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First and foremost let’s just address a little something completely unrelated to the whole rest of this post.
Despite not being a ‘Christmas gift guide, this is my recipe for mulled wine and these are the perfect Christmas getaway destinations’ kind of blogger, I am most certainly aware that it was Christmas the other day. And you know what? I had a jolly good time!
Santa (otherwise know as Stepdad Steve) came up trumps, and if adulting means receiving nothing but books, socks and edibles for Christmas every year then I am 100% down for that! So yeah, my Christmas was absolutely smashing and I sincerely hope all you lot had as much festive fun as I.
Now moving on swiftly… I recently got involved (and by involved I mean I joined a group on Facebook and haven’t actually made any sort of active contribution yet because I’m forever a silent lurker) in one of those really fun looking blogger train type posts, which is probably the worst way of describing it but you all know what I mean, right? Somebody starts off, answers question and links to the next person, then the next person, then the next person, and so on and so forth into eternity.
If you’ve been around these parts for any length of time you’ll probably already know how I’m rather partial to a bit of Q&A, and this particular train-Q&A-challenge type thing is right up my alley. Started by Steph over at her aptly named blog, Stephanie Fox, the questions are completely and utterly travel-focused, designed specifically to encourage reflection on 2016 and looking forward to 2017, as a way to share experiences, knowledge and recommendations. Molto divertente!
1. If you had to move to a country that you’ve NEVER been to, and live there for ten years, where would you go?
Oh gosh this is a hard one! Ask me to choose a country I’ve actually been to and I’d have enough trouble with that, so this is the worst. Umm… Costa Rica, probably. It’s a practical choice because, you know, I speak Spanish so I’d be able to get a job there, order my own food and what-not plus it just looks blooming marvellous!
2. If you had to live in a hotel for the rest of your life, which hotel would you choose and why?
Alright, so my first instinct would be to say Pooram International in Thrissur, if only because I basically lived there for the best part of three months anyway and me and the security guard might just be BFFs. But every single veggie dish on their room service menu tastes exactly the same and I don’t think I could deal with that for the rest of my life.
Other than that one I can’t really remember the name of any of the hotels I’ve stayed at recently, they’ve had that much of an impact on my life. As I’m mostly a budget travel kind of gal, when I do stay at hotels it’s only because they’ve got a jolly good deal going on and more often than not they’re pretty grim – none of them really worthy of the rest of my life. With all that useless nonsense being said, I’d choose the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. Haven’t actually been in the hotel, nor have I stayed there, but it looks pretty fancy from the outside and is on its own little island so I’d be safe from all the Rajasthani monkeys – what more could you want?!
3. If you could only eat the cuisine of one nationality forever more, which would you choose?
Indian, Indian, Indiaaaaan. There’s so much variety from, like, all the places and states and stuff so I don’t think I’d ever get bored of it.
4. Who has given you ‘holiday envy’ this year, and how?
Nobody in particular but more or less anyone who’s on holiday right now!
There are a lot of people – complete strangers – who I come across every single day on Instagram or on their blogs, all of whom seem to be having an incredible time in some far-flung country and I’ll be completely honest when I say that I do momentarily become overwhelmed by the green-eyed monster. However, when I think back at all the incredibly memories and amazing things I’ve seen and done in all 16 of the countries I’ve visited this year, I am grateful. And I just know that my turn to visit Jamaica will come one day…
5. If you had to look at the same sunrise or the same sunset every day, where in the world would you never get bored of seeing?
The sunset in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan is by far the most beautiful one I’ve ever experienced, and I imagine sunrise in the same spot wouldn’t be too shabby either!
6. If you were taking a ‘staycation’ in your home town, where would it be and what would you recommend others to do?
The only thing to do in my town is go to Iceland, Asda and Gregg’s, walk up a mountain and maybe buy some drugs if you’re lucky. So for the purpose of actually having something nice to say, let’s pretend I live in Cardiff. Whenever people ask me what there is to do in Cardiff I always say the same three things: visit the castle, take a trip to St Fagan’s and go for a walk down Cardiff Bay. It’s really quite a pretty city if you manage to get there on one of the 3 days a year it’s not raining!
7. Describe your perfect travel day of the year?
Tempted to say the day I landed back in India even though I didn’t really do anything of note, just because I was so happy being back. But no. To be honest I don’t think I have one single perfect travel day that I could pick out of the bunch. Strangely enough, one of the days that sticks out more than most was the time we drove for what felt like days from Thrissur to Bangalore via Mysore, tried to catch the sunrise but kind of failed and then didn’t see anything else because we were all too tired to function. Hardly a newsworthy day but one of the ones that I don’t think I’ll ever forget!
8. What have you ticked off your bucket list in 2016?
Only went and crossed off the whole thing, didn’t I?! Okay so that’s an exaggeration but the main thing ‘on my list’ has always been to see all 7 of the New 7 Wonders of the World – and in visiting Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza and Great Wall of China this year, I did it!
9. What is top of your travel bucket list for 2017?
I’m taking 2017 as the perfect opportunity to hone my stalking skills and visit every Game of Thrones filming location I can manage… starting with Croatia in February. I’d also quite like to visit Athens for non-Game of Thrones related reasons.
10. Share your favourite Instagram photo of 2016?
There’s no particular reason for this being my favourite, I just quite like it.
And I’m done!
I really had a lot of fun writing up this post so kudos to Steph for starting up the challenge. Please do check out her take on it riiiiight here as well as a few other lovely ladies who’ve already published theirs:
And if you fancy having a go yourself, do join the Facebook page and let’s be friends. Yay friends!
P.S. In case you can’t tell, I finally bothered reading up on how to embed actual Instagram posts into the blog. Très magnifique and exciting, yes?!