Ask Andi Anything + Giveaway (Part 9)

October 29, 2013

Almost every day I am asked interesting questions from all over the world and I thought I would start sharing my responses to them, along with travel related giveaways.  I love questions, thus please feel free to ask me anything in the comments or send me a private message if you prefer.

Q36. What sources do you go to for inspiration for your travel photography? 

Q36. Blogs!  I read over a hundred blogs a day.  I have magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well, however blogs, more than anything else, greatly inspire me and push me to continuously improve my photography (traveling or not).

Q37. Where is your favorite place to dive?

A37. My favorite place thus far was the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which just so happened to be the first place I ever dove and sadly nowhere else has surpassed it yet.  I did a week-long liveaboard during a solo trip to Cairns and it was one of the best experiences of my life.  My most vivid memory from the trip was during my first night dive.  I had to jump into the ocean that was swarming with giant nurse sharks, as they were attracted to the boat’s lights.  Even though I knew they were harmless, I still had to dig deep to find the courage to take the initial plunge.  Once inside the water, I spent a minute absorbing my surroundings; I was floating in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean that had been fantastically illuminated by a moon so big that I thought if I reached out far enough I could touch it.  It was such a surreal and perfect moment.  The day dives blew my mind as well — the marine life and coral reefs were indescribably amazing!

Q38. What destination(s) would you suggest for first time female solo travelers?

A38. I think if English is your primary language, than visiting a country where the overwhelming majority of locals speak English is a great way to dip your toes into solo travel for the first time.  Australia and Hawaii were amongst the places I traveled to by myself for the first time.  Since afterwards I felt comfortable on my own, I started exploring countries like Hong Kong, Mexico, and Brasil, which took me out of my comfort zone, but with my past trips I felt that I had the confidence and experience needed to successfully complete my journeys.

Q39. What is your favorite travel souvenir?

A39. I do not like to buy a lot of things while I am traveling; to me the photos are the best souvenirs, but the things that I do buy are really special and one-of-a-kind pieces.  My favorite travel treasure is a handmade quilt that I bought in a market in Mexico City.  When I first saw it, it took my breath away.  I had to have it!  However, the seller wanted more than I could afford.  It was painful to walk away from it, but I had no choice, as it was out of my budget.  My friend and I left the market and went off on an adventure.  At the end of the day, she looked at me and said, “You are still thinking about that quilt, right?”  I admitted that I was.  She dragged me back to the market, which was in the process of shutting down, and begged the seller to lower the price.  He agreed and I felt like I had won the lottery!

Q40. What is your heritage? 

A40. I am half Italian and half German.  My father’s family comes from Naples, Italy and my mother’s family comes from Essen, Germany.  You can read more about my German grandparents here.

For this giveaway, I am offering the chance to win one of four pairs of stylish compressions socks from VIM & VIGR!  I own a pair and this is what they look like:

I just returned from the United Kingdom and on my flights to and from I wore my new compression socks.  I loved them so much, that I now cannot imagine not wearing them on every flight I take in the future.  Besides being incredibly fashionable and comfortable, they also energize the legs, prevent swelling, alleviate achiness, reduce spider and varicose veins, and aid in muscle recovery.  They are a must for every traveler no matter what age, gender, or state of health.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 thoughts on “Ask Andi Anything + Giveaway (Part 9)

  1. carmen

    Hi there! I am going to the Great Barrier reef next year. I have never been scuba diving (but lots of snorkeling). Did you prepare yourself before hand? I have heard many stories about people having a horrible experience diving because their ears hurt and their nose bleed. What are your thoughts? Any tips for my upcoming visit? Thank you!! I love your blog 🙂

    Reply
  2. Terra

    Hi Beautiful! I love that you dived in the Great Barrier Reef at night with little sharks. I am actually kinda jealous;-) My goal is to learn how to scuba dive, and explore amazing places like Australia:-) I loved reading about you on a more personal level! Hugs, Terra

    Reply
  3. Julia

    Athena brown and blush! Also my favorite souvenir is a sterling silver ring I bought at the Easter Market in Prague. It’s the only jewelry I wear everyday.

    Reply
  4. Sarah Grace

    How have I never known there was fashionable compression socks on the market ? I am ready to throw away the pairs I bought at the drug store and replace them with the Eos Brown & Teal Cotton compression socks. Thanks for such a great tip !

    Reply
  5. Alex

    Wow I LOVE that quilt! I did the same (went back to a market in Istanbul at the end of the day!) for magnetic travel chess set I bought for Mark years ago. Couldn’t stop thinking about it!

    Reply

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