It was a pleasure being interviewed with Sara from the In Africa+ Beyond travel blog! It’s a fantastic blog about travel, events, and experiences in Africa, and the rest of the world – specializing in couples travel and family travel – and often with a luxury focus.
Here is an excerpt from my interview and you can view the original post here!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a storyteller of many mediums. My first podcast, Strangers Abroad, is just the beginning of my love affair with the medium. It is a narrative podcast that follows my journeys while I travel and documents the conversations I had with strangers I meet while abroad. We discuss the importance of travel, self-growth, world improvement, and the social/psychological aspects of travel. I desire to hit every country before she dies (with modern medicine, I still have plenty of time). Additionally, I am a travel writer, live storyteller, and mean pie baker.
2. What is your earliest travel memory?
My first real trip out of the country was when I was 19. I took a leap and lived in the Czech Republic for 5 months, having never left the country prior. It was groundbreaking. I remember physically feeling my brain expand from all I was learning and experiencing. It broke the mental cocoon I had spun for myself while living in upstate New York. My happiest memory from that experience was when I reapplied for my own healthcare on my own, in ( fragmented) Czech, and walked myself home. I realized, if I can do this much adulting abroad, I can do anything.
3. Where was your last holiday?
4. What was the best thing you did there?
I am enamored with Mexico City and am completely elated by just walking around the city. The last time I was there, I walked 12 miles through numerous neighborhoods and ate all the street food along the way. I didn’t need anything more.
Me, in Mexico City, poorly attempting to climb a tree.
5. What was your best holiday ever? Why?
I value all the travel experiences I have had and don’t categorize them into “best” or “worst.” Each one has taught me something, regardless of my enjoyment, and that in itself is value enough. I will say, the best days I had traveling were the ones where I had no expectations. I would research the areas I wanted to be in and just explore and give myself the time to talk to strangers and let the city present itself to me organically. That is travel advice I would give to anyone who has the time.
6. What is your favorite travel destination?
I don’t like the term favorite; however, there are certain places in the world that make my heart hurt. I think that every place speaks to you differently depending on who you are at the time and what lessons you are open to receiving. The ones that have spoken very loudly to me, in no particular order, are Prague, Mexico City, Chefchaouen, Oaxaca, and Arequipa.
7. What is the one thing one must do while traveling?
Find a high point for a panoramic view of the city. It makes me feel small.
8. Who is your favorite travel companion/s?
I love traveling by myself, but my close friend Carla and I are great at traveling together. We have traveled in the east and west coasts of America, traveled to 6 countries outside of the States, couchsurfed, hitchhiked, bussed, wandered and flew together for weeks on end and have never fought once.
9. Name one item you must have when traveling.
A notebook so I can write down all my thoughts and observations.
10. Your best travel advice?
Travel alone and for as long as you can while you are young. And always talk to strangers.
11. The one place you want to visit before you die?
Ta Prohm in Cambodia. It is an old Buddhist monastery that is being overrun by cotton trees.
12. Any embarrassing travel moments?
The time I didn’t have enough space in my suitcase to carry back everything I bought while living abroad, so I wore layers of clothing including all of my winter clothes. It was May 22nd, basically June. I looked like a walking pig in a blanket, lots of layers and a little bit of meat in the middle. It took me years to acknowledge any type of hoarding problem.
Cover and Title Photo credit to In Africa+Beyond.
If you are interested in reading more of my interviews, check out my post with Jim Jones of Travel Images + Stories on how to be a solo traveler.