At #TOTD we feature a new traveler that we are impressed with. Someone with a story, someone with a great passion for traveling. We love to inspire YOU by introducing you to these wanderlusters, these globetrotters from all over the world. We have had featured different nationalities on DOBE GLOBE, people from different backgrounds, different ages…but with 1 big thing in common. The love for traveling.
Today we are featuring a lovely traveler from Baltimore, Maryland. She has backpacked through many different countries and she captures her travels so we can enjoy it too!
So I left a life and job that I loved, packed a small backpack and embarked on a solo circumnavigation of the globe to embrace and experience the people and cultures that make up this beautiful earth. And I am in nowhere near done. In the past 8 months, I have backpacked through France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and have been blogging glimpses of the journey along the way. Follow my adventure on instagram/twitter @agypsybreeze or read along on www.agypsybreeze.com
1. Where did you go for your first travel experience/holiday?
The love affair started 7 years ago whilst studying abroad in Florence, Italy. From that moment, I knew I was hooked and would never be the same. I had to see the rest of the world for myself. All of it.
The current journey I am on started on May 2, 2014 when an impulsive, wide-eyed girl without a clue landed in Paris, France. I fell in love, as we all do, with the magic and romance of this beautiful city. Completely alone and without an agenda, I let myself get completely lost wandering about the city without a map or a plan. All I knew was that I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, so I spent the day turning down random alleys and sitting by the river or in tiny cafes for no reason at all other than to immerse myself in this beautiful Parisian air. With only the distant tip of the Eiffel Tower above the buildings as my guide.
2. Which 5 items do you always bring on your travels?
A blank journal because there is just something about an empty leather-bound book at your side begging to be filled with stories and adventures; iphone 5s (with a lifeproof case because I have an incurable clumsiness for chucking phones into bodies of water and toilets alike); a camera of any sort (I use my phone to save space in the backpack and limit the amount of valuable things that I can ruin or lose); worldwide outlet adapter (because those damn plugs are always changing on you); and my lap top (I should note that if you happen to leave your charger back in the States, it renders pretty useless)
3. Where are you now and where will you go for your next trip?
I am currently in London visiting friends that I met while traveling through Portugal last June and attending The Adventure Travel Show in a few weeks (a travel writing seminar and conference in Olympia.)
A Gypsy Breeze Pt II is completely unscripted and being written as I go. My next stop after England is Berlin (an impromptu ticket that was booked last week at 3 am amidst hotel life and whiskey.) After that, your guess is as good as mine. But I’m thinking a budget backpacking adventure through Amsterdam, Switzerland, and Milan sounds like a pretty good idea.
However, being blessed to have been able to tick off many of my bucket list destinations in 2014, I’ve now got my sights on South America.
I would absolutely love to spend a year backpacking my way through this exotic continent.
5. What is your favorite travel picture that you took and why/what is the story behind it?
Ah! Very tough question. I’d be pressed to narrow it down to 5, however, there is one picture that I am particularly in love with. I had spent the afternoon of my birthday exactly how I had wanted, fulfilling this fantasy I had of doing so alone in a place where no one knew my name, my story, or that I happened to be turning 26 right in front of them. The day had turned sticky, hot and rainy but I didn’t mind and I awoke from a peaceful nap in my beach front bungalow on Wailoaloa Beach in Fiji to find that the tide had been pulled out further than I had ever seen. I walked what felt like miles of wet, black, sand out to the water’s edge just as the colors began to peer through dark clouds and pour like a mercury drip into the small pools left in the black sand from earlier high tide waves.
6. If you could take 3 celeb travel buddies on your next trip, who would they be and why?
Jennifer Lawrence – specifically Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence, so that I could save money on accommodation and food, sleeping in trees and eating squirrels.
Shakira – so there would always be a dance party wherever I went; especially in the middle of an African game reserve surrounded by lions and cheetahs.
Vince Vaughn – because I can’t think of anyone I’d rather sling beers back with, choking on laughter and interjecting into my stories with his Vince Vaughn banter.
7. Are you a backpacker or a flash packer? And what was the best backpack/flashback accommodation where you have ever stayed?
Luxury travel sounds absolutely glamorous, but as enticing as it is, there is something about trekking around the globe on the verge of bankruptcy with nothing but the bag on your back. Tired, sweaty, with mud ridden ankles and the address of your next nights stay scribbled in pen on the back of your hand.
Being a budget traveler, I have stayed in almost any place you can think of. I’ve slept on bus station park benches in France, strangers couches in Spain, warped wooden floors of an abandoned mansion in Portugal, and welcoming homes of families I’d just met in Africa. Dotted along the way most commonly are hostels. Some are large and stale like generic hospitals and others are old, rundown houses opened up to travelers. Or still charming guest houses run by the loveliest sorts of people.
My favorite accommodation along the way results in a tie between the Oasis Hostel in Lisbon, Portugal and the Chanteclair Guest House in Franschhoek, South Africa. For 10 euros a night, you can’t beat the rustic, old and rundown mansion homes at the corner of a cobblestone street atop the hills of Lisbon. This specific Oasis hostel (not to be confused with the Oasis in Sevilla or any other Oasis’) is definitely my favorite hostel over the past 8 months. Run by enthusiastic travelers from all over the world, the atmosphere meshes seamlessly with the lively Lisboa streets in June. On a very different spectrum, nothing is quite like staying in a refurbished guesthouse at the foothills of the Franschhoek mountains in utter tranquility. The Chanteclair guesthouse is run by an adorable couple and it is here that I think I could have stopped and stayed until they kicked me out.