Every Thursday, A Dangerous Business will be shining the spotlight on a world nomad, travel blogger, armchair adventurer, or just someone really cool in the travel world. This week, the traveler is Beth of Besudesu Abroad. Originally from Chicago, Beth got her first taste of real travel during a study abroad program to Japan. Unfortunately she had to cut her travels short in order to graduate university; but she loved Asia so much, after graduation she moved right back and began work in Hong Kong teaching English and travel blogging. Since then her desire to travel has never been the same.1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?
I define the word “traveler” as someone who has a desire to explore an area with an open mind — hoping to leave each place with something more than they’d arrived with. Would I consider myself one? Absolutely! I’m always looking for opportunities to travel to new countries and learn about cultures different from my own. The world is fascinating.
2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?
Visiting Hong Kong for Christmas during my stay in Japan. I was scheduled to study in Japan for a year, so I hadn’t seen anyone from back home the entire fall semester. My now-fiancé (who was born in HK) flew from the States to meet me so that we could spend Christmas together and I could meet his family!
It was the trip that made me fall in love with Hong Kong. I saw beautiful skylines, visited the happiest place on Earth at HK Disneyland, and got a very special ring. 😉
A trip to remember!3. How about your proudest travel moment?
My proudest travel moment would be first stepping on the plane to Japan. I was so afraid of 1) flying and 2) leaving my current life behind, that it was a pretty difficult thing to do.
I had been so excited, constantly telling everyone that I would be studying abroad in Japan next year, but then time went so fast and suddenly it was already “next year.” I was starting to have second thoughts about going — but I’m so glad I did! I had the most amazing experiences, tested my Japanese skills, learned to not fear solo female travel, and had two incredible host-sisters (back home I’m an only child). Most importantly, I certainly would not be where I am today if I hadn’t mustered the courage to get on that plane.
4. Have you had any travel mishaps or bad experiences? If so, have these influenced how you view the place where they happened? Would you go back?
My first trip to Thailand we got scammed out of our money before we even officially entered the country. Our plane forgot to hand everyone his or her embarkation cards, and we happened to pick the wrong immigration agent.
After everyone handed them their passport, most people were simply handed an embarkation card to fill out in return, but no, our agent implied we’d better give him cash if we wanted his help — “you help me, I help you,” he kept repeating. We felt like our only option was to give him the money in our wallet (luckily only 50 baht), or else we’d be denied entry.Luckily the rest of the trip was great, so without a doubt I’d go back. And from now on I’ll always make sure I get my embarkation card from flight attendants.
5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.
My camera. After getting my associates degree in photography, it became my biggest inspiration to travel. I would be devastated if I ever left my camera (or worse, only the camera battery — which has happened) at home during a trip.
6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.
My horrible immune system. Between food allergies and getting sick multiple times a month, traveling with a weak immune system is sometimes a challenge. I can hardly ride a plane without catching some illness. I wish I could just travel anywhere and eat anything without constantly worrying.
7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?
Nothing can prevent the changes that travel will force upon a person. Embrace the changes, learn from the changes, and most importantly accept that you’re no longer the same person as you were pre-travels.8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
After living abroad in both Japan and Hong Kong, while both were growing experiences, I’ve realized that I’m perfectly content living in the US long-term and am ready to move back– so long as I still get to travel.
9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.
Call me lame if you want, but I really want to visit all the Disney parks across the world. So far I’m only at 3: Walt Disney World, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney, but I’m fairly confident I can make it to the other 3 (soon to be 4) to meet this goal.
I’m also super excited for the Shanghai Disneyland to open in 2015. By then I’ll be back in the US so it’ll give me another excuse to travel back to Asia.
10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?
This is a pretty tough question. After thinking and thinking about it, I realized the answer is actually short and simple. What do I wish someone had told me before I started traveling? Traveling is addicting.
Are you a travel blogger who has something to say on these topics? Do you know of somebody really interesting in the travel universe that you’d like to see interviewed? Speak up! The Thursday Traveler needs some interview subjects.