It’s the middle of the summer and it’s the holiday season for many people in the world. It seems that we are finally traveling as we did before the pandemic (or even more!). We wanted to find out stories from the travels of our Kiwis so we asked them what type of travelers they are, how often they travel, and what their favorite places are. In the end, it seems like Kiwis love to travel literally everywhere, from the Cook Islands to Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada!
Read on to hear why we are traveling often, what we are searching for on these travels, and how these travels impact our lives.
Exploring the end of the world – the Cook Islands by Joanna Sobkowicz
Before joining Kiwi.com last November I was living and working in Thailand. My intention behind moving to Asia was to eat mango every day (check!) and be closer to the Pacific islands. There was one big dream among all destinations I had on my to-do list – One Foot Island and the end of Aitutaki Lagoon which belongs to the Cook Islands. Google it and you will see that heaven exists.
Even from Bangkok, it took us a while to get there; we stopped counting hours. We flew via Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Rarotonga, and up to Aitutaki. Planning was funny because at some point you cross the international dateline and need to pay attention to dates when booking hotels 🙂
I have been to many countries and can say without hesitation that One Foot Island, this tiny dot in the middle of the ocean at the end of a huge lagoon is the most beautiful place I have seen in my life! Pure beauty with crystal clear water, palm trees and local music played on a ukulele. Perfect place to celebrate a big birthday as I did! 😉
Cultures, people, and food in Thailand – Daniel Criado Casas
I usually travel more times a year and at least one location is filled with beaches and nature. I love to travel to discover new cultures, meet new people and try new food. My first long trip was to Thailand where every day I discovered new things. On my second day in the country, I bargained a lot and bought a picture that was so big, that it did not fit my backpack. After 4 days carrying it, I forgot it on a bus while doing some transfer. I felt really sad about it!
As I prove to myself many times, while traveling unexpected things can happen, and that makes me feel alive. Every place and every culture I visit is different, it makes me grow, opens my mind, and allows me to learn a lot of new things.
Social and cultural discovery in Canada – Ana Garrober
Travel is one of my best medicines, it’s a dose of nature, sports, and social and cultural discovery. I love adventure and adventure books and I’m not so much into planning my whole trip. I sometimes allow myself just to enjoy the experience and it gives me stories that I will always remember. For example, I went to Canada with my sister and we visited Niagara and Monmorency Falls, where I did a zipline in parallel over 300 meters high!
I saw whales some hours far from Quebec and enjoyed sleeping in a countryside camping house where I practiced kayaking in a huge lake. I sang American songs with locals, visited culturally mixed cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Québec, and met amazing outgoing people. We met a friend from Japan who was traveling the world and later we reconnected again in Barcelona. I had tremendous stories but, I will let you experience them by yourself!
Living like a local in South Vietnam – Norbert Danisik
Sometimes I go just for a short trip with a small bag, other times I go for a longer exploration journey. My favorite kind is the one where I spend every 1-2 days in different locations and move around the whole country to see what it has to offer. I usually have only a roughly prepared itinerary and let the situations carry me through the experience.
One of my most memorable journeys was a trip around South Vietnam, which consisted of 7 flights in 17 days and I was able to find and try multiple food markets across the country. I always try to eat street food to experience local cuisine in its most honest version. Just chilling around the city, riding a scooter, and drinking coffee in the street is the feeling I am looking for. I believe that to truly understand the country and its culture, you should try to live as one of the locals. Of course, I always do some sightseeing too. Hiking to see the sunrise on the top of the volcano in the morning and snorkeling in the afternoon in Indonesia was something I couldn’t miss out on, but I also love to enjoy the small things in between these highlights.
Cycling in Berlin – Rafael Leite
From the first time I took my bicycle to Berlin and met many incredible people at bike races, I got sort of got addicted to it. Now I try to go to Berlin at least once a year and attend those bike races. I feel like Berlin is my second home and every time I go there I wish I was living there. There is an energy when you are amongst people who share the same passion as we share in these races, and this is simply amazing. I always come back with such amazing memories. I see Berlin as a big city with so many different people and everyone is accepted for who they are. That makes it a bit magical, as you can see all people interacting together. On top of that, it’s a place with a huge history and amazing places to visit.
Grüezi aus der Schweiz – Marek Galik
Switzerland has so many nice and exciting places, that I don’t even know where to start. This small, landlocked country has four official languages, divided into 26 cantons. Each canton has its unique nature, history, religion, culture, and language. And yet, this country is one of the wealthiest, happiest, and cleanest countries in the world!
My favorite lesser-known places are cities like Lugano (Canton Ticino), Montreux (Canton Vaud), or St. Gallen (Canton St. Gallen). After some sport or sightseeing, I always enjoy visiting lakes, such as Vierwaldstättersee or Wallensee. This country has countless cable cars that allow me to visit more inaccessible places, such as Jungfraubahn or Titlisbahn. What I always advise is to try to speak to locals in their mother tongue because this is how you’ll always get more out of your trip. When I’m in Ticino Canton I always try to improve my Italian!
Interested in joining Kiwi.com and creating traveling memories with our Kiwis? Check our open positions!