When I started this Remote Year, I thought that I would be frequently blogging my experiences, keeping everyone updated on my travels. I also thought I would still be working at my job, and returning to the States at the end. It’s amazing how much can change in a year.
In an effort to reignite my blogging efforts, I’m going to start by trying to simply capture my travel life so far, borrowing from a post by Thirty30Courtney
A: Age you went on your first international trip: 26. I took a trip to Toronto for a conference.
B: Best foreign beer you’ve had and where: I’ve had so many great beers while traveling, it’s nearly impossible to choose. One of my favorites that comes to mind is my first Hofbrau at Oktoberfest. It’s so good that even my domestic beer loving uncle became a fan.
C: Cuisine [favorite]: Thai, hands down. So many flavors.
D: Destinations: Favorite– Spain (Malaga, Barcelona, Sevilla and Cadiz)
Least Favorite – Belgrade. I still had a good time but there has to be a least favorite.
E: Experience that made you say wow: Riding the Death Road in Bolivia. Tearing down that 15,000 foot descending tiny rocky road on a mountain bike was sheer joy!
F: Favorite mode of transportation: Train. Despite the constant delays and occasional fire (I’m looking at you, Amtrak), I still love riding the rails.
G: Greatest Feeling While Traveling: Freedom. It’s the reason why I do it.
H: Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to: Kuala Lumpur has been the hottest in my international travel but it’s still not as bad as Miami/New Orleans/Atlanta
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced: Home cooking class and dinner in Montevideo
J: Journey that took the longest: Tie – Cusco, Peru to London/Split, Croatia to Kuala Lumpur. The second was had a long layover in Doha, Qatar so I was able to go into the city and do a little exploring/eat.
K: Keepsake from your travels: I tend to keep money from different countries that I’ve visited. Not big bills but I find the difference in currency interesting. (On that note: Brits, cut it out with the arbitrary coin sizes! You’re better than that)
L: Let-down sight, where & why: While I definitely like some places more than others, there hasn’t been a let-down sight for me yet. The most underwhelming has to be the Sistine Chapel. As a counter, I had much more fun in Croatia than I imagined I would.
M: Moment when you fell in love with travel: My first trip to Europe. I went with no real plans other than visiting a friend in London, seeing an exhibit in Glasgow and going to the French Open. I ended up staying 3 weeks and had some of the best experiences of my life. From there, I was hooked.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed at: Poshness is wasted on me but I once got a free upgrade to a suite at the Beau Rivage for a poker tournament. The room was massive and for one night I felt like a whale.
O: Obsession:– what do you take photos of while traveling: Great street art and small streets always catches my eye.
P: Passport stamps:– how many & from where: 24 (not counting duplicate entries) – Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, The Netherlands, The Vatican, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, Singapore, Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: Not sure it qualifies but the Witches Market in La Paz had some oddities.
R: Really frightening- a place where you felt unsafe or uneasy: The bus ride to our hotel after riding the Death Road. That was far scarier than riding the bike.
S: Splurge- something you have no problem spending on while traveling: Food and drink. One of my favorite parts of traveling is trying new dishes and libations. Thankfully, the best stuff is typically not expensive but I’m willing to spend if its a great experience.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Hop on/Hop off bus tour in Barcelona. Turned out to be a great to get a lay of the land.
U: Unforgettable Travel Memory: Portugal Road Trip with my roommates in Malaga, Spain. 5 guys crammed into a tiny car. We had no itinerary but one goal: get to Lisbon. Along the way, we shared stories about our lives, partied, ate great food, slept on the beach, clubbed all night to avoid getting a hostel.
V: Visas- how many and for where: 1 visa for Bolivia. 2 more upcoming for Thailand and Vietnam
W: Wine- Best taste of wine while traveling and where?: Malbec in Argentina is my new favorite.
X: eXcellent view: 3 day hike to Machu Picchu had some of the most incredible views I’ve ever witnessed. I highly recommend taking a few days to go through the mountains before arriving at the city.
Y: Years Spent Traveling: 18
Z: Zealous sports fans and where: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, Manchester United