I found this nice travel questionnaire on a blog I really like, A new life wandering by Mani, and decided to try it myself. Feel free to share this fun questionnaire ans keep spreading it. It’s such a nice way to get personal and share nice stories. So here’s my A to Z of travel.
A) Age you went on your first international trip:
Two, when my parents took me to meet the family in Poland for the first time. Although it’s possible that my parents took me to France before that – among the perks of living not too far from a border there is the fact that “abroad” is just a short drive away 🙂
B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
Earlier this year I had an oatmeal stout in Poland that stole my heart, but I don’t recall its name. I also remember with pleasure drinking many great beers while in Canada, but I was randomly trying so many I – again – don’t know the names.
C) Cuisine (favorite):
Italian. Just… I know. That was easy.
D) Destinations–favorite, least favorite, and why?:
Favourite: Norway. I can never get enough of Norway. The south, the north, I love all of it.The most beautiful country I’ve been to, so far.
Least favourite: hmm… I am the kind of person that sees the beauty everywhere, so it’s a bit hard to find a destination I haven’t liked at all. If I have to say something, maybe Germany. Although it does have many wonderful cities, I find it a bit repetitive.
E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
My first midnight sun in Norway. My first northern lights in Sweden. Spotting dolphins from a boat in the orange light of the sunset off the coast of New Jersey. The 2009 Nightwish concert in Helsinki.
F) Favorite mode of transportation:
Car, front passenger seat.
G) Greatest feeling while traveling:
Especially when I’m flying: the moment when the plane touches down and I suddenly realize that a new adventure is about to unfold! This is when I get really hyped up. Also, spending time in airports. I love that.
H) Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:
Southern Spain. Although I have experienced hotter temperatures in the summer, even in Italy, that was the second half of October and in Sevilla the temperature was over +30°C.
I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
Once, in Norway, my night train was canceled and not only was I rebooked for free even if travelling on a non-rebookable ticket, but since the next train was on the following day, I was even reserved a hotel room to spend the night layover at. For free! Now that’s excellent customer service (how can I not love Norway?)!
J) Journey that took the longest:
Evening flight Krakow-Trondheim, night at the airport, day-long bus ride Trondheim-Bodø, night in Bodø, ferry Bodø-Moskenes: it took me two days to get from Poland to the Lofoten islands because my trip had been disrupted by works on the railroads and an airline strike in Norway. But in the end I got there and the whole journey there made me really feel and understand the sense of distance and travel, even within the small continent that Europe is.
K) Keepsake from your travels:
Shot glasses. And I print photos from my travels, so I have those big photo albums with all the memories from my travels, photos, tickets, random stuff…
L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
I was a bit disappointed with Prague and I’m sorry about it. I had dreamed of seeing the Charles Bridge like in the pictures, and when I went there I had to battle with the hordes of tourists walking on it. The city in the summer is swarmed with people. I had to go out in the early morning to manage to take some photos with less people in them. Such a destination in the peak of high season was a big mistake and unfortunately this stopped me from enjoying it properly. But the beer was excellent!
M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
On my trip to Copenhagen with the girls I met at the university of Oslo. I understood what studying abroad is all about (apart from the actual studying).
N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
I have stayed in a couple of really cosy hostels, in Norway and Slovenia. And I have also spent one night once in a renaissance farmhouse in Tuscany, also very pretty.
O) Obsession–what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
Blue skies, reflections in the water, local food.
P) Passport stamps-how many and from where?:
Not so many, as I mostly travel around Europe, so I don’t even travel with my passport. On my passport I have only stamps from Canada, USA and Georgia.
Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
I don’t know, really…
R) Really Frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
After a concert in Milan I spent the night in front of the main train station, probably the most unsafe place in the whole town. I thought I’d manage to get inside the station, where I had planned to sleep before catching my cheap morning train back home, but I arrived too late and found it already closed. I was really afraid of being robbed or worse, there were many scary people around in the night hours. I felt safe only because I was not alone, but all of us were a bit unsettled considering the bad bad reputation that place has at night. In the end we settled on the sidewalk in front of a 4-star hotel nearby – it had security cameras outside so we thought it was the safest place to stay waiting for the station to re-open. But the concert had been amazing and wirth the frightening night.
S) Splurge-something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
Food. I spent 60 € once for a dinner in Stockholm, when the flight had cost me only 1 (yes, euro. Yes, Ryanair).
T) Touristy thing you’ve done:
I went up the CN Tower in Toronto and the Empire State Building in NY. Well, my first time in New York I had to cover it all: Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty…
U) Unforgettable travel memory:
My trip to San Francisco by myself, all the walking I did on those steep streets, and the colours of the spring there.
V) Visas-how many and for where?:
None, really. Luckily with my passport I was able to travel visa-free to the countries outside of Europe I visited. I just got my tourist-visa stamps on the passport, but I did not need to apply for a visa in advance to travel to Canada, the US or Georgia.
W) Wine–best glass while traveling:
I just can’t answer. I had excellent wine in France, Hungary and Georgia, but I’ve tasted so many good wines in Italy that it’s hard to beat that.
X) Excellent view and from where?
From the Bygdøy peninsula: my favourite spot for the sunset in Oslo.
Y) Years spent traveling:
Between the ages of 2 and 20 I used to spend a month a year in Poland, summed up that’s one year and a half. Later in my life I even moved there to work, and stayed a little over two consecutive years. I did a semester in Norway for my Erasmus, plus other six months between Canada and the US for an internship and travel. Now I’ve been living in Sweden for over a year. So just that accounts for about 5 years and a half. Counting one month and a half my first time in America, three weeks in Spain, two in Germany and all the times I went back to Norway every time for a week, I guess I total to about six years abroad. Most of the time, living abroad.
Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
I’m so not into sports I’m almost ashamed of saying so. But it was cool to live in Poland when they hosted the FIFA Euro Cup back in 2012, even if I was not living in one of the host cities it was fun. Same goes for the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, it was fun to live there during such an event, and back then I even tried the experience of being an olympic volunteer. Beautiful! I’m not sporty, but I love it when sport brings people together.