I was delighted recently to be tweeted by @ to say that they would like to nominate me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! This was such a nice surprise, and it’s great to be given something with a name that describes what this blog is all about – ‘sisterhood of the world’ makes me think of all the other brilliant solo female travellers I have met while on the road and how we look out for each other. I started this blog to connect with more travellers and try to inspire other women who might want to take the plunge and travel alone for the first time or those who just generally want some inspiration for their current trip and so ‘sisterhood’ feels very apt. But on a more individual level, it’s just great to know that two other excellent travellers have read and enjoyed the blog – I’m so pleased about that. So – thank you very much for the nomination.
The rules of this award are to answer 10 questions set by Petra and Veru from Simply Nomadic Life and nominate other female travel bloggers and ask them 10 new questions. Here are my answers…
1) Who has been the most interesting traveller you have met on your journeys?
This question has really made me think and remember all the incredible people I’ve met. I learn so much from people on the road – about life, love, the world, how to cook on one hob, how to survive food poisoning on a long bus journey…. just so many life-changing lessons! Some of those lessons really stay with me and I use them all the time to feel happier in life. I even once met a guy who was on a season of Survivor – something I’d never watched, but he was somewhat eccentric and taught me how to cure Giardia without anti-biotics amongst other natural remedies. There’s no way of choosing one person that is the most interesting – the travelling experience is just full of new people and knowledge. (Sorry – bit of a cop-out answer!)
2) If you could take just one book for your travels, which one would you pick up?
At home, I don’t love the idea of Kindles as I really like the feel of a real paper page. However, I’m so relieved I can take lots of books with me travelling via these devices as I can’t decide what I’ll feel like reading when I’m there. A great book I’m reading now though that I would take with me if I was visiting South America again is: Viva South America – Oliver Balch. I’m really enjoying this book as a fascinating bit of background and extra information about some of the countries I’ve been to – so I’d recommend this to anyone going/ returning.
3) What three items would you take with you if you went to a jungle for a month?
I went to the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador for a week and am thinking that if I was there for a month I’d take the following…
- Deet/ mossy net – obvious reasons and just don’t want bites to ruin my fun
- Waterproof/ Poncho – it spontaneously rained quite a bit in the jungle – my poncho was a life-saver… but careful of tarantulas getting stuck in the hood! (This happened to a girl I was with! Terrifying tarantula down her back moment!!).
- Camera – this should probably be top of the list. Can’t go anywhere without my camera.
4) In which country have you met the most friendliest people?
People were friendly pretty much everywhere I went in Latin America. In particular El Salvador surprised me with how friendly the people were. It’s got a pretty bad reputation with the gang problem, but the rest of the people were just so helpful and welcoming that I really fell for the place. Initially I went for 4 days, just to try some surfing there, but I ended up returning and stayed for a couple of months – mostly in Santa Tecla. The people I met by the beach were so friendly in my first few days and they said I should come back and see more of their country… so I just couldn’t resist.
5) Is there any place in the world that you are coming back to once a while?
There are so many places to see in this world that generally, I don’t think I will have the time to return to places once I’ve been even if I wanted to as I’ll always want to see more places. However, Ecuador has captured my heart a bit and I think I will find it hard not to return. There is still so much that I didn’t see on my first trip.
Sir David Attenborough got a bit addicted to the Galapagos, and I can see why! I think I’ll have to go back there when I can save enough money. There is still incredible wildlife on the islands that I didn’t get to see the first time round.
I would like to see more of Bolivia too…Oh and a little closer to home – I love the islands in Greece. I lived there when I was 19 and have returned to quite a few different islands since. I’ll definitely go back again one day.
6) What has been the most delicious food that you have eaten so far and where?
Although Central and South America have my heart when it comes to travelling – they don’t really have the most delicious foods. I loved the pupusas of El Salvador and the fried plantain and Arepas of Colombia, but for the most delicious food ever eaten so far, I have to head to another continent.
I think my favourite food so far has been in Morrocco. I love all the hummus and veggy Tagine, full of yummy spices.
I’ve got very high hopes for good food in my upcoming trip to Vietnam too – so watch this space…
7) How many languages do you speak? Do you enjoy learning new languages while travelling?
I spent almost all of 2014 learning Spanish in various countries in Latin America and I loved it. The Spanish is a little bit different in every country, so it was quite challenging to master as I travelled around and may have been better to stay in one place for a bit, but I was quite good by the end. In my experience, the top places to learn were Guatemala – it’s really affordable there if you’re on a budget and Ecuador – it’s really clear Spanish there, so easier to understand what people are saying to you. I also went to a really good school in Dominical, Costa Rica.
I’m an advocate for learning a language while travelling as it really enhances the experience. There is nothing better than being able to have a chat and learn about the area with a local in their own language. People really appreciate that and it feels good to be able to do so
So I guess I speak two languages now – English and Spanish. But trying to learn a bit of Vietnamese for the next trip and hoping I can speak Italian one day too as it’s a beautiful language.
8) What has been the most interesting animal that you have seen and where?
Ahhh – another really difficult one. Anyone who knows me, knows how animal obsessed I am. Define interesting! 😉 I’m going to go for the Galapagos tortoise. It’s got an incredible history and happily they are starting to raise their numbers again. They can now sit happily in a mud pit all day and munch on a few leaves, without the threat of a human.
9) What beach have you liked the most?
I’ve discovered that this is an impossible question!! I’ve been trying to write a blog post about my favourite beaches, but there are just so many and it depends what I want to do on the beach (sun bathe? Surfing? Swimming? etc etc) Anyway, instead of avoiding the question, I’m going to just tell you about one of my many top beaches that is very awesome and it is… Parque Nacional Tayrona in Colombia. It’s like Caribbean paradise, inside a jungle full of monkeys and multi-coloured crabs and lizards amongst other things – so it has all of my favourite things in the same place. I slept in a hammock and ate chocolate bread and Arepas every day as well, and I never wanted to leave. You can read more about my time there here. But here are some pics…
10) Have you ever hitchhiked during your travels, where and what has been your experience?
I don’t really hitch-hike at all during my travels – I mostly travel alone and in the places I have been it hasn’t felt safe to do so. That said, when I was in Puerto Lopez in Ecuador, we decided to take the bus to Playa de Los Frailes. The beach is a few kilometres and it’s possible to walk but the sun was scorching and we were tired… So, myself and a girl I’d met in the dorm decided to at least try and hitch. She was a very beautiful german lady, and it didn’t take long for 3 men to pick us up. They were 3 Ecuadoran holiday makers in their 60s and 70s and fell instantly in love with my blonde friend speaking her excellent Spanish and they insisted on having their photos taken with us. So the one time I did hitch, I’d say it was a great experience.
Thank you again for the nomination Veru & Petra
My nominations and questions are coming very soon…