Our friends the Siracusas tagged us to continue the thread of Travel ABC’s, where travel writers and bloggers answer “A to Z” questions about their travels and then tag other writers to do the same. Fun project, we thought, hopefully you will, too.
Ryan: I am somewhat ashamed to admit that going to Mexico for Spring Break when I was 19 was my first international trip. Even that immature version of myself enjoyed being out of my comfort zone. This was not, however, the trip that sparked my interest in travel.
Laura: I was 16 when I left to go to Costa Rica for 3 weeks as part of a high school class trip.
B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:
Ryan: I love trying local beers wherever I go so this is tough. But if I had to choose one, it has to be Guinness. I can drink it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the best pints seemed to be poured at The Great Southern Hotel bar in Galway.
Laura: Little Creatures Pale Ale in Melbourne, Australia.
C: Cuisine (favorite):
This answer is going to get old: India. Absolutely zero question any cuisine in the world is more flavorful. That’s not an opinion; it’s a fact.
D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:
Favorite: India (I told you it will get old), because nowhere made us feel and think so much.
Least favorite: Probably Egypt. I’m coming around to it with time and would actually like to return, but I still feel there are very fundamental ideological differences between us that I found difficult to bridge.
E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
Ryan: First one that springs to mind at the moment is Gay Mardi Gras in Sydney. I said “wow” a lot taking in the festivities there.
Laura: Carnaval in Rio is a month-long non-stop event. Spending 10 days in Rio leading up to Carnaval with all the neighborhood festivals was an incredible event to experience.
F: Favorite mode of transportation:
Laura: Can’t beat transport that doubles as a home. I loved our camper in NZ and our huge 4×4 truck with the tent pitched on top in southern Africa.
G: Greatest feeling while traveling:
Laura: Not thinking about work and waking up thinking, “I wonder what we’ll do today!”
H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:
4-way tie: Luxor, Egypt; Jaisalmer, India; Mandalay, Burma; Kerala, India. All were over 100, some 115 dry heat and the others 100 with 100 percent humidity.
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:
These places I’ve taken note of and recommended countless times for their thoughtful service: Pousada Xama in Pipa, Brazil; Thongbay Guest House in Luang Prabang, Laos; Baan Orapin Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand; DeviGarh Palace outside of Udaipur, India; Kankarwa Haveli in Udaipur, India; Radjhani Restaurant in Mumbai, India.
J: Journey that took the longest:
62 hour bus from Arequipa, Peru to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
K: Keepsake from your travels:
L: Let-down sight, why and where:
Pyramids in Giza, because we don’t like incessantly pushy people or KFC.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:
Ryan: Backpacking through Europe for 3 weeks with a college buddy before studying abroad in Galway, Ireland. Those 3 weeks introduced me, way too quickly, to so many different cultures, peoples and ideas that, as an experiential learner, I knew travel was going to be the greatest drain on income for the rest of my life.
Laura: First trip outside the U.S. to Costa Rica.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah in Ubud, Bali. We can’t even talk about it.
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
Laura: People, especially in colorful India.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?
Not sure and not enough.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:
Probably somewhere in Wisconsin and involving a big plaster version of an animal.
R: Recommended sight, event or experience:
Ryan: Food, beer and opting out of tours.
Laura: A nice place to lay my head after traveling “hard” for several days or weeks.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done:
Lots of things. Some places everyone should visit, even it if means having to with a hundred others.
U: Unforgettable travel memory:
Driving back to our camp in Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana when we came across 40 elephants walking together with the sun setting behind them. It was the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen.
V: Visas, how many and for where?
Not sure, but wish we could skip past the applications and do more of the traveling.
W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
A damn good question and fun to answer! For pleasure purposes, best glasses of wine were after getting engaged and running and drinking our way through the Medoc Marathon in France.
X: eXcellent view and from where?:
Y: Years spent traveling?:
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:
La Boca and River Plate fans in Buenos Aires.
There are a lot of terrible travel blogs out there. These travel blogs are anything but. Always informative and enjoyable to read, here are some great travel blogs we’d like to see create their Travel ABC’s: