Hearing where other travelers have visited and where they hope to go next increases my wanderlust and lengthens my bucket list. Travel memories are my favorite to exchange with strangers and close friends alike. I recently conducted a Q&A with Shandos, a blogger at Travelnuity, where she shared her travel experiences with me.
She’s from Australia and has many incredible adventures on the road, like hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and spending her honeymoon in Bali. Shandos and her husband are now about to embark on a long-term traveling stint. Read about her travel thoughts and experiences:
Where are you from? What is one activity people shouldn’t miss out on when traveling to your hometown?
I’m originally from the small city of Wollongong, located 1 hour south of Sydney, but I’ve now been living in Sydney for over 15 years. It’s a great city with fabulous weather and lots to do. When visiting, everyone should visit at least one of our gorgeous beaches, whether it’s to go for a swim or just to have a meal or drinks overlooking the beach.
What was your favorite destination you visited in 2015? Why?
My favourite place that I visited was a live-aboard boat trip to Komodo National Park, Indonesia. It was a last-minute press trip, meaning that I didn’t know much about the area and my expectations were low, so they were smashed out of the water! In particular, I loved the snorkeling and staying overnight on a boat was the best way to fully experience the destination.
Who is your favorite trait in a travel partner? Why?
They have to be okay with doing lots of walking! I love to explore new cities on foot, because you see so much more (plus, it’s the cheapest!). Sometimes my feet are killing at the end of the day, so ideally they don’t grumble too much.
Do you keep in contact with people you’ve met while traveling?
I’m not that good at keeping in contact with people. My earlier travelling days when I mainly stayed in hostels were pre-Facebook, meaning it was a lot more effort. More recently, I’ve mainly stayed in hotels and just socialized with my husband, rather than meeting new people, which I’d like to change. One of the great things about my recent press trip to Indonesia was that I was travelling with 8 other fantastic travel bloggers, and we’ve all kept in touch via Facebook and our blogs.
What do you find is the best way to meet people while traveling?
For me, the best way is to travel as part of a group. It’s great to have endless conversations on bus trips, plus hang out each evening over a few drinks. I’m a bit of an introvert, so I often don’t make much of an effort unless I have time to get to know people well. Just be warned that even if you book onto a group trip doesn’t mean you’ll travel as part of a group; my partner and I once did an Intrepid trip through Cambodia and by a fluke it ended up just being us two!
What are a couple of your favorite travel memories?
Some of my favourites include climbing Kilimanjaro, which was quite tough but I managed to get to the summit; taking a beautiful sailing trip along the coast of Croatia and the delicious dinners we had each night; my first ever trip to Vietnam nearly 10 years ago, especially visiting Sapa and Hoi An (I so need to return!); plus staying in some very luxurious places in Bali on my honeymoon.
What are your future travel plans?
Recently, my husband and I have decided to sell our house and head off travelling long term. There’s still a lot to organize, but we’re thinking of firstly heading to South East Asia for 6 months in the middle of the year. In the interim, we’ve also got a 2-week trip to Hawaii booked for March. It looks like being an endless year of beaches!
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go? Why?
It would be amazing to head to the Maldives. I considered going there with my husband for our honeymoon, but it’s a long trip to head to most of the resorts (two flights from Sydney to get to Male, then a sea plane or speed boat to the resort). And we didn’t have enough time to make the most of it. Sunshine, beaches, snorkelling, massages and cocktails; who could ask for more (other than someone else to pay for it all)?