Name: Christian M.
Occupation: Undergraduate Student
Location: Lenox, Massachusetts
Current Country Count: 11
Song for Christian: Bee Gees "Massachusetts"
Christian was part of the first half of the GAdventure Multi-Stan group. He had just finished a semester studying in Mongolia. We chatted on hikes and many long bus rides. During one bumpy bus ride through Krygyzstan, I was able to ask him a few questions...
And the spotlight begins….
When did You Start Traveling and Why: My mother is from France. We have family in France. So when I was a baby until about 8th grade we used to go every year to France to visit family. There was really no inspiration just doing stuff that my family was doing. First time I actually planned a trip was a few years ago. I got to plan the itinerary. I am really into nature so it was really cool to plan the trip and see what I wanted to see. My passions are geography, nature, history, geopolitics.
What is Your Most Memorable Country and Why: Greece – because that was the first county I went to that was different. First not as much Western. Geographically, culturally, historically much different than the other countries I had been to. Very beautiful. Mongolia because I spent the longest amount of time there (I studied abroad there). France because it is a part of me.
What Is Your Inspiration to Travel: I would like to continue to travel if I have time, money, a reason. I would like to come back to see this region of the world to see the other Stans because my academic emphasis is around this region of the world. There is a vacancy when you have the ability to learn more, see more, and don’t.
Do You Buy Any Souvenirs: Generally no. But I did in Mongolia because I felt obliged to give gifts. I felt it was expected of you and I don’t mind supporting when I know where it comes from.
How Often Do You Travel: I haven’t traveled outside of the US and Canada for a long time. But I like to travel within the northeast to see places, go outside and do things which most people in my area don’t seem to like to do. Even in your own backyard there is always something to see.
How Long Do You Normally Travel: Well my family used to go to Florida every year for a week because my grandparents live there. We generally visit France for 2 weeks. I do individual day trips in the northeast. Canada for a few days (Montreal, Quebec City). Went to London, Brussels, and Amsterdam for a month. Generally a week each (trip).
How Do You Afford to Travel: My parents would usually help fund it. Family in France would help us when we went to visit them. My aunt in France helped us pay for a travel in the west when she came to travel with us.
How Do You Plan Your Travels: The only trips I plan are the excursions. I look on googlemaps to see what looks cool – ponds, marshes, trees. When I planned the trip to Canada I found the best places to see, then scoped them out on googlemaps. Other people recommendations as well.
How Often Do You Travel: Whenever my family took off time. Every week I try to do something different where I live. Anytime I have time during the week to do something different.
1) Googlemaps – you have a better perception of what it is, where it is. You can also use it after people give you recommendations and ideas.
2) Use Microsoft office for itineraries or Excel for finances. Put in health insurance information, communication, financial information, country information. Print it and save it on your computer. Email it to yourself.
3) Laptop: Have a smaller, notebook instead of a 10 lb. laptop because it (a 10 lb. computer) is huge, takes up space, and you have to worry about carrying it.
Christian returned home after our time in Krygyzstan. I enjoyed our conversations and your independence. All the best on your next adventures!