U: Honolulu, HI

Honolulu on O'ahu Island, Hawai'i

Focusing has been difficult the past few months, so I'm taking an alternative approach to A-Z this year: looking back at past travel, editing or re-editing images from travels before, and responding to travel-related questions. Hope you are able to join me on this journey to my past!

It was really hard coming up with a U place until I realized I lived in one: the United States! So, why not Hawai'i? Beautiful palm trees, gorgeous lens flare… Yes, I think this picture will do.

Other places I considered for this post: I couldn't come up with any other places I had been that started with a U…

Onward –

62. What's the most fearless thing you have done (while traveling)?

When you look back, the thing you once feared no longer seems quite as scary, does it? Or at least that's what is true for me.

The first time I traveled to Europe (which has come up a few times in this A-Z), I was incredibly scared. I've been to Europe a few times since. I won't say it gets "easier", but in going, again and again, you learn how to prepare for it. Like getting ready for a speech or presentation? You create lists and you check them off. You worry less about what you didn't do to prepare for the trip and focus more on better preparing for your next trip.

So, for example, during the last trip you didn't have enough memory cards for your camera, right? Well, maybe this trip you will bring extra.

Or, maybe you felt like you failed miserably at practicing your targeted language? Life got busy. It happens. Well, maybe you start working on those skills now, at home, without a trip being planned so that when you return, if you return, you feel more prepared.

Seems simple, right?

But, of course, it's not always easy to overcome your fears. It takes time and practice. It takes effort. Again and again and again. And when you want to give up, do it again.

I've never bungee-jumped or swam with sharks.

I did jump off the back of a boat when I was a kid; I didn't know how to swim.

I got help when my 3-year-old brother fell between a boat and a dock at the lake. I was 7.

A cab race in Cairo with 2 other taxis didn't phase me in the least. I was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle, though. (We lost. 😔)

Sometimes being fearless is about doing the right thing, or trying to be the right person when the time calls for it, and less about seeing what the craziest thing you can do while traveling is.

That's my opinion anyway.

63. What has been the most interesting food you've tasted while traveling?

Passion fruit.

Or guava.

I tried passion fruit cider in Hawai'i thinking it was local. (It wasn't; it was from Switzerland.) I liked the cider quite a bit and decided to continue trying passion fruit "things" while I was in Hawai'i. I tried passion fruit drinks, jelly, and butter… When I got home from Hawai'i, my husband and I went in search of actual passion fruit at the farmer's market. When we found it and cut it open, I was shocked at how gross the inside looked. And while I may have been put off initially by the texture of the seeds, I ended up loving the flavor. Sweet and sour, my favorite flavor!

Because we didn't actually try passion fruit while traveling, you could also say the most interesting food I've tried while traveling is guava. I had no idea how to eat it! Actually, I'm still not sure I know how to eat it. We found it at a breakfast buffet in Egypt. I love the juice, so I thought I would give it a try. Maybe when I learn how to eat it, I will learn to like it?

Egyptian koshary looks absolutely gross, but it tastes so good!

Lemon with mint is amazing, but the drink looks weird to me.

Raw beef sounds totally gross and tastes mediocre. I'm not a meat person, though.

It's so much fun eating coconuts you find on the ground!

I mean what is "interesting food"? It all depends on what your culture is, right? People in other countries don't like peanut butter, right? But in the US, it's a staple; some kids only eat peanut butter! I guess it all depends on your perspective.

Being American, though, there are some things I will never try. (I know! Never say never!) Escargot. Anything from the ocean. I'm not particularly fond of meat so eating weird animal parts isn't something I'm going to jump at. Finally, I don't care if ants (or bugs of any kind!) are covered in chocolate, I will not be trying them! Ick.

64. How much stuff have you posted home?

This is an interesting question because I don't really send postcards or letters home. As it turns out, I do ship things home, though! Can you guess what?

You get extra points (toward what? I don't know!) if you guessed souvenirs and dirty laundry! In the past, I have learned the hard way how heavy souvenirs and laundry can get. Then, when you are traveling between multiple countries, not only do you have to navigate with all of that extra weight, you also limit how much space you have available in your luggage for future finds.

So. How much have I shipped home? That number grows every trip I take despite the number of postcards I send decreasing. Funny how that works.

What kind of things have you been scared to do but ended up working out in the end? Do you ever send things through the mail?

See other posts in this year's A-Z.


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