ABC’s of Travel

Thanks to Casey for sharing this prompt, I had a blast reliving my travel history and I hope you all enjoy reading about it! Without further ado…

A) Age you went on your first international trip:
I was 21 when I said goodbye to America and headed off for a 4 month internship in the land down under, Australia. I was clearly caught the travel bug after my first international trip and I haven’t stopped traveling since.

B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
Beer is not my thing so I am going to swap beer for my drink of choice, wine. The best wine I have had is the white wine Grk from Croatia. The best way to enjoy a glass of Grk, at a local wine festival with men serenading you.

Wine Festival, Croatia

C) Cuisine (favorite):
Greek food all the way! After only eating pasta and pizza in Italy for two weeks arriving in Greece and having our first meal was a refreshing change in cuisine. The fresh vegetables, grilled meats and tasty pastries we enjoyed in Greece completely won me over. If only I could eat gyro’s every day and not gain a pound, that would be the dream.

D) Destinations–favorite, least favorite, and why?:
Favorite: This is a tough one. I am still amazed that I am living out my dream of traveling and tend to fall in love with whatever place I am currently at. I am going to have to go with Australia though. Traveling to Australia completely changed my life and really opened my eyes to the world around me. And Australia is a pretty stunning place, not a bad way to start my travel story!

Least Favorite: Pisa. The odds were not in our favor on our day visit to the city with a rain storm that never seemed to let up. Some of the worst food I have ate while traveling, large crowds and wet clothes did not make for the best experience, I made need to re-visit Pisa again and give the area another chance.

E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Taking in the sunset in Santorini. Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle with lights at night. Wine tasting in the countryside of Tuscany. Every time I travel into the Icelandic countryside surrounded by the stunning landscapes. Travel is all about wow moments for me, every trip I go on I come back with a dozen wow moments!

F) Favorite mode of transportation:
My own feet. Of course this isn’t possible to get me everywhere but when I am traveling I love exploring the area by walking all over and discovering all the little things that make each place so unique. Another favorite mode of transportation is by boat. I love the feeling of the wind in my hair as I sit outside and take in the views around me.

G) Greatest feeling while traveling:
Those first few hours exploring a new area, smiling in awe of everything. Charming streets, adorable little shops, delicious smells floating in the area, the thrill of being somewhere new, especially after months of planning, is such a wonderful feeling!

H) Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:
Athens, Greece. H and I visited the city for two days in the end of September and it was unbearably hot! I remember walking around Athens our first day stopping in every shaded spot we could find watching locals walk past in suits thinking how are they not passing out of heat stroke! We sucked it up and explored all day in the heat resulting in a major sunburn for H and both of us disgusting sweaty and exhausted by the end of the day. Totally worth it!


I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
Are adorable accommodation next to the beach in Mykonos, Greece. As soon as stepped off the ferry we were greeted and given a free ride to the hotel and it just got better from there. Free welcome drinks, the best breakfast I have had in a hotel and a scooter rental, (when staying on the Greek islands a scooter is a necessity) everything was taken care of for us.

J) Journey that took the longest:
My trip to Sydney, Australia from Oregon was an adventure for sure. Not only was it my first international trip that took me on a 15 hour plane ride, I also got extremely sick on the plane and spent most of my time running to the bathroom. The journey may not have been the longest but when you puke for ten hours on a plane, pass out and hit your head on the toilet and wake up to a stewardess trying to give you an oxygen mask it felt like a never ending journey!

K) Keepsake from your travels:
It may not be your typical keepsake but the one I treasure the most from my travels is H. Who would have thought I would go to Australia and return home with an Icelandic man! Now I try and just stick to postcards, much less complicated.

L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
Again I am going to have to go with Pisa. Not only was the weather terrible that day but I was also really disappointed when I saw the tower. After hearing about the Leaning Tower of Pisa for so long I had pictured it as this large tower about to topple over. It was still a fun sight to see, just not as grand as I had expected.

M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
For as long as I can remember I knew I wanted to travel, mainly because I was from a small town and more than anything I wanted to get out and explore the World. When I was 12 I went to Hawaii for the first time and I remember I was so fascinated by how completely different Hawaii was from where I lived. This trip really sparked my curiosity about other places in the World and I started dreaming up my travel list ready to get out and explore.

N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
The Radisson in Split, Croatia. After traveling around Croatia for two weeks H and I knew we wanted to treat ourselves to a nicer than normal accommodation to refresh before heading back to Iceland. Thanks to some award points from my Dad we were able to spend 4 days at the Radisson where I soaked up the ocean views from our balcony and more than enjoyed the waiters who came around my sunbed every 5 minutes refilling my drink while I lounged by the beautiful pool, it was heaven.


O) Obsession–what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
This may sound crazy but I am known for being obsessed with old doorways. Almost every place I have traveled to I end up with a picture of a door I found beautiful. Something about the colors and the vintage look draws me in and I have to take a picture of them! H thinks I am totally weird but hey I have seen some beautiful doors in my travels!

Doors From Around the World

P) Passport stamps-how many and from where?:
Iceland, Australia, and America dominate my passport. Seriously I think I have about 10 incoming and outgoing stamps from Iceland! Since my European travel has all been done from Iceland, an EU/EEA country, I haven’t gotten stamps in many of the countries I have visited. When we were in Croatia this summer though I finally added a new stamp to my passport and I was probably a bit too excited about it!

Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
Did you know that in Reykjavik you can visit a museum that has the largest display of penises and penile parts in the World? The Icelandic Phallological Museum is by far the quirkiest attraction I have ever heard of, and while I have yet to visit this attraction it will happen at some point and more than deserves this spot!

R) Really Frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
I have done most of my travel with H by my side so for the most part I usually feel quite safe. When we were in Naples though I remember feeling very uneasy with all the chaos happening around me. It was one of the most hectic places I have ever visited and I never knew which way someone was going to come driving towards me and the tiny streets at night made me a bit nervous to walk.

S) Splurge-something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
While traveling I would much rather spend my money on the local cuisine and excursions special in the area than fancy accommodation and souvenirs. I had no problem spending my money on a scuba diving excursion at the Great Barrier Reef and I will never regret my amazing, but pricey, meal I had in Croatia. You can learn more about my travel style here, I am all about experiencing the place I am visiting to the fullest!

T) Touristy thing you’ve done:
Riding donkey’s in Santorini. I mean really, how can you not go to Santorini and ride a donkey down the hillside?! I will say it was one of the most terrifying experiences in my life, it felt like the donkey was going to slide down those slick steps. But it was one of those things you will never forget and I am so glad I joined the other tourist on this attraction. And when you ask the nice old man who owns the donkey to take a picture for you this is what you get.

GreeceGood think I had H there to take another picture for me, got to capture those touristy moments!


U) Unforgettable travel memory:
My month long trip backpacking around Europe with H. It was our first time traveling together and my first time visiting Europe. It all feels so unreal now to think that I spent almost 5 weeks visiting 5 different countries, seeing places I had only dreamed off with my favorite travel partner by my side.

V) Visas-how many and for where?:
Two visas, one for Australia and one for Iceland. I have actually gotten two visa for Iceland as I have moved here twice. Each time has been a painful experiencing but I am hoping my upcoming visa renewal won’t be as much of a hassle.

W) Wine–best glass while traveling:
I love my wine so this is a tough one to answer! The Grk wine in Croatia is delicious, wine tasting in Hunter Valley, Australia was amazing, and the wine in Italy, don’t even get me started! Basically I love wine and as long as it is not super sweet it is a winner in my book.

X) eXcellent view and from where?:
The view of Sydney from atop the Sydney Harbor bridge is one I will never forget! As we began our climb at dusk I remember cursing my roommate for convincing me this was a good idea. When we reached the top and were treated to a firework show while overlooking Sydney I more than thanked her. The Sydney Harbor bridge climb is a must do when visiting Australia, an experience and view I will never forget.

Sydney Bridge
Y) Years spent traveling:
My family has gone on a summer vacation every year for as long as I can remember, but for me my traveling truly began 4 years ago. I made my first international trip almost 4 years ago and since then have visited 8 more countries, lived abroad in two of those countries, and am constantly planning my next trip. My traveling is no where near finished!

Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
I am going to have to go with my hometown for this one. Oregon Duck fans go all out, especially when it comes to football season. I am missing tailgating at home games this year but still have been able to watch a few games and support my ducks!

Question of the Day?
Chose a letter and tell me your ABC of travel!?

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  • Madeline Fedmont

    Awesome post. I might even do such prompt later :)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It was a really fun post to write!

  • Holly Hollyson

    Your Greek holiday wine post was my favourite ever! And do I spy Landmannalaugur??

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      You most definitely do! I just loved Landmannalaugur, can’t wait for next summer to make another trip back there!

  • Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    I really love the picture with your heads cropped out, it is so funny but perfect somehow!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Haha right, that is how I felt about it as well!

  • Melanie Fontaine

    I’ve just come across this type of post way back in the archives of another travel blog – apparently, this used to be a huge thing in the blogging world a couple of years back! It be fun if it would come back again, love reading these types of posts and you definitely have tons of interesting stories to share! :)

    • Casey C

      Yep, I knew I saw it somewhere! Guess that’s how it ended up in my drafts for almost 2 years before I wrote anything about it, ha! Let’s definitely make it a thing again!! :)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I love reading these posts as well! And they are such fun prompts to write! I agree with you and Casey, we need to make this a thing again!

  • Caity @ Where The Heart Is

    May have to steal this idea from ya – it’s so fun! And love finding another wine-lover like me, I can never say no to a good glass of wine :D Also LOVE the doors, so vintage so pretty!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I am so glad I am not the only one who loves doors! And yes, this post was so fun to write, would love to see your ABC’s of travel!

  • Carly @ Let Us Wanderlust

    This is an awesome prompt! I may have to borrow the idea! I feel like I just learnt a heap about you and your travels – my favourite is your keepsakes one!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks Carly :) Yes it was such a fun prompt to use I would love to read your post!

  • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    This is a great idea! I might borrow it as well (as long as that’s okay!) I think H is a great travel keepsake ;) x

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Yes of course! I know we both love a good ABC post and this one was a lot of fun to write up! I agree, H is a pretty good travel keepsake :)

  • Courtney

    Mmmm Greek food is my favorite cuisine that I’ve tasted while traveling too. Feta for days!!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Exactly! Greek food is just the best!

  • Casey C

    So glad you played along, girl! I also take waaayyy too many photos of random doors! European doors are just so ornate and beautiful. You don’t see much of that in America. When we were in Barcelona last fall, we found a door photo art museum. I was more excited about it than a normal human being should be! And it’s official…I’ve got to get myself to Australia!

    Enjoy your weekend…and thanks for linking this post up to the FFF hop! :)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks for the idea, I loved reading your post and had a great time writing mine. I know right! I have so many pictures of doors now, I just can’t get enough of them!

  • Olya

    I agree that travel is all about the wow moments…and I love all of yours! I felt uneasy in Naples too. Partially because we stayed at a place called Giovanni’s House which had amazing reviews…but it literally turned out to be this guy’s apartment (it turned out fine, and Giovanni was a lot of fun but it was still odd) This looks like such a fun post to do!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      There are so many wow moments that come with travel, I love them all! I don’t blame you for feeling uneasy with an all guys apartment! I think Naples is really the only place I have felt uncomfortable in while traveling.

  • Hannah Wasielewski

    it’s so cool you’ve been able to visit so many places in Europe! I’m heading to Australia myself in January, so it’s nice to hear that it was your favorite place!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      How exciting, I loved Australia! Where at are you going to?

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  • Elle

    I’m so with you on being obsessed with pictures of doors! I lived in Charleston, SC for a summer and I just fell in love with going on walks to stare at people’s homes (not creepy sounding at all…) They are just so gorgeous and I always feel like there’s a story behind them. It’s sounds like I’m trying to be weirdly poetic, but front doors just witness so much. They’re like the wise old grandparent of architecture.

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I really need to make it down to the south, all the southern charm, I need to see it!

  • Lily Runs the World

    I’m going to jump in on this too! Now that I’m home, the last six months of traveling Europe is kind of a blur. I think this will help remind myself of some of the awesome things that happened.

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      This post really helped me reflect on a lot of my travels that I haven’t really thought about in awhile. And after 6 months of traveling in Europe I am sure you have lots of awesome things to share!

  • Oh Hey Blog // Megan Denton

    Keepsakes… seriously, you mean you DON’T bring home a man every time you travel? hehe

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Haha I know right, I mean doesn’t everyone bring a man home every time they travel :)

  • Sara Rose

    I love that pic of you and the wine in Croatia!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I loved the wine in Croatia!

  • Jamie @ Gunters Abroad

    Loving this list! I may have to do this one day as well. Youve made so many amazing memories!! Cheers to you for all of your travel memories made!!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thank you Jamie! It was a really fun prompt to reflect back on all my travels!

  • Robert @ablogbyrobert

    What a wonderful way to reminisce about all the great experiences you’ve had and memories you’ve made whilst travelling! It’s easy to forget without a prompt like this to remind you :)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thank you Robert :) It really is easy to forget about some travel memories, I had totally forgotten about the donkey ride experience in Greece and am so glad I reflected back on it in this post!

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe

    I LOVE doors too! Fun way to document your travels!!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      This post was such a fun way to share my favorite travel memories!

  • Sammy @ Days Like This

    Great post!! I love your and H’s story. Makes me smile every time you mention it.

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Ahh thanks :) We always surprise people with our story, makes it fun to share how we met. A lot of people always think H is Australian and would ask me why I was moving to Iceland ha. Was definitely a surprise to met an Icelandic guy in Australia, not my Australian surfer I had in mind but turned out even better :)

  • Jessi @2feet1world

    Wow awesome post, this is such a cool way to think about your travels. I will have to do one of these sometime! Nice work on the keepsake ;)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks Jessi! It was a fun post to write and such a great way to reflect back on my travels!

  • Amanda Elizabeth

    I love reading about your travels! That hotel in Croatia looks unbelievable I would have never thought it was there! Greece is fingers crossed for the potential honeymoon!!!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Yes, fingers crossed for Greece! Where at in Greece are you guys considering. Seriously probably my favorite place I have visited, loved everything about Greece!

      • Amanda Elizabeth

        I was actually digging back through your archives last night! I was thinking of Mykonos and Santorini for our honeymoon it would most likely be in May/June. The flights over to Athens are crazy expensive though!!

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  • adventuresofalondonkiwi

    These are fabulous adventures! (Ps I’m a fellow passport stamp addict and I’ve heard you can ask the border staff to stamp you at EU borders no matter what your passport…)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Really, that is awesome thanks for the tip!

  • Kathy@Vodka and Soda

    i totally agree that the best mode of transportation while travelling is local (bus etc) or your feet! i prefer walking because that’s the best way to see everything.

    when i went to new york for the first time (years ago), we walked from the world trade center all the way across the brooklyn bridge (ok, that was a mistake but still…we had to double back) all the way through those adorable little boroughs and up to madison square gardens. it was about 12hrs of walking that day but it was INCREDIBLE!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I know, we are always regretting are long walks on the way back but you see so much on your own two feet! And it helps keep my waistline in check with all the eating I do while traveling!

  • jackie jade

    the donkey ride looks so cool! and i loooooved mykonos too :)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I just loved everything about Greece!

  • Alex Fahey

    Awesome post! I loved this. I think donkey riding would the best!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It was such a fun experience. A bit terrifying and H and I couldn’t stop laughing but an unforgettable memory for sure.

  • Claire (@Kurea_San)

    This is such a great post. Love your ‘K’ and high-five to ‘T’, there’s nothing like a donkey ride every now and then lol. I have to agree with you about Pisa, probably one of my least-favoutite spots in Europe for similar reasons.
    Claire xx

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks Claire! Yes I really just did not enjoy Pisa, especially after all the hype you hear about it. The donkey ride is such a wonderful memory!

  • Kerri

    Oooh I like this ABC prompt! I think I’m just going to pin this page and maybe do it myself some time :)

    It’s a great way to learn more about someone :)

    I agree, feet are my favourite form of travel!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Yes it was such a fun post to write and a great way to reflect back on your travels!

  • AmyMacWorld

    I saw this on Casey’s blog, too, and I am definitely going to do an ABC post myself soon! It’s such a good one :) I just went wine tasting here in the Czech Republic this past weekend…if you ever make it here, you MUST go! It was so much fun!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It was a lot of fun to write! Looking forward to seeing yours. And from your post it sounds like wine tasting in the Czech Republic is awesome!

  • Kate @ Another Clean Slate

    Postcards are definitely less complicated than a boyfriend. Not as fun though!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Agreed, much less complicated but not as much fun!

  • Alex, Denglish Speaker

    Pisa was definitely one of my least favorites as well. Crazy your first international trip was a MOVE – impressive! And really on the wine, isn’t it good everywhere? Refill? The answer is always yes.

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I know right, I decided to just take the dive head first into international travel! Yes, I will never say no to a refill!

  • Lizzy

    Great post! Will have to steal these questions and do my ABC of travel too!

    Lizzy at Nomad Notebook

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I hope you do it was a great post to write!

  • Syamira Hatta

    Such a great post! I’m definitely stealing these questions to do as well! :P
    And you’re not the only one who takes pictures of doors – I have an obsession with them, as well!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Yes it was such a fun post to read! And I am glad to know I am not the only one with an obsession for doors!

  • Yalanda_Meshell

    I loved reading this! I bet you could probably combine your old doorway photos and make a really great piece of art!! I best get working on my own ABCs, they are so fun to read!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      That is a really good idea, I think all the photos would make an awesome picture gallery!

  • Kathleen Walpole

    I love this! Just did it myself.


    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      So glad you enjoyed. It is a fun post to write and recap on your past travels with!

  • Meredith R

    Such a neat post with lots of stories/bits from your travels. I would copy the idea of this post, but I’ve only traveled to Peru :) not nearly as cool as Australia, Europe, or Iceland!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It was a really fun way to look back on my past travels! Maybe an ABC’s of Peru :)

  • Lauren Bonheim

    Love this idea! So fun reading about your travels. The Pisa let down especially made me giggle- what an overrated city! When I went we were supposed to go on a segway tour (AKA the only reason I was really excited). Turns out the man forgot! So we just wandered around for a few hours and then moved on. Great post!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thank you! I so agree, Pisa is totally an overrated city, I am glad we decided to cut our time short there.

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  • Shane Prather

    I agree, Syndey Harbour view is the best :) Did you create this ABC’s of travel? I would love to do one of my own! xo

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I got the idea from Casey at We Took The Road Less Traveled actually :) And yes they are such a fun post to read would love to read yours if you write one!

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  • Megpie

    I love this list! Especially your old door obsession. I’m right there with you! You inspired me to write my own “ABCs List”. It was a challenge for a few of the letters, but what a fun way to reminisce on my travel experiences :) Thanks!

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I loved your ABC list, so many wonderful things you wrote for your letters!

  • Lauren @ Here We Geaux

    Hopped over from September Farm…What a fun idea to recap your travels! I will be saving this one to use for myself at some point. :)

    • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks for stopping by! This was a really fun post to write :)

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