I love to travel solo but occassionally, I plan trips with close friends but I do try to keep the number to a minimum. I am an Architect by profession and have been in the business of designing (sometimes constructing) for more than 20 years. Traveling has been one of my passions and I am lucky to have done this in the past few years. Taking time off from work to experience different cultures, meet new people, taste local cuisine, observe and study various styles of art & architecture is priceless. This keeps me grounded and my balance in check. It helps me understand the world better and see things in different perspectives. It expands my knowledge as I learn thru these experiences. In my humble opinion, the wisdom you acquire thru travel cannot be had in any classroom.
I always try to do some form of research whenever I travel. Knowing the do's and dont's of a country are quite essential. Respect of one's culture, tradition & religion is a sign of utmost civility. Knowing a few phrases of the local dialect is not bad either. It never fails to put a smile on people's faces. Before I travel, the first thing I research on is the "art district" of the town. I love places where you can see small galleries, bookstores, souvenir shops and coffee places where one can just read a book and get lost the whole day. I love interacting with fellow travelers, sharing stories and learning new stuff. I try to avoid "touristy" places if possible. In contrast, I also like outdoor activities - biking, trekking, swimming, scuba diving, kiteboarding, stand-up paddling, kayaking etc. But I try to do this sparingly because these I can do back home... and it's costly.
I prefer simple things in general. I am not a big fan of luxury. Less complicated, the better. I strive to stay positive everyday. I think it's good karma. "Be kind" are the two simplest words I live by. I think one cannot go wrong with that.
5 things I can't live without: clothes (don't like being naked), water (always hydrate!), bed (love sleeping), food (love to eat), sunglasses (love the outdoors). We've survived without material things before. I think we'll be okay without them now. Difficult but possible (perhaps better?).
Faves: Destination - Asia, Europe, South America. Books - architecture, self-improvement. Movies - anything with magic, superpowers, cgi. epics are nice too. Shows - travel & cooking shows. Music - chillout, lounge, house, standards, classics. Food - Italian but I eat anything edible.