I am so honored to have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by someone I respect so much, Nicolette Orlemans. I met Nicolette through Mackenzie of Mac on the Fly (also nominated), and have immensely enjoyed participating in her #CultureTrav chats on Twitter ever since. The #CultureTrav chat is co-hosted by Jessica Lipowski every Thursday at 2:30 PM EST. It’s a wonderful way to connect with travelers around the world, compare war stories about your travels, and get a new perspective on the unique ways people are making travel possible in their lives. I’m proud to be a part of this outstanding travel community. I think it takes a very special type of person to build such an engaging, interesting and downright helpful community such as this, and Nicolette is that person.

Here are my responses to her questions:

1. What’s one thing you wish you’d discovered about travel years ago?

That you don’t need to wait around for people to travel with. If you want to go somewhere, just go! It will probably be the best decision you’ll ever make. You will grow exponentially and in so many different ways that you can’t even anticipate. I did.

2. Why do you love travel so much, and what do you wish others who don’t necessarily love it would appreciate more?

Travel has been the most rewarding and humbling aspect of my life. It has completely made me the person I am today, and I don’t know what I’d be like if I hadn’t traveled so much throughout my life. That being said, I wouldn’t want to push someone who doesn’t necessarily love to travel into it. When the travel bug hits, and it always hits, it’ll happen when it’s right for that person’s particular circumstances.

3. Describe a hilarious situation you encountered during travel. What happened?

There are a lot of hilarious things that happen to me when I travel. But most notably, I’ve sprained my ankles in a variety of countries around the world. Toppling down the [many] stairs at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto, Japan was probably pretty hilarious to bystanders. 

4. What’s your number one savings tip for travel (i.e. miles, booking in advance, staying at hostels, etc.)?

Points are huge. I follow The Points Guy and you should too. Researching a lot in advance will help you avoid scams that’ll gobble up your travel funds. Also, I try to balance more expensive hotels with budget accommodations. A few nights in a private room in a hostel in exchange for one splurge night at a nice hotel. I do need my private room, though. I’m a flashpacker.

5. Describe a difficult moment during travel. How did you overcome it?

This is more humorous than difficult, but recently while traveling solo I got “upgraded” to the Honeymoon Suite at a small resort in Thailand (I think it was just the only available room at the time). Walking into the room and seeing all the towel animals shaped into hearts stung a bit. Things like that normally don’t bother me too much, but that night I had an extra glass of wine at dinner. 

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6. How do you approach travel when you’re visiting a destination and don’t already speak the language (how do you learn the language)?

Just roll with it! Gestures and a genuine smile can go a long way. I also tend to just imitate what everyone else seems to be doing. It usually works. 

7. Are you a full-time traveler or part-time traveler? How do you make either work for you?

I’ve been a part-time traveler, but I’m trying to change that ;-) I do think that I’m the type of person that would always need a “home base of operations”, though.  

8. If you had to choose between having more time available for travel or obtaining additional money for it, which would you pick?

Money. 

9. Where did you have a really memorable travel experience? What made it so special?

I’m sure it goes without saying that I’ve had countless memorable travel experiences, but I’d have to say this moment in Japan: The Moment that Changed Everything. Japan was the first extended trip I took solo, and it deeply changed me. It changed what I wanted out of life, what I truly saw as important and alternately what I no longer saw as important anymore. 

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10. What’s one cultural activity you’d like to try in your upcoming travels?

I’ve got a few: Holi in India, the next World Cup, Summer Olympics. 

 

Thank you again, Nicolette. I truly enjoyed answering these questions. There were some good ones.

And now, drum roll please…

I’d like to also nominate the following Bloggers for this Award:

Ladies, please answer the following questions in your own blog posts, and then pass on the nominations to the Bloggers you think are deserving. And don’t forget to post a link to your responses in the comments below. I look forward to reading them :)

  • Where are the next three places on your travel list?
  • Is there a place you traveled to that you didn’t expect to like (for whatever reason), but then you did?
  • Describe a person you met during your travels that you will never forget.
  • You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours. What do you do?
  • How many of the seven continents have you touched on?
  • Window or aisle seat?
  • Who is your ideal celebrity travel buddy?
  • Favorite movie that inspires you to travel, and where?