You may not be traveling in the way you hoped this year, but that doesn’t mean your wanderlust has gone away, right? Mine has definitely increased lately! I hope you enjoy learning from a fellow seasoned traveler who is sharing her favorite experiences and travel tips with me. May you feel inspired and get some great ideas for your next trip, whether it’s somewhere local or far away! Read on to enjoy my interview with Anna of Anna Meanders.
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What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done while traveling?
- For my 32nd birthday, I made it out to the Colombian Amazon for a week, a lifelong dream of mine. I kayaked down the Amazon river, slept in a traditional Amazonian treehouse, scaled & abseiled monstrously large trees, and had the experience of a lifetime.
What is one unique item you never travel without?
- An eclectic collection of teas. I love good tea, and I have a few places around the world that make my favourites & I stockpile! I’m so obsessed that I carry my tea collection in clearly labelled ziplock bags in my suitcase (and a handful in my carry on too!) so I can enjoy my favourites wherever I am.
What’s been the best destination/airport you’ve visited and why?
- Picking the best destination is far, far too difficult! But the best airport, I can do that. Changi Airport, Singapore is hands down my favorite! So clean, never a shortage of places to sit or charge your devices, so much to do & look at, great shops & food. There’s a reason it frequently wins the best airport awards.
What’s been the most unique food or drink you have tried on your travels? Where did you have it and would you have it again?
- Chapulines in Oaxaca, Mexico. Commonly used as a snack, or ground up as a seasoning salt, chapulines (grasshoppers marinated in garlic and/or chili) are inescapable in Oaxaca! I tried one whole on my first trip to Oaxaca, and have had them since in other things. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them again, but if I find them in something it doesn’t stop me enjoying it.
What is the best way to give back when you travel?
- I like to volunteer when and where I can. I’ve spent time renovating farmhouses in Bulgaria, gardening in Portugal, and volunteering in refugee camps across Greece. When that’s not possible, the best thing is to support locally run businesses and people & spending your money in places where it will get back to the people.
What is the best tour company (or tour guide) you’ve used and what set them apart?
- Intrepid Travel. I went on a real foods tour of Mexico with them many years back, and have gone on to recommend them to my family who’ve used them to explore India. I’m not a tour person, but these are really small group tours & give you lots of free time and optional activities to explore a place for yourself.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
- Compassion. To be kind, to listen to the stories of everyone you meet. The world is such an incredible place to explore, but if you’re not learning about the people, the culture, and the background of a place you’re missing out on so very much of it.
What’s the best accommodation that you’ve stayed in and what made it special?
- A little Airbnb studio in Costa Rica that backed onto the jungle reserve of Manuel Antonio national park. The balcony was immersed in the jungle, and you could lie in the hammock surrounded by toucans, howler monkeys, and little agouties foraging around the jungle floor. I’m a wildlife lover, and it was absolute paradise.
What is the best way to afford more travel?
- Going full nomad (if you can!) – not having the expenses at home such as rent, allows you to budget all your AirBnbs and flights as if they were part of your everyday expenses. Other than that, traveling during shoulder seasons makes for some good deals, and always look up flight prices in private browsing windows!
Thanks for reading.