Name: Mila Banwat
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Trips with FnEZ: 20-day Indonesia “Experience it All,” 20-day Thailand “A Dose of Paradise,” 40-day Greece and Turkey “Explore the Mediterranean,” 40-day Philippines “The New Frontier,” and Nicaragua New Years “The Final Fiesta” (x3!!!)
Why I Travel: There is nothing better than seeing different parts of this beautiful world, immersing yourself in cultures that are so wildly different than your own, and meeting incredibly unique people from all walks of life with whom to share these amazing experiences! And the sunsets. Oh my word, those sunsets!
Favourite FnEZ Travel Memory: There are SO many! But one of the most memorable was definitely paragliding in Oludeniz, Turkey. I should preface this by explaining that I have a debilitating fear of heights. Because of this, I was going to opt out. Somehow taking a running jump off a nearly 7000 ft high cliff is hard to stomach for someone who hates heights. Luckily I was with a solid group of individuals who quickly learned that the easiest and quickest way to get me to do anything is to simply say “But Mila, you’re a Yes-Man.” So I stepped way outside of my comfort zone, took a (literal) leap of faith, and it was by far the most exhilarating thing I’ve done in my life. I conquered an insane fear in a really bad-ass way and loved every second of it!
Most embarrassing travel story? There’s a rumour floating around that after a particularly boozy night at the Lake House (in Khao Sok, Thailand), I may or may not have peed in my wonderful leader’s bed. This rumour is still yet to be verified.
Biggest challenge you’ve faced on a trip: My hostel room was once broken into. I lost my wallet which had every single dollar I had, as well as my cards, so I had absolutely no way of getting more money. After a good cry, a pep talk or two, and a couple of drinks, I pulled myself together and with the temporary help of some incredibly generous friends, got back on my feet. While it was a terrible situation at the time, it taught me some great lessons: hide your valuables well, hide them in multiple places, and always surround yourself with amazing, supportive people. (Huge shout out to my sugar daddies and mommies who helped a sista out when she didn’t have a single Cordoba to her name!)
Any “Must Have” Items In Your Backpack? Frank’s Red Hot, Monopoly Deal, a set of dice (I will never say no to a game of Three-Man), Bluetooth speakers for a bitchin’ playlist, and Emergen-C/Alka-Seltzer for hangover prevention.