Monday, January 25, 2016
Travel Talk: The Sisterhood of World Bloggers
A bit like the sisterhood of travelling pants, but blogger-related instead. Gianni of acrossthehogsback nominated me for this blogging chain (thank you!) Whether you're a blogger or not, I hope you'll find at least some of my answers interesting! (I've also taken the liberty of rephrasing some of them - oops!)
Your all-time favorite destination?
So difficult, but I think it's a tie between Thailand and Sri Lanka. I know I'm cheating by not picking one, but Thailand is like Disneyland for adults: luxurious pool villas, white sand beaches, crystal clear blue water, hour-long massages for something like £12 and pad thai to my heart's content ... what's not to love?
And Sri Lanka is just ... magical. There is so, so much to do and explore, but since we were only there for a week, it didn't feel like we had enough time to see everything we'd wanted to. I'd love to go back and explore the Cultural Triangle, for example, and visit the tea plantations. I loved everything about Sri Lanka: the people, the culture, the food, and the scenery. Gorgeous beaches (seeing a theme here?) and unbelieveable wildlife.
Which post are you most proud of?
That post is still in draft, and I haven't had the guts to publish it yet. One day.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
A bunch of (mostly) old, (mostly) white men, basically:
- Sir David Attenborough, who wrote me back when I wrote to him when I was in college, and who sent us a lovely handwritten letter for our wedding (yes, really);
- Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum, DFC, who wrote this incredible book about his experience in the RAF during World War II, and who also replied with the kindest letter when I wrote to him after reading said book;
- Poet Derek Walcott, whose poetry about the post-colonial Caribbean experience was the basis of my undergraduate thesis, and who I met at the Globe Theatre last year;
- Author and poet Sherman Alexie, who's also from Seattle (or, like me, roughly from Seattle) and whose work I've admired for many, many years. And who once told me at a book signing that he knew exactly how to spell my name because "his best friend spelled it the same way too";
- My dad, because he'd love to chat with all of the above;
- John, because he'd also love to chat with all of the above;
- Also, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because she writes, thinks, speaks, and dresses beautifully. And is beautiful. And is so, so intelligent. And because 'Americanah' was the best book I'd read in a long, long time.
So, a pretty eclectic mix, I think.
(Btw, if you think my answers are bizarre, I asked John the same question while writing this post and his answers were: "Julius Caesar, Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell [but not sitting next to each other], and Abraham Lincoln.")
Do you have a favorite travel app?
Instagram. I love capturing the memories of my travels in snapshots and sharing them with my friends and family.
What's your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?
Favorite: your comments. I love them. Every single one.
Least favorite: the bullshit. Those of you who know, know.
Is there anything in particular that you like to do when you visit somewhere new?
I love getting up to the highest point - whether it's a rooftop bar or the top of a clocktower or a trek up a hill (notice I said "hill" and not "mountain" - gotta draw the line somewhere) and surveying my surroundings below. It puts things in perspective for me.
Which destination have you visited that has surprised you the most?
Vietnam. I started out curious in Ho Chi Minh City, became a little overwhelmed during a train ride from HCMC to Da Nang, and ended up falling in love with Hanoi after a rocky introduction. I remember being really panicked and irritated by the traffic in Hanoi (there aren't really any sidewalks and motorbikes whizz past you in a constant stream in high speed, leaving about a centimeter between your ankles and their wheels) and having a full-blown argument with John on the street because I was getting so anxious. Then I went back to the hotel, had a bit of an attitude adjustment, and sat outside with the locals until midnight drinking beer. After I relaxed a bit and went with the flow, I enjoyed myself much, much more. Hanoi made me feel alive. It had such a terrific verve.
What's your pet peeve?
In general? People who are unkind. It takes more effort to be rude than to be kind, so be nice.
What's your most treasured possession?
Right now, it's my Olympus PEN camera. I got an additional lens for Christmas and I love using it, especially when I travel. It's a bit of a cheat from the Canon DSLR we have, but I can't resist its easy-to-use functions, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to also loving it for aesthetic reasons ...
Thanks so much for nominating me, Gianni! This was fun. I'm tagging three of my favorite travel bloggers: Rebecca, Sandy, and Chiara.