Countries I’ve traveled to otherwise: I hit my 50th country with my most recent FnEZ Philippines trip! So in other words, too many to list in a blog post, but if you want the gist: all of North America, Most of western Europe, most of the Caribbean, most of Southeast Asia, and about half of central America. I guess that means only 150 or so left to go! :p
Why I travel: For SO many reasons: seeing things I have never seen before, meeting people who have new and unique stories to tell, for trying new foods, listening to new music, exploring rich and vibrant cultures, for escaping the humdrum…and let’s be real…definitely for finding that secluded beach somewhere in paradise and just lying there in the sun with a beer in hand and your favourite tune playing in your ear.
My favourite travel memory with FnEZ: Oh man, so many to choose from. I think my all-time favourite memory is actually an entire day. I also might have to censor this one a bit, as it was my birthday and things got a bit messy…but we were in Koh Samui and the day started early with McDonald’s breakfast delivery to the hotel, me finding the first of many Smirnoff Ices in my breakfast, and then piling into the back of a pickup with a few Birthday Breezers to go zip-lining in the jungle. After an awesome day of cruising through the trees we had a group dinner on the beach complete with a paper lantern that my whole group had written birthday wishes on and they sang to me as we sent it off. I believe there were several more Ices somewhere in there as well. Then things started to get a little silly, starting with singing along at Ladyboy Cabaret, fist-pumping at Green Mango, and finally a wet t-shirt contest at Sound Club with some very enthusiastic participants who were thrilled to know it was my birthday. Finally, the night wound down with a stumble for some drunken junk food and the wander home. I also may have woken up the next morning with someone else’s Thai pants on. T’is a mystery, that.
Most embarrassing travel story: Hmmm…I’d like to plead the 5th on this one…some things are never meant to be made public. 😉
Top 3 items I can’t travel without:
1) Definitely, my Sony a6000 (compact mirrorless camera) which goes with me everywhere. It is nice and compact compared to most DSLRs and takes awesome photos.
2) My MacBook Pro – Despite the fact that it adds a fair bit of weight, I bring my laptop along for 2 reasons: one is for editing my photos on the go using Lightroom, and the other being I HATE surfing the web/watching shows etc. on a tiny phone screen. Kudos to those who don’t mind as this can save a ton of packing weight. Though word of caution to the wise: do not try to drunkenly pack for an early flight the next day with your laptop on the edge of your top bunk :(. That one is pretty fresh still.
3) This one is kind of a no-brainer as it would be literally impossible to travel without, but my backpack! I’ve got a PacSafe Venturesafe 45L carry-on backpack which I use for every trip from a weekend away to backpacking for months on end. Having the smaller bag means it is easy to lug around town, plus I never have to check it in on airplanes. It also has some other cool features like anti-theft wire mesh, stowable shoulder and waist straps and a central anchor point to lock all the zippers on the bag onto with a single lock. Hassle free = kick ass.
What I love about traveling with FnEZ: It is the perfect blend between all the adventure and adrenaline of solo backpacking, but with all the comforts and conveniences of a guided tour, but without feeling too much like a herd of cattle being prodded around from place to place.
Next bucket list item I need to check off: I think this one is a 2-way tie for me. I really want to do an island-hopping cruise/sail through the Mediterranean (Greece/Croatia….maybe yacht week??), and I also really want to hit Iceland, as it is a photographer’s paradise.
My future travel plans: Nothing concrete as of yet, but I plan on going to Burning Man for my first time this year which would be a whole different kind of adventure!