Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Travel Bug

I'm normally not big on Liebster Awards but I was really excited when Amy from Créatrice Mondial nominated me for a travel-themed one. Mainly because she's awesome but also because I love to talk about myself.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Amy's Questions for Me

1. When and to where was your very first travel experience?

My parents divorced when I was young, and my brother and I would visit my dad in Florida each summer. We took a flight from St. Louis to Orlando and flew as unaccompanied minors, which was just the coolest. We got special snacks and lots of attention from the flight attendants. Once my dad picked us up, we would alternate between relaxing days around the house and fun trips to Disney, Epcot, and the beach. It was awesome.

2. When and to where was your very first international travel experience?

I first traveled abroad when I was 19. My best friend, Erin, had already been to Europe and lived in Japan, and she found cheap flights to London and convinced me to take the plunge. London was more expensive than our tiny budgets allowed so after a few days there, we took a train up to Edinburgh, where things (let's be real - drinks) were much cheaper. We also took a cheap flight over to Amsterdam and got into all sorts of trouble. It's amazing how much we did, drank, and spent in just 7 short days. And how little we slept.

3. What is your favorite aspect about the travel blogging community, or blogosphere in general?

I love reading about cool places other people have been. I used to travel a lot, particularly throughout Europe, but now with two kids under two my traveling has screeched to a halt. So it's nice to live vicariously through other bloggers, and relive past trips when I see they've been to some of the same places I have.

4. If you could only choose one more big bucket list-worthy experience, what would it be and why? Budget and time are not factors!

New Zealand! I've always wanted to go, but due to the long flight and the cost I just haven't gotten around to it yet. One of these days I will definitely go. I'm not a nature girl by any means but New Zealand might change me. Or I would at least enjoy a cocktail while taking in the views.

5. What has been your biggest takeaway from traveling and/or living overseas?

Living in Paris, I've learned to get comfortable being out of my comfort zone! Once you accept that things are different - and you remind yourself that's the whole reason you went in the first place - things like weird bathrooms or ridiculously small coffees seem quirky and charming instead of stupid and annoying.

6. What is your favorite travel memory? Feel free to include the top 3 if you simply cannot choose!

Cinque Terre is the most beautiful place on earth. I went with my dad and step-mom and we enjoyed hiking along the coastal trail and drinking wine and coffee at every break. On that same trip we went to Rome and one night we had WAY too much espresso and had an insane buzz going, then we went souvenir shopping. We nearly bought out this one store. It was embarrassing. We'd plop our trinkets on the counter, pay, and start to leave, then we'd spot something else and go back and buy it. We must have made five separate transactions, all for crap. We were in a caffeine-induced frenzy and couldn't control ourselves, giggling like schoolgirls. America, represent!

Hiking the trails of Cinque Terre, Italy
Hiking the trails of Cinque Terre, Italy

7. What advice would you give to those who are just starting to spread their wings and think about venturing out into the world?

Get a passport and go! So many people put off big travel for so many reasons - they want to save up a bunch of money first or plan every detail or learn the language. You'll always find a reason not to go, so just go! Look for cheap flights, stay in a B&B off the beaten path, do picnic lunches, go for a long weekend instead of a full week, pick up a phrase book. There are ways around whatever obstacle is getting in your way - don't let anything get in your way! And if you want to hear more about what it's really like living abroad, check out my book, Confessions of a Paris Party Girl.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

Questions for Travel Bloggers

I'm gonna change the rules a bit and open this up to any travel/expat blogger. Feel free to answer the questions below on your blog and send me the link to the post and I'll include it here. Great way to get exposure for your blog while having a little fun!

1. Where's the most exotic place you've traveled?

2. What's your trick for sleeping on airplanes?

3. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or automobiles?

4. How many passports have you had?

5. What's your favorite thing to do as a tourist in your own city?

6. What's the best food you've ever tasted while traveling?

7. What's the worst?

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Escape to Paris

Vicki Lesage, Author