Traveljunkieindonesia.com – Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Dani Blanchette
Occupation: Photographer, Traveler, and Part-time Zombie. But when I’m not doing any of this, I make most of my money building concert stages (yes, I’m a roadie)
Hometown: I have home states. Born in Maine, raised in (mostly) Massachusetts.
Residence: I live in Las Vegas now.
Short Bio: I sold everything I own and hopped on a one-way ticket to South America Sept of 2011. While there I realized I am a horrible tourist, I just don’t really care about going to old buildings filled with guide-book touting tourists. I’d rather go to rock shows, become a migrant worker in the middle of nowhere, live in areas where no other gringa has gone….live like the locals. I was in South America for 10 months, and am now back in Vegas planning the next big trip – 2013 Summer USA Roadtrip.
How often do you fly: As often as possible. I took a 50 hour bus ride form eastern Venezuela to Bogota, Colombia. Since then, I haven’t been on a bus more than 3 hours. Id much rather fly (which is funny, because I have always hated flying)
How many countries have you been to: Not many. USA, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile. So 9. Unless you count the afternoon I spent in Juarez, Mexico. Then 10. (but you not need a passport to go there)
How many continents have you been to: 3. North America, South America, and Europe.
Favorite Indonesian city: I haven’t been yet! I was going to come there for 4 months, but when I found $200 tickets between Miami and Caracas – I totally changed my travel plans. I still really want to come to Indonesia to see Komodo dragons and have some Sumatran coffee in Sumatra (its my favourite)
Favorite international city: I love Split, Croatia! It is gorgeous. But I also love Medellin, Colombia. The people there are just so nice. But Split does have fresh fish and the sea…so sorry Medellin, I’m still going with Split.
Least favorite country: I haven’t really found a country I don’t like yet. I’ve visited places that have things I may not like (like the crazy exit fees in Venezuela on everything), but that country is still amazingly beautiful!
Favorite World Heritage Site: You know… I haven’t been to many. Diocletian’s Palace was just uneventful and packed full of tourists. The bridge in Mostar was actually pretty awesome; watching the guys jump from it. In Quito, I spent 6 weeks photographing metal bands, and the only time I glanced at the historic district was on my way to the street markets.
Though I didn’t know at the time I lived in Miami, that the Everglades are a World Heritage site. I’ve been there, and camped there for a week once. The everglades are awesome! I got to see alligators and hold a water moccasin (poisonous snake). I really loved the Everglades!
Favorite airline: Domestically (in USA) – JET BLUE! I love them. They are super comfy, the workers are unbelievably friendly and all seem to truly love their jobs. Internationally – AVIANCA/TACA. I flew them to, and all over South America. I love using them!
Favorite aircraft type: Any one that gets me there safely.
Aisle or window: Usually window so I can look out it.
Favorite airport lounge: Pretty much if it has a Dunkin Donuts, I’m happy.
Favorite Indonesia airport: Don’t know yet. Can’t wait to find out!
Favorite international airport: I like Quito’s because it is so small, you don’t feel like you are walking for ages to get anywhere. I like Medellin’s too because it’s so bright and filled with natural light. It just makes me happy.
Favorite hotel: I am actually a giant fan of those cheap $20 roach motels all along the American south and west. I don’t know why, but I always love walking into the room to explore what things are all messed up (like deadbolts with no hole for the deadbolt to actually go in, 45 degree tilted – but working – sinks. Plus they almost always have free wifi. Can’t get free wifi at big hotels!
Favorite island: I loved Vis, off the Croatian coast. Margarita Island in Venezuela was amazing too. I just love crystal blue, warm salt waters.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’ve been to a couple Italian joints in Boston’s north end that were really nice. But I don’t eat out a lot. At least not super fancy food. I’d rather cook super fancy food. (I love to cook!)
Favorite hole in the wall: I love The New Wave Cafe in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Its a tiny dive bar/concert venue that is in the middle of nowhere and I always have a great time at.
Favorite fruit: Pomegranates straight off the tree in Croatia
Favorite food: I actually love tofu with ketchup on it. Its a childhood dish.
Least favorite food: Anything slimy. So USA, but I’m really just not a fan of slimy foods.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Coffee. Or Jagger, but I have yet to find an airline that serves Jagermeister shots
Favorite travel movie(s): The Fall. It just makes me want to go to all those places!
Favorite travel song(s): LYNARD SKYNARD – FREEBIRD. Ok, honestly I have no idea. But if in doubt, scream LYNARD SKYNARD!
Favorite travel show(s): No Reservations and Bizarre Foods. Yes…i am also a pig.
Favorite travel book(s): Love Michael Palin’s books.
Right now I am reading: Just finished Michael Palin’s Pole To Pole. I have to pick out a new Kindle book this weekend.
Five things you bring on a plane: Kindle, a drink, some food, a sweater/jacket, and ballet slippers.
What do you always seem to forget: To take my knives out of my carry-on bags. I have been stopped on at least a dozen flights (one in Ecuador) trying to bring knives on planes.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? I don’t buy from those store. Yea, its duty free. Oh, but the prices are double or triple what I would pay if I bought said item outside the airport.
Plus there is never really anything you can’t get throughout the world in those places.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Embarrassing? I don’t know. I’m always doing embarrassing things that none really stick out anymore. Worst – the 50 hour bus ride from eastern Venezuela to Bogota, Colombia.
What’s your dream destination: I don’t know. I have a bunch. Brazil, Indonesia, Soqotra, Solomon Islands
Favorite travel blog/website(s) – besides Traveljunkieindonesia.com, of course!: Well GoingNomadic.com of course! It’s informative. It’s funny. And man the chic who created it is an amazing photographer!
Best travel tip: SAFTEY PINS! Safety pinning money to your being is awesome and deters 90% of pickpocketers. Also ‘not-being-a-dumbass’ is high up on my travel tip list.
Happy Green Travels!