My A to Z On Travelling

Age of 1st International Trip

My first international trip was a school trip to West Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I was 15 and stayed awake all night before I flew. I tried to imagine what cobbled stone streets would look like, what people would be wearing, what food I would be eating and these questions kept me wired until I landed. Once I stepped foot outside the airport, I was hooked!

Best Drink

My younger version would say the beer at the HofbrauhausΒ in Munich, Germany simply for the fact that I was drinking under age! My older version would say the homemade lemonade in Cuzco that I drank by the gallon last summer.

Cuisine (Favourite and Least Favourite)

My favourite cuisine was in India but even then, at the end of the trip, I was eyeballing the pizzas coming out of Domino’s. Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! My least favourite was in South Korea. There is only so much red pepper paste and kimchi a person can handle and I had a year of it!

Destination (Favourite and Least Favourite)

This is impossible for favourites. I would go out on the travel limb and say Cambodia, Guatemala, India and Morocco. This will probably change but who knows? My least favourite is South Korea.

Event (most exciting/interesting)

I can’t narrow it down to one so it is a toss-up between the sandstorm in the Sahara desert, the ride through the jungle in Guatemala in the early morning on the way to Tikal listening to the howler monkeys, the first time I laid eyes on animals in the wild in South Africa, cycling down a mountain in Peru or hiking the Inca trail in Peru.

Colombia and Peru 2014 271

Favourite Mode of Transportation

My absolute favourite mode of transportation is the back of a motorcycle. My mom and I hired motos in Cambodia and saw the country side with the wind whipping through our hair (or what I had left of it from my bout with malaria). My second favourite is the train which I loved in Vietnam and hope to love really soon, once again, in Sri Lanka.

Greatest Travel Feeling

My greatest travel feeling is when I shared with my family their first experience to travel overseas. There is nothing that beats seeing people you love have their eyes opened to what awaits them via travel.

Hottest Place I Have Lived

I have lived in some hot countries but Suriname takes the hot cake on this one! I would wake up very early in the morning and go to work ( a day care for children with physical and mental challenges) and then by noon, return home to fall asleep stuck to the couch. By 5pm, I would wake up and begin the day all over again. Usually I would go out very late in the evening and stay up most of the night with my friends dancing and partying and then begin it all over again the next day.

Incredible Service

I do not feel comfortable staying in fancy hotels where service is expected nor can I afford to do so! So given that, I would say service in restaurants both in Morocco and in India stand out from the rest.

Journey I Won’t Easily Forget

The ride on the camel in the Sahara Desert hurt the most physically (my butt says never again) and a bus ride in Morocco when my daughter needed to desperately use the bathroom and couldn’t might have been one of the most stressful!

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Keepsake

When we got married in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (Canada) one of our daughters, aged 11 at the time, bought us an ornament of a bride and a groom getting married. It will always be very special.

001

Let-Down Sight

Fish River Canyon in Namibia was this for me! After hours and hours of driving with little to see, we got there and I said, “This is it?”

Moment I Fell In Love With Travelling

When my parents returned from Central and South America and my dad showed me his blow dart gun from the jungles of Peru and my mom showed me packages of junk food that were written in Spanish. I knew I needed to travel.

Nicest Hotel Stayed In

Oh boy there are many.. the one in Ubud in Bali, the many in Morocco, but the one that has the most memories is in Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala (Posada de Santiago) where we could swim in the pool or soak in the hot tub and look over Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes. Truly gorgeous and breath taking. At night we could step outside our little bungalow and watch it storm over the lake while eating snacks bought in the local town. Perfection.

guatemala 166

Obsession With This

Markets… I just love them. I love to take pics of markets, I love to wander them, and every now and then I even buy something. I enjoy pretending like I live there, imagining my life as a local or at the least, as an expat. I can never have enough markets!

Passport

I have had a lot of them in my life and some have been heavily stamped. I have never lost one or misplaced one… knock on wood!

Quaintest Place

I can’t choose just one. It might be Patzcuaro, Mexico or Bevagna or any town in Umbria in Italy or Ollantaytambo, Peru or Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala or Ubud (a long long time ago) in Bali or Luang Praband (a long long time ago) or Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton

Recommended Country

I highly recommend Guatemala if you live in North America and want an inexpensive shorter distance to travel to and a world of experiences to follow. I highly recommend Morocco if you live in Europe and want an inexpensive and shorter distance to travel to and a world of experiences to follow. And I highly recommend India to anyone who wants to have an experience each and every moment. You will never forget it and you may just fall in love with it!

Splurge

We splurged when we visited Niagara Falls in Ontario and took a helicopter ride over the falls. Best money spent. We also splurged in Morocco on nicer accommodations as the country is known for its beautiful older residences (riads) and this was money well worth spent. We don’t do it often but when we do, it is meaningful.

Touristy

Touristy places can be ruined if “tacky” prevails but sometimes touristy spots are eye-opening such as Alcatraz in San Francisco, Times Square in NYC, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Colosseum in Rome… just to name a few of my personal favourites.

Unforgettable

I will probably never forget my most miserable experiences (malaria, dengue fever, being robbed, Delhi belly, field hospitals, cockroaches) but it is the most exciting ones that keep me researching where to go next. Travel for me is an addiction…but I choose to see it as a healthy one…I never forget that feeling of a new place and am always looking to replicate it elsewhere.

Visa

Visas are a pain. A royal pain in the backpack! So many countries (particularly in Africa) are requiring visas to be obtained ahead of time. If a visa is needed, those given upon arrival at the airport are my favourites. Unfortunately they are becoming fewer and fewer. 😦

Winning At Travel

I used to think the perfect job was to be a professional travel blogger. Having joined a few FB groups, I have learned that this too has its stresses. Competition can creep into anything… even into travel blogging. I am happy to win at travel by doing what I want to do and not having to research constantly 20 Ways You Too Can Get Off The Beaten Path. Or maybe I am just trying to convince myself….

eXcellent View

I have been blessed to have experienced many views over the years but recently seeing Machu Picchu with my family from Sun Gate stands out as one of the great ones.

Years Of TravelΒ 

Uhhmmm….nope not going to go there but I have had my share of years of travel but more importantly, hopefully, many more to come.

Zillion More Places To See

Well, there is maybe not a zillion more to see but at least a lot! As I get ready to move to Cairo, my travel wish list is becoming more of a reality. Sri Lanka, one destination that has been on the list forever, is soon to be checked off in September! I can’t wait πŸ™‚

Anything you would like to share about my A to Z? I would love to hear from you πŸ™‚

48 comments

  1. Ami (Yearful of Sundays) · August 2, 2015

    Incredible list! I loved reading every one of them from A to Z, and I’m happy to see that my country India has stuck with you on so many of those alphabets πŸ™‚ Sri Lanka is beautiful, I’m sure you’ll make some happy travel memories there too. Glad to have stumbled across this blog, I’ll keep popping in every now and then. Happy travels to you and wish you many more adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · August 2, 2015

      Thank you so much. Yes, India (you are lucky to be from there) is a wonderful special country like no other. The depth and variety in India means endless possibilities for travel and always something new.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quirky Little Planet · August 1, 2015

    Sri Lanka is beautiful. You’re gonna love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · August 1, 2015

      I am so excited. It has been on my radar forever but the distance from Canada seemed prohibitive but the flight from Cairo, where we are moving, is so reasonable.

      Like

  3. SD Gates · August 1, 2015

    Brilliant!!! I think my biggest let down was seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louver. I just don’t get what the fascination is. I was much more intrigued by the co-ed bathrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · August 1, 2015

      I so agree. I remember ripping in to the Louvre to see it and being hugely disappointed by its size and simply not getting it… but I am not “artistic” nor know much about it.

      Like

    • Hayley (@quirkylilplanet) · August 1, 2015

      I was thinking of the Mona Lisa when I read this one too!

      Liked by 2 people

      • lovetotrav · August 1, 2015

        Great travelling minds think alike!

        Like

  4. Albatz Travel Adventures · July 31, 2015

    What an inspiring post – loved every word and the idea behind it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mithai Mumblezz · July 31, 2015

    Mind blowing and really loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. allaboutcheryl · July 31, 2015

    Cool! Thanks for sharing! My husband and I are on an eight month sabbatical, visiting south and south east USA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 31, 2015

      That would be a very interesting part of the states to visit!

      Like

  7. unfinishedtravel · July 30, 2015

    What a fun list! I especially love how many times India and Guatemala feature in it. πŸ™‚ I think they’re both amazing countries and I would go back to either in a heartbeat!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. snowsomewhere · July 29, 2015

    Great post! Loved your “M” and I share your “O”! I also like to imagine what my daily life would be like if I lived somewhere…as an expat for example. Food, work, etc!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Okay. I’m so thinking of the Beach Boys “I Get Around” lyrics right now. You sure do get around, Miss Cheryl! πŸ˜€ Fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this and may “borrow” your idea! All I can say is a) amazing list, you have been to some wonderful places and had some fab experiences and b) howler monkeys!!! I remember waking up to their sound sleeping in hammocks in the rainforests of Venezuela. We had NO idea what they were, their noise is so haunting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

      A noise like no other really. Go ahead and do… I took it from another and varied it myself for my own purposes so feel free… πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sarah Ferguson · July 29, 2015

    Great post – and now I am super curious as to the South Korea experience. This certainly doesn’t make it sound very fun (when I think everyone else I know has loved it)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

      Well… you might be able to relate to this… one day when looking for a VCR (yup the olden days) I accidentally found myself in the wrong kind of market.. an animal one and one that was meant for eating. What I saw I have never forgotten and it was truly horrifying. The stories I was told monthly about the advantages of eating dog soup got very tiring and I know what I saw was the beginning stage of this process. If you ever read about how the dog is killed for this process, you will understand my loathing of the stories. I know that this might exist elsewhere but for me, living there, and experiencing and hearing about it, made my experience there a very negative one. It is also the only place where i have experienced a lot of racism directed at me as a foreigner. The last day I was there kids threw stones at us as we walked home from our school, yelling that we were hairy monkeys. I don’t want to paint the whole country with this brush but these were our experiences and therefore, not a favourite destination. There.. the cat is out of the bag so to speak… I hadn’t said it before but since you asked. I thought I should honestly answer. I am sure others have loved the country and had much more positive experiences but after one year and numerous students saying the same things to me… I was “done” and needed a break from some of these sentiments.

      Like

      • Sarah Ferguson · July 29, 2015

        I appreciate hearing why you disliked it. I can’t imagine going to that sort of market. I had enough trouble seeing the chickens killed in China – just seeing a dog and knowing it was meant to be eaten…I don’t think I could handle that.

        As for the racism, that is very interesting. I know in Japan, they treated the Koreans horribly. I remember the day one of my friends found out another was part-Korean. You could tell she had no idea how to deal with it.

        Thank you again for sharing – do you think you would ever go back? I am not sure I could even consider it in your shoes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

        No I will never go back. 😦

        Like

  12. WhatAWonderfulWorld · July 29, 2015

    Love reading these posts, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ I love markets too as I think you get to learn so much about a place from visiting them, they are also a great treat for all of the senses! Your splurges also sounds like great ones, it’s good to splurge every once in a while πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

      Thanks! We have to remember and allow ourselves to splurge as when we travel as a family, that feels like the splurge in and of itself!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Solveig · July 29, 2015

    You put together a great list. Oh my what you have already seen and done, I am definitely far away from being a globetrotter…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

      There is nothing wrong with “staying in one place” and getting to know it well too! I like to do that as well… explore from a home base πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Cindy · July 29, 2015

    Ummm, Epcot girl here (you know, the one who’s still shaky about flying)…I’ll be driving to Hilton Head this week-end…😜..might even rent bikes..🚴🏻..I know, I know..but just you wait, next year maybe Madagascar! ✈️

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

      Ha Ha Epcot is super fun, you know. We loved it as a family. Had a blast! And we would love to go to Hilton Head too as well. And if you get to Madagascar, I definitely want to hear about it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cindy · July 29, 2015

        Girl, if I get on a plane again..EVERYONE is going to hear about it! 😩 You must be counting down the days now until your major plane ride and move huh…? Excited? Nervous?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

        Excited… overwhelmed… tired of thinking of what to take and buying it….nervous (but not for the moving part) for the teaching part in a school I have never layed eyes on before….wanting it to be done already and just know what it will be like!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cindy · July 29, 2015

        I can only imagine… but wow, it’s going to be another amazing chapter in your life! πŸ‘ I’m seriously in awe of your adventurous spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

        Ahhh thanks so much Cindy. Appreciate that πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Jennifer Amerkhanov · July 28, 2015

    Splurge – yes! I got back from a trip to Alaska a few weeks ago and we hadn’t booked a float plane tour to go bear watching in the wilderness because those tours are just insanely expensive. But everyone we talked to in Alaska said we really had to do it, so we gave in and were fortunately able to book one at the last minute, on the very same day we were flying back home. It was hands down the most amazing thing I’ve done in about 10 years. Being in an 8-seater plane that flew at only about 145 mph and swooped down to barely 50 feet above glaciers and ice fields and banked down steeply to watch bears in the wild and then being dropped off in the middle of a lake for a private small motorboat tour for the two of us where we followed dozens bears up and down the shores of the lake as they fished and swam and played….I can’t believe I was really there. I can’t believe I got to do that. Definitely splurge once in a while!! Also, motorcycle and trains – I’m right there with you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lovetotrav · July 29, 2015

      Oh my goodness Jennifer!!!! Sign me up right away… sounds absolutely amazing!!! What an incredible experience… thanks so much for sharing. It is now on my radar! You are very lucky to have spent such time observing them. Would be incredible. So happy for you that you went for it and splurged! Sometimes those experiences are only available if you do so. And maybe a once in a lifetime thing too. Way to go πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. Dee Gilbert · July 28, 2015

    Wow, your unforgettable moments are something! But they definitely are eclipsed by the numerous joyous ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 28, 2015

      Thanks Dee. The bad ones seem “less than bad” now as time passes and sometimes even funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. joannesisco · July 28, 2015

    I really enjoyed this A to Z list. I’m sure it took a lot of thought putting it together. Our experiences in travel are so different and I’m now curious about Guatemala since it has shown up in so many of your ‘favourites’ (D, E, N, Q, R). It wasn’t even on my radar before now.

    I agree about the Passports and the wish for many more years of great travelling πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · July 28, 2015

      Thanks for reading and commenting Joanne. Yes, Guatemala is one of those rare countries that I have been to twice and will return to without a doubt. It is a varied country with jungles, ocean, beaches, lakes, colonial towns, highland villages and an indigenous population. The markets are special and the people are even more so. A bit of Spanish helps but it also has terrific very affordable Spanish schools where you can live on your own or be hosted by a family for very little. It is a great place to begin if you don’t have a lot of experience travelling in developing countries. Hope you might get there some day. I am sure you would enjoy.

      Like

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