I’ve always had the heart of an explorer.
When I was little, every school holidays we would swim at Lake Tarawera – a majestic lake, with a mysterious story of it’s own. My cousins and I used to dive off the jetty’s, swim along the bays and dive deep down into the dark depths where there was only you and the lake weed – and maybe a trout or two.

Canal Sliding in Costa Rica

But there was one place only the daring could get to. A hidden cove with a waterfall and a sheltered sandbar lay almost untouched. The only thing was you had to venture deep into the forest that ran the outline of the lake. The only way to get to it was to trek upstream through the creek. It was tricky, and most gave up because it looked dangerous, but when you reached the cove it was worth the scratches from the thorn bushes and bugs knotted in your hair.

Unfortunately today the forest has taken back it’s hidden treasure, the entire creek leading out from the waterfall is overgrown with thorns. But that little explorer, that little treasure hunter still lives in me.

Here’s proof! My favourite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. My favourite games are Uncharted and Tomb Raider. My childhood hero growing up was Carmen Sandiego. Movies? Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, National Treasure and The Goonies. Tell me I wasn’t mean’t to be a treasure hunter!

Canal Swimming in Costa Rica
Genie from Bunny Eats Design evoked out of me a deep and dormant desire by creating this #Wanderlust tag amongst the Brunch Clubbers. I knew I had to participate.

Where was your first plane to?

New Caledonia. I mean I was only 3 months old – so I remember squat. If that doesn’t count, then it was Fiji when I was four. Where I got bitten by a baby shark, swam the coral reef with the All Blacks, wandered the hotel alone, used my “I’m lost” cuteness skills on the pool barman for free fizzy drinks and returned back to NZ a shade darker than night.

Where have you traveled to that you would love to visit again?

The entirety that is Italy. I swear to god you let me loose in that country, you’ll never see me again. Other than that, I’m very much drawn to countries and cities with thousands of years of ancient history like Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico & China.
You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no object, where are you going?

Ziplining through Costa Rica, Glamping in Tanzania, Hiking to Machu Piccu, Riding a camel through the Sahara Desert. I’m going to the places myths and legends were written about. Places with history and unsolved mysteries. And, I also really want to go to this water park in China.

Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or car?

I should say planes for the convenience, but I crap myself every time there’s turbulence or I have to flush the toilet, and having long spider legs they tend to dislike being forces into a small confined space for several hours. So my first choice is the train. You see so much more that most don’t ever see. Leg space isn’t an issue when you’re in a booth. You can face the people you travel with and have a conversation. And you get to marvel at the scenery longer. I like that a lot.
Favourite travel website?
When I need in-depth information with clear advice and opinions, I go to my Aussie friends at yTravelBlog. For bookings, I love Expedia. I had such an unfortunate turn of events happen last time I booked through them, but they moved heaven and earth for me and turned my smile right back around, so I am a die-hard fan now. And for guilty pleasure? The Londoner.
Swing Bridge in Ecuador
Where would you travel to just eat the food?
Easiest question of all. Two countries. Italy and Thailand. Expose me to either one of these cuisines and I become a gluttonous pig. The fresh simplicity of Italian food – pasta, pizza, prosciutto, and the spicy flavours of Thai – I cannot resist. *drool*
Is there a place you would never go again?
LA. It sucked soooooo bad when I was there. I was so unimpressed by it’s dirty averageness. I don’t know whether I just met the wrong people, took the wrong tour, explored the wrong streets. It just seemed like some big ass concrete block. I mean, I’m a big fan of second chances – especially if they’re deserved – so if you believe you can change my opinion, give me your best tips for the next time I go!
Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?
Yes-ish. Which reminds me, I’m pretty sure I have to renew my passport this year. Yikes!
Do you prefer the Window, Aisle, or Middle seat?
Window always – except for when my bladder is about to burst because I’ve been needing to go to the bathroom for the last hour but the stranger next to me is asleep. That’s never fun.
How do you pass the time on the air plane?
My ritual is: Movie first, then some inspirational “high-on-life” music. If the flights a long one, I’ll touch on some light reading, usually my Mothers self-published book, Make Love With Travel, for great tips and to feel like she’s actually there with me – yes that is me on the cover. And then maybe a nap, because sleepy panda.

What about you? Is there an explorer in you? Where would you go if time or money wasn’t an issue? Tell me in the comments below!

xo Elise

P.S – These stunning bloggers are the #BlogBrunchers who also participated in the #Wanderlust tag, pleae go visit them! Bunny Eats Design, The Life and Times, Sarah Sees The WorldThis is Meagan KerrMove Love Eat, Becca Jane Lee, Dani Pohlod, xoxBubbles, Love from Jess xo
  • Interesting answers Elise, I've loved playing this game myself! My father gave the exact same description of LA, advising me "skip it; it's overrated", but despite that, I *still* want to visit it… at least once!

  • Thanks Jess!xo

  • Jessica Gibson

    Wow I love your answers! And your pictures are beautiful!!

  • YES @Sarah @ Sarah Sees The World!!! I've found a kindred spirit 😀

  • Should we book our tickets @Courtney Jarrett? 😀

  • There's still time for us @Genie @ Bunny Eats Design! 😉

  • I know, I had an instant flash of myself replacing the girl in the photo!

  • Next #brunchclub destination maybe @Lizzy? Hahaha!

  • Lizzy

    The alchemist is such a great book, nice choice for a favourite! Your photos are incredible and make me want to quit my job and jump on the first plane to Costa Rica. WOW

  • Rebecca Lee

    Oh my gosh that first photo!! – beccajanelee.com xx

  • Gorgeous photos! Makes me want to be an explorer 🙂

  • Courtney Jarrett

    Those canal swimming photos from Costa Rica make me want to get on a plane. Right. Now. <3

  • I think Italy is my favourite country in the world after New Zealand! And The Londoner is totally my guilty reading pleasure too 😉