The ABCs of Travel – Reflections on a Wanderlusting Life

A favourite travel site Landlopers recently posted detailing Matt’s travelling life giving me cause for reflectionon my own wanderlusting. At the end he suggests that I should pull my finger out and do a similar post, a worthy challenge so here it is:

Wanderlusting; Sailing boat on the Greek Saronic island of Spetses on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

How I would love to travel

A: Age I went on my first international trip: Late to blossom as a traveller not making an overseas trip until I was seventeen. This was a skiing trip to Leysin, Switzerland with friends and not only fuelled my wanderlust but my love of adventure activities, snowsports in particular and drinking games. It is also the most drunk I have ever been, though not the last time!

B: Best (foreign) beer I’ve had and where: Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom so this one is easy peasy; Guinness.

C: Cuisine (favourite): The whole of Thailand is my favourite restaurant, especially street food which is awesome to search for and devour.

D: Destinations, favourite, least favourite and why: I have honestly thoroughly enjoyed everywhere so far visited; my favourite will always be the next to be explored.

E: Event I experienced abroad that made me say “wow”: So many occasions although probably think it more than say it, but every visit to the Himalaya has overflowed with “wow” factor!

F: Favourite mode of transportation: Preferring what can be done on my own two feet is my favourite; skiing around the World would be the choice if it was possible. I also imagine sailing a yacht would be pretty amazing too.

G: Greatest feeling while travelling: Whilst I have been lucky enough to have experienced some amazing travel, it is people that stand out in a destination. A homestay, visiting an indigenous tribe or getting invited to a local wedding all these can make any trip feel extra special.

H: Hottest place I’ve travelled to: The desert of Oman was pretty hot but the humid heat of a jungle is way more uncomfortable.

I: Incredible service I’ve experienced and where: My preference is for small family run places, restaurants or accommodation where the service is more personal. Being made to feel almost a part of the family in several homestays was an unbeatable feeling.

J: Journey that took the longest: Flying to the Falkland Islands by RAF Hercules, a Lockheed C-130 which took over thirty hours, so thankful for my hammock. Experiencing some slow travel by train or boat is what I really wish to try though.

Wanderlusting; Berber women enjoying conversation at Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech, Morocco on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Culture of character

K: Keepsake from your travels: Plenty but my favourite is a couple of small hand-painted pebbles, an aboriginal one from Australia and from a nunnery in Meteora, Greece which I carry with me in my pack.

L: Let-down sight, why and where: If I had to pick one it would be the Leaning Tower of you know where, just too clichéd with tourists taking the normal images and yes I did resist the temptation.

M: Moment I fell in love with travel: It was more of a gradual ‘dawning’ experience that sneaked up on me than a sudden “Eureka” moment, always been slow to catch on. Though it may have been Iceland a few years ago, after taking a ‘normal’ job that it finally hit home how much I missed it.

Wanderlusting; Road through the High Atlas of Morocco, North Africa on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Taking a road less travelled

N: Nicest hotel I’ve stayed in: As already mentioned I prefer small and intimate accommodation. A little place calledL’Oustal del Barry, Najac in the Aveyron region of France flicks all the right switches and has a gorgeous view of the castle too.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while travelling? People, I love taking beautiful images of the destination but it is the people that show the character of a place.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where? I have quite a few, though never counted them and do not intend to start now.

Q: Quirkiest attraction I’ve visited and where: The quirkiest one that I have NOT visited was the Penis Museum in Husavik, Iceland and it is not a decision I have ever regretted!

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Too many, the World is full of all three, what I would recommend is; if there is somewhere you want to visit, see or experience, don’t hold back, in the words of Nike “Just Do It”

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking out money for while travelling: Mojitos, always a great way to make new friends and enjoy a sunset.

Wanderlusting; Llamas grazing near a village in the French Pyrenees at the foot of the Pic du Midi on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Finding the unexpected

T: Touristy thing I’ve done: There is not any shame in doing ‘touristy’ things, there is a reason they are popular. Travelling on Switzerland’s Glacier Express and skiing at St Moritz as a guest of the Swiss Army probably tops my list however.

U: Unforgettable travel memory: Many more than passport stamps and much more important, but first glimpse of Everest probably overshadows the rest.

V: Visas, how many and for where? Like passport stamps not worth accounting for, I consider myself a traveller not a clerk. No offence meant to clerks!

W: Wine, best glass of wine while travelling and where? Loved a Petit Verdot in Australia but really the next glass of wine on the road is almost certainly going to taste extra special.

X: eXcellent view and from where?: Almost every destination has a fantastic view, but there is something special about a Himalayan giant that almost obscures the whole vista.

Y: Years spent travelling?: I have travelled many miles and along many roads, but my greatest hope is that there will be many more for me to travel.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: Supporters of the beautiful game everywhere are fanatical, Italians especially so and the Turkish almost dangerously so. I would love to witness how the attractive fans of Brazil worship their teams.

Wanderlusting; Peaks of the Val d'Azun in the French Pyrenees on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Maybe not the Himalaya but impressive anyway

It seems appropriate that I follow Matt’s example and suggest several of my own favourite travel site publishers to complete their ABCs of travel:

The Planet D
Wild About Travel
Starry-Eyed Travels
The Trip Chicks
Chicky Bus
Journeywoman

It is my hope one or two take up the challenge, their wanderlusting habits should provide some great reading, really worth reading.

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Comments 6

  1. Derek

    Fantastic article! Just reading it will inspire you to get out and live life! And you’ve definitely knocked back some nice and interesting places… I’m following in your footsteps now lol 😉

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      Iain

      Thanks Alexandra it was fun writing it and so glad you enjoyed it, let me know when you finish it, I’ll take a read through it.

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