Chauna Travel_Buggs

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Chauna is a traveler by nature and always on the search for new experiences. After being asked by friends time and again for travel tips, she decided to start her own blog to help others plan their adventures. Her day job organizing exchange trips for international professionals gives her unique perspectives on sharing culture, mutual understanding, and connecting the world. Chauna believes that by going out into the world, we can find more similarities than differences in humankind. 

You can learn more about Chauna, by visiting her blog: www.travelbuggs.com  or following her on instagram: travel_buggs 

RareJaunt: How old were you when you first went overseas?

My first overseas experience was to Italy when I was around 10 years old. My immediate and extended family always believed in giving me and my cousin experience with other cultures as young as possible. 

 

RJ: What do you remember about your first travel experience, or what is your first travel memory?

While on my first overseas trip, I fell instantly in love with the canals of Venice. Everything about them was magical. And from that moment on, I was hooked on travel. I also have a distinct memory of driving through the windy roads on the way to Greve in Chianti, Italy. My family had picked up some Italian music CD, and we played “Funiculi Funicula” on repeat the whole way into town. And of course, the gelato forever changed me!

RJ: What is something you would never travel without?

I always travel with a mini manicure set that an acquaintance gave me about a decade ago. I sometimes travel for a month at a time, but even on short trips, nothing bothers me more than a hang nail or a nail breaks off on the first day of a trip, and I’m left thinking about it for the remaining time. While I should be enjoying and taking in all the wonders around me, I end up paying attention to that throbbing finger. Don’t need to travel in style, just in comfort. The acquaintance wasn’t even necessarily a close friend, but I sometimes consider telling her that her gift was by far the most useful that I’ve ever received.

 

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

I find that any place of stay is made all the nicer if it goes well with the surrounding environment. One particular example that comes to mind is a lodge I stayed at in Vancouver. It was the middle of winter, and the wooden, spacious design of the lodge made you feel instantly warm as you walked in. It had large windows, games set up by leather chairs to snuggle in, and heated outdoor pools so you never felt like you were missing out during the colder weather. On the flip side, a hotel I stayed at in Costa Rica had no central space, but instead, took advantage of the surrounding rainforest by creating long, outdoor “hallways” through the profound fauna.

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

My absolute favorite place is Mallorca, Spain. There have been many places where I imagine living there; this was the only place I sincerely plotted the demise of my passport so that I couldn’t leave. 

  

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

I lived with a family in Italy for a few summers, and the dad was from Naples. He showed me how to make homemade pasta, gnocchi, and true Napoli pizza, known to be the best of Italy. One summer, they purchased a gelato maker. I have never loved food so much as that homemade stracciatella gelato. 

RJ: What is your idea of an enjoyable vacation?

My ideal vacation would include lots of adventure, jaw dropping nature, and a beach. I love hiking and scuba diving and aim to include both in any trip that I do. I also like participating in local specialties like hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro, surfing in Hawaii, or waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica. In city settings, my favorite thing to do is just wander the city or sit at an outdoor café. 

 

RJ: Who would be your ideal travel companion?

My boyfriend is actually a fantastic travel companion—probably a big reason we’ve made it so long. He loves the adventure, is up for anywhere, and doesn’t mind carrying the bigger bags. However, I do tailor my travel companions based on what type of trip I am looking to have. My cousin is a good companion for hiking-inspired trips and wine tours. My mom is great for class-related trips (language, cooking, etc.) as we are both constant learners. And I love having my close friends around for a laid-back tropical vacation sprinkled with activity. 

  

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

Admittedly, I usually miss the travel when I get home rather than vice versa! My family is all travelers and has made it abundantly clear that they would visit me anywhere in the world so not too worried about not seeing them. 

 

RJ: What country do you believe to be under-rated? What about overrated?

I feel like The Netherlands gets overlooked a lot due to its small size. I studied abroad in Amsterdam and toured the majority of the south, and it is such an alluring country overall. I don’t think any country is overrated—each has its unique culture, food, and people that make it amazing in its own way.

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

I’m itching to get to Chile as recently I have been interested in learning more about wine. But anywhere and everywhere is on my list!

You can learn more about Chauna, by visiting her blog: www.travelbuggs.com or following her on instagram: travel_buggs