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Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Blogger's Collected Snapshots (The ABC's) of Travel

By:  Brittany S

I was searching for a way to sum up all of my travel experiences in one article and I stumbled upon the “ABCs of Travel” questionnaire.  Here’s my travel life wrapped in the alphabet.

A: Age you went on your first international travel
When I was in college, I was awarded a $6000 scholarship to go abroad.  I applied to a 6-wk study abroad program at Middlesex University in the UK (2007).  I was 19 when travel changed my life forever.

Does this count as a "float-thru?" (Bought Red Stripe here)

B. Best foreign beer you had and where:
I don't drink much, and I don't like beer.  However, Jamaica’s “Red Stripe” is pretty tasty considering.  The journey to get to it was interesting as well.

C. Cuisine (favorite):
So far, my palate was most satisfied in VIETNAM.  I'm NOT big on veggies or anything that people say “It’s good for you.”  But in Vietnam, I ate a ton of fresh/healthy food, even pumpkin leaves/stems, and it was delicious!  This is the ONE FOOD I've ever eaten that made me want to say “Tastes like chicken!”

Travel fatigue's no joke, especially when it's hot.
D. Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:
My favorite country is Thailand (thus far).  I visited downtown Bangkok for 5 days on about $600 USD and had plenty of money to spare. 
My least favorite so far is Hanoi, Vietnam.  The local cuisine was phenomenal and my USD was stretched the farthest there.  The only downside was the weather.  I went there after traveling to two other countries that week and was running on fumes.  The hot weather completely wore me out and I slept most of my trip. 

E. Event you experienced abroad that made you go Wow
The Siam Niarmit is the best theatrical experience I’ve ever had.  There were two shows, a traditional village, and a wonderful buffet all included in the price of the ticket.  The “wow” moment for me was being stalked by both elephants!  I wasn’t trying to draw their attention like everyone else, but they were drawn to me and I was often trunk to face with one of the elephants.

F. Favorite mode of Transportation
The Tuk Tuk’s in Thailand feels like the adult version of boxcar racing in the middle of traffic!

G. Greatest feeling while traveling
I am just thankful for the simplicity in travel.  Seeing the same flower from all of its angles with all the different ways the light can hit it makes it all the more beautiful.

H. Hottest place you traveled to
Hanoi, Vietnam.  See (D).

Our cook, housekeeper, and Rasta tour guide with some of us.
I. Incredible service you’ve experienced and where
I took a trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica with my (older) cousin and some of her girlfriends.  From the time we arrived at the airport we were just completely spoiled.  Even though they catered to us so heavily, they made us feel like welcome guests in their home and a part of the family.

J. Journey that took the longest
My journey to S. Korea was exhausting.  From start to finish it was a little over 24 hours.

K. Keepsake from your travels
I collect elephants, so anytime I can find an affordable and unique elephant that is small/light enough to travel with, I scoop it and a few of its friends up!  Trunk up always!

L. Let down site: when and where
Roppongi Hills--Tokyo, Japan.  To be fair, the majority of this let down was on my part, not theirs.  Japan's currency is really strong.  Roppongi Hills has endless shopping and dining, as well as places for wellness and fitness, entertainment, and sightseeing; almost all of which were out of my price range.  To top it all off, I purchased a combo ticket for the “Tokyo City View” and Mori Art Museum, but it wasn’t until I was about to go to the museum that I was told it was closed and wouldn’t be open until next month. 

Became Friends: Summer 2007
M. Moment where you feel in love with travel
In the UK, I reinvented myself there and realized that no matter where I am in the world, people are just people.  I've kept in touch with my friends I made there (who were from all over the world) and recently went to one of their weddings in Hong Kong.


Reunited: Winter 2011

N. Nicest hotel you stayed in
Arnoma Hotel in downtown Bangkok, Thailand.  The hotel was beautiful, staff was friendly, and the BREAKFAST WAS FANTASTIC!


 O. Obsession – What photos are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling
Sooo...style stinks?
"Horn Removal"? Is that common?
Funny signs!  I’ve seen everything from a sign that resembled the “Advance to St. Charles Place” Monopoly card to something with teddy bear trench coat flashers.  Bad English translations are funny, too.  Yesterday I saw a “Crap Salad” sign at a restaurant. :-)

P. Passport stamps, how many and from where
I currently have 11 stamps from:  London, Paris, Jamaica, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China (layover flight), Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan (in that order).

This is slightly erotic according to "Loveland" O.o
Q. Quirkiest Attraction you have visited and where
In Jeju, S. Korea, I visited “Loveland,” a sex museum/park.  I’ve never seen genitalia as tall erect statues (no pun intended) with polka-dots all over them.  The quirkiest part of it all is that it was a school-sponsored trip.

R. Recommended sight, event, or experience
Siam Niarmit.  See (E).

I can't swim or float, but I can do this
S. Splurge: Something you have no problem spending money on while traveling
If I have the opportunity to do one of those once-in-a-lifetime type of things like an “Aquanaut Voyage” or fly a plane, then I do it as long as the ticket isn’t TOO high and the intrigue is great)!

T. Touristy thing you’ve done
“Dr. Fish” is a special fish that eats dead skin.  There’s a cafĂ© I visit often but I notice I never really see locals doing it.  Fish are eating my feet while everyone else is drinking coffee.

U. Unforgettable travel memory
I was sitting around with a group of people from all around the world and I felt I learned more about their countries and cultures one night over dinner than I'd learned my entire time in school.

V. Visas: how many and where
Korea (work) and Vietnam (travel).

W. Wine, best glass while traveling and where
I like Moscatos.  I’ve only had moscato in the States though, but it was during one of my roadtrip visits, does that count?

X. eXcellent Views and Where

The ocean view from my villa in Jamaica.  It was hard to distinguish the water from the sky and for a moment, all I could hear were my heart beat and the gentle waves.

Y. Year’s spent traveling
I’ve been in S. Korea for a little over 15 months.  Also, I've traveled domestically most of my life.

Z. Zealous sports fans
I’ve seen a lot of zealous sports fans in different places, but still, none seem to top those in my family.  While others are just extremely excited about winning and a little discouraged by losing, I’ve seen members of my family almost break a TV, chair, table, etc all at the thought of losing.


  1. Loved it! LOL on "E"! Good job. Happy travels. ~Poopie

  2. I miss you SmuttButt!!! You look so beautiful!

  3. Love reading this! So awesome! Makes me want to come back to Korea and travel more. ~Ky

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