"Suffering From The Travel Bug" cheekymarieh's Profile

Travel In General

One of my favourite quotes about travel comes from Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintanance by Robert M. Pirsig

'I feel so happy to be here and still a little sad to be here too. Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive'

I've found that sometimes you picture a place and are disappointed when you actually arrive ... though it does work both ways.

The travel bug first descended on me as a child. My father worked for the railways and we were able to get free and cheap travel using this mode of transport. Some of my funniest travel tales come from train journeys to the former Yugoslavia, and while interrailing around Europe.

New places mean new foods to sample. I try to sample some of the local specialities wherever I am. If you don't try it you will never find out if you like it! Now at home when I am cooking there is often an influence from my travels.

Thank you to those who rate my pages. As and when time allows I will make an effort to visit your pages.

A Little About Me

As an accountant, my aim in life is to disprove the theory that all accountants are boring! I studied hard to pass the exams but I am one of the few who never let my social life suffer as a result! When I passed, I gave in my notice at my job and went to work abroad in sunny Cyprus.

Football as you will have guessed by the numerous references to Middlesbrough FC on my pages.

Travelling (obviously)

Foreign languages - French is probably my second language still though hopefully one day soon I will be able to quote it as Greek, also I did study Spanish for two years, Italian for one year and continue to pick up the useful Polish words!

Reading - some of my favourite authors include: Patricia Cornwell, Linda Fairstein, Bulgakov, Andrei Makine, Sartre, Camus. Quite a variation really.

Music - I will listen to almost anything but my music collection has most albums by Chris Rea, U2, Celine Dion, Simply Red. I enjoy reggae and at the moment you will often find me listening to Enrique Iglesias in the car (and not always in English!)

Favourite Destinations

Travel has always been a passion of mine and some of my favourite countries that I have visited so far (in no particular order) have been:

Cyprus - for its great beaches, fantastic food, hospitable people, many friends that I have made and for the hope that one day I will be able to visit the whole island in one trip!

Greece - for its rich heritage as the birthplace of civilization, the amazing food, the wonderful friends that I have there and the variety of destinations that you can head for - be it the city, the countryside or beautiful landscapes.

Italy - again for the culture and food!

Malaysia - because it was so different from anywhere else that I have visited, for my friends there and for the food.

Poland - for the warm welcome that I received on my first visit there, for the fantastic vodkas and for the many landmarks to visit within the country.

Russia - for the realisation of a dream come true in visiting St Petersburg, a city that lived up to my dreams and more .... and also for the vodka.

Favourite Spots Within The UK

As I have listed only foreign destinations then I feel that I should also point out my favourite spots within my own country to try and entice foreign visitors.

In no particular order, they are:

Middlesbrough RIverside Stadium - I spend so much time there! I would recommend a trip here to anyone who enjoys football.

Whitby - on the north east coast. After being in Cyprus for 6 months, this was top of my list of places to visit. Its assets include: the abbey, its connection to Count Dracula, the fantastic fish & chips and the fine icecream. Any visitor of mine will tell you that they are taken there - even if they are visiting in winter!

The North Yorkshire Moors - miles and miles of unspoilt countryside. It is particularly beautiful in summer when the heather is in flower. There are many beautiful villages such as Helmsley, Great Ayton and Egton.

York - this is a historical city that also has many modern facilities. One of the highlights of any trip to the city is a visit to Betty's Tea Rooms. This really is an experience that you mustn't miss.

Edinburgh - I always enjoy a trip over the border to this city with its own special atmosphere.

VT Friends

Through VT I have made many friends and have been lucky enough to meet several of them. Here's hoping that I will meet more in future. To date (in order):

Steventilly (and Susantilly)
Sabsi (when will she return to sample the delights of my drinks cabinet?)

The photo shows my attempts at entertaining when Sabsi was over from Germany. Luckily I didn't manage to cremate anything. Steve arrived at my house with a hammer - I was a bit concerned until I found that he had brought it to crush some ice for Sabs cocktail creations.

Travel In 2014

January - a return from Warsaw & a flight to Tenerife

February - Tenerife,Lanzarote, Madeira, La Gomera, La Palma on a cruise

March - Sorrentine Peninsula

April - Easter in Dublin

Next stop Schiphol airport and then onwards to a destination yet to be decided.

Try The Local Cuisine

How do you know you don't like something if you haven't tried it? A few people I know claim not to like certain foods when they have never tried them. Whey travel to a foreign country and expect to find the food you have at home. Even if you do find it, it's usually not the same.

I can safely say that if I don't like something, I have tried it at least once ... and when it comes to caviar ... more than once. Add to that hard boiled eggs and you have my list of foods I dislike. OK so there are other dishes I'm not a great fan of, but out of politeness I would eat them if they were put in front of me.

My pet hate is buffet style meals - this usually means mass produced food that isn't very warm. I would much rather wait for something to be prepared just for me.

The saying goes 'When in Rome ...'. Well when I was in Rome I could justify eating pizza. It is Italy after all. Heading down to Southern Italy this year, I had one tiny slice of pizza and instead opted for their regional fishy specialities. One night there were clams on the menu. I'd never tried them so I made the most of the opportunity. Similarly when I was dining in Greece on the 15th August and there was a special feast dish on the table I made sure I tried it.

My favourite foods?

British - rhubarb crumble and custard (and it tastes even better when the rhubarb has come straight out of my garden)
Italian - a simple, fresh pasta with chilli and mushrooms as served in Sicily ... oh and I suppose I had better admit to the tiramisu addiction too!
French - a beautiful medium, rare beef fillet
Cypriot - moussaka ... as made by my friend Irene
Greek - avgolemono (chicken & lemon soup)
Polish - Pierogi
Russian - Borshch (beetroot soup)
Tunisian - Couscous

Planet Earth

I adore flying and am always inspired by views such as this from the plane. It really does make you realize what a wonderful planet we live on.

  • Intro Updated May 13, 2014
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Billingham-on-Tees, United Kingdom
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