The Travel Gauntlet returns for another week of pitting an avid traveller against one of our loyal staff members in the travel showdown to end all travel showdowns. Our brave contenders will answer questions that will test their travel opinions and experiences to the max. Reckon you’re brave enough to join ‘em? Then email us, and we’ll get back to you with five travel questions to answer.
Running The Gauntlet this week, it’s…
Traveller Amy Card from Oxford! Here she is a few years ago at Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, looking deservedly pleased with herself.
Amy after a long climb, at Africa's Mt Kilimajaro
Up against Amy is our very own David from STA Travel in Leicester! Here’s David enjoying a cheeky mojito.
David + cocktail = a very happy man
Step into The Gauntlet
Amy, David – show us your travel credentials!
|David Woodward, Travel Expert at STA Travel Leicester||Travel fan Amy Card|
|Where’s next on your travel wishlist?||I am going to Brazil and Argentina in July. I can’t wait – it’s going to be AMAZING! We haven’t made our plans yet, but I’m hoping to go whale watching in Argentina as well as various shenanigans throughout the rest of the area.||I want to go back to southern Italy – I want to visit Pompeii and stand in the shadow of Vesuvius before climbing to the top for a bird’s eye view of the city that was frozen in time. Then I’d head over to Naples for some good old fashioned hedonism in the form of a great big gooey pizza. They say Neapolitan pizza is the best in the world and, having spent the past twenty two years sampling the culinary masterpiece at any given opportunity, I feel it would only be fair for me to give it my honest appraisal!|
|Where’s your perfect weekend destination?||Barcelona – I went for a friend’s stag do and it’s my favourite city in the world. There aren’t many others in Europe that have such an awesome vibe, as well as having a beach, too (perfect for the next day recovery…)||I like European cities that haven’t been completely discovered yet, such as Ljubljana in Slovenia. During my year abroad in Italy I lived very close to the border with Slovenia and so popped over quite often to visit this pretty little capital. It is rich in historical value (as is most of former Yugoslavia) and you can spend the daytime exploring the castle or one of the numerous museums and art galleries. What I love most about the town, however, is its beauty. Flanked on all sides by lush green mountains the Ljubljanica River runs through the centre reflecting the baroque architecture in its glass like waters, coming alive with pretty lights at night.|
|Backpacker or flashpacker?||Flashpacker – I am waaaay too lazy to be a backpacker now. I have definitely spent my fair share of time living off rice and beans and now it’s time for restaurants and hotels….||Backpacker definitely! I have always been amazed by the sheer amount of unnecessary bulk people choose to carry with them whilst travelling, all in the name of comfort! Girls: you don’t need hair straighteners or coral pink nail varnish, and don’t even think about bringing your favourite pair of heels!|
|Which stamp in your passport is your favourite?||My Belize 6 month extension. I went there in 2009 and spent 2 months living in the jungle doing conservation work and another 2 teaching in a remote village school. The jungle was fantastic washing in rivers, cutting down trees with a machete… it was proper childhood dream stuff.||My entry visa at Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania. That sweaty, half-smiling photo of me (that I had no idea they would be sticking into my passport for all to see for the next eight years…) means more to me than just a holiday. My exit stamp also brings back memories, of the customs official asking for my hand in marriage, but that’s another story…|
|Flying solo, as a two, or a crew?||Not a solo fan, so I’d probably go with a crew option. I’ve done all three and it really is, in my experience, the more the merrier!||Travelling as a large group can be awkward. When I travel I like to blend in with the locals and this is undoubtedly easier when there are fewer of you. I once found a travel partner online; we were both going to be in Brussels for the day and wanted to hit all of the tourist spots but preferred to share the experience with a likeminded wanderer. At first it was a little weird, but as the day went on it became more obvious that this was the perfect situation. We were visiting somewhere new and exciting and had somebody to share it and take silly photos with – and we still keep in touch.|
Thanks for taking part, guys! You can walk away with your head held high and your travel cred firmly in tact.