Hello Wanderers! Thought I would do something different in this post. I have been travel blogging for years and many of your know I take other like-minded travelers to my favorite places. After 2 years, I decided to invite my friend Leigh to become part of the Big Fat World Experience. She brings a different cache and style to travel that I absolutely love. I want to introduce her to all of you! We thought we would answer a couple questions about our unique styles and travel perspectives . For our full travel bio’s —-> please click right here.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE AND WHY?
I define favorite as a place I can go to over and over again and is easy to get to. Currently, that place is Iceland. I have been there more than 6 times and I have yet to be bored. Reykjavik is a vibrant capital city and the landscape is unforgettable. Most visitors stick to the Southeast corner, where Reykjavik is, but there is so much more to explore like Akureyri in the North and the Western Fjords.
My favorite place is wherever I am traveling at the moment! When not traveling, my top 3 cities have been Edinburgh, Capetown and Paris. Edinburgh, besides being a beautiful city, is divided into two cities – medieval and “modern” New Town. With castles galore, old streets and fringe culture, Edinburgh retains a funky vibe. Capetown, a dynamic and colorful city, possesses gorgeous natural beauty, award winning wine regions and a bustling international port. There truly is something for everyone there. And finally, my love, Paris, where I keep returning time after time. Paris is timeless, romantic, and charming.
NAME A BUCKET LIST COUNTRY YOU’LL DO IN THE NEXT 12-24 MONTHS
I am very excited about countries that are under visited by Americans, so the top on my list currently are Argentina, Bosnia and everything in that region including Montenegro and Albania plus Tansania.
New Zealand beckons me with its beauty, wildness, and friendly people. Ever since I saw Whale Rider, a movie about a brave Maori girl, New Zealand taunts and enchants me from afar. From jaw dropping vistas to pastoral views, this country offers adventure and awe to anyone aspiring to visit.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCES? WHAT DID IT TEACH YOU?
I can regale stories of getting kicked off trains in Germany, sleeping in train stations in Slovenia, having my hotel burn down in Austria or being propositioned in India but bad travel experiences come down to how I feel about a country and whether or not I would return to it again given the choice. Many would put India on that list, but I have grown to love this place for many of the same reasons others hate it. One country that I visited a couple years ago and have no desire to return is Belize. Nothing terrible happened on the trip and I know lots of people love this place, but I was left with a meh feeling. Some places agree with you and others don’t.
You know how they say patience is a virtue? So is kindness and candor. Due to multiple delays, I realized I would miss my connecting flight between Dublin and Malaga, Spain. The flight attendant assured me there were several flights,but upon landing, they booked me on a flight arriving in Malaga at 9 p.m., three hours after my sailing ship was due to leave port. Scrambling, I did my own research and found an earlier flight on another airline and convinced the kind and helpful gate agent to get me on that flight. I ultimately made it to the ship and enjoyed one of the top travel experiences of my life. Besides patience, I always recommend advocating for yourself.
WHAT KIND OF TRAVELER ARE YOU?
I have to admit that I am not much of a heavy planner when I go somewhere new. Yes, I do some research on things to do and the best local food but I am not an over scheduler. I usually know that I will go back to this place again in the future. My aim is to get a feel for the place and let the place tell me what I should do. It was this approach to Croatia where I learned about it’s wine and why I decided to start doing wine trips. Of all my reading on the country before I left, no one mentioned the wine.
Breaking it down to the simplest definition, my philosophy is to explore the world and have memorable experiences that stay with me for my lifetime. Traveling also allows me to create a patchwork of memories to go to in my mind during the doldrums of daily life. I love to rediscover my favorite places in unique ways and always include new cities or regions to explore.3