Rarejaunt.com is proud to present Amanda, the Aqua Traveler. From trekking through Southeast Asia to aquatic exploration in Honduras, read about her awesome adventure below!
Learn more about Amanda’s journey on her Instagram page: http://instagram.com/aquatravelz
Rarejaunt.com: How old you were you when you first went overseas, and what do remember about it?
My first solo travel experience was in March 2017 at the age of 25, I went to Bali and the Gili Islands in Indonesia. It had a bit of a rough start, I missed my flight so I ended up only having 2 days in Bali and one of those days fell on the Balinese New Year (a silent day) so I had to stay in the hotel that entire day. The next, day I made sure to get a private tour guide so I could hit all the places I wanted to see in one day; I’m really glad I did, Ketut (my guide), provided me with a truly authentic Balinese experience. I was very fortunate to have spent most of my time in Gili Trawangan, whereas Bali was very crowded, Gili was complete paradise; gorgeous beaches and great nightlife. My fondest memory of that trip was scuba diving for the first time.
RJ: What is something you would never travel without?
I have three things I would never travel without: bathing suit, sunscreen, and my phone. My goal is to see all the most beautiful beaches in the world so my bathing suit is by far my most important article of clothing. Sunscreen is the second most important thing, in Aruba I got sunburned so badly that I couldn’t sleep at night. I didn’t realize how important my phone was until my last trip, in December to Thailand, when some friends and I decided to go exploring on scooters and needed GPS to get around.
RJ: Where is the nicest establishment you have stayed? Why was it special?
The nicest hotel I’ve stayed in was Windsong on the Reef, in Turks and Caicos. It has that name because it has an incredible coral reef right in front of the hotel. The breakfast was disappointing but I only chose it for the reef anyway; I went snorkeling everyday.
RJ: If you could recommend a place to a fellow traveler, where would it be?
Recommendations: Gili Islands, Indonesia (March was perfect weather), Turks and Caicos (I went a month before the hurricane hit, I don’t know how it is now), Roatan, Honduras (it’s cheaper than the rest of the Caribbean but just as gorgeous, I especially recommend it for divers), Thailand: 1.Ko Lanta (anywhere is great, south is a bit better), 2. Phi Phi (stay in Long Beach), 3. Phuket (anywhere besides Patong, do not stay in Patong, I stayed in Kamala and it was incredible)
RJ: Describe a culinary experience that stands out from a vacation abroad.
The best culinary experiences I had were in Indonesia and Thailand, I ate fresh seafood everyday because it’s so cheap compared to the US. The spicy seafood salad, grilled squid, and fried ginger fish in Thailand were exceptional (but I will say, I did not eat street food in either of those places, I will not vouch for the street food).
RJ: What is your idea of an enjoyable vacation?
My ideal vacation is anywhere with a crystal clear ocean to snorkel or dive in, preferably somewhere where I can swim with sea turtles.
RJ: Who would be your ideal travel companion?
I love traveling alone because I end up meeting the most incredible people! My ideal travel companion is someone who wakes up early, does intermittent fasting, loves the ocean, loves to explore and is adventurous. I think the most important thing is that we’re on the same sleep and eating schedule.
RJ: What do you miss the most when you are away from home?
I don’t think i’ve travelled for an extended enough period of time to miss anything from home. When driving through the streets of Thailand I missed how orderly traffic was in the US but that’s about it. When I’m home I miss everything about traveling, even getting lost abroad is more fun than getting lost at home.
RJ: What country do you believe to be under-rated? What about overrated?
As previously mentioned, Roatan in Honduras is definitely underrated. If you go there, stay in West Bay, the water is crystal clear and the snorkeling is incredible! In my opinion, Aruba is definitely overrated, way too Americanized for my taste. Roatan was cheaper, more authentic and just as beautiful. If you go to Aruba, stay in Eagle Beach (stay away from Palm beach), explore Arashi Beach, Miguel Halto, and Baby Beach.
RJ: Where is next on your list of places to travel to?
Some of the top destinations on my bucket list are: Philippines, Maldives, Vietnam, Seychelles, Greece and Croatia.
Be sure to learn more about Amanda’s journey on her Instagram page: http://instagram.com/aquatravelz