My Travel ABC


The World, Ottawa, Octo­ber 2011

Kathe­rina’s motto is “Eat, Travel, Photography”—with such a tagline, it’s not won­der that I’m read­ing her arti­cles reli­giously! Her travel blog, 100 Miles High­way, can give you a pretty bad case of wanderlust.

She recently com­pleted her Travel ABC, and tagged me for this spe­cial travel meme.

A: Age you went on your first inter­na­tional trip: I didn’t travel much when I was a kid and I’ve never been abroad with my par­ents. It’s actu­ally a mys­tery: where did I get the travel bug from? My first trip abroad was a school trip to the U.K when I was 12 years old.

B: Best for­eign beer you’ve had and where: I don’t drink! Okay, I guess Brahma Beer in Brazil. It’s a classic.

C: Cui­sine (favorite): I’m a foodie and I love Chi­nese food, espe­cially North­ern Chi­nese cui­sine with the 包子, 饺子 etc. Sec­ond choice would be Italian—I’m a pasta lover.

D: Des­ti­na­tions: favorite, least favorite and why: My favorite des­ti­na­tion is always China. I’ve been there five times and I’m still in awe. There is always some­thing new to dis­cover in this ever-changing coun­try. Besides, that’s where I caught the travel bug. Least favorite would be Panama. Some parts of the coun­try are nice but Panama City is pretty rough (see our expe­ri­ence in 2001), let alone the east­ern part of the country.

E: Event you expe­ri­enced abroad that made you say “wow”: So many! The Car­ni­val in Brazil, New Year’s Eve in Syd­ney, the Olympic Games in Bei­jing… One of the unfor­get­table and unfor­tu­nate events I wit­nessed was the “pesi­fi­cación” in Argentina in 2002. We arrived in Buenos Aires dur­ing the peak of the eco­nomic crisis.

F: Favorite mode of trans­porta­tion: In Europe, the train. Any­where else, the bus. Not that it’s the most com­fort­able way to travel, but it takes you pretty much anywhere.

G: Great­est feel­ing while trav­el­ing: The free­dom. Noth­ing mat­ters any­more but look­ing around you and mak­ing your way some­where. It’s a “back to basics” expe­ri­ence: you have to find shel­ter and food every day.

H: Hottest place you’ve trav­eled to: Well, it was above 40°C in Ottawa last sum­mer! Okay, abroad, it is between Panama, Porto Ale­gre (Brazil), Queens­land (Aus­tralia) and Sin­ga­pore. Bei­jing sum­mers are bru­tal too.

I: Incred­i­ble ser­vice you’ve expe­ri­enced and where: I’ve had good expe­ri­ences world­wide. It goes with the atti­tude I think.

J: Jour­ney that took the longest: By plane, prob­a­bly my Sydney-Hong Kong-Paris flight in 2003. I was sup­posed to have a few hour stop-over in Hong Kong but because of the SARS epi­demic, pas­sen­gers were rushed to the con­nect­ing plane right away, so it felt like a long 20+ hours flight. By bus… about two weeks to get out of Patag­o­nia. By train, the crazy three-day trip from Syd­ney to Perth, cross­ing the Nullarbor.

K: Keep­sake from your trav­els: A jade pen­dant I always wear. I bought it in New Zealand in 2003.

L: Let-down sight, why and where: Glac­ier Mar­tial in Patag­o­nia! Some­one should have told me that it was sum­mer over there and that the glac­ier was pretty much melted. Besides, I’ve seen ice and snow on the ground before!

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: When I went to China by myself as a 16 years old. I loved being in a for­eign coun­try and I met a lot of peo­ple from all around the world. That’s when I real­ized I didn’t have to stay where I was born, and that I wanted to explore the world.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: I have a great mem­ory of a hotel in Helsinki. To be fair, it was prob­a­bly fairly stan­dard but we were com­ing back from China. West­ern toi­lets and a comfy bed with a soft mat­tress made my night.

O: Obses­sionwhat are you obsessed with tak­ing pic­tures of while trav­el­ing? Peo­ple! I love street pho­tog­ra­phy and I never get tired of observ­ing locals.

P: Pass­port stamps, how many and from where? Oh boy… too many to count. Cur­rently on my Cana­dian pass­port: mul­ti­ple U.S. stamps, Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, Thai­land, the U.K, and Schen­gen. Many more in my old French passports!

Q: Quirki­est attrac­tion you’ve vis­ited and where: Prob­a­bly Leon Trotsky’s house in Mex­ico City in 2001.

S: Splurge; some­thing you have no prob­lem fork­ing over money for while trav­el­ing: A safe place to stay. I had my share of dorms and shady hotels. I reached a point where I have no prob­lem sleep­ing in a four– or six-bed dorm once in a while and shar­ing a bath­room, but I want a place with­out bed­bugs and cockroaches.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: All the attrac­tions in Paris with Feng, includ­ing climb­ing the Eif­fel Tower. It was actu­ally a lot of fun to be in France as a tourist.

U: Unfor­get­table travel mem­ory: Reach­ing Ushuaia in Patag­o­nia, stay­ing on a off the beaten path island in Thai­land, beach-bumming in Aus­tralia

V: Visas, how many and for where? I haven’t had to apply for a visa with my Cana­dian pass­port yet. With my French pass­port, I got five visas to China, a six-month tourist visa for Aus­tralia, a work­ing hol­i­day visa for Canada, and later my per­ma­nent res­i­dence visa for Canada.

W: Wine, best glass of wine while trav­el­ing and where? Argentina! Red wine and a great steak in Buenos Aires.

X: eXcel­lent view and from where? From the Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro, the Peace Tower in Ottawa, Marina Bay in Sin­ga­pore, Obser­va­tory Road in Los Ange­les

Y: Years spent trav­el­ing? Well, I’ve been back­pack­ing since I’m 16, so 12 years I guess. On and off though.

Z: Zeal­ous sports fans and where? Foot­ball fans in Argentina, around the La Bom­bon­era. That’s where you do not wear a Brazil­ian foot­ball jersey!

I’d like to tag:


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Wow, am I ever behind with the blog-reading. (Scratch that, I’m behind with EVERYTHING.) Since you tagged me, I’m going to fill this one out tonight, or it will fall by the wayside!

  2. Pingback: Gail at Large » Blog Archive » My Travel ABC

  3. Inter­est­ing to learn more about you. I had no idea that you have been to China 5 times! Thanks for the nom­i­na­tion, I’ll work on my ABCs next week.

  4. What an inter­est­ing list! I guess trav­el­ing is the best thing to do on earth! I could not imag­ine what my life would be like with­out traveling!!!

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