Tag Tuesday: The Travel Tag

I’m making this a regular thing now.

Today I’ve actually combined questions from three travel tags I found on the internet.  I figured this was a fitting tag to do seeing as I’ve currently travelling and, as the name of my blog suggests, I’m a bit of a wanderer.

  1. Where are you from in the world?
    Australia.  Melbourne, to be exact. Although I live in Adelaide.
  2. How many countries have you been to? When/where? 
    I’ve been to nine countries (ten if you count Scotland as separate to England, eleven if you count Australia).
    – China: Beijing & Shanghai (April 2008)
    – New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington, South Island, Christchurch (December 2013, August 2015)
    – UK: Too many places to name (July 2014, January-July 2015, January-February 2016)
    – Germany: Bonn, Passau, Munich, Berlin (June 2015)
    – Austria: Linz (June 2015)
    – Italy: Lake Como (Perledo), Venice, Milan (June 2015)
    – Czech Republic: Prague (June 2015)
    – The Netherlands: Amsterdam (June 2015)
    – Singapore (November-December 2015)
  3. Favourite city or country you’ve visited?
    I don’t know if I can pick just one! Edinburgh, obviously.  Wellington.  Prague.  Venice. Amsterdam. They’re my top 5.
  4. Where is somewhere you’d like to travel to?
    So many places omg. My top five right now are probably Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Austria (properly, not just one city for one afternoon), and Russia. I’d also love to go back to Northern Italy!
  5. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
    A bit of both.  I love exploring new places because there are simply so many I’d love to visit, but there are also places I’ve either returned to, or plan on returning to (Edinburgh, Wellington, Venice, Prague…)
  6. Favourite landmark you have visited?
    Ummm…I genuinely don’t know. I love Edinburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle and Bamburgh Castle. Maybe the Grand Canal in Venice? That was awesome.
  7. Most memorable experience abroad?
    It wasn’t memorable in a great way, but when I was in China with my school in 2008 I had an asthma attack thingy on the Great Wall and I couldn’t breathe, so two of the older guys had to carry me down. And that’s how I met A. No, it’s not at all cute.  It was bloody memorable though!
  8. Best item you’ve purchased abroad?
    I feel like I’m supposed to say something expensive, and whilst I haven’t treated myself to a few beautiful purchases whilst travelling, they’re not my favourites.  My favourite would have to be my Venetian mask (from Venice, duh).  I’d always wanted a mask with sheet music on it, and last year I finally bought one!
  9. Your most treasured passport stamp?
    Honestly, I don’t have that many passport stamps.  When you’re travelling through the EU by train they don’t really stamp your passport, and I use electronic gates in Aus/NZ so I don’t have stamps there.  Probably my most recent UK stamp, because I legitimately thought they weren’t going to let me in…
  10. Can you recite your passport number from memory?
    Yup. I won’t, because I’m not an idiot, but yup.
  11. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains, buses, or cars?
    Trains, then planes.  If you’re travelling in Europe, catch trains wherever possible.  They’re not super expensive, you can get Eurorail passes, and the scenery is BEAUTIFUL.  Otherwise flying. I HATE buses, and will avoid them at all costs, even if I have to pay more.
  12. Hostel or hotel?
    Hotels. Mostly because I’m a really independent person and I like the privacy of a hotel room.  I stayed in a few nice hostels in Europe that I’d really recommend though.  But on the whole, hotels. I also feel a lot safer as a solo female traveller staying in hotels.
  13. Top three travel items?
    – A mobile phone with a sim card that WORKS! I still don’t understand how so many people still don’t travel with working phones! I use mine for maps, to keep track of my money, and obviously to keep in contact with people. A PHONE PEOPLE. Also you can use them to take photos, which is good!
    – A handbag with a zip. Nothing makes you look more touristy than whipping out your tourist money holder bum bag and rummaging through it to find the right amount of money. Act like a local, blend in with a decent handbag that has a zip.  KEEP IT ZIPPED, and keep the closed zip facing towards the front so that you can hold onto it in crowded places.  Thankfully I’ve never had anything stolen whilst travelling, but I know people who have and it isn’t fun.  DON’T LEAVE YOUR BAGS OPEN!
    – A portable charger. The last thing you want is for your phone/camera/laptop/whatever to run out of battery whilst you’re taking a photo/looking up directions/looking for your booking confirmation/whatever. Probable chargers are SO tiny and relatively cheap these days, invest in one and actually carry it with you and recharge it.
  14. Do you research your destination (culture, history, safety, language) or wing it?
    I research. Particularly language-wise. It might just be me, but I feel really uncomfortable being somewhere when I can’t speak any of the language.  At least learning the basics (yes, no, hello, goodbye, please, thank you, how to order food, ‘do you speak English?’) is so useful, and makes you feel more comfortable.
  15. Are you currently saving for a trip?
    No because I’m currently on a trip.  When I get back I’ll start saving to move over to the UK next year, but I might also put aside some money for another trip later this year.
  16. What is your favourite accent?
    Probably Scottish, or British in general.  And Irish.  I just find them really comforting. I like hearing people speak in European languages, particularly Italian, Russian, and the Scandinavian languages, but that’s not an accent.
  17. You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no issue, where do you go?
    I fly to Edinburgh (obvs), spend some time there, then fly to Iceland, then to Norway and take a train from Bergen to Oslo, then travel to Denmark and Sweden, then down to Prague, then to Austria, then to Lake Como and to Venice, and then back to Edinburgh to my Old Town flat via Amsterdam. Can you tell I’ve thought this through?
  18. Where would you recommend a friend to visit?
    It depends. Obviously I tell everyone I meet to go to Edinburgh.  I’ve told a lot of people to visit Prague, and also to visit New Zealand (in fact I usually say visit NZ rather than Australia…sorry).  But obviously if they hate the cold I won’t say “go to Iceland” and if they hate the heat I wouldn’t say “COME TO AUSTRALIA IN SUMMER”.
  19. Advice for those who want to travel but think they can’t?
    You can. If you’re at uni, find a summer school or somewhere you want to go on exchange.  You can get a loan from the government to help pay, which really helps your travel costs.  Save a bit every week/month from your allowance/paycheck until you have enough to go.  If you’re in Australia, save up and fly to NZ or South East Asia, it’s close by, flights are cheaper, and in general it won’t be as expensive.  Travelling is heaps easier than people think, you just have to make it a priority.  Don’t buy that designer bag or that second cup of coffee on a Friday afternoon, save it up!
  20. Why do you travel?
    Because it makes me happy.  I’ve always been a bit of a wanderer (even though I hate change), and travel genuinely makes me happier than most other things. I feel the most at ease and the most ‘myself’ when I’m travelling, so why would I stop?

 

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