welcome fellow traveler gabby from gypsy diaries. gabby is way ahead of us on the world map, she’s already lived in 4 countries, 6 cities and has visited 4 continents and 20 plus countries. that is a lot of flying y’all. (and you know me, i like the ground)… pop over and read about her adventures on her blog gypsy diaries. a big thank you for sharing with us today!
1. When did your love of travel begin?
Hmm… at birth??? Since I can remember the only thing I wanted to do is travel the world. I used to go to travel shows, collect the info packs, cutout pictures and plan my dream vacations. I spent my first salary on a plane ticket and even these days there is hardly a month when I don’t go somewhere at least for a weekend. It’s also fair to say that most of my friends are abroad and my boyfriend’s family lives in Italy so most of the time I travel to visit someone I know.
2. You have lived in 4 countries.. how has adjusting to cultural differences been?
Different in each country. In the Netherlands I was a student surrounded by other international students, so there was no cultural shock. In Spain it was easy breezy, I love the country, the people, the culture, and I spoke the language when I moved there which helped a lot. Germany was different… much harder.
The people are more reserved and harder to warm up to. I’m just in the process of moving back (from Hungary) and while I was not thrilled at first, I am becoming excited again. Now that I speak the language, have some friends, and a new goal (to become a photographer), things will be easier I hope!
3. When living abroad, what did you find you missed most about “home”?
Food!!!!! Sure I really missed my family as well, but we talk on the phone and skype a lot, while unfortunately there is no substitute for my favorite dishes.
4. Of the 20+ countries you have visited what are some of your favorites and why?
Spain is one of my absolute favorite countries. It’s really hard to define why… I just love the weather, the people, the smell in the air, the easy going attitude… I hope I’ll have the chance to live there one day!
My favorite vacation has been to Zanzibar, Tansania. Untouched paradise!!! While I was fortunate enough to visit some amazing countries like Egypt, Thailand or Tunisia I find that the usual vacation spots are spoiled by scammers and by the abundance of tourists. In Zanzibar I really felt like I had landed in another world and could get a glimpse into a whole different life. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I advise everyone to go before the rest of the world discovers its beauties!
5. Have you found more differences or similarities in people as you travel the world?
Difficult question. I think more similarities! I have danced with masai soldiers to the Macarena, which has highlighted that at the end of the day, we are all the same. We all drink Coke and dance to the same music! Not that I’m crazy for the idea that one day globalization will take over and masai soldiers will dress the same as the Western World. It might sound a bit cliche but the beauty of traveling is seeing different things and meeting different people. I hope that we’ll be able to preserve what’s unique in the different countries and cultures for the next generations. It would be a shame not to.
6. What have you experienced in your foreign travels that you don’t see as being prevalent in the United States?
Well, I don’t live in the States but I guess Western culture can be brought under one umbrella…and my answer is appreciation. People in developing countries can appreciate and be thankful for the smallest of things. Our consumerized world has no appreciation for things anymore, we want more, we want better, and we are never satisfied. One of my new years resolutions is to appreciate the little things!
7. What travel tips can you share that you have learned?
Planning and organization is key. Be prepared, read articles about the place where you’re traveling, and know what you want to see or do, otherwise you can easily get overwhelmed.
Also, book well in advance to save a ton of money!
8. You recently shared on your blog that you took the leap of leaving your job to pursue your love of photography…
Do you plan to travel just as much while pursuing this, or are you taking a break from travel?
The answer is that I’m planning to travel more! I’m hoping to become a photographer without borders! My absolute dream would be to have my own little business where I’d do travel photography all over the world for magazines and websites and I’d do wedding and portrait photography all over Europe.
Plane tickets within Europe are very cheap so I don’t think it would make my services too expensive, in fact I think I’ll be able to offer more affordable rates than if someone would have hired a local photographer in let’s say France, or the UK.
9. What places are on your must-visit list that you haven’t crossed off yet?
Too many to list! The number one on my list is New York right now. I cannot believe that I’ve never been! I’d also love to travel to South America, especially to Brazil and Argentina and I’m really interested in Indonesia and Japan as well.
10. Do you ever plan to travel the U.S. extensively?
I’ve had a road trip with my family for 5 weeks in the US. We started in Phoenix, Arizona and we made our way through San Diego, LA, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone Park, Bryce Canyon and The Grand Canyon. It was truly one of the most exciting trips of my life! However I’m an East Coast virgin which I’m hoping to change soon!
11. A popular question we get asked is how we can afford to take off and travel full-time. Although your travel is not full-time it does require a great deal of airfare, and concentrated spending, do you have tips on how to country hop like you do on a budget?
Traveling within Europe is really cheap these days. With low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet or Wizzair I hardly pay more than 100 euro for my return tickets. I normally stay with friends or family which eliminates the accomodation costs. I usually only have one or two bigger trips in a year for which I save up. What I really want to start doing in the future is home swapping (like in The Holiday) so if anyone is interested in a trip to Berlin, let me know and let’s swap! I have friends who have done it and they had an amazing experience. I really believe home swapping is the future of traveling on a budget, as I’d personally rather stay in nice homes than boring, ugly, hotel rooms.
12. Parting words of wisdom???
Life is not measured by the number of steps we take, but by the places and faces that take our breathe away!