Andi’s ABC’s Of Travel

As you read this, I am in the midst of exploring Chicago for the first time with my husband.  We have graciously been invited by the Hyatt Regency Chicago to celebrate New Year’s Eve at their glamorous Ballroom Blitz.  This is an incredibly special New Year’s Eve for me, because not only is it my first as a married woman, it is also the first I have ever spent with my husband in the 6.5 years that we have known each other.  I cannot wait for my (guaranteed) midnight kiss!

I hope you enjoy reading my ABC’s of Travel as much as I enjoyed writing them.  Answering the questions made me reflect on past trips that I had not thought about in years, even though some of these trips were so life-changing that I am the woman I am today because of them.  I wish everyone the most extraordinary 2012 — may it be filled with one beautiful adventure after another

Age you went on your first international trip: The exact age I am not completely sure, but I do know that it was to Nassau, Bahamas and I was around the age of 10.  Surprisingly, I did not catch the travel bug until later on in life.

Best foreign beer you have had and where: I dislike beer immensely, but if I had to choose the best I have ever tasted it would be Tsingtao, which is found throughout China.

Cuisine (favorite): Whenever I consume Spanish food I feel like it was the best meal of my life.

Destinations – favorite, least favorite and why: My favorite destination is Brasil.  It is where I took my first solo trip in a country where I did not speak the language, it is where I got engaged, it is where I honeymooned, and it is where I hope to one day live.  I have yet to visit a place that I would refuse to visit again, having said that I would be fine not revisiting or never visiting about 15 American states (that shall remain nameless).

Buzios, Brasil

Buzios, Brasil

Event you experienced abroad that made you say wow: Celebrating New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.  I am convinced there is no place better in the entire world to ring in the new year.  Think 3 million people all dressed in white with 10 minutes of non-stop fireworks.

Favorite mode of transportation: First class, whether it is by plane, train, or boat, although train travel is my favorite of the three.  I like to arrive to my final destination relaxed and refreshed, so that I can start exploring immediately.

Greatest feeling while traveling: When I am on an adventure I feel like anything can happen.  I have truly become addicted to this feeling.

Hottest place you have traveled to: Driving throughout the Outback of Australia during the height of Summer.

Outback, Australia

Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Outback of Australia

Incredible service you have experienced and where: Every time I use Andrea Novick with Elite Travel International as my Travel Adviser I am absolutely blown away by her expertise, service, and insight.  She knows everything there is to know about travel.  She also happens to be my inspiration — she has been to Antarctica twice!

Journey that took the longest: NYC to Durban, South Africa.  It took over 30 hours of non-stop flying and of course it was worth it, but next time I have to fly this far I am breaking the trip up in stages.

Keepsake from your travels: I collect 2 things while traveling: 1) anything with elephants on it and 2) gold charms for my good luck necklace.

Let-down site – why and where: Despite my undying love for Brasil, I was deeply disappointed with Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.  While I think it is beautiful, I also do not think it should be considered one of the seven Wonders of the World.

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Moment when you fell in love with travel: My first significant trip overseas was to China when I was 20.  I literally can remember the moment I walked off the plane and was consumed with the insatiable desire to see the rest of the world.

Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: I have had the great fortune to stay in a lot of luxurious hotels, however the one that I go to in my mind when I am stressed is Pousada Maravilha in Fernando de Noronha, Brasil.  My husband and I stayed there on our honeymoon for 3 unforgettable days.

Fernando de Noronha, Brasil

World’s Best Infinity Pool in Fernando de Noronha, Brasil

Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling: Sunsets, elephants, flowers, anything that is pink, oceans, unique perspectives of shots that have been taken a billion times over. . .

Passport stamps, how many and from where: I lost count.  I have been to around 50 countries and many I have repeated over and over again.  I have had 2 passports and each have had pages added.

Quirkiest attraction you have visited and where: Pass?

Recommended site, event, or experience: It was the most challenging trips of my life to date, however I highly recommend journeying to Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.  I remember thinking to myself the entire time I was there, “I wish everyone could see this.”  The magical landscape changes before your eyes from salt flats to mountains to desserts to aquamarine and red lakes with thousands of pink flamingos.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Splurge, something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: I try to upgrade whenever possible (if it is for the right price).  I also like to splurge on dining experiences and excursions.

Touristy thing you have done: A horse and carriage ride through Central Park in NYC.  I do this every single time I visit and I did it several times while I lived there.  The tradition started when I was a little girl when my Dad would take me to the Big Apple every Christmas.  We would get hot chocolate and snuggle up together in the carriage and he would tell me stories about growing up in NYC.

Unforgettable travel memory: Taking a solo trip to the most remote island in the world: Easter Island, Chile.  The entire time I was there I kept pinching myself to make sure that I was not dreaming.

Easter Island, Chile

The Men of Rapa Nui

Wine, best glass while traveling and where: The bottle of Malbec (name forgotten) my family and my husband’s family shared the first time they met in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Wine is like water to me when I am in Argentina.

eXcellent view and from where: I have seen some extraordinary views all over the world, but without a doubt the best view was my husband’s smiling face as I walked down the aisle at our wedding at Faena Hotel + Universe.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Best Moment of 2011

Years spent traveling: Traveling became my #1 priority around a decade ago.

Zealous sports fans and where: My first soccer match was Boca Juniors vs River Plate, the 2 biggest rival teams in Argentina.  The crowd became so out of hand that all of the women and children were evacuated an hour before the men and then the fans from one team were let out before the fans from the other team.  Needles to say, I became a devoted soccer fan after that!  My husband and I plan to attend the World Cup in Brasil in 2016.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

A Chinese Medicine Doctor/Travel Writer and Photographer who is exploring life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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Comments

Andi’s ABC’s Of Travel — 106 Comments

  1. I love this post! It’s so fun to reflect back on past trips isn’t it? Funny how we had complete opposite experiences at Cristo. Love your answer for “X” :D

    • Yes, I LOVED doing this and will definitely do the other post you tagged me in. It’s important to reflect every once in a while. It is funny how we had completely opposite experiences at Cristo!!! I really did think it was beautiful though. XOXO

  2. This is fun! I might have to follow suit sometime in the New Year =)

    Funny, my first “international” destination (though I hardly consider it that, do you?) was Nassau, as well, on the “Big Red Boat” (a Disney cruise) with all my extended family when I was 8!

    Have fun with the Hyatt–they’re my hotel brand of choice and I actually just posted about staying at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto today!

    • I would LOVE for you to do this too!!! I had so much fun doing it, I might try to do one every couple of months or so. I love that we both traveled to Nassau for our 1st international destination haha. The Hyatt is fantastic. This is our 2nd Hyatt Regency experience.

  3. I love finding out little tidbits like this! Salar de Uyuni is on my list of trips to definitely take before we ever leave South America – I don’t know if it’ll happen in 2012, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we get there.

  4. it’s been so long since i’ve commented andi! but i truly love this abc’s of yours. so many of your answers resonate with my travel experiences. i really do feel the same about it…this huge desire inside of me to see the world…i felt that when i traveled in guaymas mexico when i was 21. then went on a road trip down to mazatlan, across to zacatecas….there 4 of us, in a super small car! and i agree about malbec wine…it’s just delicious!! my fave! happy new years!

  5. I’m DYING to go to Salar de Uyuni! I feel like everyone who has done it has nothing but amazing things to say about it!! Loved this list and as always lady, you travel in style! Love the pic in front of Ayers Rock in Oz. Happy New Year!

  6. Whoa, that sunset in Buzios looks spectacular! Actually all your Brazil photos look amazing. I’ve been to Rio a bunch of times to visit relatives, but I really need to start exploring more of that country! I’m making the World Cup my excuse to go back :D

    • How cool that you have relatives in Rio! I’m jealous!!! I feel the same way about Argentina. I’ve been over 10X, yet I’ve barely seen the rest of the country outside of BsAs.

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  8. Andi! For some reason I haven’t been able to comment on your blog for the last couple of weeks, but tonight I can! HOORAY! :-) SO excited to hear about your trip to Chicago for New Year’s with your man. How fantastic!!! Hope you have had a marvelous time, luv. :-)

  9. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  10. I love this post. In fact I may steal the style one day… but I will certainly give credit. I loved you “F” response. Maybe one day I’ll get to travel first class too.

  11. I LOVE reading this meme that’s going around. I swear, I have learned so much about you and Emily too…and I thought I already knew most of you two’s travel stories!

    • I’ve loved reading everyone elses responses as well, especially Ems! I hope you do one too darling!!! I’m definitely going to do more of these in the future, because there is so much of my travel history that I have yet to share with my readers.

  12. I am a HUGE fan of soccer! River Plate and Boca would be THE ultimate match in Argentina! I would be a little scared though. I watch soccer every weekend so I keep up with what is going on and am pretty knowledgeable (esp for an American). Now we just need to get you to a college football game (ahem…)! :)

    • I went last month!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went to see Clemson VS UVA. It was CRAZY. I came, I saw, I conquered. Never going again hahaha. Well, never say never, but I have no desire to see another football game. ;-)

  13. These ABCs are so interesting to read. It’s like 26 mini blog posts about people. Nassau is an excellent place for a first international trip, it was mine too but at a much later age in life! ;-) I’d love to experience the New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro some day. Your response to an eXcellent view is just the sweetest. <3

    • Thanks so much and I’m delighted that you enjoyed my responses. I’ve loved reading everyone else’s. I hope that you can experience Rio for NYE, it’s a travel experience that you will NEVER forget. <3

  14. Andi, great to see an image of a sunset make your ABCs post… It would make mine for certain… Also, great pick with the C for Cuisine… Yes, Spanish – it’s the best.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  15. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

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  18. Hi Andi – I just ended up on your blog and it’s great! I’m married to a Brazilian and got to live there for awhile, it’s my favorite country by far! I love all of your stories about your trips there :)
    See you for World Cup! ha ha..

    • How awesome that you’re married to a Brasilian! What city did you live in? So happy you found me. I’m about to start posting about our honeymoon throughout Brasil. See you at the WC bonita!!!

  19. Pingback: 7 Super Shots From Andi’s Travels I thoroughly enjoyed writing my ABC’s of Travel, as it allowed me | Find the Glass Penny

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  21. Wow, so gorgeous! Looking at your photos on Brasil & Bolivia makes me want to see more of South America, which I have never been to, but indeed it would be a challenge to eat something vegan, but I’m ready to try whatever in my way! Your photo on Easter Island looked amazing…everything in this post convinced me to go anywhere by the waters! :)

    • Thanks darling!!!! I’m a veggie, so it’s easier for me to travel than you. Cheese is such a HUGE part of South American culture, thus that might be difficult for you to get around? South America is my favorite continent in the world — I really hope you can make it there!

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