Travel Talk! My ABCs

I saw Kaelene do this, and loved the idea.
And I've been away from travel-land and into London-land lately, so why not reminisce a bit
on some of the greatest experiences of my life.

A) Age you went on your first international trip:
I'm going to NOT count going to Mexico/The Caribbean with my family growing up,
so my 'real' international trip was at age 20 when I did my study abroad semester in London.
I mean, it was an alright trip - London's pretty decent..

B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
Terribly cheap when it comes to beer, so I'll definitely say the Hofbräu Original in Munich, Germany.
The mix of the deliciousness, the fact it was a whole liter to enjoy, along with the atmosphere of the beer garden - 
Yup. Definitely my favorite.

C) Cuisine (favorite):
Is this a real question?
Gelato, pizza, spaghetti, wine - give me it all.

D) Destinations–favorite, least favorite, and why?:
 These questions are a killer - how am I to choose one?
Every place I've been to has been absolutely amazing,
but if you're MAKING ME choose one,
I'd obviously have to go with Liverpool -
I've never connected with a place so much.
I mean, I dedicated an entire post to why it's the greatest city in the world..

Least Favorite: 
Naples, Italy.
I know I know, it's gorgeous there, etc. etc. etc.
When Heather and I made it, though, we were in the absolute wrong area for enjoyment.
There was nothing around but cheap shops, and there was no way to get to the coast and see the water.
Terrible location choice on our part - I'd love to go back and give it a second chance.

E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
I was not expecting the trip at all.
I have never seen views like I did there.
It was the most incredibly visualizing experience I have ever had in my life.
Even now, I'm still remembering the weekend and saying
'Wooooooowowowoow that was gorgeous'

F) Favorite mode of transportation:
Come on now. Walking!
Why would you ever want to travel somewhere and NOT scout it out on your own two feet?
A trip wasted if you're spending it in a bus or underground.

G) Greatest feeling while traveling:
Realizing where you are.
I can't tell you how many times we've been somewhere and I've said to Heather,
"Do you realize we are in *ENTER CITY*??!!
Like, really. We are in *ENTER CITY*.
How weird is this? This is our lives right now."
When you take that moment and think about your life and what you are doing with it.
Such a surreal feeling - the absolute greatest.

H) Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:
Hmmmm - probably Cinque Terre, Italy.
But I blame half of that because it was hot,
and half of that because we clearly had no idea how to prepare for hiking 5 miles of hills...
Hot and dumb, basically.

I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
Speaking of Cinque Terre, that's the answer to this question as well.
We splurged and stayed at the cutest hotel in the village of Monterosso - Hotel Porto Roca.
Located on a cliff of the village with a breathtaking view of the ocean,
the entire hotel was full of antique furniture and decor,
and the staff was more that ready to help with whtaever we needed - even if it was sandwiches at 10PM. Thanks again for that..

J) Journey that took the longest:
Well, there was this one time that Heather and I jumped on a German workers train on accident..
The trip was only about three hours, but between not knowing where we were headed and the scantily clad German men yelling that we were going to be arrested - it was the longest. trip. EVER.

K) Keepsake from your travels: 
I wanted to have some type of memory from every place we visited,
and I'm not really the shot-glass collector type.
Instead, I found local vendors selling their art on the streets and bought from them.
I came home with a drawing, painting, or mosaic from every city and hung it on my walls.
It didn't help with the travel-sickness I felt, but it was great to still be able to surround myself with these places.

L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
Same as my least favorite - Naples.
Majority of my blame is on us for not knowing how or where to choose to stay,
but it was the biggest let-down of the semester. So unfortunate.

M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
Ah, my first trip out of London!
We had a week off of classes in February, and decided to cram Prague and Paris into six days.
Such a quick and thrilling trip to both - I think we walked 20 miles between the two cities.
It was getting back to our flat and hitting the floor in a mix of happiness and exhaustion when I just knew this life was meant for me.

N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Well - my travels aren't known for their luxury.
Hostels, hostels, and more hostels have made up the majority of my accommodations,
but I absolutely love hostel life, so that's exactly how I wanted it to be.
So I'll go back to the splurge of the century when we were in Cinque Terre in Hotel Porto Roca.
It was absolutely the nicest place, with the nicest view.
Will be going back in about 20 years when I can afford it again..

O) Obsession–what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
I love a great building with a blue-sky backdrop.
Something about the way it looks on a clear sky is just so beautiful to me,
and the photographs turn out just stunning.

P) Passport stamps-how many and from where?:
Literally just pulled out my passport for this.
Prague, Paris, Dublin, More Paris, The Bahamas, Munich, Italy airport stamps, student stamps, and this one time my flight from London was diverted and we landed in Moncton, Canada.
That was fun.

Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
Hm. This is a tough one for me.
Does St. Paddy's Day in Dublin count? That was quirky all over ... and green. Very green.
So were we.

R) Really Frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy? 
Luckily, Heather and I have both felt and been very safe in all of our travels - even when we were careless.
The only place that ever made me uncomfortable was Paris - walking home one night, a guy followed up and went all the way to putting his hands on Heather's neck. It didn't go any farther than that, and we got away from him, but proooobably the worst moment of our entire time abroad.

S) Splurge-something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
Food! It's so amazing to try all of the dishes from different cultures.
And it's delicious - YUM.

T) Touristy thing you’ve done: 
One time Heather and I took photos with a dress up Roman soldier in front of the Pantheon.
Well, we were conned into it. 
It was all fun and games until he ended with 'FIVE EURO NOW'

U) Unforgettable travel memory:
The mini-backpack trip we took through Switzerland to Germany to Italy to Scotland counts as one, right?
There are so many amazing memories, I don't know how to narrow it down.
Riding on freight trains, sleeping on the street, almost being talked into skydiving with an Australian, singing in the most famous club in the world, drinking games through Dublin on St. Paddy's, eating pizza by the ocean in Italy, dancing through the original Hofbrauhaus with the friends I made 20 minutes prior.
There are too many - and THAT, is why travel is amazing.

V) Visas-how many and for where?:
Two - one for my study abroad semester in London, and one for my master's degree in London.
Clearly there's a lot of London love over here - if you haven't noticed already...

W) Wine–best glass while traveling:
Wine didn't grow on me until the year after I came back from abroad, but I do know that the best glass I did have was in Italy - OF COURSE.
Does it get better than wine in Italy??

X) eXcellent view and from where?:
Scotland - like I said above. WOW.
I don't really know how else to explain it but that I was utterly speechless.

Y) Years spent traveling:
I guess I can say three now!
Starting with my study abroad semester through Europe, then coming back home to Ohio,
taking a job up to Massachusetts, spending a month in London, moving down to Florida,
and then finally moving to London.
I feel like I haven't settled in quite some time!

Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
The UK-UL college rivalry will always be my favorite.
The greatest energy, the most annoying fans, and all in my home state.

Trying to get into football over here too - and I'll tell everyone I'm a Liverpool fan.
Come on - did you expect anything else?

Tell me one of your ABC answers!


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