This is the ‘About Us’ section, the bit where we’d normally tell you who we are, what we do and where we’re from.
The answers to these questions are not particularly interesting (Matt and Lucy, recent graduates, from the UK), so we thought it would be better to come up with a travel-related Q&A so you get to know more about our travelling personas rather than Lucy’s tea obsession and Matt’s collection of checked shirts (just look at those token random facts!).
Favourite travel memory?
Matt: This is a tough one! I’m torn between two – climbing Kilimanjaro was absolutely amazing, and I’d love to go back and do it again some day. Closer to home, wandering around Dubrovnik Old Town at 3am when it was absolutely deserted was brilliant – we basically had the whole place to ourselves which was incredibly exciting.
Lucy: Hmmm. I’m going to go with quite an old travel memory from a family holiday. It was the last night of our holiday in Venice. St Mark’s Square had flooded earlier that day, but by the evening the water had retreated leaving huge puddles. All I can remember thinking it that the atmosphere was magical as people wandered around, listening to the orchestra which was playing in one corner of the square and skipping through puddles.
Worst travel experience?
Matt: Anyone who reads this regularly will soon learn that I have quite a bit fear of flying – which isn’t ideal when you enjoy travelling! Unfortunately, this fear wasn’t helped by experiencing quite a loud, violent engine failure whilst travelling on a propeller plane on an internal flight in Tanzania. The big bang and plane shaking, followed by looking out of the window across the aisle to see the propeller grinding to a halt, is probably my worst experience. Convinced that was the end.
Lucy: Mine was a self-inflicted travel experience. My friend Katherine and I spontaneously got on a train to Stockholm and couldn’t find any accommodation. In the end we decided the only option was to stay awake all night. We sat in the central station until it closed at 1am, keeping ourselves awake by guessing what the other people in the station were doing there. After being ushered out of the station we went to Burger King, ordered some chips and sat there until 3am. Everything was so expensive that we had to make one shared portion of chips between last for two hours. At 3am we hurried to McDonald’s (it was absolutely freezing) where we ordered a McFlurry, which we also consumed painfully slowly, and remained until 5am. We then queued to get into the station, which was just reopening, and sat on a bench until the first coffee shop opened. Katherine fell asleep in her chair holding the most expensive mug of coffee we’d bought in our lives. Never again.
Dream travel destination?
Matt: I’ve never done South America – so I’d love to give that a go. Trekking the Amazon and visiting Machu Picchu would be brilliant.
On a more unrealistic note, an adventure to the South Pole would be mind blowing.
Lucy: Agreed on Machu Picchu. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland – it looks incredible and I’ve got a bit of a thing for geology. I’d also love to see the Northern Lights.
Most ridiculous travel experience?
Matt: Probably getting a three hour taxi from Mostar to Dubrovnik in order to catch our flight back to the UK. We were already in Mostar by mistake, having missed the Sarajevo-Dubrovnik bus, so having to get a taxi for such a long journey was as hilarious as it was ridiculous.
Lucy: What?! You stole my story… now I need a different one. Hmph. Erm, probably the journey from Bad Salzdetfurth (where I lived in Germany) to Helsinki. I got a train to Dortmund, a flight from Dortmund to Vilnius (Lithuania), a night bus from Vilnius to Tallinn (Estonia) and then a ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki (Finland). It was ridiculous. But Helsinki was nice!
Something you refuse to travel without?
Matt: This is a bit of a cliché, but a good sense of humour. There’s almost invariably no point getting stressed when things go wrong – it’s all part of the experience, and will probably make for better memories when you get back. Unless it’s engine failure – then I’m allowed to panic…
Lucy: A notebook. I’ve always kept holiday diaries so I use the front of the notebook as a diary and the back for noting everything from currency conversion rates to hostel addresses to the Cyrillic alphabet.