Every once and a while, I like to start a new series on here, and I’ve been thinking it would be fun to introduce to a few of my favorite travelers. Through traveling and travel blogging, I have met some of the world’s most fascinating people, and I am now lucky enough to call them my friends.
Just to give you an example of what the series will be like, I’ve decided to answer a few of the questions myself. That will allow me to introduce myself to any new readers I have and allow you to see what you can expect with this new Wanderer of the Week series.
I know it’s hard to narrow down, but what are your three favorite places in the world?
Always impossible, but I’d have to say India, Botswana, and Croatia. There was just something about each of those places that spoke to me, and I felt an immediate and lasting connection to. It’s hard to explain, but all three are places I long to return to for an extended period of time.
If you could only explore one continent for the rest of your life, which one would you pick and why?
Africa. This is actually something I have been wanting to do, not for the rest of my life as there are so many other places to see, but I’d like to spend a year or two exploring the continent. I know I won’t have the time to be able to see it and truly experience it the way it’s meant to be, but I want to visit every country. While visiting Africa in 2012, I was able to see five countries and all were so vastly different. It made me even more curious about the rest of the continent.
How do you keep in shape and stay healthy while on the road? Do you have advice for others?
I walk every where I go because I believe it’s the best way to see a new place. This allows me to eat whatever I want because I know I’ll be walking it off later. I also do yoga in my room at my accommodations because I do daily yoga at home, and I don’t want to break up my practice.
In your home country, what’s a destination that you think people should visit?
This summer, I took a cross country road trip from North Carolina to Oregon and realized just how gorgeous my country is. I’m going to cheat here and give you two places: the Badlands and Arches National Park. Both are other-worldly and just stunning.
If you could take one epic journey in the next year, what would it be and why?
On one of my last night’s in India, a few of us decided that we all wanted to trek in Patagonia. Currently, we are trying to put together an adventure throughout the continent of South America for the end of this year and the beginning of next. We want to see Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, though are still in the planning stages. This is definitely an adventure I am hoping will happen, as I have explored so little of South America.
Tell us about your most memorable trip.
Every trip is memorable for its own reasons, but there was something so special about this past trip to India. Maybe it was the struggle to get there or what I was doing, but the whole trip was so transformative. The aspect that sticks out the most was my month in Rishikesh, as I was able to just focus on myself and bettering that person. In the past, my travels have been a bit of a whirlwind, trying to squeeze in as much as I could in a short amount of time. But, in this instance, I was living in the Himalayan town for a month, working on better my mind, body, and soul. People rarely get the opportunity to do something like this, and I am so grateful I had the chance to.
Share your best travel romance story.
While traveling through Vietnam, I met this guy in a small beach town and we immediately hit it off. The next day, we were supposed to hang out and go to the sand dunes, but I was too hangover, so it didn’t happen. Both of us were leaving town the next day and heading in different directions. Then, one night in Nha Trang, another beach town, the girls and I were out at a beach bar and we saw one of his friends. A few minutes later, we were reunited and hung out that night and the next. Unfortunately, I had to head back to the States for a wedding and he was traveling for a few more months. Though we tried to keep in touch, but it was difficult with his travels and my normal routine at home. However, a few years later, we did meet up again in London, where he lives, and he made me dinner and we were able to catch up. It was great being able to reconnect again years later and laugh about our experiences when we met. It also goes to show that you just don’t ever know who you’ll meet on the road.
Why do you travel?
Since I was little, I have had this need to understand different cultures and countries; travel is the best way to do that. No television show, book, or movie can depict it the way it really is. I also believe travel is the best way to learn about yourself and about people. The media portrays the world as being this scary place, but I’ve never encountered anything that has made me feel that way. It’s the best education in the world and there’s really no substitute for it.
Based on food alone, which country could you live in forever?
I have a few in mind, although if I really think about it, I would have to say Italy. The food is always fresh and made with such love and care that it would be hard to pass it up. Plus, the idea of living on pizza and pasta sounds pretty ideal to me. Second place would probably be India, as it’s the easiest place to be a vegetarian, although close behind would be Thailand.
What’s your favorite book to take with you on the road or favorite book about travel?
It’s probably a bit cheesy, but Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love is one of my favorite travel books, and I travel with it often. What I love about it is that it gave me the courage to live my life the way I wanted to and to go after my dreams. It also inspired me to go out and see the world any way I had to, even if that meant going on my own. I was able to identify with a lot of what Gilbert was going through, especially her anxiety, and I appreciated her honesty. The summer after reading the book, I headed to New Zealand and Fiji and then started this blog that autumn. I absolutely believe that reading it helped kick start this life I am currently living.
Hope you enjoyed my answers and are as excited for my new series as I am. Interested in being one of my featured wanderers? Send me an e-mail and we’ll set something up.