Meet the Gypsies | Erika of Erika’s Travels @erikastravels
Meet the Gypsies | Erika of Erika’s Travels
1. Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you now?
My name is Erika Bisbocci. I’m a travel addict, returned WorldTeach volunteer and current flight attendant for a major US airline. I’m from Eugene, Oregon, but I currently live in Seattle.
2. What’s your packing strategy? Heavy or light packer? Backpack or suitcase?
I am a terrible packer. Really. Having a good packing strategy would certainly make my life easier, since I need to pack a suitcase practically every day for work. But I hate packing and I usually just throw clothes into a bag without too much thought the morning of my departure.
When I travel for work, I am required to carry a black roller-board. However, I much prefer backpacks to suitcases and will always bring my backpack on trips that are not work related.
My one packing rule is that I never bring more than will fit in a carryon.
3. How do you afford your travels? Budget traveler or lean more towards luxury?
I prioritize travel in my life and don’t spend money on things that I deem unimportant. I never buy the latest gadgets or designer clothes and I rarely go out to expensive restaurants for food or drinks.
I stick to a tight budget when I travel—partly because I have to in order to travel as much as I do and partly because I genuinely enjoy staying in backpacker’s hostels, eating street food and taking local transport.
Working for the airlines allows me to save a ton of money on flights. As a result, traveling usually isn’t much more expensive than staying home.
4. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
So many places to choose! I’d love to visit Madagascar, New Zealand or India.
5. Is there anywhere you won’t travel to and why?
As much as I want to go everywhere, I won’t travel to country’s where my safety is in jeopardy. I will not travel to active war zones and realize that it will be a while before countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and the DRC find a place on my list.
6. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve eaten?
While I love trying new foods and rarely come across cuisines that I do not enjoy, I can’t say I’ve been particularly adventurous when it comes to food.
In Namibia, I passed up on the opportunity to eat Mopane worms and in China, I could never quite convince myself to try roasted grasshopper or seahorse.
So I’d probably say that while I haven’t really eaten anything adventurous, the most interesting thing I’ve eaten is zebra.
7. You’ve traveled through the Middle East a lot – do you have a favorite spot? Any tips?
The Middle East is full of wonderful sites. Jordan is home to Petra http://www.erikastravels.com/petra-and-aqaba/ and Wadi Rum (two absolute must-sees) and Israel is home to Jerusalem —one of the world’s most fascinating cities.
I’d have to say that the country that struck me the most when I visited, however, was Syria. From Damascus’ ancient architecture to the rose-colored ruins of Palmyra, I was completely blown away by the history and beauty of the country.
And while I would never recommend anyone go to Syria now due to the war, I would love to return as soon as it becomes a safe place to visit again.
8. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
During the year I spent living and teaching in Namibia, three of my friends and I embarked on a month-long backpacking trip across Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The trip included hitching rides on the back of safari vehicles and semi-trucks, as well as getting dropped off at a random intersection in the Malawian countryside, in the middle of the night.
9. What’s the #1 item on your bucket list?
This changes constantly depending on my mood and I can’t say that there is one item on my list that tops all the rest.
Among many others, items high on my list are gorilla trekking in Rwanda, riding a hot air balloon over Capadoccia in Turkey and visiting the silk road cities of Uzbekistan.
10. Most importantly, where to next?
I’m not 100% sure, but I’m thinking Indonesia in late May/early June!