My ABC’s of Travel

There is a game going ’round the travel blogosphere and Lola was kind enough to nominate me. The prompts are pre-written, and as the name suggests, it’s based on the alphabet …

A. Age you went on your first international trip: 14!? Can’t remember the exact year or my age but it was to the UK with my mother. We visited London, Dover, Bath, Stonehenge and Canterbury and I’ve been driven by wanderlust ever since. Also, I still love London and find that when I visit now I seem to find something different to appreciate about it every trip.

B. Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: Stiegl Radler “Summer Shandy” in Innsbruck, Austria. It was a light combination of beer and lemonade that was so good I could have had it with every single meal, every day I was there. I still crave it now, 7 months later. Most surprising? I don’t usually dig light beer. I’m a Guinness girl.

C. Cuisine (favorite): VERY hard to choose a favorite but probably … tacos al pastor

D. Destinations. Favorite? Least favorite? And why?
Paris is my favorite for too many reasons to list except to say that it lived up to 30 years of hype and that alone is quite impressive.

I usually like all places I go, on some level. Buenos Aires is the only place I have ever been which I, unfortunately, genuinely did not love even though I had really wanted to [love it]. Getting robbed while there definitely didn’t help.

E. Event you experienced abroad that made you say, “wow”: Silvester in Berlin. Germans really know how to throw a rowdy party. Plus, there was live music, meat and beer! Three of my very favorite things.

F. Favorite mode of transportation: Definitely any train. Something about the “romance” of train travel I love.

G. Greatest feeling while traveling: The moment I de-board a plane into an airport or place that is new to me and adrenaline for all I am about to see and experience courses through my body.

H. Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Mexico, in February. I’m definitely a worshipper of sun, sand and warmth but I remember an afternoon in which it felt like we were walking on the face of the sun. It was actually too much heat for me.

I. Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Colony Club in Barbados. The manager went out of her way to make sure we were looked after and happy. I have never experienced such personal service as I did at that Elegant Hotels property.

J. Journey that took the longest: Paris … I dreamt about going from the time I was a little girl until the time I finally did get there at 30 years old. The longest transcontinental flight has nothing on a dream that took 20 + years to be fulfilled.

K. Keepsake from your travels: photographs … lots of them

L. Let-down sight, why and where? La Boca in Buenos Aires. I had seen photographs of it for so long and it was built up to be something different than it ended up being. Though, it certainly was colorful and that’s never a bad thing for a photographer.

M. Moment where you fell in love with travel: I’ve been in love with travel for so long I don’t even remember the specific moment in happened, now. However, it happens all over again every time I experience something for the first time in a new place.

N. Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: Klosterbräu Hotel & Spa in Seefeld, Tirol

O. Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling? Everything, I never feel as if I have taken enough photographs to truly capture a place (case in point – I have no truly great photos of Klosterbräu – how is that possible?!) … though, it doesn’t stop me from trying!

P. Passport stamps, how many and from where? Not enough and from not enough places!

Q. Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where? Harrison’s Cave in Barbados. Let’s just say it brought out my inner 12-year-old. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the phallic nature of all the formations in the cave. [In the end, I wasn’t the only one laughing.]

R. Recommended sight, event or experience: Fire Show in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

S. Splurge, something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: A good meal. I looove to eat and one of the best ways I know to experience another culture is through its food.

T. Touristy thing you’ve done: During my most recent trip to Costa Rica I had to take part in a tram ride through the jungle, in the pouring rain. We didn’t see wildlife, it was cold and it lasted far too long. While I didn’t love that, I did love a lot of other things about Costa Rica (which I am looking forward to writing about soon)!

U. Unforgettable travel memory: Seeing La Tour Eiffel sparkle at night for the first time on my first night in France.

V. Visas, how many and for where? None. Yet. Hoping that will change in 2012!

W. Wine. Best glass of wine while traveling and where? Napa Valley, California. I tasted a Gewürztraminer that isn’t available to the general public (which was a treat because of who I toured the winery with) and it definitely changed my opinion forever of American wine. That being said — I cannot wait to taste my way through Italy this April. And I still want to do a wine tasting tour in France.

X. eXcellent view and from where? Paris, from the steps in front of Sacré Cœur

Y. Years spent traveling? Well, full time since 2009. I took off to San Francisco the day after my divorce was finalized and I’ve not had a place to call my own until this week. But my first trip out of the United States was to Canada when I was a baby. It is a foreign country so, I guess the right answer is 3 + decades.

Z. Zealous sports fans and where? I imagine any city in which the World Cup is taking place. Though, I’ve never been so I can’t confirm that. Hoping to go one day!

Pardon the navel-gazing, I promise I’ll be back with great photographs and a few good original stories soon. Thanks for reading! I hope you learned at least one new tidbit about me and far more important, added something new to your own travel bucket list. If you’d like to be nominated to do this on your blog — leave me a comment and I’ll tag you.
XO ~ Kirsten