Full Name: Janelle Walters
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Occupation: Beer Slinger (bartender)
Describe the moment the travel bug bit: My family had always travelled to an extent…a road trip through the US, a trip to Mexico here and there, that kind of thing. But when I was in grade 7, my parents pulled myself and my brother out of school before finals (bonus!) to spend 5 weeks in Europe. All of my teachers and the principal said the same thing, the education we would receive in Europe would surpass anything we had learned that year – and they were right. After the small amount of time abroad all I could think of was travelling. The bug had definitely bitten. Since then I have only temporarily slowed down to complete college. The bug is still very much alive and now that I’ve graduated, I can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful world!
Why group travel? There are a couple of reasons I chose group travel. Many dull days at my desk job had led to countless google searches of Asia, this magical land I could only hope to visit. These results prompted me to visit FnEZ’s webpage often. The idea of group travel was stuck in my head, that’s when a friend asked if I would want to book a trip to Thailand with her, of course I jumped at the chance – cue FnEZ. Another big reason was I had just started a “big girl” job, and was working a lot. I didn’t have the time to research, plan and book a trip on my own. In all honesty after I had booked with FnEZ, I hardly checked out the itinerary. I wanted an adventure, the trip was booked and I just went along for the ride.
What was your favourite travel day? The best travel day I’ve ever had was the day my 19 year-old self moved to Australia. I’ve never experienced so many emotions in one day. I was sad to leave home, scared to be across the world with no support system, but mostly excited for the adventure. I also listened to Men at Works – Land Down Under probably 200 times during the flight there…how can that not be a great day?!
Favourite FnEZ travel experience: Hands down my favourite FnEZ travel experience was climbing Mount Rinjani. I was with an incredible group of people, including two great friends. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. The hike was pretty intense, but so worth it. I can still remember the feeling of getting to the top, celebrating with some Bintangs and rice wine (which at that altitude was a party), watching the sunset, going to bed in a freezing cold tent, and waking up to an amazing sunrise while eating banana pancakes and drinking hot tea on the crater rim of a volcano. It was pure bliss taking in that moment.
What 3 items can’t you travel without?
A sarong or big scarf, I use them for everything. A blanket, a towel, a pillow, a shawl.. the options are endless.
My iPod – filled with a mix of music for whatever mood I’m in.
A deck of cards and a travel crib board. Such a great way to pass time, meet new friends or start a drinking game.
Any future travel plans? I have two trips to Mexico booked for weddings next year. Other than that my travel plans are a bit up in the air. I have been eyeing Free & Easy’s Peru and South Africa trips though! Both look so amazing and I’m sure it won’t be too much longer before I book, definitely getting itchy feet!