An Interview With.. A Fierce Frosting!

9 Jul

Welcome to a new feature! Each week, I’ll be providing you with an interview with a fabulous fierce frosting! Our first interview is with the wonderful Sarah Von of www.yesandyes.org . In case you’ve been living under a rock, Sarah is a blogger, travel extraordinaire and all round fabulous fierce frosting!

So, I grilled her all about her marvellous travel antics!

Here’s what happened..

1. How many places have you visited and where was your favourite?

I’ve been to twenty countries: Germany, France, Brazil, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Greece, Italy, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Bolivia, Peru.
 
I think Greece was my favorite.  I was there for a month volunteering with a wildlife rehabilitation organization.  (http://aegean-wildlife.parosweb.com/) I’d wake up the sounds peacocks and donkeys, clean cages for a few hours and then spend the rest of the day driving a scooter around the island to different beaches.  It was the rare travel experience that has lived up to my expectations.

 
2. What advice would you give to anyone out there with a serious case of wanderlust?

Start saving money and make it happen!  Your dream trip isn’t going to fall into your lap; making long term travel happen takes dedication and self-control, but you can absolutely do it.  If you’re currently paying off a lot of debt or tied down by a mortgage or kids, you can still do some lovely weekends away or visit places in your own country that you haven’t seen before.

 
3. What’s at the top of your wish list in regards to places to visit?

Top five:
India (I’m going there in October!)
Mongolia
Russia
Sweden
Iceland
 
I’d love for my next big trip (I mean the one after my 2010-11 trip) to include the Transiberian Railroad!

 
4. What’s been the best and worst experiences you’ve had whilst travelling?

Worst: My then-boyfriend and I went to Carnivale in Bolivia in 2009.  It was a really, really fantastic experience.  However.  As is the case in many developing countries in which there is a huge financial disparity between travelers and locals, crime can be a problem – especially during a huge festival.  Sam put two cans of beer in the front pocket of his coat and as we were squeezing our way through a crowd, someone slashed the front of his coat, thinking that the beer was a wallet (?!).

We weren’t particularly upset that the jacket was ruined, more that had someone pushed him at that wrong moment, Sam would have had a punctured lung – all in the name of beer.

Best:  Too many to count!  The sunset over Santori, Greece.  Holding baby sea turtles in Fiji.  Climbing glaciers in New Zealand.  Dancing in a Carnivale parade in Bolivia.  Watching a lunar eclipse on an Australian beach on my birthday.  Running through the streets in Brazil when they won their fifth World Cup championship.  Dancing at The Love Parade in Berlin.  Watching a free Sting concert outside the Duomo in Milan.

 
5. What do you think you’ve learnt by travelling?

As deeply cheesy as this sounds, traveling has absolutely cemented my faith in the human spirit.  In all my travels, I have never been mugged, groped or seriously hassled.  I’ve made a gajillion new friends and been helped so, so, so many times by complete strangers.  People have gone out of their way point me in the right direction, translate for me, warn me against questionable neighborhoods, helped me carry things and even opened their homes to me.  And not because I’m anybody special!  I really believe that when you expect the best from people, they’ll usually deliver.

 
6. Have you always had a bad case of the travelling bug?

Kind of.  My parents are public school teachers so they had summers off.  Before my sister and I started working in the summer, we traveled for several weeks each June or July for ten years.  Nothing fancy, it was always camping and roadtrips, but we got to see a lot of America.  My parents also did a decent amount of international traveling before they had kids, so they have always encouraged the same mentality in my sister and I.

 
7. What would be your top five songs on your travelling playlist?

Most of my favorite travel songs don’t have much to do with travel themselves, they just trigger very specific travel memories for me.
Manu Chao – Minha Galera (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouw_ZaGWBpU)
Sufjan Stevens – Cashmir Pulaski Day (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGEMx3TKxNc)
Liam Finn – Energy Spent (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykm7hb48o4g)
Yann Tierson – J’y Suis Jamais Alle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okJpAybjpQs
Caesars – Jerk it out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an6A-Wu6-B4)

 
8. Any tips on how to look fabulous when you’ve been living out of a backpack for months?

1) Create a capsule wardrobe!  You should be able to mix and match everything and wear it in layers.  It’s a good idea buy your basics in the same neutrals (grey, black or khaki) and then buy a few pieces and accessories in the same accent colors.
2) Buy all you toiletries in solid form.  Shampoo bar, lotion bar (Lush makes good ones), blush stick, chapstick, cream eyeshadow.  They’ll last longer, they’re lighter, they won’t spill all over your bag and you don’t have to worry about the 3 ounce rule.
3) Get a sarong.  Or two!  And not those tie-dyed ones with the turtles on them.  You can get them in sophisticated prints and you can use them for a scarf/skirt/shawl/dress/swimsuit cover up/sheet/towel/impromptu bag or water filter.  And they dry really quickly!

 
9. What are your top three packing essentials?

1) Packing cubes (http://www.buy.com/prod/ebags-luggage-packing-cubes-3pc-set/q/loc/16234/203422650.html) They will save you so much time and effort!  And everyone in your hostel dorm room will appreciate that you’re not spending ten minutes noisily rustling through your backpack at 5 am.
2) Sarong (see above)
3) Chaco flip flops (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3909497) They last forever, they give you tons of arch support, you can hike in them (I have!) and they don’t scream “I’m a very serious tourist with my multi-strapped, multi-colored athletic sandals!” like a lot of other footwear out there.

 
10. Would you recommend travelling to other fierce frostings?

Of course!  Traveling has made me the person that I am today.
But I think it should also be said that traveling isn’t for everyone and there are a million other ways to “find yourself” and to experience the world.  Volunteer.  Move to a city where you don’t know anyone.  Take a writing class and try to get your memoir published.  Date someone that you’d normally write off.  Make friends with someone of a radically different age/ethnic/religious/ideological group.  Live in a neighborhood where you’re the minority.  There are lots of ways to contribute to the world and to make your mark on it – traveling just happens to mine.

Let me know what you thought of the interview in the comments!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

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4 Responses to “An Interview With.. A Fierce Frosting!”

  1. Fatty July 11, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    This is fantastic! I really enjoyed reading this especially as I am a reguler reader of yes and yes, there was a good variety of questions in there! Thanks =D

  2. A Little Coffee July 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Awesome interview Sarah! And I just found some great new music through your top travel songs there.

  3. Lisa July 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Great interview, Sarah’s blog is one of my favorites and she has such useful advice on travelling! It’s been ages since I’ve been anywhere and I’m dying to get out there.

  4. Cafe Fashionista July 12, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    The idea of a Capsule Wardrobe is amazing – and so perfect when on the road. LOVE this interview!! 🙂

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