Inspired by Amy
A) Age you went on your first international trip:
17. I went with a group of language students from my mother’s school on a trip through Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It was a few months after the Berlin Wall fell and the big debate in Germany was about reunification.
B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
I don’t like beer no matter where I’ve tried it.
C) Cuisine (favorite):
South American. I learned to LOVE beans and rice and fresh mangoes and fried plantains.
D) Destinations–favorite, least favorite, and why?:
I really loved Portugal. It was beautiful all the way down to the street mosaics.
I didn’t like Jamaica at all. I can’t quite put my finger on why but I always felt very claustrophobic there.
E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
The night we arrived in Costa Rica we were exhausted because it had been a long day. It was dark by the time we got to the farm where we were staying for a few days. We just collapsed into bed. The next morning we got up and looked outside. We were in the mountains and it was breathtakingly beautiful. I remember each person coming outside and being struck speechless. We all just stood there and watched a rain storm slowly come in over the mountains.
F) Favorite mode of transportation:
European trains, not in any way to be confused with South American trains where you take your life in your hands in the melee to get on.
G) Greatest feeling while traveling:
Getting there after a long trip and dropping your suitcase and collapsing on the bed after hours or days of travel.
H) Hottest places you’ve traveled:
Bolivia in September. I was so glad whenever it rained.
I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
I don’t know about this one. There isn’t anything that stands out as spectacular but I’m not a very needy traveler so I don’t usually ask for help. I know the worse service ever was at a resort in Florida that kept us locked out of our room for hours.
J) Journey that took the longest:
Probably my first trip to Europe. We went by bus from western PA to JFK, then flew to Iceland and then to Luxembourg.
K) Keepsake from your travels:
I don’t buy any keepsakes anymore. I just have pictures. I do have a quilt that I made from t-shirts I bought in Costa Rica and Bolivia.
L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
Mount Rushmore. We saw Crazy Horse the day before and it made Mount Rushmore look so puny.
M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
I’ve always loved it.
N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
My parents have a time share membership to some amazing hotels all around the States. I would never pay for them but since I get to use them for free, I indulge. Left to my own devices, I’d stay in cheap places.
This is the living area of a three bedroom, three bath suite in Florida at one of my parents’ timeshares.
O) Obsession–what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
Old buildings and landscapes and seascapes.
Zion National Park February 2014
Villefrance-sur-Mer, France October 2014
P) Passport stamps-how many and from where?:
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Lichenstein (I had to pay for that one!), Costa Rica, Bolivia, Peru, Spain, France, Jamaica, Virgin Islands – but not all in the same passport. I don’t like the fact that you don’t get stamps for all the countries in Europe you go to anymore and I never get anything from Canada.
Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
Maybe the salt mines in Germany where you get to ride a little train and then use slides to go down levels in the mine.
R) Really Frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
The bus ride from San Jose, Costa Rica to Orotina, Costa Rica. You start in the mountains and go hurtling down the mountains to the coast. There are huge drops off the sides of the roads and no guard rails. Everytime I’d convince myself that we weren’t going to die because the buses do this every day, there’d be another cross to mark the site of an accident.
S) Splurge-something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
T) Touristy thing you’ve done:
All of it. I have no shame.
U) Unforgettable travel memory:
Can’t pick just one.
V) Visas-how many and for where?:
I haven’t ever needed one.
W) Wine–best glass while traveling:
Good wine is wasted on me
X) eXcellent view and from where?:
Peering over the edge of Pike’s Peak during a thunderstorm was impressive.
Y) Years spent traveling:
Internationally, off and on for 25 years. In the U.S. forever.
Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
Nothing beats being a college student at an SEC school when you have a top 5 football team.