Seren Berry, Surf-Yoga Instructor, Gran Canaria

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Rarejaunt.Com proudly presents featured traveler, Seren Berry. From living abroad in China to gaining her yoga certification on a permaculture farm in Guatemala, Seren’s journey around the world is a fascinating one and we’re proud to feature her.

 

Learn more about Seren’s surf yoga classes at   http://atlantissurfhostel.de/en/surf-yoga/

or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/yogawithseren/

 

How old you were you when you first went overseas?

I think I was about 5 years old. I went to Amsterdam with my mum and step father.

What do you remember about your first travel experience?

I have a few memories from that trip. I can remember being at the Amsterdam zoo and being next to a big pool of water which apparently had a dugong in it, but it wouldn’t surface so I was really disappointed. I remember there was lots of bits of cabbage floating on the surface of the water.
I also remember being on a tram and being really itchy and my mum having to change my clothes. When I asked her recently about it she said I had started stroking a homeless man’s dog when her back was turned and had picked up a few fleas ha ha.

What is something you would never travel without?

Silicon earplugs!!! and my yoga mat.

Where is the nicest establishment you have stayed? Why was it special?

Really tough question. Had a wonderful time at an Airbnb in the old town in Split, Croatia. It was a beautiful old traditional stone house, beautifully decorated, with lovely green window shutters. The owner was a very nice Croatian woman who had lots of coffee, interesting liquors etc. that we could help ourselves to.

Another very different place that is a favourite, was a permaculture farm in Guatemala where I did my yoga teacher training. All of the food we ate was grown on the farm, organically and cooked using fire and a wood-fired oven. Even the flour and peanut butter was milled using a bicycle powered grinder. Every day I woke up before 6 and saw the sunrise over the volcanoes and lake.

 

If you could recommend a place to a fellow traveler, where would it be?

Croatia for a holiday with beautiful beaches, history and architecture, great food.
Camiguin in Philippines for a backpacking adventure, with amazing snorkeling and diving, volcano hiking.

Describe a culinary experience that stands out from a vacation abroad.

My recent trip to Thailand. Eating some of the most amazing food of my life, for around a dollar a meal and everything felt so fresh and healthy. Particularly enjoyed a bowl of Khao Soi, a northern Thai noodle dish of a creamy, coconut yellow curry broth, with egg noodles and chicken, topped with deep friend noodles, giving it some really interesting textures.

 


What is your idea of an enjoyable vacation?

“Vacation” makes me think of relaxation, so the perfect relaxing travel experience for me would be somewhere on the ocean, with beaches for relaxing and swimming. Mountains and beautiful scenery nearby for some biking and hiking. And perhaps and old town, with beautiful buildings and alleys to explore. And with great food and wine of course!

That being said, looking back on my best travel experiences, they haven’t always been relaxing or easy. They have been to places where I have experienced and learnt about a culture that is very different to my own. They have made me more independent and confident as a solo, female traveller as I have perhaps come across some difficulties or problems that I have needed to solve on my own.

Who would be your ideal travel companion?

Someone laid-back, who doesn’t hold certain expectations about a place before we arrive, who is happy to experience it for what it is. Someone who is adventurous and driven to explore, but also happy to relax and shares my importance for being well rested. Someone who is happy to part ways and take some time to explore independently if we want to do different things or need some space.

 

What do you miss the most when you are away from home?

A guaranteed quiet and dark bedroom.

What country do you believe to be under-rated? Overrated?

I put off going to Thailand for a long time, despite living in Asia for nearly 4 years, as it gets so much negative press for over-tourism. I visited the north of Thailand this year (granted not the South which I hear is more developed) and had an amazing experience. I found it no more affected by tourism than parts of Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. There was so much beautiful and peaceful countryside to explore by bike, very friendly people and consistently the best, cheapest and reasonably healthy food I’ve had in my life.
I also had a wonderful time in Guatemala. It gets a very bad press for being dangerous, but I had no issues at all, despite travelling there solo for 5 weeks. The people were incredibly friendly and helpful. The scenery was beautiful, particularly around Lake Atitlan and the architecture in Antigua was beautiful.

I don’t particularly think Italy is overrated, I had a wonderful time there and its a beautiful country, but I do think it’s overly expensive. Visiting the North of Croatia on the Istrian Peninsula, which is half Italian, I experienced amazing coastline, incredible history and Roman architecture, great food and wine for a fraction of the price that it would have been in Italy.

Where is next on your list of places to travel to? Why?

I would really like to go to Nepal to do some hiking and learn more about meditation and I hear the food is wonderful.

  Learn more about Seren’s surf yoga classes at   http://atlantissurfhostel.de/en/surf-yoga/