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: Sabina Trojanova
Occupation: Freelance writer, travel blogger and student
Residence: London, UK
College: University College London
College major: Political science
Facebook: Girl vs Globe
Pinterest: Sabina @GirlvsGlobe
Google+: Sabina Trojanova
Short bio: I’m a twenty-something traveller and professional troublemaker. I have a passion for fashion, I revel in travel and I’m always in the mood for food. I also have a weakness for delicious cocktails and cute animals (boys included!). I’m trying to make the whole world my home and my blog is my progress report.
How often do you fly? At least eight times a year.
How many countries have you been to? More than two dozen.
How many continents have you been to? Four.
Earliest travel memory: My first travel memory dates back to my second international trip—a journey to Gran Canaria at the age of two. The scent of coconut, deliciously foreign to my senses, charmed me unlike anything I’d ever smelled before. Even to this day, the sweet smell is a wanderlust trigger unlike anything else.
Favorite American city: I’ve never been there, but my answer has to be New York. Having watched it through the eyes of numerous TV characters, I feel a strong connection to the city that never sleeps and feel as though I know it already. I cannot wait to find out whether my first visit will confirm my feelings for New York or crush my dreams completely.
Favorite international city: This is a tough one, but I’m going to say London. Ever since my first visit at the tender age of ten I’d wanted to live there—the city completely swept me off my feet (although fortunately not literally). When the opportunity presented itself, I did not hesitate for a minute and started preparing for the big move. Although I was only seventeen at the time, I quickly packed my bags and bid my parents goodbye before hopping on a plane and starting a new life by myself. I feel very blessed to be living in this fantastic city now.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: They weren’t mean per se, but Chinese immigration officers didn’t let me extend my visa and had me rebook my flight to Moscow for an exorbitant fee. I’ve since learned that it’s best to bring a Chinese friend along to deal with bureaucratic procedures in the country, even if you speak Mandarin fluently…which I do not.
Aisle or window: Window. Nothing screams “seasoned flier” like climbing over your co-travellers every thirty minutes so that you can stretch my legs or run to the bathroom after too many glasses of white wine.
Favorite international airport: I love Dublin airport—it’s small enough to not feel overwhelming, clean, well-organised and the staff have lovely Irish accents. What’s not to love?
Favorite island: I visited the lovely Greek island of Santorini this summer and it quickly became one of my favourites. Watching the sun sink into the ocean over dozens of blue domes (not to mention glasses of wine) is an unforgettable experience.
Favorite fruit: I’ll say tomatoes, but only because I enjoy being controversial.
Favorite food: Sushi…or any food within my grasp, for that matter.
Least favorite food: I’ll try anything once, but I never need to try durian again. Ever. Just the thought of it makes me want to weep.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Gin, mainly for its medicinal properties of course. As for non-alcoholic beverages, I pretty much only drink water and tea.
Favorite travel movie(s): I have put a lot of effort into convincing the world that I only enjoy intellectual films with a deeper meaning. Unfortunately, today I have to undo all of that hard work because my favourite travel movie is none other than The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. It’s not a mind-blowingly clever travel movie or even a travel movie per se, but it showcases all the things I love about travel—stepping outside your comfort zone and letting yourself experience all emotions without mental restraint.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Beach” by Alex Garland became one of my favourite books of all time long before I realised how much I loved travel. Looking back, I think it played a big part in fostering my appreciation of meaningful, immersive travel—and my love long-distance affair with Thailand.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: In the spirit of Oscar Wilde, I am going to include my blog, “Girl vs Globe,” in first place—after all, why would I spend my precious time producing content I don’t love? I also read many other travel blogs, but there are too many incredible ones to mention only a few.
5 things you bring on a plane: Face wipes, lip balm, earphones, good manners, and sometimes even my passport!
What do you like least about travel? In my experience, the moments I enjoy the least while I am travelling turn out to be the highlights of my trips when I look back. Running through torrential rain in soaking sneakers and then eating cake with your bare hands in a locked car may not sound enjoyable—and it certainly wasn’t at the time—but it is now one of my favourite memories from my roadtrip in Northern Ireland.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Nothing. I’d rather they bought me an airplane ticket and joined the adventure!
Favorite travel app(s): I love YPlan and Citymapper and use both religiously now that I am back in London. Sadly, both are only available in a few select cities—but I am sure they will soon expand their reach, because they truly are brilliant.
What’s your dream destination? South Africa and Thailand in theory. In practice, every new destination I visit surprises me with how fascinating it is—I wouldn’t be surprised if I accidentally stumbled upon my dream destination without expecting to like it.
Best travel tip: Let go off your fear of appearing ridiculous. Will you look stupid trying to order chicken in China by squawking at the waiter? Most certainly. But no one will judge you for it, because every smart traveller understands how difficult cross-cultural communication can be and how difficult it is to use any means necessary to make yourself understood. If they do judge you, just squawk at them, too. That ought to teach them a lesson.