Here at Aspiring Backpacker we like to hear about other people’s adventures and experiences on the road. With that in mind, we’ve taken some time out on Tuesday’s to have a quick catch up with other people who have been on the road.
First up we have Ruth who has a great blog called Tanama Tales, where she shares her travel experiences with like minded people.
Enjoy the new Tuesday’s Time Out:
Name: Ruth Rieckehoff
Travel Blog: Tanama Tales – Exploring life’s off-the-beaten-path options.
How long have you been travelling?
I have been traveling for 10 years.
Where have you been? How do you choose your destinations?
I have been to countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Since I want to go everywhere, it is difficult to decide where to go next. I usually go where the deals are. If I see a great sale, I don’t think twice about taking advantage of it. However, most of the times, I just start by booking a plane ticket and I go from there.
What’s your favourite and least favourite country?
Arrgghh!! Most difficult question ever.
I will have to say my favourite country is Thailand. It is so different from what I am used to see. I loved everything I experienced, even the mess and crowds!! I was blown away by the variety of dishes, the architecture and the friendliness of the people.
My least favourite country is Belize. I don’t have anything against the country but a lot of crazy stuff happened when I visited. At one point, I was so scared that I almost cried.
What’s been the most awesome travel experience you’ve had?
I have had so many awesome travel experiences!! I have ascended to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visited Thailand during the Songkran, zip lined in Costa Rica, climbed the pyramids of Gizah, saw Shanghai from the highest point and recently, stood under the massive Pulhapanzak waterfall in Honduras.
However, in a recent post, I said people are the ultimate reason I travel. No monument, activity or sight, can obscure the human factor behind travel. My favourite travel moments always involve locals. For me nothing can beat the connection I can get with a person from another culture. I want to share laughs, conversations and points of view with them.
If you wish you knew something when you started traveling, that you know now – what would that be?!
I wish I knew how addictive travel can become!! After my first big trip to Europe, I was hooked. This may sound silly but the fact can actually change your life. When you are high on wanderlust, your views of the world take a big turn. You start thinking outside the box and that has big repercussions on what you want to do in life. So, considered you warned!
What was your weirdest travel experience?
My weirdest travel experience has to do with a bus trip between Belize City and San Ignacio (a town close to the Guatemalan border). First, a guy ripped my suitcase from my hand in the dilapidated bus station. I stood there thinking I was robbed while my husband followed the guy. It turns out the guy was offering his “luggage carrying services”. The service consists in taking your suitcases and carry them to the bus you intent to take. Then, a fee is charged for the service. All this is done without your consent. I gave him a few bucks and got back my stuff. Go figure.
Then, I had to share the ride with people selling stolen goods and guys jumping around because they were high on something. I felt like I was going to be stabbed at any moment. It was definitely a ride from hell.
How much do you spend on a trip?
I am a very frugal traveller. My husband and I have been able to travel for a week for less than $2,000 (including airfare). I don’t think money should be a travel barrier.
I stay on rooms with private bathrooms located at hostels (usually $20 or less per night), I take public transportation and eat at local restaurants. Sometimes, I splurge on activities or dining.
Where to next?
I haven’t decided yet.
My options are: Puerto Rico (my home island), Nicaragua (to tackle my last Central American country) or Merida (to explore more of the Yucatan Peninsula).
In California, I want to visit a new National Park and visit new towns in the Central Coast.
What advice would you give to any Aspiring Backpackers?
Embrace every moment – When you travel, every minute is special. Make sure you are savouring the experience properly.
Don’t get bummed by the negative experiences – Travel is about adventure. “Stuff” is going to happen. During my last trip to Honduras, I fell and ended up with a pretty bad cut and bruised leg. Ended in a clinic and almost got stitches. Did I make a big deal of it? No. I continued with the trip as planned. Keep a positive attitude and prepare for the unwanted moments. Believe me, you are going to laugh later.
Never stop exploring, learning and discovering.
Thanks to Ruth for taking some time out to catch up with us. If you want to ask Ruth anything about her travels, drop a comment below or say bonjour to her on Tanama Tales (www.tanamatales.com).