Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ABCs of Travel

The ABC's of travel gives bloggers the opportunity to share their favorite and most memorable travel moments from A-Z!  Thanks to Oneika from Oneika the Traveller for tagging me! I'll be tagging 3 other bloggers at the end of this post so they can share their ABCs as well!

A: Age you went on your first international trip: I'm not actually entirely sure. I think I must've been three.  I went to Mexico. I remember there being a pinata.  I didn't take another international trip until I was 11, I went to England to visit my uncle.

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: I'm actually allergic (please don't say, "Me too! It gets me drunk!") to beer, but while in Australia I did splurge once or twice (tipsy AND hives - SEXY!). Cascade is probably my favourite. But that might be because it has a Tasmanian Devil on the bottle.

C: Cuisine (favorite): Indian, I love that I can eat it! Nom nom nom.
D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: I think it's pretty obvious that my (continuing) journey to Australia has been my favourite destination. I have never felt as at home and comfortable while traveling and experiencing so many new and beautiful sights as I have in Australia.  My least favourite was probably Turkey. And it was not entirely Turkey's fault.  There were so many incredibly things to see in Turkey, but mostly what I remember about the 10 day trip was being starving all the time.  I had finally gotten a diagnosis from 6 months of stomach pains which was parasites that I had picked up in India and was on some pretty heavy duty drugs that literally ate everything in my stomach.  So I was hungry and while many will not believe me, I'm here to tell you that I cannot survive on Hummus alone.  I struggled to find gluten free vegetarian food in Turkey, and I cried a lot out of hunger.
E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:  Walking into the grounds at the Taj Mahal was just absolutely breath taking. I'm a country girl and the hustle and bustle of Indian cities seemed dirty, outlandishly busy, and then the serenity and cleanliness of the Taj Mahal was just perfection!
F: Favorite mode of transportation: I love walking until my feet hurt.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling: There are probably two greatest feelings. One is that feeling of strength and confidence I get from being some where new and strange - I hardly ever feel like that in my safe shell at home.  And second is learning how different average people lives are in different places down to how coffee is ordered and sipped to how pedestrians are treated at road crossings.  And I like the similarities too - no matter where you are teenage girls are giggling about some boy.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: In 2009, I experienced heat like I've never felt it before. There was a giant heatwave in Melbourne that led up to the bushfires which devastated whole communities.  In Melbourne on the day of the biggest and deadliest bushfires it was 48 degrees Celsius or 118 degrees Fahrenheit.  But if that isn't hot enough (and trust me when I say it is) the wind that was like sauna with its incessant blowing - ladies and gentlemen I'm pretty sure that is what hell feels like.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Iririki Resort in Vanuatu.  It is on its own small island and the people went way out of their way to make you feel comfortable and at home.

J: Journey that took the longest: The longest non-stop flight I've ever taken is from Los Angeles to Melbourne it's 14.5 hours.  The longest trip that I've taken is once while trying to fly home from Australia I had to (for unknown reasons) fly from Melbourne to LAX to JFK to Boston. 
K: Keepsake from your travels: I buy postcards a lot - I send a lot of them to family and friends but often keep a few for myself.  I hardly ever go clothes shopping so if I find a piece of clothing that I love, I adore to add it to my wardrobe as a memory of where I've been! T-shirts from zoos and aquariums are favourites.

L: Let-down sight, why and where: The Giant Ginger Beer in Noosa.  It was no longer. I've never been so disappointed.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: I went to Germany in 2002/2003 to visit an exchange student who had been in my highschool! It was magical.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: I loved the Eloise books when I was little. So, when I was quite young my grandmother took me to New York for the weekend to stay at the Plaza hotel like Eloise. They screwed up our reservation and had given our room to someone else. My grandmother, understandably upset, talked to them and instead of just a normal room, they gave us the Honeymoon suite for the night. The luxury was absolutely incredible!
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: I'm really bad at taking pictures while I travel. I tend to either get obsessed with taking pictures and then I don't really experience what I'm doing - and I hate that feeling. Since I can't seem to experience AND take pictures, I'd much rather just experience it.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?  I have quite a few - mostly from Australia. France, Turkey, India, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, Iceland are also represented.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:  Probably the underwater post box in Port Vila. AWESOME.

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: I think everyone should experience living overseas for a while.

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: Things that make me feel safe. Traveling is quite out of my safety zone so paying a few bucks to make sure I feel better (even if it's kind of a token gesture), I'm all for it. Nicer hotels v. hostels or whatever it might be are examples.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Hot air balloon ride in Turkey in Cappadocia. 

U: Unforgettable travel memory: Looking up at the stars on a beach somewhere in Western Australia. There is absolutely NO light pollution and I've never seen so many stars or the milky way that bright before.
V: Visas, how many and for where? So many. One to India, Turkey, I have two pasted in my passport right now that allow me to leave and reenter Australia. And I've had three electronic ones that let me live in Australia as a student.

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? I don't drink.  But I enjoyed the wine tours through the Barossa Valley in South Australia last summer.

X: eXcellent view and from where?: I had the best view ever growing up.

Y: Years spent traveling? All my life.  When I was three my parents took my brothers and I sailing around the Florida Keys for 8 months. But I don't think I could possibly stop now. And now that I've married an Australian, I think I'll traveling through hemispheres for the rest of my life.
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:  Melbourne is absolutely filled with zealous sports fans! Home of Australian Rules Football, the Australian Open, golf tournaments, and Cricket.

Tag you're it! 
Can't wait to hear your responses ladies!


  1. Yay for posting! This is great. I am dying to go to India so very jealous. Also, I'm a huge fan of walking, too!

  2. Ooooh, fun!! Can't wait to get started on this. Also, I'm pretty damned sure that my next overseas trip is going to be to Turkey. EVERYONE I KNOW IS GOING THERE AND IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY...

    Also, if people want to experience the Black Saturday heat for themselves, I always tell them to turn the oven on to 50 degrees C and fan force, let it heat up, open the door, and stand in front of it. God, that day was HORRIFIC...

  3. Haha! I love that you threw in Elvis!! He's awesome! Thanks for tagging me. I'll have to do this later in the week. I loved getting to read your answers!

  4. I love the dual interpretations for this line in your post: "I remember there being a pinata" and/or "I remember there, being a pinata" !!!

  5. Love hearing about all your crazy travels!!!

  6. great post! I think I would love to do this post as well, having been bitten by the travel bug too.

  7. Oh how I wish my parents sailed away with me in the Keys or Carribbean (whatever) for months at a time. Three years old is quite young though, I'd elect to be this age ;)

  8. India was one of my favorites too. So much diversity. And because I don't drive (neither does my husband) we tend to walk (a lot), get lost (a lot), be pleasantly surprised with where we end up (a lot)!

    What a great tag. Enjoyed reading your answers.

  9. Fun to read! I HAVE to travel outside Europe..

  10. You've made so many great memories while traveling. I'm jealous! Makes me want to go somewhere RIGHT NOW.

  11. I love reading about other people's travel experiences, though it really makes me want to go somewhere and soon, though the long travels will probably wait a few years still... I'm not going on a 14 hour flight with a baby.

    I have so many places I want to visit, Australia is on the top of the list, but the plane tickets from Denmark to Australia is so freaking expensive....

  12. Turkey would definitely be a place worth revisiting! I loooooved living there for 4 months and would looooove to go back!

    They say you're no longer a tourist when you take vacations on your I'm afraid you're no longer an outsider in Australia ;)

  13. Yay you tagged me!! I don't know if I have three people to tag. I may have to steal randomly from commenters.

    Also? I loved your list. :)

  14. This was so great! I love hearing about your travels =)

  15. Fun post! I wish I had travelled like you have. And I would love to live abroad!

  16. I love reading people's answers for this meme, and our dear friend Juliet just tagged me to do it, so expect my contribution in a few weeks when I get back to France! (and can post pics up with some of my responses...)

  17. I'm not a traveler so it was great reading this. I want to start and I hope to have some exciting adventures like the one's you've mentioned.

  18. I had no idea that beer had gluten until I was in Oz. Another GF intolerant gal mentioned it and the light bulb went off. Oops.

  19. Gosh, I feel like I've gone nowhere after reading all the places you've been. But then again, I'm not really much of a traveler.

    NEW GIRL...surprisingly is not as funny as I'd hoped it would have been. I did like the first Justin Long episode, though. On the show the bathroom is odd. A urinal, and a stall.

  20. Love this! And I agree about's pretty special!

  21. Wow, you have been so many places! I would love to go to Australia someday. And India.
    This whole post just gave me travel fever.

  22. Oh how fun to read! Lots of travel-goodies here, love it!

  23. I'm in school so I haven't had time to read through this post, but I just wanted to post a little message to say hi! Can't wait to read this on the bus today though. I agree with you concerning learning how to use space more efficiently. I think it's important because it opens up a lot of new opportunities you wouldn't neccessarily think of. Other benifits are that you can learn how to live comfortably in a tiny appartment in the city (if your that kind of girl), you automatically take better care of your furniture because you've given it more thought (who doesn't want to save the planet AND be economical) and you live in a space literally designed to suit you. Thank you for the comment! :) ^^ Have a wonderful day!

  24. i loved reading this!

    i would love to see the taj mahal in person...every time i see a photo my breath is just taken away! and i totally understand how visiting a place can be destroyed when you're sick or have something going on (been there done that too many times!)

    im horrible at taking photos too ...thank gosh for my boyfriend who takes them for me more often than not!

  25. It sounds like you have had so many amazing travel experiences over the years! :)

  26. Hi dear, this is one fantastic tag, love the questions and your answers were so interesting. Been to a few of the places you have. Your touring of Australia intrigues me the most, because I've never been there and you make it sounds so wonderful

  27. Wow! This post was fascinating for me! I love reading about all your travels! And I completely agree with R - I spent four years in Singapore as a kid and loved it! Can't wait to live overseas again!

    This year we are traveling to India, but after reading about the parasites you contracted, I think I'm going to fast for 2 weeks. :o)

  28. Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday! Australia is on my list of top places I want to travel someday. Looking forward to following your blog!

  29. This was a GREAT post. I loved it. Your Turkey experience sounds awful :( and is such a fear of mine when travelling.

  30. Oneika - India was pretty intense for me. It was the first time I went traveling by myself.

    Melbourne on my mind - Yes, Black Saturday was just...there are really no words.

    Crazy Shenanigans - No problem :) Hey, it was either Elvis or our mutual love for She's the Man.

    The Zadge - Perhaps that's why my memory of it is dodgey - I WAS the pinata?

    E - Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed it.

    Prixie - Well, then consider yourself tagged!

    Azra - Hah, yes - I was a bit young to be going a long, my brothers were older though.

    Vanisha - I'm so glad I went to India, but I am not sure I'd ever go back.

    Inga - Yes! There is so much of the world to see!

    Krysten - Aw, I wish I could just fly you out to Australia. If only I had that kind of dough.

    Connie - It's kind of a tough call, sometimes I think it would be easier to fly with a baby then with 4 year old!

    Iris - No, I'm not really an outsider. I've lived here a long time. My accent shows no signs of that though.

    Ev Rev - Thank you. And I loved reading your ABCs

    Camile - Aw, thank you!

    Teacher girl - I need to hook you up with Oneika stat!

    Crystal - Yay! I can't wait to read yours when you get home from Canada.

    Mrs Pancakes - Yes! I did enjoy it.

    Haute Mommy - I never really considered myself a traveler either. I'm 100% sure you'll have amazing experiences WHEN you do travel.

    Heather - Ugh, the amount of times I've done that with food! The stomachs I've endured. "what do you mean those potato wedges have wheat in them?"

    Ellie - Aw, I'm sad to hear that about the new girl!

    Alexa - Australia is soooo special. I am so grateful I've gotten to be here.

    Alyx - Gah! I wish I could fly you here too!

    New Life in Spain - Aw, thank you!

    Trine Marie - I think that living in small apartments is totally economical AND environmental. It definitely makes you think about what you have space for buying.

    Megan - so glad you enjoyed the post! IC is pretty good the photo ops too.

    Erika - Yes, I'm very lucky.

    Sam - well, not so much touring Australia, but I live here now!

    Sarah Kate - Actually, I'd recommend taking some herbal remedies while you're on your trip and afterwards that might help keep the parasites at bay.

    Heather - hope you come to Australia soon!

    Anide - It really did put a damper on the trip, but I still have some fond memories of Turkey.

  31. Love this list. I like walking everywhere on vacation, too. Never been to Turkey. I'm going to have to give it a go now.

  32. So you've been to NZ indeed! Stunning Taj Mahal photo, it looks massive. Your time in Turkey sounded terrible, considering for a place named after food (and my cat, and my cat is fun stuff and not terrible). Fun post!