My Travel Quirks

January 31, 2014

I freely admit I’m a bit of a nerd. When it comes to travel, there are certain things outside of typical travelers’ behavior I do that I ordinarily wouldn’t admit. Not that they’re illegal or particularly embarrassing; I just fell into a habit of doing them whenever I go abroad and don’t really think to bring them up in conversation. If anyone out there happens to do the same, let’s meet up.

Swinging like a six-year-old

I have found a swing set in every country I’ve encountered and gone for a good swing. Usually alone, but I’ll take company when I can get it. Even in Haiti, the compound in which I was staying had a playground. In New Zealand, there was a good set just outside of Pukekohe (good times, Jessica). A park in Seoul still has fibers from my jeans scattered around, I’m sure of it. It’s just a way for me to have fun and feel like a kid, hopefully get a different perspective on things when I’m surrounded by the unfamiliar.

I save clothes that have been laundered in the US

By that, I mean clothes that have the smell of familiar detergent and dried with a fabric softener sheet. Of course, I’ll use some clothes – I don’t exactly walk around other countries naked – but if I can avoid it, I’ll rewash shirts and jeans instead of dipping into my duffle bag for the ones cleaned on American soil. Those are the ones I save for special occasions, or when I just need to take a break. It’s akin to eating chocolate or watching an action movie, for me.

The search for turkey and cupcakes

I swear this isn’t as arrogant as it sounds. I do happen to indulge in the local cuisine wherever I go (even to my detriment in Peru), but I find things like turkey and cupcakes are so rare outside of the US (the former not always so) that it’s quite an adventure to seek out the best abroad.

Where has this lead me? Trapped on a bus for eight hours in Korea as I went to Thanksgiving dinner, and making friends who took me out for drinks after hearing of my spirited quest. Going to a store day after day in Thai Mueang, only to be told they’re always out of cupcakes.

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