My Travel ABC’s

by jenjenk on December 4, 2011

Debbie from European Travelista invited me to share my Travel ABC’s.  I was so excited by this invitation because these questions were things I actually knew the answer to…well for the most part.

A: Age you went on your first international trip: The first one I remember is when I was 4 years old and my mom took me to Japan to meet my Ojiichan [grandpa] for the first time.  I remember having to get vaccinations and how I howled in pain – Melodramatic then…melodramatic now. 

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: MMMM…honestly, it’s a toss up between the un-named beer I had in Salzburg and the multitudes of excellent beer I had in Belgium.  I had more variety of good beer in Belgium but I had the best pour in Salzburg.

C: Cuisine (favorite): Japanese. Italian. Greek. Turkish. French. Mexican. Chinese. Korean. Thai…*SIGH*…I love them alllllll.

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: Favorite is probably France. I just feel so comfortable in spite of the language barrier there – the food, the wine, the climate – what’s not to love?  My least favorite was Slovakia. I didn’t care for how much I was hated there…I mean, I can understand the people I know hating me but complete strangers?? Thankfully, we met a fellow American who was just as lost as we were and he took everything in stride.  He was our “muscle”.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: Ziplining in Monte Verde. I am TERRIFIED of heights but as I was gliding across the tree tops, I had that moment of realization that I was actually flying where the birds played and frolicked.  It was the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had.

F: Favorite mode of transportation: Flying. I’m not good at enjoying the journey – I just want to GET there.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling: FREEEEEEDOM!! My curiosity for all things new can be satisfied to my heart’s content.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Japan in August. It’s Obon season then so I do like to go and pay my respects to my ancestors and visit with my family but not at the expense of nearly dying in that heat.  It’s this suffocating sensation that never goes away.  Especially if you live in the country like my family does and YOU DON’T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Wow.  That’s a tough one. I’m pretty fortunate that I’ve had a lot of opportunities for great service – Four Seasons Palm Beach, Fairmont Kea Lani, InterContinental New Orleans to name a few.

Lufthansa First Class is incomparable. I don’t think I’ve ever been as pampered as I was on the flight. Caviar….I had CAVIAR….and they had a car waiting for me to take me to the 1st class lounge and take me to my connecting flight.  It was the best flight and service EVER.  I only dream of being able to fly with them in First again.

J: Journey that took the longest: When I first started traveling as an adult, I had this insane need to find the cheapest flight.  My longest journey took me about 26 hours to get to Prague. We were unspeakably wiped out.

K: Keepsake from your travels: I’d have to say that the thing I’ve kept the longest are my photos.  I have all kinds of keepsakes but nothing that’s stood the test of time.

L: Let-down sight, why and where: Ummm…Ephesus.  It was the crowds that killed it for me.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: I’ve always loved travel.  I don’t actually ever remember NOT loving to travel. My parents were instrumental in the development of my lust for travel - from road trips to trips to Japan.  My parent even made sure that I was able to join my best friend’s family in Hawaii, even though money was tight.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: Fairmont Kea Lani…I stayed in a 2 bedroom Villa with a full kitchen and barbecue. 

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: I don’t know what it is but I love taking photos of doors…and bridges…and animals.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where? I’ll just refer to my current passport because I have no idea where my expired passports are.  45 stamps from [I couldn't read some of them so I'm guessing]: Japan, Austria, Bahamas, Canada, Netherlands, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Spain, Netherland Antilles, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, UK, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Austria, France, Belgium, Costa Rica.

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: The Hair Museum in Avanos, Turkey [Cappadocia area].

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Visiting an Onsen [Japanese Hot Spring] in the winter when it’s snowing.  It’s the most refreshing experience you can ever have!!!

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: Food.  Always food.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Ugh. I’ve been up the Empire State Building more times than I care to admit.

U: Unforgettable travel memory: I forget.

V: Visas, how many and for where? 1 for turkey…i had to buy it from the window next to Immigrations…does that count?

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? Best glass of wine was at a Wine Spectator show in Las Vegas. I got to sample a glass of Screaming Eagle.  Twice. *SIGH*

X: eXcellent view and from where?: I would say Haleakala in Maui just as the sun is rising but I’m still a bit bitter that the clouds came up just as the sun started to peak.  Otherwise it would’ve been perfect. :) Locally, I love hiking up in the Santa Monica mountains and staring out into the Pacific Ocean from Inspiration Point like I used to do with my grandpa was I was a kid. 

Y: Years spent traveling?: All my life, non consecutively. I know that’s more years than most of you guys have been alive.  Yikes.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: Not zealous but I love a good basketball game [I'm a big LA Clippers fan]. Unless we are now including shopping as a sport.  I’ve got that nailed. 


And now it’s MY turn to invite 5 Travel Bloggers to share their ABC’s of travel:

Erin from A Sense of Place

Hannah from Further Bound

Gerard & Kieu from GQ Trippin

Keryn from Walking On Travels

Kristina from Wired 2 the World

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Gerard ~ GQ trippin December 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Wow. Clippers fan eh? Those are rare! Good for you! Thanks for taking Baron D from my Warriors.
Gerard ~ GQ trippin recently posted..It’s Official, Today I Quit My Job!My Profile

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Kristina December 5, 2011 at 6:51 am

This is fun! I guess I’d better get on doing mine…I’m going to have to stretch my memory to answer some of these.
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Carrie December 5, 2011 at 7:56 am

I agree with you on Ephesus! It was like people thought they were going to Disneyland.

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Michael Figueiredo December 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I love this new survey that’s going around. It’s so fun to see everyone’s travel ABCs! :)
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jenjenk December 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

It’s been fun writing it too!! :)

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Andrea December 7, 2011 at 7:44 am

John has a really unpleasant story from Slovakia as well and refuses to go back – ugh!
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jenjenk December 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I hate to say it but I agree with john…i really don’t EVER have to go back there!!!! My friend from Ukraine feels the same way about going back there…i’ve been trying to talk her into going! :)

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Craig December 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Heh. Love the picture with Leffe. One of my fondest memories is stopping in Amboise in the middle of a Loire chateau tour and having a nice big mug of Leffe.

Personally, wasn’t crazy about Belgium other than the beer and chocolate. Hated Brussels, but loved (LOVED) Brugges.

And you’re making me question my inclusion of Slovakia on my “to-do” list.
Craig recently posted..The Appellation Trail 2011My Profile

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jenjenk December 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

LOOOOOVE leffe!! Funny, i kinda felt the same about belgium too but since i’m so wrapped up in food & drink, I thought it made it all the more wonderful! :)

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RON | fliptravels.com December 10, 2011 at 1:59 am

Now we want to go to belgium and salzburg.
the hair museum sounds a bit… errr… gross. hehehe
LOL to letter U

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jenjenk December 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm

it’s totally gross…you have to go if you ever make it to cappadocia! :)

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Abby December 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

Great ones!! Happy to see Monteverde listed — I love that town, from the cloud forests to the artists’ community. Sadly, I’ve never been to Japan. Someday!!
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jenjenk December 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm

LOVED that town – it was so much fun!! the people were so friendly, too!!!

You need to bump japan up on your list! :) i think i need to make another trip next year, myself!

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Scott - Quirky Travel Guy December 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

The Hair Museum? I gotta check that place out.
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jenjenk December 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

seriously. it’s spectacularly creepy. loved it!

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Will - TravelSexLife January 17, 2012 at 12:52 am

Ace! It sounds like everyone has tried zipping but me though…

Great to read about your travel memories and see what you’ve got up to over the years. I couldn’t make my mind up on the cuisine one really – I just pipped for Italian.
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Dan Arif January 25, 2012 at 7:09 am

wow.. I would like to fill up these ABC questions in my blog too after this :)
Dan Arif recently posted..Lovely sunset places in PhuketMy Profile

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Kamren Fraley February 5, 2012 at 4:04 am

Thanks-a-mundo for the blog post. Great.

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