Travel Q & A: Elen

elen-bio

  1. What was your favorite travel experience? That’s a hard one… Australia’s Kakadu National Park, snorkelling off the west coast of Bali, arriving in the Indian city of Varanasi after dark when the temples along the ghats were all lit up, and completing the Langtang trek in Nepal have got to be among my fondest travel memories.

  2. What is the best piece of advice you ever received as a traveler? I travel by my own advice, really- not to be afraid to do things that I find reasonable at home, such as walking around by myself or catching public transport.

  3. How do you stay fabulous while you travel? I’m not sure that I do! I try to do my laundry semi-regularly, and shower once a day.

  4. What’s your greatest extravagance when traveling? Eating out. I should probably self-cater more often.

  5. On what items do you prefer to save money rather than spend money when traveling? Public transport rather than taxis or flying; Air BnB rather than hotels.

  6. What’s your most important travel item? As an avid reader I find my Kindle really useful these days. And earplugs.

  7. What characteristics do you dislike about yourself when you travel? The tendency to want to be alone; I think I shut out a lot of potentially good interactions with locals and other travellers by wanting to keep to myself.

  8. What characteristics do you dislike about others when you travel? Inability to keep an open mind or try new things. Why travel if you’re afraid to do new things!?

  9. What do you most value in a travel buddy? Shared interests–walking around, the odd museum or art gallery, local food, old architecture.

  10. What do you absolutely have to know before you go? I need to have read a guidebook (or online equivalent) about a place. The thought of landing somewhere and not having done any research on the must-sees or the general layout of the place stresses me out.

  11. What travel experiences are still on your bucket list? What travel experiences are not on my bucket list!? Top 5 priorities are Iran, Pakistan, Cuba, Brazil and Jammu & Kashmir state in India. And everywhere else, too.

  12. How do you plan for travel, especially paying for it? In the past I’ve always tacked travel on to work trips, conferences and that sort of thing, so that the major expense–getting there–is covered in some way. I’ve also moved around so much that wherever I am living is not really where I am from, so everyday life is a bit of a travel adventure. But the most important thing when it comes to paying for it is prioritising travel above everything else (well, after rent, food and bills are paid) I don’t have a car or even most of the furniture I need, because saving up for the next trip is much more important!

Elen writes at her blog: Wilderness, metropolis (WWW.WILDERNESSMETROPOLIS.COM)

ELEN IS A TRAVEL WRITER, ACADEMIC EDITOR AND LITERARY CRITIC CURRENTLY BASED IN BUFFALO, NY. IN PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS SHE HAS LED LIVES IN NEPAL, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND THE UK. HER BIGGEST TRAVEL DILEMMA IS HOW TO SEE ALL THE PLACES IN INDIA SHE HASN’T ALREADY VISITED, WHILE NOT NEGLECTING THE REST OF THE WORLD.
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