Jenny from Travel Adventure Discover recently nominated me for a fun Q&A about my travels. Thank you Jenny for nominating me, I had great fun answering these questions! 🙂 Check out her blog and follow her adventures in Europe and elsewhere.
A: Age you went on your first international trip
I was 13 and a half when I went to Japan through my school on a home stay program for 10 days. Each and everything about Japan completely blew me away. In fact that’d be a huge understatement. I was only 13 and I came from a poor country like Nepal and went to a highly advanced and modern country like Japan, it was enthralling, exciting and dream-like. I talk about some culture shocks I faced in Japan here and about my wanderlust that started very young here.
B: Best (foreign) beer
I was walking on the charming streets of Bruges, Belgium a few years ago with my friend and it was a hot August day. We sat on an open bar and we had chilled Belgian beers that tasted heavenly. There was also a local beer from Bruges area that had herbal ingredients. The other one was good old Leffe. They were both so good! Since then I buy Belgian beers here whenever I come across one in the supermarket.
C: Cuisine (favorite)
Stir-fry noodles! In fact any kind of noodles. Noodles (instant and stir-fry both) are popular snacks in Nepal and I grew up loving them. I can’t and will never deny a bowl of hot, spicy noodle soup no matter my appetite.
D: Destinations – favorite, least favorite, and why
This is very subjective – I will say my absolute favorite destination so far has been El Nido that is the entry point to Bacuit archipelago in the Philippines. It was perfect! Wild, tropical, blue crystal-clear waters and dreamy islands. I’ve fallen in love with many places I have visited (many of them in Europe) but it’s hard to top the impressions that unbelievably beautiful El Nido has left on me.
Least favorite – these are not because of the places themselves as I do realize many people loved visiting them. I have a separate blog post about that here if you’re interested. In short: Amsterdam, Athens, Morskie Oko but most them because of the weather, or circumstances.
E: Experience abroad that made you say “wow”
Scuba diving in the Philippines, hands down! 😀 .Read about that here.
That experience left me completely mesmerized and blown away to the point that I couldn’t believe if it was indeed real or a dream later that day. In fact I am doing an open water dive course here at Lodz and will get certified in a few weeks! 😉
F: Favourite mode of transportation
I’d have to say a car. It’s comfortable, you can sleep on it and since I am a new driver, I love driving. The only thing to not like about traveling by car are traffic jams. 😛
Of course renting a car and driving around is not easy at all places, so I use other means such as scooters or just local public transportation.
G: Greatest feeling while travelling
Last year during our epic motorbike trip across south eastern Europe, we were riding down the mountains in Montenegro having arrived into the country from Bosnia & Herzegovina. It was quite surreal as there seemed to be almost no human settlements on the mountains. Just a restaurant or a gas station occasionally, but no towns or houses. It was just dark mountains (aka “Montenegro”) all around you. As we were riding downhill, when we must have been about 1 hour away from Kotor, we came across this spectacular view of the Adriatic sea fully surrounded by flickering city lights. It was a magnificent sight and you could say that it was a view of the entire country!
H: Hottest place you’ve travelled to
Doha in Qatar, recently in June. I had one-day layover in Doha so I took the time to see the city. or so I thought. I had never experienced that kind of suffocating heat. Within minutes of being outside without AC, I felt extremely dehydrated and nauseated. A kind Nepali family that my aunt knew showed me around the city in their car, standing outside for even 10 minutes was just impossible. The temperature was close to 40 degrees.
I: Incredible photo you’ve taken and where
I think it’s a photo I took of a huge salt lake in Iran from the plane window. I love looking outside often whenever I am on the window seat and I was stunned as we started flying above this massive, incredible pink body of water. I checked the in-flight map and it showed that we were still in Iranian airspace. It looked unreal, and as soon as I landed in Warsaw, I googled to find out that the lake is called Urmia, and its pinkish color is due to excessive algae and bacteria on the water.
J: Journey that took the longest
Budapest to Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina) on motorbike last year during our road trip. It took close to 11.5 hours! and sitting on the back of the motorcycle for that long, you can imagine how stiff I was. We only had stops for petrol, one snack stop and short bathroom breaks. As soon as we entered Bosnia & Herzegovina, I put all my mind into enjoying the exotic beauty of the country. As we descended down the majestic mountains to reach Mostar, the scenery just got more and more interesting. Bosnia & Herzegovina is a scenic country and quite different from most EU countries. After we reached the apartment however, my body just wanted to crash into a long sleep but of course we went out for dinner and a little bit of sightseeing! 😀
K: Keepsake from your travels
I usually don’t buy anything big on my travels, just a few local items here and there if I like them. I’ve bought some colorful shorts from Sri Lanka, earrings in Mostar, cotton bag in Slovenia etc. But what I always buy without a miss are fridge magnets, you can say that I have a collection of fridge magnets. I don’t have them from everywhere because I started collecting them only two years ago, my fridge looks like this at the moment:
L: Let-down sight, why and where
I think it was the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark. I hadn’t imagined the statue to be actually so little! It’s nothing special; just a small mermaid statue at a seashore, yet there are hundreds of tourists flocking to see the statue every day. I loved the lovely seaside area however and it was very lively when I went. I think it was a let-down sight due to my own expectations.
M: Moment that you fell in love with travel
Probably my first snorkeling experience in Malta, I was so amazed to see the underwater world that I knew I wouldn’t just stop there. Traveling to the (clear, blue) sea is very important to me and I usually take 2-3 trips a year to the crystal clear sea where I can enjoy snorkeling, swimming etc.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in
It wasn’t a hotel actually. It was just an “adventurous” campsite near Port Barton in the Philippines. I wrote all about that here. It was a perfect stay right at the gorgeous, dream-like beach shared with just a dozen of other people who had their own tents. The stay included a comfy tent with a hard bed where you could actually stand inside, a nice patio with bamboo hammock and view of the incredibly spectacular sea and the beach at your doorstep. It was a perfect unplug from the daily life and I completely fell in love with the sea for the thousandth time!
O: Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while travelling?
Landscapes! or cityscapes, depending on where I am. I love them. If there’s a viewpoint that offers panoramic views of down below, I am not going to miss it.
P: Passport stamps – how many and where from?
Most of my travels have been within the Schengen zone in Europe. There are no border checks here so I have traveled around on the basis of my Polish(current) and Finnish (past) visas. I do have exit stamps from Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany etc. Besides that, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Turkey, China, Philippines, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Georgia, Qatar.
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where
I don’t think I have any. Unusual might be Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum that I visited in Copenhagen. I loved it!
R: Recommended sight, event or experience
I’d say my top recommended experience is island hopping in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines should you ever find yourself there. Without the island hopping tours, you will miss out on a lot as El Nido is just a small, noisy town. Island hopping tours will take you to the most beautiful tropical islands that you can think of 😉
S: Splurge – something you have no problem forking out for while travelling
Water activities e.g island hopping, scuba diving, water sports etc. I have no problems forking out money on such experiences.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower with a camera in hand! It was December when we visited so there weren’t that many people. But I think that is the most touristy thing that I’ve ever done. It was worth it however. 🙂 Some things are very touristy due to good reasons.
U: Unforgettable travel memory
Oh there are lots! Recently I did scuba diving with my younger sister while in Malaysia and I think it’s the most unforgettable travel memory for both of us. She did very well and enjoyed it immensely! It was so special diving with my sister (who I don’t get to see very often) and enjoying the underwater world. It was her first time, so that makes it even more memorable.
V: Visas – how many and where for?
Same as passport stamps. Student visa for Finland, working visa for Poland, visit visa for other countries like Turkey, China, Philippines, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Georgia, Qatar.
W: Wine – best glass of wine while travelling and where
I am not big on wines. In fact I don’t remember drinking wine all that often when traveling. I am more keen on beers. We had a very good, cheap bottle of wine at a beautiful beach in Malta, that must have been my best while traveling. Also, some Georgian red wine with friends while playing cards – Georgian wine is great and underrated.
X: Xcellent view
Balos lagoon in Crete, Greece! One of the best I’ve seen. So wild, so beautiful, so fascinating.
Y: Years spent travelling
I’d say 6 in total, but more seriously the last 3. I’ve never done long-term travel though. Since I was a student before and now have a full-time job, I travel for short duration to different places.
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?
I am not big on watching sports. An experience that stands out is probably Poland-Portugal football match during Euro Cup 2016 last year at a pub here. The excitement was real! I was used to seeing Nepali fans cheering for other teams since we don’t have good national teams on any sport, but to see Polish fans cheering for their own countrymen was memorable. Poland actually did very well and reached until quarter-finals in a long, long time.
My nominees are:
A couple from India who live in Northampton. I have recently discovered her blog and have enjoyed reading about her adventures (and excellent writing) around Europe and other places.
Solo adventurer from the UK. She has been backpacking in Asia for several months now and is heading to my home country, Nepal soon! Excited to read about her adventures and her answers to these interesting questions.
Blogger from Ireland, who just like me works full-time but travels around Europe whenever she can. I’ve enjoyed reading her blog posts about Ireland and other places around Europe.
A Canadian couple with a very international background who travel around the world. We have a shared love for beaches! I love reading about their adventures, more recently with their toddler, around the world.