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The ABCs of Traveling Ted

Prague Czech Republic

The beer in Prague is as advertised

Thanks to my A to Z daddy Nomadic Samuel for the nomination. I also want to give a shout out to my A to Z grand daddies Man on the Lam and Aussie on the Road. You two are looking so young and fit for grandpas. Here is my effort, and I hope I do my A to Z family tree proud.

A: Age you went on your first international travel

In college I did one of those crazy jobs where you sell books door-to-door for the whole summer working your tail off. If you sold enough books the company sends you to Venezueala. I was 21 at the time and went with a hundred other college students. It was a wild time from what I remember.

B. Best foreign beer you had and where:

When I arrived in Prague the first thing I did is order a Pilsner Urquell. It was so amazing I melted into my pint. Second best was having a Guiness in Normandy. I can only imagine how fresh it tastes in Ireland. Someday, I aim to find out.

C. Cuisine (favorite):

I would be a horrible food blogger as I like all and every food. I am the Mikie. Anyone remember the Life Cerial kid Mikey. “Give it to Mikey he likes everything.” That is me. I like whatever food I am eating. If hard pressed to choose I would settle with Thai food.

D. Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:

My favorite country is Thailand for the 10 reasons included in my blog post. I love the food, the people, the jungles, the language, the culture, and I could go on and on. I usually can find something enjoyable in every setting while on the road. I focus on places I know that I will enjoy, and when I am outside I find a way to enjoy myself, so I cannot say I have been to a least favorite destination.

Thailand Grand Palace

Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

E. Event you experienced abroad that made you go Wow

Hiking in Khao Yai National Park an elephant came charging up the trail we were hiking on. It stopped about thirty yards from us and stared at us. It then rambled off into the forest.

F. Favorite mode of Transportation

I prefer train travel as it is the only mode I can sleep on. I am so used to driving that I cannot sleep on a bus. When driving a car your body feels it must stay awake, so every time I am in a moving automobile whether I am driving or not, I feel I need to stay awake.

G. Greatest feeling while traveling

Sometimes these are the simple moments. When I spent over a week at the same guesthouse in Thailand I spent many days doing nothing. I hung out in the courtyard while drinking coffee in the morning, fresh fruit smoothies in the afternoon, then singhas in the late afternoon, and then more singhas at night while reading a great book. In between I chatted it up with people from around the world.

H. Hottest place you traveled to

Kanchanaburi, Thailand. I stayed with a Thai family for a couple of days and they took me from Bangkok to their family farm near the Myanmar border. In between, we stopped at their home in Supphanburi. We stopped several times between Supphanburi and their farm including Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge over the River Kwai. It was mind numbingly hot. It was so hot, even the Thais were complaining and getting heat sickness. Fortunately, we ended up at a waterfall and went swimming.

Thailand waterfall

A much needed cooling off near the Myanmar border in Thailand

I. Incredible service you’ve experienced and where

In Chiang Mai I met a girl in the guesthouse in G, and we rented a car and cruised around the countryside. We ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere in front of an outside bar. A young gentleman at the bar drove us to get petrol and back to our car. He refused any money for the service and invited us for a drink. He then refused to take any money for any of the beers. One of the nicest people I have ever met anywhere.

Thailand

Flanked by two of the nicest people I have ever met

J. Journey that took the longest

I took the Shinkansen bullet train from Hiroshima to Kyoto followed by a night bus from Kyoto to Tokyo (did I say I cannot sleep on a busy) then a train to Narita airport. From Narita, I flew 11 hours to Chicago. I took the CTA at O’Hare to the Jefferson Park stop. At Jefferson Park I boarded a Metra train to Barrington. At Barrington I hiked a half mile to my mom’s house. From Hiroshima to Barrington in about 30 hours.

On a Japanese bullet train

Started on a bullet train in Japan, but soon the long trip slowed down

K. Keepsake from your travels

I have been using the same guitar strap that I bought in Batad, Philippines almost 7 years ago. A .50 purchase has held up my guitar ever since and still going strong.

Martin guitar

At a barbeque with my Martin guitar and Philippine guitar strap and a dumb look on my face

L. Let down site: when and where

Mt. St. Michel, France. This island monastery is absolutely beautiful and the view from the top is gorgeous, but after that it is pretty lame inside. I would recommend taking a few pictures from the mainland of the structure, walking to the top and taking pictures, and leaving. I went there in college with a history class, and we were bored stiff after about an hour. Fortunately, we found a beer vending machine and we found a way to kill the rest of the time.

Mt. St. Michel France

Beautiful from the outside, but Mt. St. Michel was a let down inside

M. Moment where you feel in love with travel

On December 31, 1970, I traveled out of my mom’s womb and the doctor cut the cord. Even though I cried, I enjoyed the journey and have been traveling ever since.

N. Nicest hotel you stayed in

The Motel 6 in Louisville, Kentucky on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They had free wi-fi and cable TV. I almost did not make it to the park.

O. Obsession – What photos are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling

I love taking pictures of the upcoming trail whether it is a hiking trail or a cross-country ski trail.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I love taking trail pictures like this one in the Great Smoky Mountains

South Kettle Moraine Wisconsin

I also love cross-country ski trail pictures

P. Passport stamps, how many and from where

My current passport has five stamps from Southeast Asia, Czech Republic, Poland, and Costa Rica. I have been to 19 countries total and in February, Trinidad & Tobago will be number 20.

Q. Quirkiest Attraction you have visited and where

In Lausanne, Switzerland we stopped at a museum with art done by the insane. The pictures were, well: insane.

Lausanne, Switzerland

Cool art at the quirky museum

R. Recommended sight, event, or experience

The Halong Bay Boat Tour in Vietnam was one of the coolest experiences I have been on. The scenery is amazing, the boats are cool, and you get to meet great people from all over the world.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The gorgeous and famous Halong Bay boat tour

S. Splurge: Something you have no problem spending money on while traveling

A theme that has become apparent in this post since A is I occasionally like to drink an alcoholic beverage or four. I can be the most frugal person in all walks of life, but then throw down $8.00 for a pint of delirium tremors without a hint of regret.

T. Traveling Ted

That is me

Traveling Ted

T can only be for Traveling Ted

U. Unforgettable travel memory

Recently, in Corcovado National Park, I toured through the jungle and saw three different types of monkeys, scarlet macaws, chestnut-mandibled toucans, and the great currosow. It was a wildlife zoo.

V. Visas: how many and where

I only have two: Cambodia and Vietnam.

W. Wine, best glass while traveling and where

I had the good fortunate to be in Paris at the same time as U2. U2 was touring for their Zooropa tour, and me and a couple of classmates got tickets. Before the show we bought a couple of bottles of wine and consumed them in the park. I have no memory of how good the wine was, but the travel moment memory tastes sweet twenty years later.

X. eXcellent Views and Where

The Grand Canyon and Mt. Zion hold the mantle in the United States. Abroad, the best view I have witnessed was flying over the Corcovado jungle in a small plane in Costa Rica.

Grand Canyon

Hard to beat the Grand Canyon

Mt. Zion National Park

Mt. Zion is close

Corcovado National Par

Flying over Corcovado National Park was amazing too

 

Y. Year’s spent traveling

The longest I have traveled at one time has been three months to Southeast Asia. I have done many week long and long weekend trips locally, out of state, across the United States, and overseas. I am a grounded nomad.

Z. Zealous sports fans

I was in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005 for Super Bowl Monday. Yes, the Super Bowl came on at 7am on Monday morning in Asia. I found a bar where a few other zealous Americans came out to watch our home country tradition. It was strange to watch kick off and look around at a bunch of people sipping coffee and eating omelets, until one brave soul yelled “I am having a beer, who is having a beer?” Of course I said yes, and the party was on.

I nominate:

Budget Travel Adventures

Downtown Travel

Kevin Revolinski (the Mad traveler)

My Beautiful Adventures

EuroTravel Log

TT

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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15 Responses to The ABCs of Traveling Ted

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 21, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Awww thanks for the nomination darling! You’re going to Trinidad & Tobago in 2 months? I’m so jealous!!! Are you just missing Carnival or will you be there for that? I heard it’s incredible there. How incredible that a wild elephant came so close to you.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 5 (Part 2)

    • travelingted December 21, 2011 at 3:00 am #

      Andi,

      I will be there for Carnivale. I have a friend who is a diplomat there, which means I get diplomatic immunity while at Carnivale. Should be awesome.

  2. Jay Gordon December 21, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    You are endlessly amazing.

    • travelingted December 21, 2011 at 3:03 am #

      Thanks Jay,

      I appreciate the continued reading. I plan on making up for the cow comment in the future.

  3. santafetraveler December 21, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    That X was a pushing it! You could have shared your favorite security screening experiences-lol. Is that Ted’s Xcellent Adventure?
    santafetraveler recently posted..Santa Fe Holiday Recipes: Chef Matt Ostrander’s Oyster Stuffing

    • travelingted December 21, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Yea, I agree about the X. I guess whomever started it did not think there was anything travel related to xylophones or x-ray. I have never been groped or fondled going through the screening, so I would have been at a loss.

  4. Leslie December 21, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Thanks for the nomination Ted! Your shout to Zion in Utah makes me want to visit even more. I’m in Salt Lake City now… so close yet so far 🙂
    Leslie recently posted..Top 5 winter attractions in London – shopping, theater, jazz and more

    • travelingted December 21, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      Zion in winter time would be sublime. You are very close to some great ski resorts.

  5. Charles Higgins December 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Great roundup of your experiences and choices..interesting…

    Cheers..

  6. rob December 22, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Actually, Mikey *hates* everything. http://youtu.be/34wJt3pRY0w

    • travelingted December 22, 2011 at 2:03 am #

      Rob,

      You can tell I am getting old. Gets a little hard to remember those commercials from 30 years ago. Thanks for posting the video. What a blast from the past.

      The point of me being a potential horrible food blogger still stands though despite the lame attempt at metaphor. Thanks again.

  7. Nomadic Samuel December 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Daddy approves! I loved the Halong Bay tour so much I’d do it again, and possibly again right after that 😛
    Nomadic Samuel recently posted..Thai One On – My experience learning to make Thai food

  8. Raymond @ Man On The Lam September 15, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Sorry I am just seeing this now. You know us granddaddies have a hard time with this newfangled interweb thing… 🙂
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

    • travelingted September 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      I just updated the post and it must have shot a ping back to you. Thanks for checking it out.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Mad Traveler’s A to Z of Travel - December 21, 2011

    […] – December 21, 2011Posted in: International Travel, Random Thoughts A hearty thank you to Traveling Ted for roping me into this A to Z of Travel chain blog. I’ll be passing this invite on to a few […]

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