The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Corey’s ABCs of Travel

Another Travel Blogger meme is floating around, this time started by Christine of Christine in Spain. And it’s come around to my turn, having been tagged to do it. Grrrrr.

The concept is simple! 26 questions, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet, about my travels and experiences. Lets see where this takes us, eh?

A – Age you went on your first international trip
This would’ve been when I was in grade 7, I was 12 at the time. My family all went down to California and to Disneyland. It was a Christmas gift. I still remember how we were told. There was one last present for my sister, brother, and I under the tree. All the same size(about the size of a book). I remember wondering, briefly, why both sets of grandparents were at the house so early in the morning, and why mom had her video camera out. We opened the presents up to find three, identical mickey mouse diary’s. Dad had to tell us to open them up when we were slightly confused. Inside were the words “Waldner Disneyland Vacation, February 1998”. Mom forgot to push record on the camcorder.

And I ended up throwing up in a garbage can right before we entered the park. Oh memories.

B – Best (foreign) beer you’ve had, and where.
I would have to say this would be Beer Lao in Laos. Not sure why, but I found it to be the most flavourful of all the beers I’ve had. Sorry Germany.


C – Cuisine (favourite)
This is a horrible question to ask someone that loves food the way I do. But I would have to say the food in Italy was amazing. The pasta, the sauces, the wines. Ah fuck. And the steak in Argentina. Oh! And the tangines in Morocco.

Screw it. I like all food. Diets are for wusses.

D – Destinations. Favourite, Least Favourite, and why?
I hate questions like this! Favourite would have to be a toss up between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania. Both for the same reasons: the people were amazing, the food was spectacular, and the hiking/scenery was second to none. My least favourite would probably be Serbia. I just couldn’t get into the whole boxy architecture. And I’m not really a big club/party person so even Belgrade’s world famous nightlife scene didn’t do anything for me.

E – Event you experienced that made you go, “wow!”
As much as I would like to say Amsterdam Gay Pride, the winner here would have to be experiencing the protests in Cairo, Egypt. Walking in the midst of it all and seeing people demanding democracy made the little Poli Sci major in me squee with delight.


F – Favourite mode of transportation
Train, by far. More room, more scenery, more relaxing. And the ability to get up and walk around makes it way better than a bus.

G – Greatest feeling while traveling
Not feeling like I have to be anywhere or do anything. It took me some time to not feel guilty about spending an entire day in a hostel or in a cafe, but now I am glad I do it.

H – Hottest Place you’ve travelled to
I believe Egypt wins this. In Luxor, the temperature on the outdoor gauge read 52 Celsius. But it was a dry heat at least.

I – Incredible service you’ve experienced, and where?
I still have fond memories of the family run hostel in Nazca, Peru that I stayed in where the mother brought out some sliced mangos for me while I was lazing about on the hammock because she had bought too many, or when the father took the few of us that were in the hostel on a free tour of the city because he was bored!

J – Journey that took the longest
This would probably be at the very beginning of the trip when I was taking the train from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Ottawa, Ontario. 2 days, 6 hours it took. The scenery was beautiful though and I was high on adrenaline for having started me trip to let a few days on a train bother me.


K – Keepsake from your travels
I only buy the little sew-on flag patches for my backpack, though I have yet to actually sew them onto my backpack. I’m also keeping all the free maps, brochures, and museum tickets I got. Plus the random spare change when I leave a country.

L – Let down sight: Why, and where
St.Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, but only because by that time I had seen dozens upon dozens of cathedrals. I just couldn’t care less for another one. They all started looking the same to me. Now, when I look at photos though, it seems amazing. Just at the time I was “meh".


M – Moment when you fell in love with travel
The morning of January 2, 2011, when I saw the mist clear and I saw Machu Picchu appear before me after walking for five days through the Peruvian mountains. That was the moment I fell in love with travel.

N – Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in
If we’re going to be picky and only allow hotels for this section then I will have to say the Travelodge Airport Toronto the night before I left Canada. I haven’t stayed in anything more expensive than a hostel since then. And the hotels I have stayed in have been simple. The Travelodge Airport Toronto I got for my employees discount, so instead of paying somewhere around $250 for the room, I paid $39. Score!

O – Obsession: What are you obsessed with taking photos of while traveling
Buildings. Architecture. I have so many photos of buildings it isn’t even funny.


P – Passport stamps: How many, and from where?

Peru(Entry/Exit), Bolivia(Entry/Exit), Chile(Entry/Exit), Argentina(Entry/Exit), 2x USA transit stamps, Morocco(Entry/Exit), Egypt(Entry/Exit), Entry Schengen Madrid, Exit Schengen Algeciras, Entry Serbia, Romania[Schengen](Entry/Exit), Entry Schengen Athens, Exit Schengen Ancona, Croatia(2x Entry, 1x Exit), Bulgaria(Entry/Exit), Turkey(Entry/Exit), Brazil(entry/exit), Thailand(2x Entry, 2x Exit), Cambodia(Entry/Exit), Laos(Entry/Exit), Malaysia(Entry), Entry Schengen Slovakia, Exit Schengen Hungary.

Q – Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited, and where?
A little park in Sapa Town, Vietnam. They had statues of cartoon characters all over, and most weren’t even that well done as copies. Mickey Mouse was quite terrifying actually.


R – Recommended event, sight, or experience
I’m going to say Mostar and the Stari Most in the old town. Especially the museum beside it with the wonderful little documentary of the bridges destruction and the work that was done to restore it. Still one of my absolute favourite places and it’s great to see how this one bridge was seen as such a strategic landmark in the Bosnian war of the early 90s.


S - Splurge: something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling.
I would have to say it would be on transportation. If an extra $5 means I’ll be in the “tourist” section, but that section has A/C, I’m taking it. I’ve done enough traveling the “cheap” way to know that I’m not a pleasant person upon arrival if I haven’t been comfortable on the 12 hour bus journey.

It’s not for me. It’s for everyone else that I do this.

T – Touristy thing you’ve done.
Markets. Markets specifically set up for tourists. Yes, I know they are all the same. Yes, I know that you can’t get a Armani belt for $5, but dammit it looks so food! And it’s fun to walk through and window shop. I know I have no room for any more stuff so it’s mainly just torture to walk through and think “Oh, that’s pretty”.

U – Unforgettable Travel Memory
Diving in Egypt for the very first time. It was a spur of the moment thing to do and I’m so glad I did it as it gave me the drive to eventually go for my dive certification in Thailand. Diving in Dahab was an experience I will always remember. It is such a different world down there.

Close second would be almost killing my friend Kelly on a geocaching excursion on the island of Naxos, Greece. I’m sure she won’t forget that either!


V – Visas, How many and for where?
7. Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

W – Wine: best class of wine whilst traveling, and where?
Port wine from Oporto, Portugal. Some of the tastiest wine I’ve ever had. I love the caramel flavours that seem to come out of it. And none of that horrible wine hangover afterwards either!

X – eXcellent view and from where
i would have to go with the view from on top of Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Absolutely stunning at the end of the day with the beaches and the mountains and the city sprawled out in front of you.


Y – Years Spent Traveling
1.2 so far! I think. I hate math.

Z – Zealous sports fans and where?
FC Barca fans in Barcelona and the surrounding communities. I was staying in Sabadell, just outside of Barcelona, when Barca won the Champions League Semi-Finals against Real Madrid. Jeepers! The people just poured out of the pubs and onto the streets. There were firecrackers going off all over the place, horns honking. It was awesome.

And don’t forget the suspicions. I was staying with a gay couple in Sabadell and the one, Esteban, was a huge Barca fan. Heaven forbid you try to open a bottle of wine before the game is over because the last time Jordi, his partner, did that, Barca lost.


And whom to tag?

Ummm . . . . Gosh, who HASN’T done one of these?

Ah hell, I tag everyone that hasn’t done this yet!

1 comment:

  1. What is it with Beer Lao?! So many people have stated it as their favorite beer :) Can't believe you're putting it before German beer... ts ;-)

    Great ABC, learned a lot about you! XOXO