Where am I?

27 10 2008

I have been quiet on the blogging front because I am currently traveling.  So for this post, I pose a challenge to my readers.  Where am I?

Here is clue #1, which may help you know what part of the world I am in:

Here is clue #2, for my business friends:

Here is clue #3, which gives it all away:

P, you are not allowed to guess since you were there with me!

I will be traveling for a little longer, but look for future posts about my time in this city!


What’s your travel personality?

27 04 2008

While perusing the Washington Post travel blog, I came upon a post about finding your travel personality for the purpose of finding travel destinations that you would most likely find appealing.  The website in discussion, called Best Trip Choices (BTC), determines your travel personality through a short questionnaire and then provides recommendations for travel based on your personality.  The quiz was developed by Dr. Stanley C Plog, a Harvard trained researcher, based on 30 years of research and has been reviewed in professional journals and textbooks.  The BTC website is founded by Dr. Plog and Bahir Browsh, a lifelong travel industry professional and expert in the field.

You can take the quiz here.  Click on the middle button under the yellow banner near the top.

The range of travel personality types goes from the extreme adventure traveler to the traveler who prefers predictability and stability.  I took the quiz and according to its results, I am a Mid-Venturer! This puts my travel personality second only to the Venturer, the most extreme travel personality type.  Fortunately, my husband’s travel personality type is also that of a Mid-Venturer.  No wonder we travel so well together!

Here is the definition of a Mid-Venturer from the BTC website:

As a mid-venturer, your personality fits between venturers and those more in the center of the personality spectrum (“centrics”). You share a number of characteristics in common with pure venturers. You like to travel, especially to foreign destinations and you seek new experiences and new destinations for almost all trips you take. You are also physically active at home and on trips. But, unlike your pure venturer friends, you don’t want to take such extreme vacations and are more likely to plan your trips-set an itinerary of places you want to visit and schedules when you will be there. You also have more company. About 17% of the population has a personality that matches yours, vs. only 4% for pure venturers.

Your venturesome spirit leads you to seek out unique and interesting places to visit and especially to make each leisure trip different from others that you have taken. You may want to return to a place that seemed interesting but you didn’t have time to explore on an earlier visit, but usually you simply want to try something new. However, there’s a big difference between you and your true venturer friends: you like a comfortable bed at night (no sleeping under the stars), a warm shower, and meals that you can trust rather than taking a chance on native foods.

The description for my travel personality type continues for many more paragraphs and pretty much hits the bulls eye on my travel style.   I love exploring new places, I like to plan everything so that I don’t miss anything, but I also like to sleep in a nice place at night.

The website then goes a step further and recommends travel destinations that might interest me and ranks them from Platinum to Bronze.  The Platinum destinations score highly for almost any travel personality type and includes destinations like Hawaii, England, Australia, New Zealand, and several other popular tourist destinations.  On the other hand, the Gold destinations score highly for my travel personality type and not necessarily others, and include France, Germany, Japan, Chicago, Hong Kong, and so on and so forth.

While I agree with many of these recommendations, it is obviously not the end all be all of travel recommendations.  In fact, I feel that many types would like my Gold recommendations and the website omits many places that I have loved.  Having said that, all in all I think this is an interesting personality quiz to take that might just entice you to consider destinations you might not otherwise look up.

What’s your personality type?  Is it accurate for your travel style?

How to Check if a Visa or Passport is Needed for Travel

31 01 2008

As a non-U.S. citizen, I always have to take the extra step in researching travel locations to find out if I need a visa to visit certain destinations.  Although a simple web search or a visit to a tourism website will yield this information for citizens of developed Western countries and Japan, oftentimes for smaller countries there is simply not a lot of useful information online.  This is especially true for countries like Taiwan, which is not officially recognized by many countries and international organizations as a sovereign nation.  Usually I end up looking at embassy websites or making a phone call to the consulate to ask.  Even this step can be difficult, however, as some embassies actually charge you to ask them visa questions (*cough* U.K. *cough*).

Anyway, I am writing this post today to alert you of a wonderful search engine I discovered while trying to look up, once again, if I needed a travel visa.  The Visa, Passport, and Health Information webpage from SkyTeam, the international airline partnership, is an efficient search engine that allows you to input your nationality, residency, and destination (including transit points) and find out if you need a passport or visa.  You can also find out if there are required health requirements, such as vaccinations, for the country you are visiting. 


The feature that sets this search engine apart from other resources is that you can input your residency.  This is important because for some countries in the Caribbean, you don’t need a Visa if you are a U.S. permanent resident (green card holder).  In addition, the website is searchable for all countries so you don’t have to waste time trudging through all these websites that are may or may not be in English.  A funny note is that Taiwan if known as Chinese Taipei on this website, just like in the Olympics.

Hopefully this will save you time next time you need to search whether or not you need a visa to go on your next adventure!

Here is the website written out:


Happy New Year!

2 01 2008

As I wind down the coverage from my Taiwan trip, I hope you found my Taiwan related posts informative and amusing.  I will continue to post about interesting tidbits about Taiwan, but since this is a travel blog I must move onward and outwards!  

Next on the agenda at Travels with Sandy will be my recent trip in December to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.  In 2008, Charles and I hope to be making a big trip to Germany, which will probably also include side trips to Paris or Venice.  In between, I will sprinkle explorations of my home in the windy city of Chicago.  Beyond that, we have not planned any other trips but hope to do a British Isles tour soon, and of course see more of Asia.

Paris, Las Vegas

I’ve been to Paris… Las Vegas, but not France.  Hopefully 2008 is the year!

Lastly, I would like to wish a Happy New Year to everyone!  Hopefully 2008 will bring a wonderful year to all of us.

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