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

  • February 12, 2012

    dear kirsten,
    i loved reading this but then i love reading all that you write 🙂
    i did learn a few new tidbits…congrats on your new apartment! 
    wine tasting is such fun. i just spent a day during my france trip tasting in provence. YUMMY!
    thanks for taking the time to write your abc’s.
    xo – lola

    • February 12, 2012

      Thanks again for tagging me Lola. It was fun to do this. And your comments are too sweet. Thank you. — Soo awesome that you’ve been wine tasting in France. I definitely need to do that. And soon.

  • February 12, 2012

    You have the best answer for J, journey that took the longest. I love the interpretation of the question. I, too, and trying to get to Paris. Alas, it needs to be sooner rather than later based on your rave reviews. 

    • February 12, 2012

      Thanks Leah! Yes – Paris — get there. Soon. It’s just too fantastic to miss. (At least I thought so. I often worry in my hyping it up for other people that it won’t live up for them.) If you like art, food and history it just has sooooo much to offer.

  • February 12, 2012

    Ooh, your shots + answers are lovely! That twenty year dream of the flight to Paris…I know exactly what you mean. And that rush when stepping foot off the plane. Thanks for the peek into your memories xx

    • February 12, 2012

      Thanks my love! Glad you can relate and sooo happy to see you two pursuing your long-sought-after dream now 🙂

  • February 13, 2012

    Not sure what I love most betweent your amazing experiences and the breathtaking photographs 🙂 Great read and here’s to more travels in 2012!

    • February 13, 2012

      Thank you dear! That’s such a sweet comment!! Yes, cheers to more travels in 2012. Will I see you at the next TBU? I can’t wait to discover Italy. It’s always been high on my list of places I long to know.

      • February 21, 2012

        Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be at the next TBU, but I’m sure we’ll find a way to run into each other at some point during the year 😉

        • February 21, 2012

          I would loove to run into each other again 🙂 The world is a big place but it’s not that big and I am just dying to get back to France. So hopefully sometime in ’12 it will indeed happen!

  • February 13, 2012

    Dearest Kirsten,

    think it’s objectively unprofessional and not a matter of opinion, mine or
    otherwise, to complain about a trip where you were paid to be there as a vendor
    (in your case photographer/videographer, but it applies across industries). It’s
    especially unprofessional to say that the biggest let-down sight in all your
    years of traveling is a place you visited to take a client’s photos! I’m all for
    honesty in blogging and telling the truth about press trips, but criticizing
    your clients by criticizing places they paid for you to visit goes beyond
    honesty and becomes rude and unprofessional. I’m deeply disappointed by your actions and I hope you don’t delete this comment so that others are aware of the kind of person and photographer/videographer you truly are.Sincerely,Andrea

    • February 13, 2012

      I’m very sorry you feel the way you do Andi. I did not mean my comments in this post in the spirit you have taken them and at the time of the trip to Argentina did not view you as a client but as a friend.

      Buenos Aires is the only place I have ever not loved during my travels. As such, it was the only answer I had to give. However, my dislike of the place itself is not due to your wedding (which was a beautiful event) or the engagement photographs I took of you and Lucas (which I enjoyed taking).

      Again, I am sorry you have been hurt. However, I did not write this post with the intention of hurting you.

  • February 13, 2012

    Its funny… people either love or hate Paris. I wasn’t that taken by it to tell the truth. But I will give it another chance some day.

    • February 13, 2012

      I totally agree with you about Paris. I know many who have not loved it. I did. However, I fully acknowledge that loving or hating any place is a deeply personal thing that cannot be defined by outward opinion. It’s entirely up to the individual. 

      Perhaps, rather than give another chance – simply be glad of all the places you do love and set out to discover even more …

  • February 14, 2012

    We’re big fans of live music, meat, beer and trains too.  We’ll get along just fine 🙂

    PS love your shot of Paris at night, the Tower looks freakin’ amazing.

    • February 21, 2012

      Haha! Yes – we get along and for that I am very grateful. Love you and Dalene. Glad you like the Paris shot but I keep thinking of that BB shot you showed me earlier … can’t wait for your to debut your post with your best NYC images which will include that.

  • February 15, 2012

    I wanna kiss you on the lips for saying this:

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

    • February 21, 2012

      Caanan baby, you can kiss me anytime! But I think Kent might get jealous.

      Next time we’re all in the same city, less beer AND MORE TACOS AL PASTOR m’kay 🙂

  • February 18, 2012
    Amanda Summons

    Love your blog!

    • February 21, 2012

      Hi Amanda, consider yourself tagged!! And please send me the link when you do your ABC’s of Travel. I would love to read it. 

      Thank you for commenting and I am so glad you enjoy my blog. We’re totally in sync re: traveling on trains.

  • February 19, 2012

    Great read! I especially like all the funky Instagram photos 🙂 I love using Instagram too, and it’s perfect when you don’t want to lug a big camera around!

    • February 21, 2012

      Hi Tom! Thanks for the kind comment. This post is a mix of dSLR images and Instagram. I agree that it’s nice to carry around an iPhone sometimes and not have to bother with a larger camera.

  • February 20, 2012

    Brilliant blog. Most blogs you read online are boring and don’t offer much information. This was really helpful.Its really a superb post.Keep in touch with us in future too. things before. Thanks.

    • February 21, 2012

      Laura, thank you so much for the kind comment! I’m very glad you enjoyed this post and my blog.

  • February 23, 2012

    Fire show in Playa del Carmen! Loved those so much. 😀 My friend and I had a crush on one of the guys who took part in those so kept coming back every other night to watch. Hahahaha!

    I love that you love Paris. It’s still my favourite city in the world. <3

    • February 27, 2012

      Haha! I love that story about the fire shows Ceri! Thanks for the comment. 

      100% agreement re: Paris!!!!!

  • February 25, 2012

    All the pics are too good. Some interesting thoughts on the subject. Looking forward to see what else you post in the future.This is my first time reading this blog. Definitely won’t be my last though, really enjoyed it.

    • February 27, 2012

      Thank you so much Ellen. That’s really kind of you to say and I hope I don’t disappoint you. I don’t post as often as other travel bloggers but I try to post good content that’s interesting. 

      Thank you for visiting!

  • February 26, 2012

    Fantastic photos! Paris is an amazing city indeed

    • February 27, 2012

      Thank you Amer!! Yes, Paris is so amazing in my opinion.

  • March 04, 2012

    I love that Paris lived up to your expectations, that’s not always the case when the bar is set so high. The last photo of Paris from the Sacre Coeur is beautiful. 🙂

  • July 14, 2012

    summer holiday with light combination of beer and lemonade that was amazing test.
    The vacation on romance totally depends on the mood. These all picks, all
    places was superb collection. Thanks to shared with us this post.

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