I big thank you to Jess from I’ve Bean Travelling for this nomination. Jess’s Travel and Food Blog is celebrating its second birthday so why not drop by to wish her many happy returns and read up on her travels, her home town Toronto – and food of course!
- Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.
- Answer the questions provided.
- Create 7 unique questions.
- Nominate up to 10 bloggers and ensure that they are aware of their nominations.
1. What hobbies have you picked up while travel is on hold?
You’d think with so much time on my hands this past year, I’d have something constructive to show for it!!! Learn a language, pick up a musical instrument, write a bestseller ….. not a bit of it. Haven’t had time!!!! I’m a puzzler – not brilliant but I enjoy them and can happily spend an hour or two every day at crosswords, logic puzzles, etc. I’m reading a bit more than before. I’ve been participating in a few photo challenges, making me realise the need to up my game, and this has finally pushed me into an online photography course -that’s no doubt my most worthwhile effort. I’ve learned so much about my neighbourhood from walking the roads daily that I’ll probably join the local Historical Society when this is all over.
During the first lockdown I got into jigsaws – this time round I decided to use that time more productively… so I’m knitting!
Here’s a cushion cover – all my own work – so proud!!!!
2.What is your favourite travel related film or television series?
Have to wave the Irish Flag here – not for Ireland – but for the wonderful (I think!) 2008 In Bruges. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are two Irish hitmen hiding out in Bruges. Irreverent – yes! Unkind to Belgians – yes! But Bruges looks absolutely beautiful and I bet its done wonders for their tourist trade!
3.What is the best/worst accommodation you have stayed in during your travels?
We’ve been lucky to stay in many beautiful places over the years. The best was not our most expensive and certainly not the most luxurious….
In 2006 we visited Tanzania and as part of the trip we spent six nights on safari. The first night was at Tarangire Safari Lodge. Tarangire isn’t as well known as the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti but – oh boy!! The lodge is located up on a ridge overlooking the river and watering hole. From our ‘tent’ we could watch the animals approach the watering hole as evening fell. I could have happily stayed sitting there for the full week…..
Two occasions spring to mind….
In 1988 ( yes – I’m THAT old!) in Thailand (Yes – I know – and THAT cool!) we got a bus to Kanchanaburi to see the River Kwai. We picked a guesthouse that looked cheap and cheerful. It was money up front – about 50 cents – even way back then it was suspiciously little. It was dire to say the least – the bed! – and the ‘bathroom’! We went off for lunch and I threw a strop – so back we went, got our stuff and moved across the road – to a place charging $2! By evening I was having another hissy fit. There was a lovely old colonial hotel in town – can’t remember the name. We tidied ourselves up and ventured in to dare check the price of a room. $10!!! We took it!
So technically I didn’t actually stay in the worst accommodation!
Around the same time – late ’80’s – I recall a camping expedition here at home. We went to Galway for a few nights with a two man tent. One campsite was primitive enough – a farmer’s field with a basic sanitary block. I wore my favourite yellow sweatshirt to bed (to be fair, I’d probably worn it out on the town that night and was too cold to take it off!). I stirred around dawn – very unusual after a night out!! I realised I was scratching … and my eyelids felt odd. I got my eyes opened and noticed that my sweatshirt was no longer plain yellow but covered in some sort of dust. Nope! We were covered in millions – and I mean millions – of tiny, tiny bugs. They were everywhere – all nice and snug, wallowing in our body heat! I’d say my screams were heard back in Dublin! The residents of the other 5/6 tents – now wide awake of course – were fine … lucky us to have pitched our tent on some sort of nest. Our car was right beside us and thankfully we’d left everything in the boot. I remember it took 7 rinses (cold water of course) to clear my hair alone. We collapsed the tent and dumped it – along with my lovely yellow sweat shirt…and went back to sleep in the car…
4. What is the strangest food you’ve eaten while travelling?
I’m not adventurous with food – really! My favourite is a steak with baked potato – see what I mean!! So luckily I’ve never felt the need to crunch insects or chew eyeballs to fully embrace the vacation experience! But I will make an effort – within reason! I’m good enough with meat (sorry vegans) and will eat game meats in Africa, Kangaroo in Australia (is that still legal??), Crocodile, etc. I’ll take snails if they’re lathered in garlic butter! I’ll try any stew/curry as long as its not too spicy. I’ve a great dislike of refried beans and wurst so menus can be a restricted in Mexico and Germany!!!
5. Plane, train, or automobile: which is your preferred mode of transportation while abroad?
Easy – car! I love the freedom of self – drive holidays and promote them as often as I can. We’ve driven in Namibia, Mexico, Australia, Oman, Costa Rica and extensively in Europe and the US.
Of course, this being an island nation, I can’t actually enjoy those trips without a plane!
I have a romanticised notion of rail travel. I’ve long thought about travelling from home to China by train (apart from the Irish Sea of course!)… Dublin – London – Paris – Moscow – Trans Siberian Express – Trans Mongolian Express….. But it would cost an absolute fortune because I can’t see us sharing a sleeper the whole way… I’ve nothing against fellow travellers, and we have shared sleepers and cabins on occasion – but I like my own space as well… so I suppose that would mean First Class…. lovely … but imagine all the places I could go for the same money!!
6. Travel is cancelled, forever. You have the chance to go on one final, single country trip for two weeks before you sink into lockdown depression — where will you go?
This is really mean – coming from a girl in Canada!!! You’re ok Jess – you’ve a bit of scope. You’re going to leave me here on this small island forever! And what about my Vitamin D!!!!
Ignoring the logistics of travel, I have to pick the Galapagos ….. top of my wish list. So a 7 night cruise there – the best all-inclusive package available of course. You say one country but I’m allowing myself a stopover – I’d better get some serious sun in before you send me home forever. I should pick a place I’ve never visited but my thoughts are frequently brought back to a verandah in Placencia in Belize….. just a guesthouse.. nothing fancy…but …. I could sit there forever (or for my last few days of ‘freedom’!). And sure its pretty much on my way home from the Galapagos – give or take a half dozen flights I suppose!!!
For a bit of exercise, I just have to roll off the verandah onto the bed in front….
7. Show us the last travel photo in your album and tell us where it was taken.
This was taken on March 1st, 2020 at the Middleton Place Plantation outside Charleston, South Carolina.
Four of us school friends (yep – pals for almost 50 years!!!) went over to another school pal for a week. We were based close to Charleston but managed to get to Savannah for a few days also. I’m not sure when – if ever – I’d have visited this region if I didn’t have a contact but I absolutely loved it and will hopefully get back there sometime with himself for a longer road trip.
hopsskipsandjumps has proved a very important outlet and lifeline for me this past year. I cherish all you online friends who have helped ease away the hours and days. Thanks also to old friends and family for your ongoing support, criticism and abuse (only joking!)
Instead of my nominating another list of recipients, I’d really love it if all you readers would pick one of Jess’s questions and answer it in the comments below…please. Sure what else would you be doing on a Monday!!