Question Bonanza Pt IV

I’ve been meaning to write a little bit more about myself on here, and also I’m aware I need to stop posting about Istanbul before I get mistaken for the Turkish tourist board. So I was delighted to be nominated by Priti from Absolute Wanderlust to answer some travel related questions. What luck! Thanks Priti, here we go…

Describe yourself in three words ¦¦ Reflective, awkward, tall-ish. Yes, that’s a word.

During your travels, which country has surprised you in a positive way and why? ¦¦ So… I’m about to start talking about Turkey again. Whoops. Sorry if you’re sick of hearing about it, but I was totally surprised in the best possible way by Istanbul. We booked our trip sort of on a whim, without really knowing much about Istanbul itself. Before we left, people issued dire warnings about terrorist attacks, scammers and market stall holders who would kidnap wives and hold them hostage until their husbands paid for them back (no, I’m not joking). Needless to say, we we perfectly safe the entire trip and I totally fell in love with the place. Which I’m sure you can’t tell. Everyone was so warm and friendly, we felt unthreatened and as a tall-ish, blonde-ish woman I was not harassed in any way. More than that, we found it to be a beautiful city full of history and culture, with a thriving art scene, and plenty of fun activities to do.

Describe the moment when you fell in love with travelling ¦¦ I don’t think there has ever been a moment when I didn’t love travelling. I mean sure, long car trips down to France with all my siblings stuffed into a car, with a minimum of one sister vomiting at regular intervals, wasn’t always a laugh riot. But any time I’ve ever travelled anywhere I’ve loved it, and wanted to see more. However, I think it’s only fairly recently that I have realised just how good travelling is for me; 2013 was a particularly miserable year for me and it’s no coincidence that I did basically no travelling that year. So we re-ordered our lives and are now able to travel more and it’s made me much happier as a consequence.

Which destination is at the top of your bucket list and why? ¦¦ Hawaii, I think. There are so many places I’m desperate to go to: Bali, Fiji, Myanmar, New Zealand, most of South America, Iceland, more of Canada… It’s a struggle to choose but I’ll go for Hawaii because it looks otherworldly beautiful, and it’s the place I’m least likely to be able to get to anytime soon.

What do you struggle with the most as a travel blogger? ¦¦ Wanting to go everywhere! I read everyone’s posts and immediately want to go wherever they’re talking about. It’s an expensive problem and I only have so much holiday time! Especially now that I’m co-hosting Travel Tuesday there is even more inspiration available.

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten whilst overseas and was it good? ¦¦ I’m actually fairly wimpy plus restricted with food when I travel due to being coeliac. It’s not often you get adventurous food that’s also gluten free, although I did pass up the chance to eat fried silk worms when we were in Cambodia. They were gluten free, but they were not for me. I’m more of a pudding girl anyway – so I tried grilled sugar palm fruit (also in Cambodia). It was actually delicious, and incredibly sweet which suited me no end.

Besides your passport, name three essential items we’d find in your carry on ¦¦ A gluten free snack because I never know where my next meal is coming from and whether it will be edible, lip balm because I cannot function without it, and my camera.

What is your most memorable travel experience? ¦¦ Probably getting engaged, which happened whilst we were travelling around Australia. You can see a little bit more about that trip here.

This photo was taken shortly after we got engaged, featuring a classic travel pose for me: ice cream in hand. At least I didn’t have two this time. And yes my hair is quite different. Youth… Bonus points if you can name where in Sydney this was taken!

What is your favourite movie or book about travel? ¦¦ I don’t really know of any films that are purely about travel (any suggestions?) so I’ll go for books instead. I loved reading Under the Tuscan Sun by  Frances Mayes because her writing is ethereally beautiful, and I also found the story behind Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson astounding, and it really made me think. Or there’s Bill Bryson. My favourites were A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Small Island and Down Under. All absolutely hilarious.

If you had the opportunity to travel with a famous person, past or present, who would it be and why? ¦¦ Gerald Durrell, because he’s my hero and he knew all there was to know about travelling to cool places to collect animals for conservation purposes. We’d go to some far flung location, befriend the locals, and look after all kinds of awesome creatures. Maybe we’d dance with a Fon and have dubious liqueur, but it’s all about the animals for me.

This picture shows the closest I ever got to meeting my hero, when S took me to Gerald Durrell’s zoo for our first wedding anniversary. I couldn’t wipe the goofy grin off my face the entire time.

Where’s your next travel destination? ¦¦ Santorini, Greece and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m doing my packing now so I’ll be sharing that soon…. Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me, I selfishly love writing these posts because it means I can go back through my travel snaps from over the years and relive some happy memories. A little while ago I decided that’s what I was going to do with my Instagram, which I’m using to share one off snaps with short stories or memories that go with each. If that sounds like your jam let’s be friends!

And finally, I’d love you to answer these questions as well. If you do, let me know and I will add a link to them here. Or, answer your favourite in the comments. I am keen to hear everyone else’s answers!


P.S. Previous question bonanzas here: i, ii, iii.



  1. Kerri Taylor
    27th April 2016 / 16:44

    yay i love learning more! ah under the tuscan sun. so great. and hawaii – you must go someday! a bit far for you but it’ll be worth it 🙂 i loved it and i’ve only been once. and it’s 10 hours from me! (flight) greece! so exciting 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 27th April 2016 / 20:46

      Glad you liked it! I always like reading other peoples posts and then realised I should probably do one of my own…! Under the Tuscan Sun was in for a while way back, wasn’t it?

      I would LOVE to go to Hawaii. One of my coworkers has just been, and my brother and sister in law went for their honeymoon. It is a long way but I know it would be worth it. One day! One day…

  2. 27th April 2016 / 17:00

    I love writing posts like this as well! Always really fun to go back and relive the best of memories! Istanbul really surprised me as well! I absolutely loved it there! And like you I find it really hard reading everyone’s travel related posts, because now my bucket list is just WAY too long! 😀 Thanks for sharing!

    • 27th April 2016 / 20:46

      Yes! The trouble is you can suddenly realise that hours have passed and you should really have been doing something useful…! I’m glad I’m not the only one surprised by Istanbul, I loved it too. Sigh, the problem of the endless bucket list…

  3. 27th April 2016 / 21:29

    I’ve never read Under The Tuscan Sun, but the movie was pretty good.

    I love that a typical travel picture of you includes ice cream! I think that’s a sign that I’m suppose to follow your blog! Anyone who knows where to find good ice cream must know how to travel! 😉

    • 28th April 2016 / 21:31

      Ooh there’s a film?! How did I miss that! I must go and find it. Hmm I wonder if it’s on Netflix… Anyway, glad the film was good, it’s a shame when they ruin good books in films.

      Most pictures of me include ice cream, it’s my staple diet 🙂 Ice cream lovers unite! Yes!

  4. 27th April 2016 / 22:25

    Great post Rachel! I also have a lot of photos with me and ice cream haha 🙂
    So jealous that you’re off to Santorini soon, it’s on my bucket list! I look forward to reading about your travels there!

    • 28th April 2016 / 21:31

      Glad I’m not the only one!

      I can’t wait to go to Santorini, my head is in sunshine happy holiday mode already. Yay!

  5. 27th April 2016 / 22:45

    So I just finished reading It’s What I Do and it’s about a war photographer that had her home base in Istanbul while she was covering the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She had the most amazing things to say about the city, and after hearing all about your experiences there, I want to visit so badly! Santorini is going to be so much fun, and so stunning! I’m practically drooling just thinking about all the amazing things you’re going to see and experience!

    • 28th April 2016 / 21:33

      Oooooh that sounds like such a good book. I’m going to keep an eye out for that one. Was it too harrowing??

      Yes I really can’t recommend Istanbul enough. I know it’s kind of far for you to travel but maybe one day you’ll get the chance. I really hope you do! And then tell me all about it!

  6. 28th April 2016 / 06:18

    I love posts like these! I’m so jealous about Santorini, I’m dying to go there. My guess is the picture in Sydney was taken at Circular Quay by the train station?

    • 28th April 2016 / 21:34

      Oh yay! Sometimes I feel a bit narcissistic writing them and then I remember how much I enjoy reading other people’s and I don’t feel so bad! I can’t wait for Santorini. So much excitement.

      And yes!! Pretty much spot on. It’s just around the corner a little, right by the Baskin Robbins stand (near all the expensive restaurants… you know the bit!)

  7. 28th April 2016 / 07:34

    So nice to read more about you and your travel history! 🙂

    I’m really unadventurous with travel – but I like to think that when the kids are bigger we will start going places now and then again. Until then, there’s always weekends away in Melbourne for me! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 28th April 2016 / 21:35

      Well you do have a pretty good excuse! And weekends away in Melbourne sound pretty adventurous to me, as it’s something I’ve never done. I’d like to, though. And Australia is so big you have to travel quite a long way to get anywhere, which is tricky with kids. Here, you drive a couple of hours and you’re in a different country, so it’s way easier!

  8. 28th April 2016 / 09:21

    I have to catch up with your Istanbul posts, it’s at the top of my wishlist! Also: I love that photo of you after you’d just gotten engaged. You look so happy and relaxed, with ice cream AND a new ring in hand!!

    • 28th April 2016 / 21:39

      I had the best time ever, I do hope you manage to go! I’d recommend staying around Karaköy/Beyoğlu, it was just the coolest area. I was all kinds of happy in that photo, I’d just found out my degree results the night before too so it was an awesome 24 hours 🙂

  9. 29th April 2016 / 20:14

    Oh, I thought this *was* the Turkish tourist board, no I’m only kidding. Sometimes you can’t help but let a city get under your skin – for me it’s London! I desperately want to visit Turkey, but with the current political climate…

    • 29th April 2016 / 20:21

      Haha! I have definitely od’d on the kool aid and am well aware I need to rein it in. It’s just so hard!

        • 29th April 2016 / 20:44

          It’s too late anyway, I already posted more about it!! Literally can’t stop 🙂

  10. 3rd May 2016 / 06:34

    I love reading these posts – so interesting! I’m the same with travelling with a dairy-free snack, haha.

    • 4th May 2016 / 21:02

      Sigh, us and our special diets! What’s your dairy free snack of choice??

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