I am so excited to have a travel interview for you all today from Colleen Brynn Travels. Colleen is an optometry student and a travel addict with some great travel adventures in her future! If you enjoy this interview (and you will), be sure to head on over to her blog!
1. Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born and raised in the Canadian prairies, completed a business degree in Manitoba and am currently a first year optometry student, living in Waterloo, Canada. I’ve traveled to over 30 countries, and I’ve lived in Canada, Mexico, Denmark, England and Spain. Apart from traveling, I love reading, writing, dancing, playing hockey, knitting, making soup for friends, and I particularly adore all things Spanish (movies, countries, people…). As a future optometrist, I plan to travel overseas to help those in need of vision care, and one day, I hope to fulfill my (admittedly lofty) dream of having my own clinic on Easter Island.
2. When/Why did you start blogging:
At 18, I moved to England to live and volunteer for a year. While there, I started blogging to share stories and keep in touch with my family and friends back home. Before I went to South America in 2009, I picked up blogging again for the same reason. Since then, I’ve realized how blogging is so much more than just keeping in touch with people and recording stories. I’ve made some valuable connections from blogging, and I’ve been exposed to things and possible experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t have been. I continue to blog because it challenges me, because I am constantly learning new things from the blogs I follow, and because I’m fascinated by other people who blog. It’s also my creative outlet while I’m in school!
3. What is your dream trip:
There are easily too many to just pick one; I have a fairly extensive list of dream trips on my blog. Instead of just choosing one, I will tell you about my upcoming travel plans. My dream trip is as good as what is on my horizon, non?
I am lucky to be a student with lots of time off during the summer, so I plan to use my time wisely! One of my closest friends from high school is getting married this summer in Anguilla, an island off of St. Maarten. I plan to attend the wedding and see more of the Caribbean while I am there. Those plans are just starting to hatch, but it looks like I may also be visiting the island of Saba.
After the wedding, I plan to take some time to visit family and friends in Europe. My cousin is currently doing a masters at the London School of Economics. I intend to visit her and some other friends I have in England. I plan to go to London via Iceland; one way flights to Reykjavik are a very reasonable way of getting to Europe, and Iceland is a country I’ve wanted to visit for a while. After England, I want to visit my friend Anna in Denmark because she just had a baby! I met Anna while we were both on exchange in Guadalajara, Mexico. I was fortunate to do another exchange in Aalborg, Denmark that same year while she was still studying there. She has since come to visit me in Canada in 2009 and last summer while I was living in Madrid. She is one of my dearest friends in the world, and meeting her baby will be like meeting my niece!
After all the fun of visiting friends and family, the biggest part of my travel plans for next summer is to do the Trans-Siberian railway. It’s a trip I’ve wanted to do since I first live in Europe 8 years ago. The plan is to go through Russia and Mongolia and end in Beijing, China. After Beijing, my plans are still up in the air, but I do also hope to see Hong Kong.
4. Where is favorite place in the world:
Do I have to pick just one?
Immediately, my mind goes to Madrid, Easter Island, Ireland and Canada. All of these places are soul-healing places for me, places where I’ve felt my best, my most comfortable, my most at peace. All of these places have shaped me significantly in some way and contributed to the person I am today. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to any of these places, ever.
If I had to choose just one, I can’t help but think of my grandfather’s words when he told me that my two Irish friends living in Winnipeg must be “missing the old sod”. It’s a sentiment that is very Irish, and a sentiment that I feel runs in my blood. If I had to choose just one place in the world, I would choose Ireland, where my family is originally from. It’s a place I know I’ve lived a thousand lives before this one.
5. Favorite food/ where do you find it:
This is an easy one! Mexican food! When I lived in Mexico, I never had a bad meal. Everything there is fresh and delicious. My very favourite Mexican treat is the torta, the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever tasted. There is meat, cheese, avocados, tomatoes, more meat, some sort of magical sauce, and it’s all whipped up into a perfect, heavenly concoction of Mexican sandwich. My life hasn’t been the same since.
6. Any great travel tips/ secrets?
One thing I always do when I travel is write. I keep a journal when I travel (as in daily life), but I am more thorough about journaling while I travel. I write down where I go, things I see, things I eat, what people are like, but above all, I love writing down funny things that happen and funny things people say. When I look back on my journals years later, I get to relive the hilarious things that happened that I had completely forgotten about. Writing can be a bit of a chore while traveling when living in the moment is the only thing that matters, but trust me, you will thank yourself later for writing all those details down!