The Ultimate Travel Tag: 50 Questions

Tag: noun. Internet term referring to a list of questions to answer, designed to get to know better the person answering them.

Created by people on the internet for other people on the internet, a tag usually has a theme which can revolve around general or more specific topics such as food, friendship, culture, movies, seasons, travel…

Usually, a person answering a tag will take that occasion to create some new questions, and ask other people to answer the tag on their platform as well, in view of spreading the tag.

Has been seen on: YouTube, blogs, Pinterest, Twitch, Instagram, Twitter…

Derived from: To tag: verb. To link a person to a picture or video on a social network.


MAP OF THE WORLD

1. How many countries of the world have you already visited?

I’m originally from France, and so far I have been to Ireland, England, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, the USA, Japan, Singapore and at the time this blog post will go up, I’ll be spending Christmas 2018 in Bali, Indonesia! So, 10 countries so far! 🙂

2. Which destination is the number one of your bucket list?

Oh my Gosh, this tag is already getting to hard to answer… Well, in fact my bucket list was all reshuffled after this summer 2018, because I went on a world trip with my parents for my 25th birthday/ end of studies/ life turning point and got to visit the USA and Japan, which were ex aequo my two ABSOLUTE number one destinations on my bucket list! You can read all about this mega-trip here 🙂

Therefore, now that two of my absolute dream destinations have been crossed off the list, I would say the number one on my bucket list now is be Australia. I’m actively looking at prices on Sky Scanner to see when it would be the best time to go there from Singapore!

3. 3 other places at the top of your travel bucket list?

Well, I’ve already written about the 10 Incredible Destinations I Want to Hit Before I Kick It, and from this I will say the other 3 are:

  • China
  • Egypt
  • South America

4. What does the ideal holiday look like for you?

Ummmmm… Let me think about it.

It would for sure be long, a month or two, and it would include discovering a new country and experiencing some kind of a culture shock. Visiting cities, but also incredible untouched sites, with preserved nature. And it would be either with one loved-one, or alone.

5. Favorite picture you’ve taken during a trip?

The two pictures I cherish the most are those two shots that my mother took of me in New York this summer…

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empire view

Both those shots are absolutely perfect to my eyes, and bring back so many memories of us being in New York, me for the first time ever, my parents for the first time in 27 years: they spent their honeymoon there before I was born…

It was my absolute dream to go there, for as long as I can remember, and both pictures represent the fulfillment of this dream of mine and make me remember how lucky I was then, and how lucky I still am to be able to continue fulfilling my dreams now.

6. Have you had to travel for work so far? If so, where?

Yes, I have had to travel for work on several occasions: when I was on internships in law firms during my law studies, I have had to travel to other courts or tribunals in France, for court hearings.

Since I’ve graduated as a lawyer in France, I’ve been working as a junior legal counsel for the Singaporean office of a big french company. So for my first job, I actually moved abroad, to Singapore.

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7. With who would you like to go on a vacation sometime?

With each of my loved-ones. Where? I don’t know, where the wind will take us 🙂

8. Who or what would you take with you to an uninhabited island?

For the person it would have to be a loved-one, and for the object it would have to be a knife, because I believe you can achieve anything with a knife (fire, create a shelter, make clothes, prepare food, etc.). But the real answer would be something intangible: knowledge about how to survive and nature in general.

9. Would you rather go to an amusement park or a zoo?

Anyone who knows me well knows I absolutely love amusement parks. For example, I have been to Disneyland Paris more than 30 times (I’ve had a One-Year Pass allowing me to visit for free).

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I also like going to zoos, but it really depends on the zoo, and I’ve visited a lot of zoos in my life actually, I’m guessing 20 different ones. In France, Ireland, Japan, the US and Singapore.

In France, you can have really nice open-air ones, where animals live freely in reserves, and most importantly not caged. I especially think about a bird park I absolutely love in Villard-les-Dombes in South-east France (website). I also remember visiting a domain where wolfs lived freely but were fed by humans, which allowed visitors to see them during lunch time. This is the kind of “zoo” I like, but it depends on what you’re calling a zoo really.

All I know is that when I see an animal caged and obviously looking like it’s gone mad, turning in its cage, desperate, it brings tears to my eyes. I can’t handle it.

10. Mountain or sea?

Sea. I’m a beach girl, have been going to the south of France and the Mediterranean sea for all my holidays from 0 to 17 years old.

11. Which country(ies) will you visit this year?

Well, 2018 will end in one week, but in fact I still have one country to go to this year: I’ll spend the last week of 2018 on the Indonesian island of Bali 🙂

I cannot say anything about 2019… you’ll see 😉 but stay tuned for my adventures to come, because 2019 will probably be the year I visit the most places, ever!

12. Where would you never visit?

Well, never say never, but I can think of places where there is a war going on, or countries under dictatorship. I can say I’ll probably never go to North Korea.

13. Which place did you think was so special that you wished to come back to it immediately after leaving it and still want to revisit now?

Kyoto, Japan. 100%, didn’t even need a minute to think about it. If you’ve never been, PLAN YOUR TRIP RIGHT NOW.

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14. A place you’ve been to where you would not go back to and why?

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Will not go back unless forced to, and you can read all about the reasons why in this blog post: Why Las Vegas Was A Downer & Discovering Sin City | World Tour #8

15. What was the last country you visited?

Well, it was Singapore, because we ended our summer world tour with Singapore, and three months later I was back: now I’m living there 🙂

16. What is your favorite place on the planet that you have been to?

Japan. 100% again. Hands down. Not joking. If you’ve never been, PLAN YOUR TRIP RIGHT NOW!

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17. Favorite place in your home country?

Wherever I felt safe, at home, and with the people I love. It has never been attached to a place in particular.

18. You’re in an airport, and you know you can choose whichever destination to board a plane right now: which part of the world would you choose?

This situation only happens in movies… how nice it would be though! Well, to be really honest with you, I’ll go back to Japan, so the destination would be Tokyo, Narita Airport.

19. What’s your cup of tea – tropical island getaway, snowy ski break or city exploring trips?

Either Tropical island getaway (which will be what I’m doing for the last week of 2018, going to Bali) or City exploring trip!

20. What are your top 3 hand-luggage must haves?

A water bottle, a book and a blanket. It’s only with those 3 things that I can survive a 14-hour flight.

21. What 3 things would you take on holiday/travelling if you could?

All my books, my piano, and really nice camera gear.

22. Any travel tips to share?

Don’t prepare every single thing in advance of a trip: allow yourself to get lost, to explore whatever you wish to and to be surprised!

23. What is your most pleasant trip memory?

What I felt arriving in New York City for the first time in my life. I almost cried of happiness, feeling like the luckiest person ever.

24. What is your most unpleasant trip memory?

Being sick for two days straight in Tokyo, not being able to get up.

25. Most surreal travel moment?

The moment I left France again, to go and live in Asia. I cried, and in fact I’ve filmed it: you can watch my departure vlog here!

26. Most embarrassing moment abroad?

Well I can’t remember one in particular, but it always has to be with not understanding what a person is saying to me, usually talking in English but with a strong accent from somewhere.

27. Biggest disappointment?

Las Vegas, again. You can read all about the reasons why in this blog post: Why Las Vegas Was A Downer & Discovering Sin City | World Tour #8.

28. Nicest surprise?

San Francisco, California, USA! I’d never really thought about this place, but staying there and exploring this city was actually so nice! I’ll definitely go back to California in the future.

29. Favorite food discovery during a trip?

Well, this is a hard one because I’ve been eating food from all other the world since I was a child so for the moment I didn’t discover any food during a trip. However, I recently discovered Chinese Bao, at the Yam’Tcha teahouse in Paris, the small restaurant of Adeline Grattard’s husband, as seen on the third episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table: France.

I loved the baos I ate there, and I’ve seen lots of restaurants specialised in baos here in Singapore, so I’ll definitely eat some baos again!

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30. Why do you travel?

Probably the hardest question of this tag. I will give the short answer, because I’d really like to extensively express my deepest thoughts on this topic in the future, on this blog.

I guess I travel because I’m looking for something, which I haven’t found yet. A place, someone, peace within, answers to my questions, truth? I don’t know.

31. Have you picked up any phrases from travelling?

I’m already getting so used to Singaporeans “Lah” to mark the end of their sentences, and “Can” or “Cannot” instead of answering yes or no, I’m sure I would have picked those in about a month!

32. Your dream travel companion?

A special someone I haven’t met yet.

33. Favorite city or country?

City: Kyoto, so far. Country: Japan, forever. (repeating myself here, am I not? Have you booked your trip there yet? What are you waiting for?)

34. Best item purchased abroad?

All the hats I own. They’re from all other the world, and I love them all.

35. Advice for those who want to travel but think they can’t?

If it’s a lack of money, then take time to look at all the budget travel tips available on the internet today: you won’t hesitate after doing that.

If it’s a lack of time, then really think about it: I am 100% sure you can find a way to take some time off whatever is keeping you from traveling (work, family, life in general).

And if it’s a lack of courage, which probably is the main reason for everyone, then meditate every day over this quote:

In the end, what you will regret aren’t the things you did, but the things you never had the courage to do.”

36. Travel accessory you always pack?

Taking aside the obvious (identity papers, phone + charger and money), I would say a travel guide or a physical map.

37. Your most treasured passport stamp?

My passport stamp from the US.

38. Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

Oh yes. Along with its expiration date.

39. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or cars?

Cars, 100%. I’m all about road trips, even though I absolutely love planes and trains as well. I also cherish boats, and buses. Any kind of transportation really.

40. Hostel, hotel or AirBnb?

Hotel or AirBnb. Sharing a bathroom and a bedroom with strangers is my idea of hell on Earth, so hostels are NOT for me.

41. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I’m both. I want to go to all the places I’ve never been to, but also come back to my favourite places.

42. Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it?

I read a lot about the destination, its culture and history, but I don’t plan the exact things I’ll be exploring or doing when I get there.

43. Favorite travel website?

I don’t really have one. What I’m all about are vlogs on YouTube, from youtubers like Louis Cole (Fun For Louis) who’s been to almost every country on Earth. I’ve been watching his vlogs around the world for almost 7 years.

Otherwise, I look at travel guides, and read travel blogs when I need information.

44. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city and why.

Tokyo, Japan. Because anyone from anywhere in the world will for sure be getting a huge culture shock in Tokyo. This place is absolutely incredible, and it can be everything you wish it to be.

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45. To which destination did you first take a plane to?

Dublin, at the beginning of September 2011, when I was 17 years-old, to go and live there for 2 years.

46. Suitcase versus backpack?

Backpack. So much more convenient.

47. Is there something you do on every trip?

I always go out of the place I’m staying at, choose a direction, and walk or take transportation in that direction not knowing what I will find. This is how I’ve stumbled on amazing sites, discovered amazing restaurants, met locals, etc.

In fact, this is probably the best travel tip I could give to anyone, but to do this you’ll need to be absolutely care-free.

48. When traveling do you talk to locals easily?

Yes, and I make a point out of it. I need to connect with locals, because this is how I like to travel. Otherwise there would be no point to explore the world for me.

49. Do you feel like you’re different when traveling?

Yes: this is the time when I’m most feeling whole and complete, and not wishing to be somewhere else. I live in the present and am fully aware of the peace I’m feeling inside.

50. What is the greatest travel-dream you would like to accomplish before hitting your next big life-turn?

I would like to experience 3 to 6 months of living and working in different places, in one country or many… and I can’t tell much more because nothing’s settled yet. 🙂


Until next time,

Keep Calm & Travel!

Lilly,

aka The French Hat

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Le Montréal de Julie | Expat’Interview #3

carte ID

Bonjour Julie, je te remercie de prendre le temps de répondre à mon interview et de participer à mon projet ! Alors toi tu es une ancienne expatriée c’est bien ça ?

Oui, j’ai été expatriée 2 ans, de 2015 à 2017, à Montréal, au Québec, au Canada.

Pourquoi étais-tu là-bas ?

Après 3 ans dans le tourisme web et des études dans le journalisme je voulais vivre une expérience à l’étranger. Je suis partie grâce à un visa PVT*.

Quelle a été ta motivation première ?

Découvrir une nouvelle culture, vivre une expérience à l’étranger et puis peaufiner mon anglais.

Quel a été le point de non-retour, après lequel tu as su que tu partirais ?

Je dirais que c’était la mentalité française, la non-perspective d’évolution et le salaire dans le milieu professionnel.

Qu’as-tu ressenti à ce moment-là ?

De l’excitation !

Qu’est-ce-qui t’a fait choisir cet endroit dans le monde en particulier ?

On a toujours adoré l’Amérique du Nord et on trouvait que le Canada était le parfait compromis !

Tu parles quoi comme langues ?

Je parle le français et l’anglais.

Du coup, tu connaissais les langues officielles du Canada. En quoi ça t’a aidée dans ton expatriation ?

Pour tout ! Trouver un boulot, trouver un endroit pour vivre, me faire des amis, et simplement pour le quotidien.

Est-ce-que tu conseillerais d’apprendre la langue avant de venir ?

Au Québec on parle autant français qu’anglais.

Quelle ont été les parties les plus difficiles de ton expatriation ?

Peut-être le changement des habitudes alimentaires et le fait d’être loin de la mer, car je viens du sud… ok ok être loin de la famille ce n’est pas si facile non plus.

Qu’est-ce-que tu aurais fait différemment pendant ta préparation à l’expatriation et à ton arrivée sur place ?

J’aurai encore plus voyagé même si j’en ai beaucoup profité. Et puis en arrivant, j’aurais parlé à plus de monde rapidement. Pourtant je suis connue pour être très bavarde, Mais en expatriation il faut faire plus d’efforts c’est normal.

Où as-tu trouvé le plus d’infos sur Montréal et le Québec en général ?

Les pages Facebook Pvtistes à Montréal, Logements à louer…

Le jour où tu es arrivée, est-ce-que tu t’es sentie perdue ?

C’était un souvenir unique, je me souviens de notre arrivée à l’aéroport puis de tous nos premiers moments dans la ville. Je n’étais pas perdue j’avais des étoiles plein les yeux avec mon chéri et notre chat Silver qui faisait partie du voyage !

Est-ce-que tu as réussi à te faire facilement des amis ?

Pas une centaine, mais j’ai de vrais amis sur qui je peux vraiment compter et avec qui j’ai passé deux années extraordinaires et rien que pour ça c’est magique. Je ne dis pas que toutes les rencontres se sont transformées en amitié non plus. Il y a des erreurs de parcours parfois !

Plutôt des locaux ou des expatriés comme toi ?

Plutôt des expatriés. Mais je me suis fait deux amies québécoises vraiment géniales dans le milieu professionnel.

Est-ce-que tu dirais qu’il est facile de se fondre dans la masse à Montréal ?

Oui, aucun souci ! À part si tu veux porter une doudoune Canada Goose et te faire remarquer comme un français râleur.

Quels conseils donnerais-tu à quiconque voudrait venir vivre à Montréal ?

Il faut profiter, s’ouvrir sur beaucoup de choses et ne pas comparer sans arrêt avec la France ça ne sert à rien même si c’est notre référence.

Est-ce-que tu as dû t’ajuster à la nourriture ?

Oui, pour nos premières courses par exemple, on avait pris exactement les mêmes ingrédients que lorsqu’on faisait nos courses en France et au vu de la facture finale, on a du adapter notre consommation avec les habitudes canadiennes. Au bout de 2 ans on connaissait toutes les promos par coeur et on arrivait à se faire plaisir avec des fromages, viandes… on consommait moins mais mieux.

Est-ce-que tu as dû t’ajuster aux gens ?

Oui dans le milieu de travail parfois on est très lisse mais ça cache un peu d’hypocrisie, il faut savoir être positif et aller de l’avant. Pour les rencontres aussi, il faut savoir relativiser, parfois ça colle avec des personnes parfois non, c’est aussi ça l’expatriation.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster à la législation ?

L’administratif était plutôt facile. Notre seul changement a été de devoir prendre un comptable pour faire faire nos impôts, c’est comme ça là bas.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster au climat ?

On appréhendait l’hiver et pourtant on a adoré. Et on a été très surpris de la saison estivale ou j’ai eu encore plus chaud que dans ma ville natale Marseille !

A la façon de s’habiller ?

Non, à part les gants de ski, des bons bonnets et des bonnes chaussures. Je n’étais pas habillée en tenue de ski tous les jours.

Aux coutumes ?

J’ai adoré la période d’halloween et l’automne de manière générale, on se sent vraiment en amérique du Nord. Puis toutes les parades et les activités de Noël aussi c’était féerique.

Est-ce-que tu as dû t’ajuster à la façon de vivre ? Dans quel sens ?

Ah oui je m’y suis plutôt bien adaptée. Moi qui vivait avec une voiture à Marseille, j’étais en vélo 6 mois de l’année à Montréal et je ralais beaucoup moins.

Est-ce-que tu as dû t’ajuster à la façon de travailler ? Dans quel sens ?

Oui, surtout faire attention à ne pas faire de vague et rester positif.

Est-ce que ton retour a été difficile ?

Oui les 6 premiers mois, une réelle dépression quand j’y repense avec le recul, j’étais vraiment au fond du gouffre. Je pleurais tous les matins.

Est-ce que du coup tu penses déjà à repartir ?

Au début on souhaitait repartir et on repartira peut-être mais en attendant on a trouvé de nouveaux projets et on a envie d’avancer près de notre famille pour le moment.

Si tu penses déjà à repartir, que feras-tu différemment ?

Je repartirai avec un projet pro et pas sans savoir ou je vais dormir et où je vais travailler. J’organiserai plus le projet on va dire. Mais c’était une première.

Ton dernier mot ? 🙂

Merci pour ces questions ça m’a fait revivre ces 2 magnifiques années d’expatriation. Bravo pour cette initiative Lilly

Je t’en prie Julie, merci à toi d’avoir pris le temps d’y répondre aussi sincèrement !


Julie est une super bloggeuse, super active, qui se décrit elle-même en tant que “Marseillaise survitaminée” ! C’est une véritable joie d’aller lire les articles de son blog, dans lesquels elle parle de tout, et qu’elle illustre de magnifiques photos. Elle a notamment toute une catégorie dédiée à son expatriation au Canada ; je t’invite à aller voir ça !

Son blog : Bird of Passage America

Sa page Facebook : Bird of passage

Son compte Instagram : @birdofpassage___

Son compte Twitter : @birdofpassage_

Son Pinterest : Birdofpassage


Si toi aussi tu es expat’ ou que tu l’as été, participe à mon projet et raconte ton histoire en remplissant le questionnaire qui se trouve sur cet article pour avoir l’opportunité d’être publié sur mon blog !


*PVT : Le PVT est le Programme Vacances Travail (PVT), ou Permis Vacances-Travail, Visa Vacances-Travail (VVT) et Working Holiday Visa (WHV) en anglais. Il recouvre un ensemble de visas temporaires permettant à leurs détenteurs de voyager dans différents pays étrangers tout en y travaillant.

**© Photos : Julie, BirdOfPassage.