the world.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: I loved my stay in the Roomers hotel in Frankfurt. It was brand new when I went and their wellness centre was pretty much untouched. They had an amazing water massage bed which I will never forget.
O: Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while travelling?: Water. The photos always turn out to be unimpressive but in the moment I can’t resist trying to capture the beauty of the crystal clear turquoise water in front of me.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?: Too many to count. Countries: Australia, Japan, Singapore, Dubai, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Morocco. I’m disappointed I didn’t get one from Liechtenstein when I was there last year.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: The Corrigin Dog Cemetery in Western Australia.
R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Visiting Monkey Mia in Australia’s north west. Not only can you hand feed dolphins (if you are one of the lucky chosen ones) but you can see the unusual, endangered dugongs in their natural habitat.
S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while travelling: Food of course! When travelling I usually eat lunch in a cafe or restaurant as it’s often cheaper than eating dinner out but I won’t hesitate to go somewhere special.
T: Touristy thing done: In Krakow I went on one of those horse and carriage rides around the city. You don’t get much more touristy than that! I must admit it was a relaxing way to spend half an hour.
U: Unforgettable travel memory: Sharing the stunning beach in Lucky Bay near Esperance with kangaroos. The whole region is incredibly beautiful and I can’t wait to go back at the end of this year.
V: Visas, how many and for where?: I’m usually too lazy to go to the trouble of getting visas which is why I’ve yet to visit Russia and China and a few other places of interest. Looking at my 9 year old passport I see there is only one visa, a two year spousal visa for the UK. Even though I lived there for quite a while I never bothered to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
W: Wine, best glass of wine while travelling and where?: I don’t drink much wine but I do believe champagne tastes great everywhere!
X: eXcellent view and from where?: The sun rising over the mountains in Tirol is one of my favourite views in recent memory.
Y: Years spent travelling?: I’m not going to say as that will give away my age but let’s just say a lot but not enough.
Z: Zealous sports fans and where: I love tennis and have travelled to Wimbledon and the Italian Open and have been to the BNP Paribas Masters and Roland Garros here in Paris numerous times.