One of my favourite bloggers, Katie from Fatty McCupcakes*, tagged me** in her travel-related post. I loved the idea of being involved, but we were so busy getting ready to move to Canada that I didn’t have a chance to actually write up my response. So, here it is, just a month late!
*I’ve added a link to her blog, but be careful about reading it when you have a hot cup of tea! Seriously, she’ll make you giggle out loud, snort some hot tea and possibly burn yourself! Katie was tagged by An Historian About Town. Check her out as well as she also has informative, fun to read posts. 🙂
**I’ve never done a tag post before but I think it is a bit like a chain letter. I’ll think of someone else to tag at the bottom of this post, then they can either ignore it completely, or get involved too – then if they tag someone, the chain will continue. That sounds like a chain letter right!?
What is your favourite place that you have visited?
Japan! I went there for the first time when I was 19 and just fell in love with the people, the scenery and the food. Since then I learnt Japanese and went back there to live for one year as a student, and then again for a couple of years when I worked as a Coordinator for International Relations in Nara. I have soooo many stories about amazing things that happened to me in Japan. I’ll have to write further blog posts about it at some point.
One of my best memories is of hiking in Nagano Prefecture with the Kansai University Hiking club. We walked for a week, climbing at least one amazing peak everyday. The best part was reaching the top of Yari-ga-take (槍ヶ岳). It is the 3,180m spiky peak in the photo on the right. We had to camp on the ridge right next to the final climb and it is hard to describe how happy and bouncy I was when we made it! Even at the top of mountains Japan manages to be cute! The photo on the left is me at the top of Kurobegorō. There was a pretty painted sign sitting at the top for people to take photos with. Of course there was!
If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?
Korea. I studied Korean for a year at University and I LOVE Korean food, but I didn’t actually visit Korea yet. This needs to be rectified at some point. But all my upcoming travel plans are wedding-related for the next year. Maybe in 2018 we’ll be able to try some real kimchi!?
Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?
Beach. However I’m not particularly good at sitting and relaxing on a beach for a whole holiday. Marc and I had a double honeymoon, half in Greece and half in Italy. We were planning to relax on the beaches in Crete for a week…but instead we bought a map, woke up a 5am to climb a mountain and walk along a gorgeous Ardinia Gorge. This 8 hour walk was amaaaazing – but maybe didn’t entirely count as relaxing!? Here are photos from the top, and bottom of the gorge – gorgeous innit!?
Even on the days when we did relax by a beach, we’d walk for a couple of hours to find the best coves and places to swim. To be fair, how could you not explore when the shoreline looks like this!? One day we just stayed in the tiny village of Loutro and swam with a giant turtle!
My top three travel essentials are?
1. Hiking boots! I normally wear them on the flight as they take up too much room in my suitcase! I don’t think I have ever been on holiday and not fitted in some sort of walk! If I don’t bring my trusty hiking boots, then at least I’d bring comfy shoes.
2. Camera. I have a terrible memory so if I don’t take a zillion photos, then I won’t remember everything in such detail.
3. Suncream just because I have pretty thin skin so I can easily end up with a red nose!
Are you an over packer or an under packer?
I am pretty good at packing. I try to bring as little as possible because I don’t really like carrying too much. As long as I have enough pairs of knickers, a few dresses and something warm to wear when the sun goes down, I’ll be fine. I do like to bring hand wash so I can wash clothes that I’d like to re-wear.
I quite like bringing an extra bag inside by bag – that way, I can check in a bag on the way home if we buy too much wine or shoes.
What is your favourite thing about going on vacations?
Food! Marc and I both LOVE trying new things. We do tend to plan our trips around possible pretty walks and decent dinners. This is probably why I love Japan so much, and why our honeymoon in Italy was so perfect.
Oops. This is a walking blog so you probably expected me to write walks! I do like walking on holiday too!
Would you rather go on holiday with family or friends?
Eep! That is a blooming hard call!
I suppose the easiest answer is I would rather go on holiday with Marc. Marc counts as family and friend all in one. He doesn’t like planning holidays, so it means I normally get to decide and book everything. (Mwahahah!) He is the perfect person to come along for the ride. We have walked our way around Japan, Morocco, Kenya, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Iceland and Ireland. Now we have big plans to explore Canada together.
I like travelling with the rest of my family when that means we’d go to Ireland and cook sausages on the beach! I’ve done that a million times, but I still love it! I even added photos of the Connemara beaches and mountains recently from one of these fun relaxing holidays with my parents.
I love travelling with friends too! But I have sooo many good memories of holidays with my friends that it’d be impossible to narrow down to fit those experiences into this post!
What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?
I have tried so many weird and wonderful things! I’m up for giving almost anything a go! This means it is getting hard for me to work out what other people consider adventurous. I’ll make a mini list, although most of these are pretty normal for some folks. Which do you think is the most adventurous?
- Kani Miso: I thought it was crab brains when I tried it, but it is much grosser than that! Crabs only have brains the size of a pea, so the rest of this tasty paste is made from internal organs like liver, intestines etc. I’m not even joking about this being tasty. It is truly delicious.
- Basashi: This is raw horse served like sashimi in southern Japan. It is so, sooo good.
- Whale sashimi: I didn’t know what it was at the time, but it didn’t have much flavour – it was just fatty. Meh.
- Sheep’s willy: This was served on a skewer (did you know sheep willies are like cork screws!?) It was well seasoned and tasted like calamari
- Sheep’s balls: These were less impressive. We had them in a hot pot in Beijing. As you put them into the hot water, they puffed up for a moment. They didn’t have much flavour, but they were served in a decent broth.
- Fugu: This is the fish that has to be cut by an expert because a teeny bit of fugu poison can kill you. I tried it as sashimi, fried as karaage, in hot pot and as sushi. It was stunningly good. If you’re ever in Tokyo, this is the place we went.
- Pig ear and jellyfish salad: My friend Lisa and I bought this at a farmers market in Okinawa. It was actually delicious.
- Haggis: It’s not that rare, but I do love a bit of haggis. This seems like a good place to give a shout out for the best sandwich in London at Deeney’s or the amazing haggis burger at Mac and Wild. yum.
- Fish’s eye: I was told it was a delicacy. It tasted good, but I don’t like the texture when it ‘pops’.
- Tarantula: This was a Christmas gift for my friend’s husband, so we all had a bite. It is only thing on my list that was truly, truly gross!
So, that’s my travel post!
I’d like to nominate a couple of lovely bloggers to have a go at this tag too. Although, please don’t worry if you don’t fancy it! There is no obligation for you to get involved. I don’t want to push a chain letter, even if it is fun to write about!
This is a really cute blog from a South African Teacher who up until this week, was living in Kuwait, teaching English. I have to admit I don’t know much about her part of the world so it has been awesome to find out more through her eyes.
Mint Tea and Elephants:
This is a heart-warming and giggle-inducing blog written by Melissa. I found her through the Big up your Blog facebook group and her posts have been making me smile ever since.
The Married Cat Lady:
This is another one of the blogs that makes me giggle out loud. Becca writes about a whole range of things but her Monday wake up calls are what first made me giggle out loud and follow her.