Annette White: Travel is the best teacher in life

Wanderlust Tips travel magazine has an interview with famous travel blogger Annette White to learn about her journeys, travel experiences as well as future plans.

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Annette White is a travel writer, restaurant owner and well known travel blogger in the international travel community. She is the author of Bucket List Adventures, co-owner of Sugo Trattoria – an Italian restaurant , and creator of travel blog winning the award Bucket List Journey.

Her writings on insect eating experiences in Thailand, passing  through the rainforest of Costa Rica, climbing up an active volcano in Guatemala, and kayaking with white whales … are always popular among travel enthusiasts.

Within five years, she visited 45 countries. Annette’s Instagram currently has more than 63,000 followers.

1. As far as i know, you have travelled through many countries in the world. What inspires you to travel? What is your current job? Does it affect your passion for travelling?

I am inspired to travel because it is the best teacher in life. The lessons learned are not only about the places visited and the people that are encountered there, but also about myself. There is a sense of empowerment in being able to navigate the world on my own. With each trip my fear gets a little less and my comfort zone expands a little more.

2. During many years of travel, would you mind sharing with us the destinations you have travelled in the world? What are your reasons and criteria for choosing destination? Because of its famousness, natural beauty or cultural richness?

During the past five years, I have traveled to more than 45 countries on 6 continents. There are many factors that assist in deciding where I will be going to next. Sometimes it is a discount flight that decides for me or a bucket list worthy attraction in the location, and sometimes it’s a special event that is happening in a certain part of the world during the time I want to travel. With that said, at this point in my travel career, many of my decisions are based on opportunities that are presented through partnerships with destinations.

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3. You must have a lot of unforgettable memories during your trips. Could you share some of your most impressive ones with readers?

I have been fortunate to have some of the most AMAZING bucket list experiences swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, bathing elephants at a rescue in Thailand, taking a helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon, kayaking with Beluga Whales in Manitoba and so much more. But one of my most memorable travel stories that I always share with my friends is swimming in Jellyfish Lake in the tiny Micronesian country of Palau.

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The lake is home to millions of jellyfish that are deemed relatively harmless since their sting is so light. It was still frightening for the first five minutes to be completely surrounded by pulsating plankton, some brushing up against my body. But after the panic dissipated, there was something mesmerizing about the way they moved and this became one of my all-time favorite bucket list adventures.

4. As a girl, have you ever faced any difficulties when travelling around the world?

Because I try to play it safe while traveling, being acutely aware of my surroundings when travelings solo, most of the difficulties I have are related to strength (like when trying to carry heavy luggage up steep stairs or putting it in the overhead bin). But, I’ve learned that there are helpful people around the world who are willing to assist.

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5. After travelling to a variety of destinations, in your opinion, what we need to do to have safe journeys?

I travel alone a lot of the time and to stay safe I practice the same rules on the road as I do at home. I don’t roam the streets alone late at night or get crazy drunk at a bar or take rides from strangers. I use my intuition, and if it’s sending me a red flag I take action and turn in the other direction.

Plus, there are many other traveling safety measures I take each trip. Here’s a few:
– Make copies of your passport and driver’s license to hide in each of your suitcases.
– Take photographs of your identification to be stored on your laptop or phone.
– Take a picture of your suitcase in case it gets lost.
– Call your credit card companies to let them know where you will be.
– Separate your credit cards/money in two different locations.

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6. Did you recently visit Asia (Indonesia, Singapore …)? What is your impression of this continent?

Though I have been to Asia several times over the years, I was most recently in Indonesia and Singapore (which was amazing!). It is a continent with so many different facets, I don’t think I could ever get bored of exploring it. It is rich in culture, nature and gastronomy. I am anxiously waiting my return!

7. Have you been to Vietnam? Or intend to travel to Vietnam?

I have only been to Vietnam one time before, but that was definitely not enough. My husband and I spent time eating our way through Hanoi and touring Halong Bay, but also want to explore more of the country in the future.

8. Regarding cuisine, where are the places you want to go back to enjoy the delicious food?

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Being that I am also a restaurant owner in addition to a travel blogger, food is a really important aspect to every trip. For me, every country has a specific tradition or dish that makes me want to go back again and again. Some of my favorite countries for food are Spain, Thailand and Greece.

9. Can you share with Wanderlust Tips’ readers about your plan for life and upcoming trips?

My dreams for the future are to continue to have amazing new experiences and to inspire others to work through their fears and achieve their goals. I would also like to start a strong online community for like-minded people all over the world, so we can support each other along our personal bucket list and travel paths.

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As far as travel goes, in the next year I hope to visit the penguins in Antarctica, ice climb in Iceland and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Thu Hoai | Wanderlust Tips | Cinet

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