PEOPLE WHO TRAVEL: JANELI FROM INDIANA
I grew up in NJ but moved to the midwest for a job when I was 25. Four years later, I am taking a hiatus from my career to travel the world with my boyfriend. My life was consumed with working and we decided that while we both have our health and youth, now was the time to live out our dream and see the world.
1) NUMBER OF COUNTRIES VISITED
2) LANGUAGE(S) SPOKEN AND/OR WANT TO LEARN
I know 2 (english and bisaya), but I want to learn spanish and portuguese
3) AGE AND FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIP YOU TOOK
7 years old and it was when my family moved from the Philippines to the US
4) FAVORITE AIRLINE
Thai Airways but we are about to go on a flight with Singapore Airlines Suite Class (using points) and I have a feeling that will be my new favorite.
5) YOUR GO-TO IN-FLIGHT APPAREL
black leggings with a white loose t-shirt and an oversized scarf and flip flops.
6) THINGS/GADGETS YOU CAN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT
My phone & headphones for spotify purposes and chapstick. Unfortunately I lost my phone recently and surprisingly, it’s been liberating. But I freak out when I think I’ve lost my chapstick.
7) FAVORITE COUNTRY AND WHY
Colombia – I really didn’t know too much about Colombia and it was such a nice surprise. With such a violent history, it’s amazing how they turned everything around and the people are incredibly nice and welcoming. The country has everything from awesome cities like Medellin and then the stunning walled city of Cartagena.
8) WTF MOMENT
We went to Costa Rica a couple of years ago in San Jose and the cab driver wouldn’t let us out of the cab even though we knew he was just taking us in circles. Travis literally had to open the door while it was moving for him to stop the cab. Then he was yelling at us to pay him even though he took us the wrong way just so the meter would go up. It wasn’t the best way to start our trip, but it got better after that.
9) FAVORITE CITY AND WHY
I really liked Mendoza, Argentina. It wasn’t massive but it wasn’t small which I liked. I am big on food and they had amazing food and wine. I definitely would go back.
10) MOST EMBARASSING MOMENT
we went to a winery in Argentina and maybe it was my bad knee or too much wine, but my boyfriend and I snuck into a second wine tasting. We were trying to be stealth when all the sudden I fell backwards. I looked like a turtle on its back and the tour guide resumed to fill my glass with wine instead of cutting me off (gotta love Argentina). But it was mortifying.
11) FAVORITE CUISINE
Hands down the Argentine parrilladas
12) HOTEL, HOSTEL, OR AIRBNB?
Sheraton Iguazu Falls. This is the only hotel located within the National Park of Iguazu on the Argentina side. We had free nights so we were able to stay there, and it was amazing. It is really the location that made it the best. When you walk into the lobby, you immediately see the falls and it is stunning. And since you are already in the national park, you have the advantage to start exploring before the rest of the crowds get there. The room and the amenities were standard compared to other hotels, but you can’t beat the view and the location.
13) MOST MEMORABLE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
The Galapagos – seeing the tortoises was like going back in time when dinosaurs were around. They are so big!
14) MOST CHALLENGING TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
Staying within budget. At first it was very hard to not be able to order anything off the menu especially because in the US, the prices would have been considered cheap. For instance a whole grilled lobster for $15 dollars is a steal, but when you are on a budget of $50 a day and traveling for a year, then it’s expensive. I still sometimes struggle with this and we are on month 3 of 12. But I keep thinking if you want to make it a year, you have to do it.
15) BEST TRAVEL ACTIVITY
Never thought I would say this, but trekking. It’s amazing to see the views after you hike for a couple of days. You really feel accomplished afterwards.
16) FAVORITE TRAVEL SOUVENIR
I love to pick up mugs, but different sizes and shapes. However, my new thing right now since I can’t carry mugs while I backpack for a year are small paintings that I plan to frame and put in our apartment when we get back.
17) MOST LIKED INSTAGRAM PIC
I have an account but I never use it, however, my boyfriend Travis has one that he posts are pics on and a picture of us walking a tiger in Thailand got the most recognition.
18 ) FAVORITE PICTURE TAKEN
19) FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS
We are now in Brazil for the holidays, but we are crossing over and going to South Africa for a month, then Australia and New Zealand before heading towards Southeast Asia. We have about 9 months left.
20) BUCKET LIST
The Amazon which sadly won’t be during this trip. Also, seeing the wildebeest migration in Tanzania. It only happens from June to August and I would love to follow it and see the whole thing.
21) YOUR TRAVEL INFLUENCER(S) AND WHY
I met Chantal and Cyril from Switzerland while Travis and I were on this 3 day boat cruise in Halong Bay Vietnam a couple of years ago. They had been married for awhile and decided to save up for five years and then quit their jobs when they were 30. After meeting them and hearing their stories, it really inspired us that we can do the same. So when we got back to the US, we started saving and two and a half years later, here we are!
22) FAVORITE TRAVEL QUOTE
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley