The Travel Whispers Blogger Challenge
Something interesting popped up in my Twitter feed yesterday evening: the Travel Whispers Blogger Challenge. I had read a blog by Josie Wanders on being a newbie in business class which struck a chord as she sounded as excited as I was when I flew with BA last year. You can compare our experiences here:
Josie had also completed the blogger challenge, which had been set up by another travel blogger, Stephanie Cox. Basically, it’s a great way of getting travel ideas; the travel bloggers that have participated know their stuff and there are some tempting recommendations that I’m definitely going to check out. If you’re interested in joining in, then have a look at Stephanie’s original post here:
What follows are my answers to the Travel Whispers Blogger Challenge. What would yours be?
1. If you had to move to a country that you’ve NEVER been to, and live there for ten years, where would you go?
I read this and I almost gave up there and then. I’m up to 107 countries now, and it’s tempting to think that all the good ones have gone! I can’t pick Peru or Mexico or Australia or Austria or Spain, all of which would have been contenders. I’m spinning my globe here and though there’s some exciting destinations that so far are untrodden by my hiking boots – Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia – they’d all be pretty tough to live in, especially for ten years. So I’m going to take the easy route and pick a lovely warm Caribbean island to spend my imaginary decade, and my choice would be Barbados. With direct flights from the UK my friends would be able to come and visit, so I’d have someone to go to the beach with.
2. If you had to live in a hotel for the rest of your life, which hotel would you choose and why?
Now this one is tricky for different reasons: I’ve been fortunate to stay at a lot of hotels and, a lot of good ones to boot. Taking “hotel” literally, it rules out fabulous glamping sites such as Patagonia Camp which is possibly my all time favourite place to wake up. There’s something so special about seeing the sun come up over the lake with the granite towers slowly coming into view as the light increases. But I digress. Hotel, they asked for and hotel, they will get. Now obviously, if I’m going to spend the rest of my life somewhere, I’m going to pop out of the hotel from time to time, so my choice would be the Hotel Plaza de Armas in Cusco. I’ve stayed there twice. The hotel is a comfortable mid-range option, nothing fancy, but the view over the main square is one I’ll never tire of and the city after multiple visits, is one I love more every time.
3. If you could only eat the cuisine of one nationality forever more, which would you choose?
Mexican. That’s an easy one. But not just tour usual tacos and burritos, it would be the dishes of Oaxaca, with the rich mole sauces that make the palate tingle, and the steaming mugs of chocolate served Mayan style.
4. Who has given you ‘holiday envy’ this year, and how?
Each time I browse Twitter, check my Facebook feed or dip into myWanderlust, there’s something that excites me. A few people have posted about Georgia, a country that’s been on my wish list for some time, especially the Svaneti region. I’d be loathe to say I envy them, but I’m keen to copy them!
5. If you had to look at the same sunrise or the same sunset every day, where in the world would you never get bored of seeing? Please don’t say sitting outside Cafe Mambo in Ibiza.
I’m writing this watching the sun come up over the Essex marshes from my desk; since moving here a year ago this has become my favourite sunrise. This morning there’s a hard frost on the ground, the brown reeds look almost yellow where the sun’s weak rays are hitting them, and the tide’s yet to rise. The sky has gone from a blood orange to a delicate peach, punctuated by skeletal trees that won’t see buds until at least March. But it’s cold out there, and if I’m searching for warmth, then it would be seeing the sun set on the Honduran island of Roatan. If there’s ever a place where I’d hum “Sitting on the dock of the bay”, then this is the place.
6. If you were taking a ‘staycation’ in your home town, where would it be and what would you recommend others to do?
I don’t live in a town anymore, but the north Essex countryside is well worth a trip. I’d begin with sunrise at the coast, perhaps on Mersea Island where the sun will illuminate the many oyster shells discarded on the beach. Then, head north across the Colne to wander along the riverbank to the Torrington Tide Mill before meandering north along the country lanes to Dedham Vale, where Constable once painted. If it’s warm, I’d recommend a boat trip along the river, past Flatford Mill and down into Dedham itself, where the cream teas are to die for. Later, a meal in one of my county’s centuries-old pubs before a roaring fire would seem a fitting end to the day. Who’s coming?
7. Describe your perfect travel day of the year?
Lots to choose from, but I think perhaps it would be riding the railway through Sri Lanka’s hill country, past the verdant terraces crammed with tea bushes. Alighting at Nuwara Eliya, my destination was the nearby Heritance Tea Factory, a former workplace now sympathetically converted into a luxury hotel. I had great fun picking tea, tasting tea and having a tea facial. I do like a good cuppa, but I am a Brit, so what did you expect?
8. What have you ticked off your bucket list in 2016?
2016 was the year when I finally made it to the beautiful Seychelles, an Indian Ocean paradise that’s been on my wish list for many years. And it was also my first time flying business class, and what better introduction than with British Airways to New York, one of my favourite cities.
9. What is top of your travel bucket list for 2017?
Top of my list is attending the Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha, a cowboy festival in the Uruguayan town of Tacuarembó. I’ll be there in March, marvelling at the horsemanship, before continuing via Salta in Argentina to the salt flats near Uyuni, Bolivia. It’ll be wet season, and if I’m lucky I’ll get to see the famous mirror effect.
10. Share your favourite Instagram photo of 2016?
I don’t have an Instagram account, but this is one of my favourites from Twitter instead.
Since this is a Whispers challenge, thanks to Vintage Blue Suitcase who has passed this on to me. Now in turn I’ll pass this on; the baton is passed to ILive4Travel. Here are the links:
If you want to get involved join the Facebook group!