My travel ABCs

Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka
Glorious autumn morning on Lake Wanaka

A big thank you to ‘Once in a Lifetime Travel‘ for giving me this idea.

A: Age you went on your first international trip:

10 months old on a plane to New Zealand, we ended up staying for two years.

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:

I don’t really like beer but I did enjoy a Radler on the top of a snow capped mountain near Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

C: Cuisine (favorite):

Definitely Italian

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:

I love, love, love Italy and would really like to see more of France, Germany and the Netherlands. European art and architecture has fascinated me since studying art in school and being surround by so much history blows me away, plus I love the food. New Zealand is also one of my favourites, beautiful scenery, great food and a bit closer to home so easy (and cheap) to visit.

Least favorite was Los Angeles, Disneyland and Universal Studios were fun but the food was ordinary and it just seemed a little grotty but it was a long time ago and we were not there for long.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:

Being in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and listening to the angelic voices of a children’s choir, magical experience.

F: Favorite mode of transportation:

Trains and planes for longer distances.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling:

Waking up on that very first morning on an overseas holiday and remembering that I’m in another country.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:

No place has been hotter than where I live (yet), temperatures have risen to 44 degrees Celsius in summer. The closest would have to be Rome in summer 12 years ago.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:

B&B Villa Degli Ulivi in Orvieto and the Zeppelin restaurant in Orvieto, we were well looked after, given wonderful advice and served delicious food.

J: Journey that took the longest:

The flight from Brisbane to Paris via Dubai, roughly 27 hours.

K: Keepsake from your travels:

Colourful prints from an American artist living in Amsterdam and also the silver charms I collected along the way, each one representing the area we visited.

L: Let-down sight, why and where:

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy. Too many pushy hawkers selling crappy souvenirs, apparently we should have gone into Pisa as well and not just visited the Leaning Tower.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:

I was about 13 and leaning over the fence on my Grandparents farm in New Zealand, looking at the green rolling hills dotted by sheep and ducks, the air was pure and fresh and I said to my cousin ‘I can’t believe we’re in another country’.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:

Sheraton Mirage on the Gold Coast in Queensland, fabulous place to stay and thankfully that one night was paid for by work.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:

It is more a question of ‘what am I not taking photos of while travelling’? I take photos of interesting doors, flowers, signs on shopfronts, dogs, people with dogs, our hotel rooms (including bathroom) and the view from the window.

Patient dog waiting for his master outside the butcher shop
Patient dog waiting for his master outside the butcher shop

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?

Very few now that they don’t stamp passports in Europe – England, New Zealand and United States are the ones I remember best.

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome.

R: Recommended sight, event or experience:

A cooking class in Florence and riding Icelandic ponies in Sweden.
S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:

Italian leather jackets from Florence, so soft and warm although not terribly suited to our short winters.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done:

Tour of the Tower of London, great fun.

U: Unforgettable travel memory:

Travelling around Europe with my husband for 8 weeks, 4 of which were spent in Italy. Such a fabulous holiday and one I could happily repeat every year.

V: Visas, how many and for where?

Only ever had one for the US.

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?

A couple of glasses of Orvieto Classico outside a bar in Orvieto, we met a couple of Brazilian ladies and spent two hours chatting and laughing with them.

X: eXcellent view and from where?:

Flying over the centre of Australia as the sun was setting, spectacular!

Y: Years spent traveling?:

All my life but not as often as I would like with most trips being to New Zealand.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:

I know they exist but the closest I have gotten to them was a the Rugby World Cup in Australia, a Samoan supporter dived on the ball as the South African playing was about to kick for goal, he was knocked out, taken to hospital and banned for life.

Pienza Pecorino cheese shop
Pienza Pecorino cheese shop