It's my pleasure to introduce you to Jennine from Travelaholic Anonymous. She's here to tell us all about her globetrotting experiences! Enjoy.
Thanks for agreeing to be my interviewee today, Jennine. First question: If you had to pick just one, what is the best country/city you've visited and why?
As a "travelaholic" it's very difficult to pick just one place as my favorite, but if I have to pick just one I would have to say Santorini, Greece. It was so beautiful with its black sand beaches and white washed buildings. I also love Greek food, so that was a big plus as well.
Is there anywhere you haven't been that you're desperate to visit?
I haven't done much traveling in Central or South America, and I really want to see that part of the world. Recently I have gotten the bug to travel to Costa Rica. I would love to explore the rain forests and relax in the natural hot springs.
Do you always sample the local food and culture in a new country?
Definitely! That's half the fun for me. I can't say that I've loved every new food I've tried, but it's another part of the adventure.
Where was your biggest culture shock?
I think that living and studying in Spain was my biggest culture shock. Spain isn't that "foreign" of a place, but it was the first place I traveled to outside of the United States. I was a sophomore in college, and I jumped into a program in a new country where the language was not my first. It was tough at first, but one of the best experiences of my life!
What's the most unusual thing/event you've experienced while travelling?
I don't think I've seen all that many unusual things in my travels, or I've just gotten so used to unusual that it doesn't phase me. One thing that stands out in my mind was the first time I traveled to London I was staying in a hostel and making dinner. On the burner next to the one I was using some other hostel guests were cooking "mushrooms" to make "tea" as they were telling a friend and I about being deported from several countries. Not all that unusual, but at that point I hadn't really seen people cooking up drugs on a hostel stove.
What is your one travel essential?
A good attitude. That's obviously not a tangible item, but I couldn't think of one single other thing that I would consider essential. My first thought when I read the question was a camera, but pictures never do the sights justice anyway. The best pictures are your memories.
And finally...any tips for inexperienced travellers?
Do your homework. Figure out what the weather is generally like, what local customs you should be aware of, if there are any health or safety risks, etc. This will help you pack the things you need and be prepared for what you might experience.
My other big tip is to pack light! I am definitely guilty of being an over packer. I always want a bunch of outfit choices because I never know what situation I'll find myself in while traveling, but after hauling heavy suitcases through airports, train stations, and city streets I decided I can live without 3/4 of the junk I would cram into my suitcase. Plus, if you limit what you pack you can always buy a cool new outfit and have a story to tell about where you got it from.