I decided to write this blog post after watching this video by youtuber/beauty blogger Essiebutton (who I admire a great deal. Like in a friendly stalker way.) She filmed a video all about travelling and I just felt like rambling a little bit about the same topic. I'm not a hugely experienced traveler but considering the small amount of money that I have... I definitely haven't let travelling suffer for my thin wallet! (Rent and bills suffer. Always. Because the thing that is the opposite of a responsible adult - I am that thing.)
1. Your most treasured passport stamp?
This is a slightly outdated question if you're travelling in Europe. I haven't gotten a passport stamp since I was in Saudi Arabia and that was probably eleven years ago now. So I'm just going to pretend like I've received stamps for every single trip I've taken. As boring as it is, I probably have to say the first time I went to Dublin (during the spring of 2009). I was on my own, I had just bought a one-way ticket to a city that I had never visited before and all around I was terrified. Rightfully so, my hostel was dirty and gross, I could barely afford food, the man sleeping in the bunk bed below me ended up getting thrown out because he bothered another girl and I got a creepy, e-mailing stalker who I didn't even find out about until five months later. But I was also so happy and that trip was the best trip of my life. I met so many new people because I had to, otherwise I'd get depressed from lack of human contact. Turns out that I spent more time with people than I ever did in Sweden. (It's difficult not to, sharing a room with nine strangers.) I went to some great parties, I found a favourite bookshop in Dublin with the friendliest little man (he sold me one of my favourite books ever, Juno & Juliet) and obviously I met Steve too. I made him Swedish pancakes. Best three weeks ever.
2. Can you recite your passport # from memory if asked?
Absolutely not. I can't even remember my home phone number.
3. Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or automobiles?
In general I have a certain love for trains, but when living on Northern Ireland a train won't get you very far. Because of the obstacle of water. So I have to say planes. I also get a special travelling-feeling whenever I'm at an airport. I love the excited sense of being on my way to an adventure, even if I'm going back to Sweden which is decidedly very un-adventurous.
4. Top 3 travel items?
A map (oh yes, I'm the person who has no qualms about pulling out a map and looking as foolish as only a tourist can when I'm a little lost), comfortable shoes (because I do a lot of walking), and the Tripadvisor app (so that you can quickly confirm which ice cream place that's the best).
5. Hostel or hotel?
I have a love for hostels which is why I'm so much cooler than Steve who cannot imagine anything worse. I don't mind being slightly uncomfortable if it saves me money that I can spend on other things. And also hotel rooms make me feel slightly depressed.
6. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
There is so many places that I want to see that I haven't really gotten the chance to become a repeat visitor ever. Other than Sweden or Denmark, I guess. There is a list of places that I want to go to and although I really want to go back to Barcelona soon, there are so many other places that I need to save up for first. I just can't justify doing a 'repeat visit' yet.
7. Do you read up on your destination (culture,history,safety) or do you wing it?
I am the biggest offender of reading up on my destination. In fact, I'm a little nuts because I don't just read up on history and so on. For any city break trips that I've taken I've read up on all the city areas, made a list of things to see and then planned in exactly what to look at. I've even been known to check google maps for walking distances so I can take walking into account. I do the same with hotels/hostels and restaurants because I'm so worried of realising later that I've missed something I really wanted to experience.
8. Favorite travel website?
Tripadvisor, without a doubt! I am obsessed with any site that can give me pricing estimates and reviews at once, sorted by area. It's heaven for crazy people like me. Although I would like to add that it's mainly for hotels and restaurants that I use this, sites to see seems to be very subjective.
9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city & why.
Ooooh, so difficult. Mainly it's difficult because I can't think of anywhere I'd been where I wouldn't recommend anyone to go to. Decisive person, that's me. I'd like to suggest Trogir in Croatia, which I haven't been to for a few years now but it is one of my favourite places in Croatia. I'm recommending it possibly because I'm sure everyone can think of lots of reasons to go to big cities in Europe, but Trogir is to me a little gem. It's a small town by the coast with an old city centre. There's an annoying amount of tourists too - but I can forgive them. I'd like to stroll through the busy markets, have a coffee by the Cathedral, ice cream in one of the tiny alleyways and a pizza around a crowded table late at night. I can't wait to bring Steve there at some point. (Also, if you're going to go to Croatia anyway, stop by Zagreb. I love Zagreb.)
10, You're leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?
If money was no option I would love to travel around in the US. There is a lot of other places I would like to go to as well, but right now I am a little bit obsessed with USA. It's probably because of Steve because he's always had an obsession with all things US, and possibly also because two of my friends are going to New York soon. Me and my brother used to plan to go for a roadtrip around USA. Disregard the fact that I am still pretty terrified of driving, that neither of us have the money for it and that Steve would be raging with jealousy - it seems like it would be plausible one day! (For the record, I would drive from California up the west coast, through the north and then down the east coast.)
For anyone reading this, do the Wanderlust tag! I'd love reading about everyone's travel thoughts.