The following questions and answers are part of my “Interview A Blogger”/”Please ask me questions to provide blog fodder” mini-series. I’ve tried to break up the questions into bigger categories and will answer them over the next couple of posts.
Question: You’ve traveled a lot, so what is your favorite trip you’ve taken and why? If you could go anywhere you haven’t been yet, where would you pick and why? From Tia.
Answer: My favorite trip I’ve ever taken was actually this last summer when I spent a week in Montana with J-Mo’s family. It was slow-paced, relaxing, and full of sunshiney days that weren’t too hot, a lot of gorgeous, GORGEOUS scenery, awesome people, and hardly any connection with the outside/cyber world. It was bliss. Following it up with a few days on my own in Yellowstone gawking at even MORE amazing scenery was an awesome way to end a wonderful vacation.
Runner up favorite trip would be a lovely 10 day vacation spent in Hawaii approximately 2 weeks after I got divorced. I woke up early, cried a lot, read a pile of books, listened to the waves crashing against the seawall, sat on the beach by myself (with SPF 85 sunscreen and still under an umbrella), dug my toes in the sand, watched the turtles and whales and let myself unwind from a year or two of hell. I remember very distinctly the moment, sitting on a skinny little beach staring at the horizon, when I knew it would all be okay, that I would be okay. There’s no feeling quite like that.
If I could go anywhere? Oh goodness, there are so many options! If time and money weren’t really an issue I’d be perfectly happy bouncing from country to country for a solid year. But, as my boss has already told me he won’t grant me a year sabbatical to do such a thing, let’s say I have a week and a modest budget, where would I go? Or, what are the top three places I’d go. I’d love to go to Iceland, or Turkey and Greece, or Belize. If I am keeping this answer grounded in reality those are probably my top 3 destinations right now (and have been on my top 5 list for ages).
Question: If you could live in another country (not visit, LIVE) for a few years, which one would it be, and of course why? From: One of only 2 or 3 male readers, Sov.
Answer: Oh goodness, I LOVE this question! I have always wanted to live in China. I actually took several years of Mandarin at the University and a half-dozen Chinese culture classes. I love the language, love the culture, love everything about it. Granted, my taller-than-average and platinum blonde self will stick out like, well, a tall blonde, but I am in-love with the idea of moving there. That being said, there are probably two dozen more countries that are on my list of places I would like to live for a few years. Living in another country is something I will do, just not positive of when.
Question: If you move to another country can I have your apartment? From my sister, Erika.
Answer: Yes, you can
babysit apartment-sit while I’m abroad, but if I end up moving back to Salt Lake you’ll have to vacate to somewhere else because I LOVE this apartment. Sorry, them’s the breaks. Deal or no deal?
Question: Do you have any travel goals? How far along are you on them?
Answer: Yes, actually, I do! I would like to visit all 50 states before I turn 31 (i.e. the end of my 30th year), and I’d like to visit every continent before I turn 41. So far I have been to 36 of 50 states (14 left! Woot!) and…one continent. But I’ve visited both Canada and Mexico! I’ve got North America COVERED!
Question: How do you get such good deals on airline tickets? From Sarakastic.
Answer: I am always looking for airline tickets, which helps to find the deals. I get email alerts from Delta and Southwest and every so often from Kayak for certain destinations. That all sounds lovely, but that’s not really my secret. I will buy tickets when I see a good price, but I rarely wait for the Lowest Price Ever! I have a set amount that I set aside for travel from each paycheck, and if I get a hankering to go somewhere, or if I see a decent price (again, not necessarily rock bottom price, just affordable for that destination) I buy a ticket. I drive a clunky, paid-off car to be able to travel. I have made sacrifices to pay off my student loan so I have more funds to travel. It’s not nearly as glamorous as being able to give you the name of a travel agent who can always score you $79 flights into JFK or something, but it’s what I do and it’s been working out quite nicely for the last few years.
Question: Can you really pack an entire week’s worth of clothes and shoes and everything into a carry on?
Answer: Yes I can and do quite regularly. The key to this is rolling your clothes in outfits, making sure those outfits are interchangeable and any big pieces (jeans, jackets, shoes) are worn several times. I know many people wear ballet flats or slim shoes on the plane because they are easy to take off during security screenings. Here”s the thing, I’d rather take 2 extra minutes to put my heels back on (or boots, or whatever) and 5 extra minutes not to run through the airport and have that precious space in my carry on for something like scarves or my hair dryer or an extra sweater in case I change my mind one morning. I think my personal packing coup was for a trip to New York City I managed to fit an entire week’s worth of casual “about town” clothes and 6 dressier ensembles and their accompanying heels (for Broadway performances) into a carry on and purse. Yes, that’s right folks. I squeezed 13 outfits into a carry on. I rule!
I loathe checking luggage, and this was before airlines got away with charging two arms and a big toe to bounce your suitcase around, scruff it up and probably lose it in transit. I am always paranoid that I will arrive without my toothbrush and a fresh pair of underwears and something to wear the next day. I started packing an overnight carry-on, but then I lost my bag several times in a row and decided to just pack carry on for the rest of forever. I’ve got my toiletries down to a science and have always managed to squeeze everything I need into the space allotted (and anything that doesn’t fit goes into a giant purse.) With only one or two exceptions (i.e. suitcases packed to the limit with books), I have always travel with only a carry on.
Question: Any tips for traveling?
Answer: Always eat before you go to the airport. Take an empty water bottle and fill it up for your flight. Always, ALWAYS take a big snuggly scarf or pashmina as airplane A/C is merciless and you never know where those pillows and blankets have been. (Eww!) Wear comfortable clothe, but–unless you have a 14 hour flight–that does not mean “wear pajamas” or “wear leggings as pants.” You can wear real pants, and something not resembling an aerobics outfit circa 1997. Always bring a cardigan or jacket on the plane, and if you can throw in a few snacks as well you will be much happier. (Think apples, cheese and a baguette, or jerky, or trail mix, or whatever else tickles your fancy and won’t make you feel all gross and disgusting.) Pack a book or two. I am a forever fan of paper-and-ink books because I never have to turn them off or worry about the battery dying or freak out if they are stolen or misplaced, but that’s just me.
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