Time for another in my series of fellow world travellers on Don’t Stop Living! I’m a big fan of Maria Falvey’s website Accelerated Stall, which is not your normal travel blog by any means. Taking on a unique and quirky nature, Maria encapsulates things as they happen and you can also catch her on Maria Falvey.net . Don’t blink, you might miss it…over to you Maria…
Who are you?
Hi! I’m Maria, the founder and editor of the often esoteric, sometimes witty site, Accelerated Stall.
My writings at Accelerated Stall are literary “snapshots” of life; taking a quick shot of an otherwise fleeting moment – instead of film I use words to capture nonfictional moments, events as I watched them unfold or experienced them first hand.
Where are you from?
I’m from the US.
Where have you been?
Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York (state), New York City, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington (state), Idaho
Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain
Where are you now?
Currently in Austin, TX
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
Oh! You’re killin’ me Jonny… I’m more about the experiences than the venues. So I’ll give you locations but keep in mind the choices are based on the people and experiences I met/had there.
USA: Montana, Oregon and Washington (state) – Each state is brimming with an amazing and exhilarating mix of untamed nature and vibrant urban centers peppered with good souls – that mix is vital in my life.
International: Cambodia, Czech Republic, Spain.
Cambodia: The Khmer I befriended in Cambodia and a couple of zany British Xpats made all the difference in Cambodia and fueled me to meet every challenge head-on.
Czech Republic: This was where I reconnected with a favorite friend (my nephew) and every moment was an adventure with little planning and a whole lot of living in the moment.
Spain: The location where I met a software customer turned pen-pal for the first time. We got on like a house-on-fire; no venue could be mundane, everything was embellished with fun and all we did was live. It was just that simple.
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
Jonny, this is another difficult question. If I can only choose one…
Laughing at farmer/priest jokes told by Greeks in a mix of Spanish and Italian because they didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Greek but we all knew a little Spanish and a Little Italian.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
I honestly haven’t had a bad experience yet. Often weird things happen during a trip, sometimes less than favorable things happen during a trip.
· Got laryngitis, tonsillitis and bronchitis simultaneously while in Prague; only 24 hours of icky downtime with each, so that’s not really bad.
· Emergency landing in Newfoundland on my way to Spain, but we didn’t crash, very little real drama or inconvenience involved and I made a few wonderful friends in that experience so it wasn’t really bad.
· Made friends, found love, left friends, lost love, – much of the latter 2 was sad, but none of which I can say was truly bad.
A truly bad experience? [drums fingers on desk] Not yet.
[knocks on wood, bites tongue, flashes a winning grin]
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
Moi, guest house staffer in Cambodia, felt me up at breakfast one morning, right there at one of the sidewalk tables. My Khmer is limited so I’m not sure what caused her curiosity – rumors that US women have implants, age, some other western focused stereotype?
Read “OK! No Problem” on my site for the details and feel free to offer a theory.
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
Probably the flight to Spain; the aircraft was hemorrhaging hydraulic fluid and we made an emergency landing in Newfoundland – though now that I think of it, [rubs chin thoughtfully] a near miss as a passenger with a maniacal driver in Phnom Penh was pretty intense. No… Seattle; the night I woke to a mob (15+ men) beating a man in the street below my window was the most terrifying.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveler before they set off on their adventure?
Oh geez – I don’t write advice posts, such a commitment to what you put down with advice. Argh! I feel clammy and think that’s a hive on my arm… but I’m game so here goes:
· Always be flexible – Never count on anything (people, finances, weather, politics – all change, seemingly on the spin of a coin) so at least have an idea of what you want/can do next in the event you want/need to leave early
· Be a travel ambassador – Don’t be “that” tourist – You may have paid to get there but you’re still a guest in someone else’s home
· Pack light – unless you’ve joined the Peace Corps, you’re traveling not working so if you don’t use it at least weekly in your non-traveling life, don’t lug it – If you find yourself post wheels down and needing item X, chances are there will be stores
What are your future travel plans?
May 2013: Got a quickie to Seattle and Vancouver planned.
No actual plan but Jonny, I really, really, really want to visit one of these in the next 12 months: Romania, Poland and/or Antarctica – but we’ll have to see which, if any, of those I can finance and if my current employer will actually allow a multi-week absence.
Biography of Maria Falvey:
American, residing in the US
BA degree in Art History with post graduate studies focusing on Simple Living and Cultural Anthropology.
Minds that are sharply witty
Fresh snowfall above 5,000 feet
Talkers (people who talk about doing X, Y, or Z, but never actually do anything)
Generally I work an office job, usually as an Executive Assistant, often in the software industry but I’ve also dabbled in the realms of higher-education, non-profit, restaurants, etc… employment is a means to sustain my life, a life I want filled with experiences from around the globe.
Also please get connected with me in the following ways:
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