I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Sarah, a travel blogger based in the Netherlands. She blogs at Travel Breathe Repeat .
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales” , fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.
Read about Sarah’s travels here,
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Sarah! I was born and raised and lived most of my life in New York City, but currently live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My husband, Justin, and I moved here a few months ago. And that’s just the latest in a rather crazy two years. In 2016, we quit our jobs to travel. After 13 months we returned home, but didn’t really want to stick around, so here we are! I also have a rare lung disease called lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). I blog about our travels and what it’s like living and traveling with LAM in the hope that I can inspire others to get out there and see the world. We’ve also recently started a business to help people with accessibility needs travel.
2. What is your earliest travel memory?
My mom and I used to take “mother daughter bonding trips” together and went to a lot of different places in the US. My earliest memory is our trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. I think I was 11 or 12. We did all the historic stuff but I was most excited to go to the Bush Gardens amusement park. But my poor mother doesn’t do well on roller coasters and I ended up having to take her to the infirmary! Oh, what parents do for the love of their children.
3. Where was the last place you travelled to?
My husband and I are currently living as expats in Rotterdam, and it hasn’t really sunk in yet so every day here still feels new and interesting and a bit like we’re traveling. But in terms of a “vacation,” in January we spent some time in Poland and the Czech Republic.
4. What was the best thing you did there?
We went to the fairy-tale town, Cesky Krumlov. It’s super popular with tourists in the summer, but it was definitely more our speed in the middle of winter. It was less crowded and much quieter. And it literally started snowing right when we arrived… like when my feet hit the ground off the bus, snowflakes started falling from the sky. It was magic! I had a grin on my face pretty much the entire time we were there.
5. What was your best holiday ever? Why?
Remember how I said that in 2016 we quit our jobs to travel the world for a year. Well.. that was it. If I had to choose an actual vacation, several years ago, we went to Zimbabwe and Botswana. We saw Victoria Falls and went on a safari and it was absolutely incredible. That was our only time in Africa and we would love to return one day.
6. What is your favourite travel destination?
New Zealand for sure. We spent a whole month there last year. It was my #1 bucket list destination and I can’t believe we were actually there! The people were so nice and friendly and it was just so stunningly beautiful. Every part of the country was different and gorgeous in its own way. We saw rolling green hills and beaches and lakes and thermal springs and mountains and glaciers and fjords and penguins and albatross and the most beautiful sunsets and stars and omg, it was everything. (See main image above)
7. What must one do there?
Road trip for sure. And if you have the time, do both North and South Islands. They are very different. People say the South Island is “magical” – and it definitely was – but there were so many cool places to see on the North Island too. I would go back in a heartbeat, any time.
8. Who is your favourite travel companion/s?
That’s an easy one… my husband, Justin! Over the past 12 years we’ve been to 49 countries together. We knew we were compatible as travel partners and life partners after our very first trip. We appreciate the same things about traveling and are happiest when we are exploring new places together.
9. Name one item you must have when travelling.
Not the most fun, but due to my lung disease, I must use supplemental oxygen when I exercise and when I fly. So, my portable oxygen concentrator is the one item I absolutely must have when traveling. It’s a pain to get all the approvals from the airlines and lug it around, but it keeps me breathing easy and keeps my body healthy, and has made it possible for me to see so many different places throughout the world even after my diagnosis, so I really can’t complain.
10. Your best travel advice?
Build in rest days, especially if you’re embarking on long-term travel. Even though it’s tempting to see and do every possible thing in a destination, you’ll get worn out and end up miserable. It’s also the days you don’t go to tourist sites and just relax and hang out that you get to experience more of normal or local life in a place. And those are my favorite days.
11. The one place you want to visit before you die?
Now that I’ve been to New Zealand, my #1 bucket list destination is Patagonia. I want to see all the penguins!
12. Worst travel experience?
Our rental car broke down on a ferry dock waiting to travel from Germany to a small Danish island. For the next three hours, Justin tried to explain what had happened in broken German to the ferry dock workers, the police, and rental car company while I waited in the car reading Anna Karenina (he probably got the short end of the stick on that one). In the end, he was successful, but our car was kaput. We had to change our plans completely – and never made it to that small, romantic looking island in Denmark – but it all turned out fine and of course makes for a good story!
13. How can people connect with you?
Blog: Travel Breathe Repeat
Thank you, Sarah , for sharing your fascinating travels with us!
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales”, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.
Who will I feature next? I’ve got an exciting line-up ahead. Make sure you subscribe to the free newsletter so you don’t miss out on some exciting travel tales.