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 Oneika Raymond of Oneika the Traveller. Oneika is a serial expat and travel junkie who has lived in 5 different countries and has travelled to over 60. A high school teacher by trade, she writes about her travel adventures on her blog.1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?
A traveller is someone who explores new cultures, languages, and lands abroad; a person who longs to experience life to its fullest extent away from the comfort of home. I definitely consider myself a traveller! I have a passion for travel and have basically structured my whole life around it!
2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?
Such a tough question and nearly impossible for me to answer. I have been blessed with a variety of memorable travel experiences over the years… One of my best trips was a two-week rail tour of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco with a friend of mine, way back in 2004, when I was really new to travelling and living in France as part of a year-long study abroad program. My friend and I took an overnight train to Lisbon from the west of France, and when we woke up it was as though we were a different world! My senses were in overdrive — the language, the climate, and the people were different and I loved it. It was a fantastic road trip and we had so many incredible experiences that I cried on the way home.3. How about your proudest travel moment?
I am deathly afraid of heights but I recently went skydiving for my 30th birthday! I couldn't believe that I managed to jump out of a plane and face my phobia head-on!
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?
I have the distinct misfortune of getting food poisoning really often when I travel. I've had severe food poisoning in China, Nepal, Mexico, Guatemala, and France! Getting sick doesn't taint my view of a place, but it definitely influences what I eat when I travel. I am so afraid of getting sick and ruining my trip that I'm sometimes reluctant to sample local food! Terrible, but for obvious reasons I am cautious.
5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.
I cannot travel without my camera! I am snap happy. 🙂6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.
I wish I could travel without my laptop. But I am a huge Internet addict and love knowing that as long as I have an Internet connection I can keep in touch with family and friends.
7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?
I have learned that I really enjoy my own company.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
This is a question that I've considered for many years! After living in France for two years, I swore that I wanted to make a life in the south of France. But now I'm not so sure! I lived in Hong Kong for two years as well and I find that miss it often.9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.
I really want to explore more of Africa and South America. I've been to a couple of places on both continents and long to see more. If I had to choose one place that I am dying to see, however, I would definitely be the salt flats in Bolivia. The pictures of the Salar de Uyuni are just stunning!
10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?
“It's okay not to see everything.” When I was younger, I was obsessed with making sure I saw every monument, every museum, every attraction a destination had to offer. Now, older and wiser, I realise that there are no rules when it comes to travel. There's no need to kill myself trying to see everything in a place. Now I have a much more relaxed view in terms of sightseeing.
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.