Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Occupation: Accountant by day, blogger by night
Hometown: Java Island, Indonesia
Residence: I am a nomad by heart
College: The most valuable things I learn, I learnt it from my parents, books, Friends TV show and travels.
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Short bio: NaNa is the geek behind the blog ForeignGeek. A culture-curious nomad, living outside of her comfort zone and learning new things excites her. She got the wanderlust gene from her parents; her dad loves history and architecture, her mom, well she just loves to go out. She also like donuts, reading other people’s blogs, rainy days, even on Monday mornings, and giving long unnecessary speeches in front of friends.
How often do you fly? Once a month.
How many countries have you been to? 25
How many continents have you been to? 3
Earliest travel memory: Spending hours catching gobies in the gutter at my mother’s hometown. It must have been a proud moment to introduce me to her extended family.
Favorite American city: NYC (disclosure: I have never been there. The decision was made solely based on watching the rerun of Sex and the City countless number of times.)
Favorite international city: I have been dreaming to pack my carry-on, buy a one way ticket to Kyoto and live there for a couple of years.
Least favorite country: Monaco. It felt fake, smelt like new money and didn’t have community vibe in it.
Friendliest people in the world: Cambodians. Almost everyone is kind, polite and helpful.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Indonesia. They are not mean but most of the time they have been rude. This confuses me because Indonesians generally are a friendly bunch.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Koyasan, Japan.
Favorite airline: Emirates. Gorgeous flight attendances, abundant food, comfortable seats, and updated entertainment.
Favorite aircraft type: The one that flies me safely to the destination, bonus point if it comes with Wi-Fi.
Aisle or window: Window. I don’t like to be squeezed and sat by other people.
Favorite airport lounge: Garuda Indonesia. That’s the only one I got to experience. I travel budget most of the time.
Favorite international airport: Amsterdam’s Schiphol (AMS), they have a nail saloon inside!
Favorite hotel: Airbnb. I like to live like a local as much as possible.
Favorite travel credit card: MasterCard. It’s my first and only credit card.
Favorite island: Jeju Island, Korea to live in; Koh Pi Pi, Thailand to visit.
Favorite beach: Maya Bay, Thailand.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Dapur Indonesia, Zurich, Switzerland.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: That one bar at Asakusa, Tokyo. We feasted on barbeque tuna with sake and then walked back drunk to the hostel. The memory of it always brings a smile to my face.
Favorite bar: I love the vibe of Wala Wala in Singapore.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Rice.
Least favorite food: Pasta.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Pink colored drinks, be it wine or rose syrup, holiday themed coffee and hot tea.
Favorite travel movie(s): Before Sunset.
Favorite travel show(s): Border Security: Australia’s Front Line and Come Dine With Me. I wish to appear in both TV shows someday.
Favorite travel book(s): “Where The Locals Go,” “Strange Weather in Tokyo,” “Wild,” “Love With A Chance of Drowning,” and “Eat Pray Love.”
Right now I am reading: “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki. A mildly disturbing read but I can’t put it down.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Oenika The Traveler, Battered Suitcase and Unbrave Girl.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Trippy.
5 things you bring on a plane: Kindle, travel journal, playing cards, ostrich pillow, and inflatable water bottle.
What do you always seem to forget? To inform my mom that I have reached the destination safely. And underwear.
What do you like least about travel? Plane rides because I am terrified of flying.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Booze, lots of booze.
Favorite travel app(s): FourSquare to find cheap and tasty eatery nearby, Instagram to check where the locals hang out and BeanHunter to find a great local coffee shop.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I am not easily embarrassed. Usually it’s the others who are embarrassed to be associated with me.
Worst travel moment: Being uber excited, strolling my luggage to the airport immigration only to be denied to board the plane and flight to New Zealand due to an incomplete visa document which wasn’t mentioned clearly in the policy. And the time I had to share a rented a very old house that had an evil cat.
What’s your dream destination? USA. I want to experience a white Christmas and witness the ball drop at the Time Square a la the movie New Year’s Eve.
Best travel tip: Always explore the market and get your souvenirs from there. Also try to hang out with the locals.
Thank you so much for the shout-out, NaNa (at least, I hope it was for me… it links to me but my blog has “This” in front of it)! Love your travel tips.