After being passed the relay baton from travel bloggers Sam & Zab over at Indefinite Adventure, we mulled over their great questions and are ready to pass the torch! First our answers:
1. If you could travel back in time to meet a historical figure, who would it be and why?
We would love to meet Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “You must do what it is that you are afraid to do”. Eleanor, therefore, was a fierce and fearless woman and would be a cool person to hang out with – she flew with Amelia Earhart after all!
2. Are there any social norms or practices you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were normal in your native culture?
We have found that in many countries around the world that respecting one’s elders is more common than back home, where we find that seniors are too often dismissed.
3. Is there anything you do on your travels or in your every day life to try to minimize your impact on the environment?
We work very hard to minimize our environmental footprint. We ride bicycles for our daily commute, we buy from local produce markets and we’re vegan.
4. Are there any places in the world you wouldn’t visit out of principle, perhaps because the government of a particular country upholds a law that goes against your own beliefs? And do you think such boycotts are effective?
There is no place that we wouldn’t visit. Even locations where homosexuality is illegal or under an oppressive regime make our list. We believe every country has something wonderful to offer and feel it would be a shame to miss those things do to one aspect of a culture or government that we don’t like. We would not, however, visit a current war zone.
5. What is one food you could now never eat in your home country again because you’ve tasted the original version in its country of origin and you’ve been forever spoiled?
Olives!! After having olives in Greece, Turkey and Israel we find ourselves highly disappointed with the ones at home, both in taste and in variety.
6. If you could build your own home from scratch, what features would you include that are perhaps things you’ve come across in different places around the world on your travels?
This question was easy! Living in Thailand, we have gotten so used to the “bum guns” in the bathrooms. Sorry, we really don’t have any other name for it 😉 Also, we love the heated, tile floors we found in Norway. Those will definitely be appreciated during cold, winter nights!
7. What is one thing that is too large or impractical to travel with that you wish you could bring with you when you travel?
A car. Mindy suffers from terrible motion sickness every time we get in or on a moving vehicle. This dissipates when we drive ourselves.
8. In your opinion, is there any value in making a distinction between tourist and traveller? Do you make this distinction, and if so which do you consider yourself?
Sometimes we are tourists (joining a group or visiting touristy things) and other times we are more like travelers (exploring on our own). We enjoy both types of sight-seeing for different reasons. While getting spoon-fed interesting facts from a tour guide can help us learn a lot about a given location, we also sometimes prefer the adventure of discovering places on our own.
9. For you, what are the most and least livable cities you’ve visited?
We have lived in many locations in the world and have visited even more. Often visiting a city can give a false impression of what it might be like to live there. So far, we have found that Chiang Mai, where we currently live, is a very easy city (sometimes too easy!) for Westerners. Living in Berlin had many advantages, as well as Toronto and Tampa.
The least interesting location we have lived was Hartford, Connecticut, although it was thankfully not far from some beautiful New England locations as well as New York City.
10. Do you have any irrational fears that your travels have helped you overcome? How?
Traveling has helped us overcome the fear of the unknown, the fear of not planning in advance and the fear of starting over. Simply by doing it over and over, unplanned traveling has allowed us to become more comfortable with dropping everything, getting on a plane, arriving to a new country and exploring without worrying about details.
We’re still working on a fear of flying.
11. Tell us one belief that is held up by society as ‘common sense’ but that you think is ridiculous/silly/backward and why.
Don’t go down dark alleys! It is easy to understand why this advice is useful and yet when our curiosity has gotten the better of us, we have often been pleasantly surprised with what we found. Sometimes the best restaurants can be found in such dark alleys, often run by Mom and Pop who can not afford rent on a major street. These locations are often only used to serving those living in the neighborhood, have no set menu and are surprised to see foreigners. Language barriers make these experiences even more exciting.
Also, one gets a closer look into the “real” city – the stuff that is not put on display for tourists. Watching men gamble on a game you’ve never seen before, hearing locals summon their children for dinner and trying local cuisine at a make-shift restaurant can all be experienced by stepping off the main roads and into the narrowness of dark alleys.
Our Baton Questions to You!
Now it’s your turn! We’ve put together a set of 11 questions that we’re asking the following travel bloggers:
- Out Abroad
- Mrs and Mrs Jones Travel
- Globetrotter Girls
- Wave Journey
- What Boundaries? Live Your Dream
- Southwest Compass
1. What is your strangest coming out story?
2. Where was the coldest/hottest place you’ve traveled?
3. What was the last activity or event you attended for the first time?
4. What was the scariest thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?
5. When traveling, what relationship do fellow travellers/locals assume you have with each other (ie friends, sisters, a couple etc)?
6. Where are the top three most romantic locations you have visited?
7. How do you decide which activities to do when you travel? Do you both always enjoy the same things or does someone always compromise?
8. What five must-see locations are still left on your bucket list?
9. What is the least enjoyable aspect of traveling for you?
10. By traveling abroad what have you learned about your own culture?
11. In your opinion, what are the top three most lesbian-friendly cities in the world?