A: Age you went on your first international trip:
10 with my dad and grandma to Italy to visit all my cousins. Oh yeah, did I not mention I’m part Italian? And yes, there really are mafia in my family tree so don’t mess with me or you’ll be sleeping with some olive-oil covered fishes!
B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:
I don’t do beer but I’ll say that the Devil’s Shooter cocktail that I had in Bali was pretty damn awesome especially since I sharing it with a really hot American guy that I played Florence Nightingale to 😉
C: Cuisine (favorite):
You expect me to choose?! Ok, for Asia I’m going to have to say Thai all the way but Nasi Goren in Bali came a very close second. For Africa I would say zebra…so sue me, I know they look pretty but they have thousands…they won’t miss two or three (thousand ahem)
D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:
Yikes, this is a big question! Hmmm, well I’m going with either Namibia or Tanzania as my favourite. Sorry but Asia doesn’t get a look in on this one. And despite having the most amazing time in Bali and it being my favourite spot in Asia, it was also my worst because I got sick to death of saying ‘no’ to ‘taxi, taxi, transport?!’ NO DUMBASS – I JUST THIS SECOND GOT OUT OF A FREAKING TAXI WHY WOULD I WANT TO GO INTO ANOTHER ONE???!!!
E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
Spending a week on a liveaboard boat in the Similan Islands, Thailand diving 4 times a day. It was just me, 10 men and no native English speakers; it was the best week of my life. I saw everything from sea snakes and sharks to turtles and manta rays and my dive guide and I made the boat rock that little bit extra if you know what I mean 😉
F: Favorite mode of transportation:
Microlight. After flying over Victoria Falls I’m hooked and want to get my license at some point in life; magical!
G: Greatest feeling while traveling:
Finding yourself. Travel can do everything it says on the tin and help you discover everything you need to know about yourself. You can see your strengths and weaknesses, it gives you perspective over your life and if you’re looking for some direction, you may even find what you meant to do with your life just by getting on that plane!
H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:
Koh Tao, Thailand. I went in one of their shoulder seasons (wow ‘shoulder season’ makes me sound like a 60 year old travel agent) and just as I got there a heat wave started at 42c which sounds great but when you try and cool down in the sea only for it to be a freaking warm bath, your blood pressure rises as well as the temperature!
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:
Pick a spot in Japan and I can tell you about the great service I had. Nothing was too much trouble for them, everyone was so polite and all the time they wore the most genuine of smiles I have ever seen on anyone!
J: Journey that took the longest:
London to Tokyo. I was dreading it. 12 hours to Hong Kong and then another 4 to Tokyo?! Yeah, no thanks. But 2 movies, 3 episodes of family guy and 90 minutes of sleep later I was in Hong Kong and 1 movie and some sleep after that I was in Tokyo; it felt like 8 hours; a total dream but boy did I need a shower when I got in!
K: Keepsake from your travels:
I always have three keepsakes from my travels – photos, journal and money. I love looking at my photos and remembering why I took them or how I felt at the time. It’s the same when I read my journal back…I’ve been known to have a weep (and when I say weep, what I really mean is bawl my freaking eyes out) when I’ve read how I felt at a certain point on my trips. I always try and keep the smallest denomination of note in a country’s currency – it’s a great souvenir and makes a great piece of art too when you get home!
L: Let-down sight, why and where:
Phuket, Thailand. Whenever you hear the word Thailand you think of white sand and turquoise water but it all depends on where you go and since Phuket was my first stop in the country I can’t say I was too impressed. I wanted the brochure dammit! But a few miles out in a boat, I got it and I stopped having my tantrum 🙂
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:
When I went diving around the Similan Islands in Thailand. Not the first few training dives because I was too busy concentrating on not killing myself but the first dive of my liveaboard boat where I was surrounded by a wall of fish that opened to reveal beautiful coral and things I had only ever watched on the TV. When I felt safe and was having fun, that was the moment I realised that travelling was about finding new things and I’d just discovered a whole new universe; magical!
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Well, technically I didn’t buy the room but I DID stay the night if you know what I mean? 😉 A 5* hotel in Hong Kong where my entire ‘private room’ in my hostel could have fit into just his bathroom. Oh how the other half travel when you’re an international rugby star 😉
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?
I’m a sucker for landscape scenery and sunsets. I’m not one of those artsy fartsy people that takes photos of old men with crinkly clothes and wrinkly faces, I like my photos of scenery to be like I like my sex; ‘OH MY GOD that’s amazing!’.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?
Meh who’s counting?! I just like to see how pretty it looks =)
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:
The condom house in Shibuya, Tokyo – a condom in every size, shape and flavour you could ever imagine. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Let’s just say that there isn’t a thing in the world where Hello Kitty doesn’t go 😉
R: Recommended sight, event or experience:
I’m going to cheat here and say overlanding Africa from Cape Town to Kenya. There is nothing quite like it. You can see everything naturally from the Masai villagers to the animals in the national parks and up the adrenaline by doing anything from quad biking to sky diving. Without a shadow of a doubt, overlanding Africa was THE best sight, event and experience I have EVER had the fortune of having.
S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while travelling:
Adventure. There is nothing I hate more than to see other backpackers not having fun because they ‘can’t afford it’. Well, excuse me, but WTF is the point of travelling if you can only afford to sleep on the beach and eat once a day?! Sure, there is natural beauty everywhere but everyone wants to experience something different. When in Zambia, I was almost the only one that did any additional activities because they couldn’t afford them…what a waste in one of the most beautiful areas of Earth!
T: Touristy thing you’ve done:
It’s all ‘touristy’ but just because everyone’s ‘been there, done that, got the cheesy t-shirt’, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be visited! Who wouldn’t want to go and visit a Buddha in the middle of a mountain on a Hong Kong island or take a photo next to the Eiffel Tower? Idiots, that’s who.
U: Unforgettable travel memory:
All of it. Everything from eating a really good Thai dinner from a street vendor on the beach to dangling my feet over the edge of Victoria Falls. It’s all unforgettable; even the bad stuff. The moment it becomes forgettable is the moment your heart is no longer in it.
V: Visas, how many and for where?
Including the ‘visa on arrival’ pieces of crappy card you have to fill out on the plane or crossing a border? I have no idea – YAWN!
W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
I don’t drink wine either (yeah, so drinking is expensive for me when I’m travelling) so I’ll tell you that the best buckets are served at the Lotus Bar on Koh Tao, Thailand. Drinking plastic buckets filled with coke, rum and M150 amphetamine drink as you dance the night away on the sand with fire dancers.
X: eXcellent view and from where?
It’s not much of a view in the sense that you can’t see that far but being able to see 100m DOWN is a pretty cool view from the edge of Victoria Falls even if I do say so myself 😉
Y: Years spent traveling?
Well considering I used to fly solo to see my dad from the age of 6 I’m going to say 14 years 😉 Yeah I’m hardcore! Just don’t tell anyone I travelled with a cuddly toy. Oh wait! I still do! Crap it =/
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?
Hong Kong! I landed there the weekend of The Sevens rugby tournament and ended up going to watch the finals on the Sunday – it was amazing! The crowd was electrifying, I couldn’t stop singing and shouting along with everyone and there were gorgeous men everywhere; heaven!
Apparently I have to tag people now but from all the A-Z posts I’ve read out there, I’m not sure who’s left to tag so tell me to
kiss tag you and I’ll tag you at the bottom here =)