The Darling Nomadess: ABC's of Travel

Monday, May 25, 2015

ABC's of Travel

A) Age you went on your first international trip:
At 20 years old I embarked on a 1 month study abroad trip to Costa Rica. It forever left me sick with wanderlust. This was my first experience with cultural immersion and I left craving for more. Since then, I haven't really stopped traveling whether it's traveling to various cities in the USA or countries in Central America and Europe. 
B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
I always make a point to try the beer in each country I visit. The Golden Monkey in Santa Ana, Costa Rica is one that will haunt my dreams forever. 

C) Cuisine (favorite): 
Amsterdam! From sweet apple pie to savory bitterballen, lawd, what's not to like?! Amsterdam has an incredible international cuisine so there is a lot of different flavors and tastes to experiment with. Check out my Amsterdam food guide here
D) Destinations–favorite, least favorite, and why?:
Favorite: Oh, this is a tough one. I'm going to go with Florence. It's such a magical city. I can't even explain my feelings about why I love it so much. I just do. 
Least Favorite: This would be either Cahuita, Costa Rica or Los Angeles, California. I really ought to blog about my experiences in these two cities soon cause my experience was absolutely NUTS. 

E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: 
The 48 hours I spent in Pompeii, hands down. The ruins, the view from the Belfry, just…everything that happened in Pompeii. It was a good time in my life to experience a place like that.
F) Favorite mode of transportation:
My own two feet. Also, it sounds crazy but I really want to give hitchhiking a try at least once, hahaha!
G) Greatest feeling while traveling:
Those first few hours exploring a new area, smiling in awe of everything. Charming streets, adorable little shops, delicious smells floating in the area, the thrill of being somewhere new, especially after months of planning, is such a wonderful feeling!
H) Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:
Costa Rica

With the Maya Chan Beach crew! 
I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
Maya Chan Beach. Last year a few of my Alpha Phi sisters and I decided to go on a week long cruise for our senior trip. After scouring some cruise forums, I learned about one of the cruise world's best kept secrets: Maya Chan Beach in Costa Maya, Mexico. For $75, we received all.the.drinks, a fantastic buffet of fresh food (helllllooooo quac!), access to kayaks, ocean chairs, massages, etc. It was seriously an amazing day and the service was just incredible. 
J) Journey that took the longest:
Time speaking it would be the journey from Cleveland to Rome in November 2014. However longest in terms of "when is this trip over" would be the RV road trip my family took to Disney World the summer before my senior year of HS. If you wanna talk about "my life is a sitcom" moments, that would be one of them, haha!
K) Keepsake from your travels:
While souvenirs are a pain to travel with, I want to fill my future home with treasures from my travels.
Rome: a wooden Pinocchio figure and Pinocchio stationary
Florence: Leather Diary
Pompeii: Wine Cork and Serving Utensils
Amsterdam: Wooden Clogs, Tulip bulbs, and Ceramic Windmill
Berlin: Nutcracker
Costa Rica: Wooden Cart Figure
Annnndddd a ton of photos, maps, and various memorabilia.
L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
Valencia, Spain. While the architecture at the City of Arts and Sciences is really cool, I was really underwhelmed by everything else. Also, this is the only city that I didn't do a walking tour in. After reading some blogs (not naming any names) that preach about avoiding tourist stuff and going local, I tried to see the sites on my own and hardcore avoid anything touristy for this trip. The entire time I just felt like something was really missing in Valencia. Perhaps it would have been better had I taken a walking tour to get a better grasp on the history and culture. Also, the interesting thing that I noticed here was that all the locals were hiding out in the Burger King and Pizza Hut. So much for avoid the American fast food and get to know the locals, anti-tourism travel bloggers. 
M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
I'm not sure if there was just one definitive moment but the summer after my freshman year of college was where it really began. That summer I travelled by plane for the first time to Indianapolis and Los Angeles. I think it was this summer that I truly learned on my own that there is so much more to the world than just my little hometown, college town, cabin in West Virginia, and Disney World.

First time using public transportation and stressing out in Los Angeles
N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
I haven't stayed in any hotels that are ostentatiously nice but I've enjoyed all of the hotels I've stayed in while in New York City. Also, I really enjoyed the Kyoto Grand Hotel & Gardens in Los Angeles. It's nestled in the middle of Little Tokyo and has a gorgeous rooftop garden that provides the perfect escape from hectic Los Angeles!
O) Obsession–what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
P) Passport stamps-how many and from where?:
I only have 1 stamp from when I went to Costa Rica. For some reason, I don't have any stamps from any travels in Europe. Not even an incoming stamp. I WANT STAMPS. 
Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
Comdomerie in Amsterdam
R) Really Frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
Los Angeles.

S) Splurge-something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
T) Touristy thing you’ve done:
Rockerfeller Center Tour in NYC and the "touch the top" photo at the Louvre in Paris. 
U) Unforgettable travel memory:
So many! Road tripping to Boston with my Little Emily, then-boyfriend Christian, and Fraternity Little Jareth. My first time seeing a sloth in the wild while in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Experiencing the craziness that was Los Angeles. Almost being the cause of a bar fight in Rome between a Swiss Army Soldier and a drunk Spaniard. Running away from my host family in Rome. Seeing the damage that natural disasters can cause first hand in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Watching the joy on a new Habitat for Humanity homeowner's face when she walks into her new home for the first time in Columbus, Georgia. 
V) Visas-how many and for where?:
1 visa for Germany. 
W) Wine–best glass while traveling:
Interestingly, I don't really have too much wine while traveling, I typically stick to beer, though I do love a good glass of wine. I guess while traveling I'm usually looking for something cheap.

X) eXcellent view and from where?:
View of Frankfurt from the bridge, Florence from Vecchio. NYC from High Line. 
Y) Years spent traveling:
In total, I've only spent 6 months of my life abroad and hopefully years to be added!
Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
Cleveland Browns Fans in Ohio.

What are your favorite travel memories?

With Love,


  1. I love this. You should have been a lot of places. I'm a beer drinker too.

  2. Ohhh this post was so much fun to read, I think I'm going to do this tag as well :D Such a great little insight into the lives of travels bloggers, absolutely loved reading yours!!


  3. I'm jealous of your travel life. The only place outside of the US I've ever been too is Punta Cana. This was such a fun post--I'll have to consult you when I plan my first overseas trip :)

  4. Ahhhh, you've definitely sparked my wanderlust with this post!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  5. Even though you've only travelled for 6 months, it sounds like you've seen so much in that time and have really made the best of it! This is a great post idea and was such a fun read! I have so many great memories of my travels, it's hard to pick a favourite as they're all so different and unique.

    Diana xo | My Lovelier Days

  6. Ah I loveeee this post! Can I steal the idea? ;)

  7. I love those first few hours in a new city as well. Everything seems so fascinating and magical!


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