Rachael is a communications and government relations professional with a passion for new people and places. Her travel style is focused on local specialties and always incorporates an element of adventure.
Favorite place you’ve visited so far:
I still dream of Thailand. I loved the adventure aspect of going all alone, so I could meet people along the way. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about Thailand. From the beaches of Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, to treks in Chiang Mai and the hustle and bustle of Bangkok it was a wild ride from start to finish.
Place you’re dying to see:
In 2017 I’m checking two more adventures off of my list – Mexico and Scotland. I’d go just about anywhere, but Hungary, South Africa, Jordan, Slovenia, Costa Rica and Vietnam top my list right now.
Must have travel accessory:
A smartphone is key because you have access to so many features – GPS/wi-fi/music/games/guides/books/language tools/photos/videos. For a female traveler should always pack a scarf – they are so useful! Stay warm on a plane, cover your shoulders or hair in a place of worship, use as a beach cover up, wrap delicate items, dress up a travel outfit, use as a pillow or blanket if necessary.
Worst travel moment:
I had my passport, wallet, ID, credit cards… essentially everything of value – stolen my second day in Sydney, Australia. After a long and exhausting day of sightseeing, I decided to investigate an internet café. Being a naïve small-town Ontario country girl, I was totally unaware that the girls fidgeting with the computer beside me had actually made off with my purse!
I had $40 in my pocket at the time (thank goodness) and had to call home to have my parents wire cash to keep me going. Add to that a difficult credit card company, and I was in a bind for weeks.
The missing passport was also a pain when trying to leave the country. I was stuck all alone in the Darwin airport at midnight en route to Singapore, being interrogated by Immigration because my replacement passport didn’t mention the student visa that I had entered the country with.
Learning moment: photocopy (2 copies!) all of your important documents – one to take, one to leave at home. Keep a third copy in your phone.
Best travel moment:
Watching the sun come up in the Mediterranean Sea the morning after my wedding. I knew the moment I saw the tiny church perched on top of the Mediterranean that I wanted to be married there. Months of planning (including my conversion to Greek Orthodoxy!) led to a spectacular day, and the celebration lasted well into the night.
When the hotel shut down our reception around 2 am, my new husband and I took 4 of our closest friends downtown to spend the remainder of the evening at a beach bar. When the owner of the bar found out we had just been married, drinks were on the house. We spent the wee hours of the morning dancing the night away, and ran into the sea as the sun was rising. It was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen, to top off one of the best nights of my life.
I love so many quotes, but this one really speaks to me. To me, there is nothing better than the feeling of overcoming your fears.
“The things that we’re afraid of are going to show us what we’re made of in the end” – Collective Soul