I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give my readers and other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Zoe Naylor, a travel blogger based in London. She blogs at “Zo Around The World ”.
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.
1.Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm Zoe, I'm 25, I was born in Derby in the UK and I now live in London with my boyfriend of 4 years, Shaun. I have a degree in Geography, which is where my love for travel and fascination with different cultures around the world first began. I have travelled to a total of 26 countries, many of which were with my boyfriend Shaun. We are budget travellers and we especially like to visit places that are a little different and experience cultures that are different from our own.
2. What is your earliest travel memory?
My earliest travel memory is a very early one. I remember being very young, probably just a toddler, on a seaside holiday in Blackpool, UK, where I filled my Dads socks with sand on the beach when he wasn't looking!
3. Where was your last holiday?
My last holiday was a 3 week trip to Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey in June 2016.
4. What was the best thing you did there?
The best part of this trip was trying so many new and incredible meals including the most amazing ribs we have ever had in Transylvania and a traditional Turkish pottery kebab in Cappadocia, Turkey! I used to be really fussy with food and would be scared to try the local food, but now food is one of my favourite parts of travel and I love to try new things in every place I go.
5. What was your best holiday ever? Why?
India is my favourite country I have ever been to. We spent 6 weeks here in 2014 and I have been obsessed with India ever since! I find it such a fascinating country with such an interesting culture, amazing people and some of the best food I have ever had. Southeast Asia is close behind though. Here we travelled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
I spent my birthday on a little boat seeing a rare species of dolphin in Cambodia, we stayed in an 'Akha Tribe' village in Northern Laos where we slept in the home of the chief of the village, taught English to the school children and shared a tap for washing with 76 families. (Ed’s note – Wow!) We went trekking with a Hmong tribe in Northern Vietnam and spent a fantastic 2 days with some very happy elephants in The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Northern Thailand. So South East Asia is definitely my second favourite!
6. What is your favourite travel destination?
India is my favourite country to travel to and I find that it is a perfect backpacker destination. It is so cheap so it's perfect for budget travellers like me, but most importantly its culture is so different to anywhere else and it creates memories that will last forever.
7. What must one do there?
Visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar! It's such a peaceful place and so interesting. Also make a visit to the huge free food hall, where everyone sits in rows on the floor and you are served delicious food by volunteers. I also recommend visiting the backwaters in Alleppey, Kerala. This was one of my favourite experiences in India. It's very beautiful and relaxing and you get to see how villages live amongst the backwaters. Finally, if you go to Mumbai, it's great fun to try and get involved in a Bollywood movie!
8. Who is your favourite travel companion/s?
Definitely my Boyfriend, Shaun! He finds it cheesy when I say it but I believe we are the perfect travel team! With me being the obsessively organised one who plans it all, and Shaun with his good sense of direction getting us from A-B when we are on the road. Shaun has been a life saver to me on many trips, from the little things like helping me lift my huge backpack onto my back because i packed wayy too many clothes, to attacking a bathroom full of mosquitos for me before I get in the shower because I hate them, to staying up all night long by my bedside when I got sick with a virus in India!
9. Name one item you must have when travelling.
Earplugs, I can't sleep without them. Also my phone- so I can take lots of photos and then Instagram the hell out of them!
10. Your best travel advice?
No matter where you travel, use common sense. Common sense can prevent you from getting into trouble and keep you safe. Also always respect the local culture/ local people and leave a positive footprint wherever you go. Again, I find it's all just down to common sense.
11. The one place you want to visit before you die?
This is a tough one as there are so many places I want to go! Most places at the top of my bucket list are in Asia, especially China and Japan but probably most of all, Tibet! The culture there fascinates me and it looks such a beautiful and different place, I can't wait to go one day!
12. Worst travel experience?
Catching a virus in India which took me on a week long journey of what felt like close to death.
13. How can people connect with you?
Thank you, Zoe , 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 newsletter so you don’t miss out on some exciting travel tales.
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