Friday, 17 February 2012

My travels from A to Z

I haven't done a post in a while, being busy living on a paradise island and getting really ill from a cut (more on this later), so when Connie from ConnVoyage tagged me in this A-Z, I thought it was a good way to come back to blogging and share with you my best travel experience!

A: Age you went on your first trip.
I think it was 7. My parents took me to Edinburgh (Edinbraaahh). I think that's when I got bitten by the Travel bug (Sorry Nicole, I needed to use the expression haha!). First time on a plane, first time out the country, I loved every second. Oh and I had my own room in a 5* hotel. Win.

B: Best (foreign) beer I ever had.
Hum, I'm not sure. I'm really not a big beer fan. But I'll tell you that. I do enjoy one very cold beer at the end of the day, preferably somewhere exotic. You know this feeling. When it's hot and sticky, and as the night settles in, in a mix of sweat and dirt, sit down with friends and enjoy the local brew.

C: Cuisine (favorite)
Tricky question. Very tricky. So tricky I cannot get it down to one. So I'll have to say French/Japanese.
I am french and I love going back home for the food! Call me chauvinistic but I love it. Right after that comes Japanese food. Not only sushis, but everything. The flavors are so fresh and varied.

D: Destination (favorite and least) 
Cambodia was probably my favorite part of South East Asia. I find this country absolutely fascinating and its history as well. Siem Reap was a very special moment for me,  I dreamt to go there since I was a kid, and finally getting there got my stomach upside down with excitement. Being in Cambodia was also my first "paradise beach" with the turquoise water and the pristine white sand.

My least favorite? Pattaya. I'm pretty easy going, and generally quite happy to just being on the road. But it was so seedy, so wrong at so many levels. You can breath the cheap perfume coming for the girlies bar, and smell the sweat off the backs of overweight middle aged men who have left their families to come to places like these. I have a serious issue with these people and tend to loudly express it when I see it . Anyway Pattaya was just a terrible place.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow.”
Watching the sunrise on a boat to Koh Tao. I was the only one up, ran out to the top deck and the most incredible sunrise was there, just to myself. On one side the night was still there and on the other a fire had exploded in the sky which reflected on the oily sea where the dark was still there. I cried. It felt so right to be there, so free of any worries and not a spot of land on sight. Incredible moment burned into my brain forever.

F: Favorite mode of transportation.
I really enjoy walking and all, but riding through a foreign place gives me such a rush. Whether it's horse riding through the dunes of Brittany to a quad ride up and down Koh Phangan. I love it, speed and new scenery.

G: Greatest feeling whilst traveling 
Freedom. Not a worries. Silence. And being alone.  Which can be quite nicely compiled into me, by myself, reading a book, on a beach/field/mountain etc... I can't get enough of the inner peace I get from traveling.

 H: Hottest place you traveled to:
Australia. OH MY GOD. I love the heat, I don't even sweat in tropical places. But that one got me, it was 43 degrees, and that was wayyy too much. I remember being in my friend's flat, lying on my belly on the floor with the fan on top of us, gasping for the slightly cooler wind.

I:Incredible service you've experienced and where?
So many places. People complain all the time about "service" but unless the person is really being a moron, generally it's pretty good. There was Jackie from Jungle bar in Laos, and the guys at Tony's House in Ayuthaya, and of course Deco bar in PhiPhi. I love getting to know the staff from a place.

J: Journey that took the longest
Paris-Bangkok 60h. Paris London, night bus from London to Notthigham, wait, Notthingham- Manchester- 8h of wait- Manchester-Doha, 8h of freaking wait, Doha-Bangkok. Total 60h. I wanted to sit and cry and call my mum.

K: Keepsake from your travels.
There is bits of my travels everywhere, everyday with me. Whether it's a bracelet on my wrist, my journal, a key ring from there, or a book from that place, a receipt from that bar at the bottom of my bag, it's always with me.

L: Letdown site and where?
The Sydney Opera. Wait, wait, wait before going crazy at me. I love Sydney, I loved living there. But the first time I saw the Sydney Opera, I thought "It's actually quite small!". In my mind, it was a LOT bigger. Love the bridge though.

M: Moment where you fell in love with traveling
As I said that Scotland trip was a real trigger in my love for traveling. But I did not want just a flirt, I wanted a real solid relationship between travel and I. So we took slowly, road trips with friend, then I was lucky enough to work on festivals around Europe, and all these little bits, missing trains, sleeping in trains, cars, boats, bus, getting drenched, getting burned, getting drunk, getting pierced, getting tattooed, running for flights, waiting in lines, swimming in pools, swimming in oceans, diving, hiking, laughing, vomiting, getting sick, going to the hospital, missing flights, missing more flights, falling from motorbikes, falling in love, falling out love, falling in love again, falling for places and people and never go home, well all these little bits made me fall for travel, not one moment, but many.


N: Nicest Hotel you stayed at.
Hotel Costes, Paris. Not a doubt.

O: Obsession. What are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?
Palm trees. Say What? Yes, palm trees. Palm trees means I'm away from home. Palm trees makes me happy. Thank you Palm trees.

P: Passport stamps.
50. I got my passport in October 2008, so in less than 4 years, I think it's not too bad, knowing I got also a degree at the same time, and now studying for my master (yes, I am proud of that).

Q: Quirkiest attraction you visited
Torture museum, Prague. So ok. Not that "quirky", but it was quite bizarre.

R: Recommended site, event or experience.
I'm gonna sound super corny but sunrises and sunset. Anywhere, it gives such a feeling of calm, whether it's another day that comes to an end, or another that is starting. So do wake up before everyone else, sneak out in the dark, and get to a quiet spot and enjoy. Wherever you are. Run to catch the last glimpse of the burning sun on the sea or behind a hill. It's good for the soul.

S: Splurge
FOOD. Everywhere, any time, anything. From balut to black rice pudding, I'm ready to try, taste and discover.  I love a good meal with friends, sitting down and taking my time to enjoy.

T: Touristy thing I've done
Plenty I guess. I lived in Paris, so Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and others are on the list when a foreign friend is visiting.

U: Unforgetable travel memory.
I talked about how much I love sunrises. Well this is one of them. Sunrise at Angkor Wat. Probably could have put it in the touristy thing but it holds a special place in my heart. I wanted to see it since I was a kid. Again so much emotions at that moment, just thinking about it brings my heart to squeeze a little bit. So right to be there, at that moment, with my best friend, and again the peace it gives to my mind. Amazing.

V: Visa, How many and from where?
Thailand x5, Australia x3, Hong Kong (student visa), Laos, Cambodia, USA.

W: Wine. Best glass of wine and where?
You know what, it was not the wine, but the company. London. My friends and I.

X: eXcellent view and from where?
Slow boat from Thailand to Laos. The jaw-dropping limestone cliff, with the little villages every now and then. Incredible. I could not get enough. I was listening to Bat for Lashes, in the sun, trying to photograph everything in my mind as much as I could.

Y: Years spent traveling?
Well, I traveled before, but I left France when I was 18 and been out and about since. So coming up to 6 years in June.

Z: Zealous sport fans? 
At least 300 people at 2 am in Koh Pangan watching Spurs.

Now I know my ABCs. Next time won't you sing with me? Tag, you're it!  
Nicole from Bitten by the Travel bug
Chris from Backpacker Banter 

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