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Posted by on Jan 9, 2012 | 22 comments

Tanama Tales Travel ABCs

Wonderful Cathy of Traveling with Sweeney nominated me for “My Travel ABCs” series.  I had lots of fun doing my ABCs.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Age you went on your first international trip: 20.  I took a cruise departing from San Juan and visiting St. Thomas and St. Martin with my best friend’s family.  So technically, I visited France and the Netherlands on my first international trip.  The interesting thing is that we got into the ship without adult supervision (because we were under 21 and my friend’s grandma arrived later) and without a passport.  These shows how lax were the rules pre 9/11.

Best foreign beer you have had and where: I don’t drink beer so I can’t answer this one.

Cuisine (favorite): Ahhh, eating is one of the things I enjoy most.  I love to try new dishes.  If I really have to pick favorites, I would say Puerto Rican, Italian (even though my husband hates it) and anything Asian (ok, almost anything).

 

Enjoying some Asian food

 

Destinations – favorite, least favorite and why: This is impossible to answer.  Every place I have visited holds a special place in my heart. Well, let me say Thailand and Spain are beyond cool. And I have to say Canada exceeded my expectations and I believe is an underrated country.

In terms of least favorite, I have to say Belize.  I have never been so scared in another country.  A total stranger grabbed my bags as soon as I entered a bus station and I had to endure 3 hours bus ride with people high on something.  Plus, it is very difficult to move between points and I was not so happy to find out the Army was escorting us to Caracol.  I would visit again, though.

Event you experienced abroad that made you say wow: Trying to take the subway during rush hour in
Shanghai, China.  I have never seen so many people in my life.  Chinese from other parts of the country were taking photos and videos of the event.  So, I wasn’t the only one in shock.

Favorite mode of transportation: Elephant or camel!!! I have ridden them in Thailand and Egypt, respectively.  Nothing beats the excitement of riding these huge but cute animals.  By the way, the camel I rode was called Michael Jackson.

 

Riding an elephant in Thailand

 

Greatest feeling while traveling: Knowing I will see a famous landmark for the first time, walking the same
path historical characters walked once, trying new flavors and meeting awesome people.

Hottest place you have traveled to: I think it is a tie between Aswan, Egypt and the Hoover Dam in August. Both times I experienced temperatures of more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those occasions reminded me of when you stick your face on an oven to check a cake.

Incredible service you have experienced and where: Montevideo, Uruguay. After having lunch at my hotel’s restaurant, I offered a tip to the waiter who served me.  He rejected the tip while pronouncing the words “Serving you was my pleasure”.  His response surprised me since it was obvious that he meant what he said.  I think I haven’t experience better service anywhere.

Journey that took the longest: Going back to Puerto Rico after a trip to Europe and Egypt.  We took an overnight train from Aswan to Cairo.  Then planes from Cairo to Paris, Paris to Madrid, Madrid to Santo Domingo and Santo Domingo to San Juan.  That took like 36 hours.  I was in a zombie like state when my dad picked me up at the airport.

Keepsake from your travels: I only buy things unique to destinations or things I can give a specific use.  I usually buy jewelry. I like to collect postcards and magnets from the places I visit.

Let-down site – why and where: Milan, I was expecting more of the fashion capital of the world. Cape Sounion in Greece, a guide told us it had an Acropolis in a better state than the one in Athens, of course, it was a lie.  Statue of Liberty, don’t know why is so famous.

Moment when you fell in love with travel: I like to think this happened during my first trip to Europe.  Conversely, looking at old school projects I have discovered that I was in love with travel even before I started to travel.

Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: I want to cry just remembering my time at a hotel I stayed while visiting Shanghai (can’t find its name).  The room was so big, the food yummy, the views great and the service top notch.  I had to slap myself when coming back to reality.

 

View from my hotel in Shanghai

 

Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling: I enjoy taking pictures of a lot of things – food, views, buildings, animals, landmarks.  I just want to practice in order to sharpen my skills.

Passport stamps, how many and from where: El Salvador (5), Guatemala (3), Belize (2), Costa Rica (1), Panama (2), Canada (1), Argentina (2), Uruguay (2), Brazil (1), Egypt (2), China (2), Thailand (2), United Kingdom (1), Greece (2, Patmos and Port of Piraeus), Lichtenstein (1), Madrid (1), Mexico (1) and two admittance to the United States stamps.

Quirkiest attraction you have visited and where: I have stopped to take my picture with the world’s largest thermometer in Barstow Baker, CA (correction: I made a mistake when pointing out Barstow as the location of the world’s largest thermometer).  This is sad, I know.

Recommended site, event, or experience: I recommend an eco-tour around the Panama Canal.  This is a day trip where you can see the big ships transiting thru the canal, tons of wildlife, a waterfall and much more.  Everybody should do something like this.  Simply amazing!

Splurge, something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: I don’t mind splurging on
food.  I prefer to go cheap on other areas and spend all the savings eating something delicious.

 

Sea lions on San Frnacisco's Pier 39, super touristy but lovely

 

Touristy thing you have done: Too many. I don’t really mind.  Some include walking around the Fishermen’s Wharf in San Francisco, going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, soaking in the hot springs in Costa Rica and visiting the tomb of Eva Peron in Argentina.

Unforgettable travel memory: Probably, getting engaged in an airport.

Visas, how many and from where: Eight, 5 for El Salvador (tourist card), one for Brazil, one for China and one for Egypt.

Wine, best glass while traveling and where: Don’t drink wine either.

eXcellent view and from where: I love to see the places I visit from the top.  Recently, I have seen amazing views of Rio de Janeiro from Corcovado and Mexico City from the top of the Torre Latinoamericana.

 

Guanabara Bay seen from Corcovado

 

Years spent traveling: Half my life, about 15 years.

Zealous sports fans and where: I am not a sports lover but have witnessed how soccer gets people wild in some
countries.  I was once with a group of friends in a small town in El Salvador when the guys decided to challenge a group of strangers that were hanging around the main plaza.  One of my friends lost a shoe and another ended under a bench (he couldn’t get out).  Things get out of control sometimes.

 

Wow, that was great.  Now is my time to nominate some travel bloggers:

Michael of Strux Travel

Emme of Roamancing

Dallas of Go Travel and Explore

Annette of Bucket List Journey

Michaela of Awe Inclusive

 

Did you like my ABCs? Let me know in the comments section below.

22 Comments

  1. Ruth, I love your ABCs! Elephant or came as your favorite form of transportation — awesome! It’s funny about the thermometer in Barstow — I’ve been through Barstow numerous times and didn’t even know about this. Next time there, I’m finding it!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..TWS’s ABCs of TravelMy Profile

  2. Loved reading your ABC’s! I would love to ride an elephant or camel and can see why you listed it as your favorite way to travel! It’s so unique. I too have been through Barstow too many times but know why I haven’t stopped to see the thermometer. . . I try to get Out of Barstow as fast as I can 🙂

    Great post but I can’t believe your husband doesn’t like Italian food! I think he is the only person I know that feels this way!
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Fondue-Is it Swiss or French?My Profile

    • I know, I don’t understand why he doesn’t like Italian food. I don’t prepare it that often because I will have to eat all by myself. Last Sunday, I got lasagna, breadsticks and a salad while he got his Mongolian BBQ plate. He is crazy about Asian food.
      Ruth recently posted..Tanama Tales Travel ABCsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Jeremy. The thing I have witnessed because of sports. Actually, I don’t like sports but if somebody invite me to an event I usually go (and have a great time). I just don’t feet the urge to follow sports on my own.
      Ruth recently posted..Tanama Tales Travel ABCsMy Profile

    • Coutney,
      I believe in one way or another we all do “touristy things”. It looks impossible to me not wanting to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Opera House in Sydney or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I try to find a balance between touristy and authentic when I travel.
      Ruth recently posted..A Rainforest in San FranciscoMy Profile

  3. Wow! You have some very cool travel moments and lots of great experiences while traveling.

    It reminds me of a conversation that I had with a group of friends about dating someone who didn’t enjoy travel. How could you? They would miss so many memories?!? At this point, I couldn’t even imagine a life without traveling.

    Thanks for the nomination!
    Michaela recently posted..My Run-In With A Craigslist Scam ArtistMy Profile

    • Hey Michaela,
      Interesting to know your perspective on dating people who don’t like to travel. I think I would have not married my husband if he didn’t like to travel and explore. It would be hard to live with a couch potato.
      Ruth recently posted..A Rainforest in San FranciscoMy Profile

  4. Hi there,

    I see we both tagged Emme of Roamancing on this one! I really enjoyed reading your AtoZ and agreed with your view from Corcovado – Fantastic!

    Suzanne
    Suzanne Courtneys recently posted..My A to Z of TravelMy Profile

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