Hi all. Quite a while back now Cristina from 1000 Places and Memories nominated me for the ‘Outstanding Blogger Award’. Yes, I am slack but I have finally gotten around to answering her questions. A HUGE thanks to her for nominating me and coming up with seven questions. I’m not sure who I would nominate because I follow a lot of brilliant blogs and I think most if not all of them have been nominated already. So I am just going to leave my answers here for you!
- What is one thing you would like to see/visit/do at least once in your life?
An interesting question because this changes depending on whether I get to that place or not! But I guess one dream I have is to see the gorillas in Rwanda or Congo one day.
- When traveling, what was your biggest cultural shock or “oh wow – this culture is so different from mine” moment?
I think when I first hit India back in 1999, I was walking around people sleeping in the street, I arrived late at night, it was all very overwhelming. In fact just arriving at Delhi Airport – when I left there were hundreds of people packed outside waiting for people, in the middle of the night. I also found my first time in West Africa to be a shock to the system, but that was more just me rather than anything specific about where I was.
- Is there something that you saw in another country that you wish could be in yours (it can be anything: objects, food, nature, etc.)?
The 7 Days Croissant is a brilliant invention and found through East Europe. We must import it! Also here in Victoria we could do with more rain, it’s a pretty dry state and I’ve seen some serious rain when travelling (Cameroon springs to mind) and I love being inside and listening to the rain hitting the roof. Australia is so lucky to have so many kinds of cuisine here I don’t think there’s a food really that I had overseas we can’t have here. Oh I know – I WISH we had high-speed rail transport, that would be amazing and we could really reduce our need to fly.
- How do you plan your holidays – if you plan them at all?
Obsessively and with coloured spreadsheets! That’s nowadays of course, back when I started travelling I didn’t actually plan much other than flights. I didn’t prebook accommodation or trains/internal travel. I kinda miss that way of travel. I don’t know if I could do that these days though! Having said that I am really into my spreadsheets and colour-coordinating itineraries now! Sadly I find it a lot of fun!
- When the pandemic is over, you are granted a whole month off from work/studying. What would you do?
Oh my. Well, I want to do a big overland adventure, but I’m keeping quite on any specifics on that because I don’t know if and when it will be possible. But, a whole month is not going to be nearly enough!
- Tell us about one interesting person you met when traveling, even if you only met them very briefly.
Wow. This is a hard one, I have met so many interesting people whilst travelling. In 2019 I met Gino Pop, a Romanian who was travelling in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, the same time as I was. He’s a great guy with an amazing YouTube Channel and when he was in Australia in early 2020, before you know what started, we met up and travelled the Great Ocean Road. He’s been to a number of awesome African countries in the last 12 months including Sao Tome and Principe and he’s the first traveller I ever met using a drone and he gets some amazing high standard footage.
I have made a number of friends whilst travelling that I have been so blessed to meet. I’ve met some other interesting people – I met a Polish girl back in 2006 called Kinga, travelling West Africa who had no time for visas and travelling completely to her own beat. I learnt later that she had contracted malaria a few months after I met her and passed away.
- A high school student from your town wants to take a gap year to travel before starting university. Where would you tell them to go? Why?
Oh I have no idea! I would say maybe go to India. You’ll be challenged, you’ll be shocked, you’ll see colour and splendour and the very opposites to those things in equal measure, and you’ll never be the same. And you’ll learn about the world and about yourself. Nobody returns from India without changing at least a little bit!
Thanks so much to Cristina for these great questions. Thanks for reading and May the Journey Never End!