Travel Specialists in the Spotlight | Ceri
What was your first great travel experience?
It was when I circumnavigated around Australia in a camper van. The journey took me ten months but I stopped off along the way to work (fruit-picking).
Which passport stamp are you proudest of?
I’d have to say Ushuaia in Argentina because it’s the most Southern city in the whole world. The stamp in my passport says ‘Fin del Mundo’ which is Spanish for the end of the world.
When did you get the travel bug?
When I was 19 I had a near-fatal car accident and spent a long time in hospital. When I left hospital I realised that I wanted to go out and see the world as life is too short and precious.
What has been your favourite accommodation you have ever stayed in?
The best place I have ever stayed is when I was in Cuba I spent many nights in ‘Casa particulares’ which are Cuban homestays. You get the true Cuban experience as you can spend your evening chatting with the families.
What has been your least favourite travel experience?
In the Philippines I got stranded on Malapascua Island which translates as ‘bad Easter.’ It ended up being true to its name when I travelled there in Easter time and got stranded on the island due to a typhoon.
What place/experience exceeded your expectations?
Colombia, because it has a bad reputation for crime and safety which made me cautious to visit the country. However, when I got there I found that it was one of the friendliest countries that I have ever visited.
Where is the next place you are visiting/planning on visiting?
I’m looking to travel to Borneo very soon. I want to go to see the rainforest and the orang-utans as I’ve heard so much about them from my colleague Emma.
What is the weirdest thing you have eaten whilst abroad?
I ate a live termite when I was in Tikal in Guatemala. The only reason I ate it is because I was told that it tasted of carrots and I didn’t believe them. Turns out that I was wrong….. It does taste exactly like carrots! Amazing!
Where is the best place food-wise you have visited?
I loved the food in India, especially the lassies the daal and best of all the masala dosas – I would have one for breakfast every day. When by the coast the seafood curries are some of the best in the world.
What are your top 5 must-pack items?
I like to bring a phrase-book with me to communicate with the locals (I always like to learn a few phrases), flip-flops, a head torch in case of any power-cuts, sun-cream as I burn easily and mosquito repellent because they love me!
What weird modes of transport have you travelled on?
I have travelled on an old American school bus in Guatemala. They have been sent from America for use there and have been re-named as ‘chicken buses’ because the locals use them to transport everything – even chickens on the roof. There are also 5 people to a seat and you get handed the locals children. The buses also play loud crazy music and the buses are painted in lots of bright colours. The buses also have lots of pictures of Jesus all over them, including the dashboards.
Have you ever worked abroad? If so explain….
My first experience of working abroad was wearing a bright yellow sandwich board in Darling Harbour in Sydney. Since then I have worked in various different locations including four years spent tour-leading in Central America.
Do you travel for the sights/the wildlife/the culture or the people?
I travel for the people. There is nothing better than having a natter with some of the locals and discovering about their way of life – it is the most rewarding experience. I also travel for the natural scenery but the people are my first draw to a country.
What is your favourite beer from around the world?
My favourite is Beer Laos, nothing I have tasted since then tastes as good. Although, the wine from Argentina is the best in the world by far – taking a tour of Mendoza, Argentina’s biggest wine region was a great experience.
Where is the most spiritual place you have been?
I found Varanasi in India to be very spiritual. Watching the locals swimming the Ganges, saying prayers (pooja) and getting really emotional is one of my favourite experiences from my time in India.
What’s the best party you have been to whilst travelling?
When I was in Cuba I went salsa dancing all night at an open air salsa club. If you travel to Cuba you can do this every night – there is no escaping the salsa!
And finally…what do you miss most from home whilst you are away?
Fish and chips! And real cheese.