Elephants, burning leaves and endless safaris
Who is "you"?
I’m 32 years old and probably described by my friends as a bit crazy. I love to do things spontaneously and always keen for new challenges or experiences. My biggest passions in life are photography, travelling and wildlife especially elephants!
Wich is the thing you love the most in your city?
I consider myself lucky enough to live in a town but work in London so have the best of city life and town life. What I love about London so much is its diversity and the variety of things to see and do. London is full of surprises and is so rich in history. If you know where to go, you can see and touch parts of history like the old parts of London Wall and old London Bridge without stepping foot into a museum.
What makes you travel?
I would say until I turned 26 I was going on holidays but after my trip to Kenya in 2012, I have been travelling. The difference being visiting a country and just seeing the tourist parts and visiting a country and experiencing it. Opening your eyes to how life is for locals, eat where locals eat, go where locals go. I believe that every country and culture has something to offer and if you open your eyes and your heart to a place you travel to, you can only be richer for the experience.
Places you´ve been in the world?
I think my favourite places amongst the many countries I have visited have been: Cuba – I feel like my trip to Cuba changed my life. It was my first holiday where I went on my own, I met a group out there but I hadn’t met anyone on the trip before. It gave me so much confidence and I just fell in love with the way of life in Cuba. Life has been hard for Cubans but they are such welcoming people and I felt very at home and comfortable. It’s a beautifully unique place with so much to offer. My highlight was Trinidad and the beauty of Vinãles. The Casa Particulars were such an experience living with Cuban families, a real insight into Cuban life. Iceland – This was one of my first holidays to a place where the weather was worse than England! This is also a unique country with such a unique landscape. The highlight was being in no man’s land between the North American and European tectonic plates and seeing the northern lights which was emotional and a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. Kenya – This was always on my bucket list, I packed 3 safaris and a trip to the coast all in 12 days. It was so hectic but also very enriching, seeing so much wildlife and being in the bush was a humbling experience. It’s something I think everyone should do once in their life. Seeing all different types of wildlife in their natural habitat and seeing the migration of the wildebeest was breath taking. Portugal – My first trip to Portugal was a treat for the weekend in the Algarve at previous job. I felt so at home and comfortable, I knew I’d go back. I went back to the Algarve, then to Lisbon and Porto. Since my first time to Lisbon, I went back every year. Each time I go I feel more at home. It’s the only place I have travelled and thought I could live. America - I never really had the urge to go to the States as South America was always more appealing but after visiting family in America and traveling around America a bit, I am hooked and want to see so much more! It’s more beautiful than I ever expected. It’s so vast and with all the states being so different, there is a lot to experience.
Tell us a smell, a taste, a color, or a sense you remember from a place you´ve been?
In the spring and summer, whenever I drive through country lanes and smell the hay being burnt, it takes me back to evenings spent on evening drives on holiday in Goa. The locals burn leaves and the smell is strangely lovely!
What is the silliest thing you ever bought in your trips?
I went to Cuba as part of a photography holiday, whilst walking the streets of Trinidad’s market came across a camera made from drink cans and couldn’t resist! It’s such a silly thing but made me smile and just seemed like the perfect memento!
If Lisbon was a person, who does it remind you of?
If Lisbon was a person it would be that person when you meet for the first time, you feel you have known them all your life or met before but couldn’t say where! Lisbon would be that friendly face who makes you feel so welcome and at home, it’s the friend that even though you haven’t met in a while, when you do; you still have the same love for it.
We hate tourism tours?
I came across We Hate Tourism Tours on my first trip to Lisbon, was new to the city and wanted to do something that was different and give me an insight into the city. I did the day trip and we had such a funny and eventful day, it didn’t feel like were on a tour. Everyone in the group were from different places and different walks of life but we all came together as a group. I have been lucky enough to do the same tours multiple times but it’s never been the same. A tour with We Hate Tourism Tours is not just a tour or an opportunity to see a place, to me it is a day where you feel you are spending it with friends experiencing something new together. I’ve yet to go to Lisbon and not book a trip with WHTT.
Have you ever fell in love with someone when you travel?
No, I can’t say I’ve ever fallen in love with someone when I travel but every country I have visited I have left a bit of my heart behind in and I think I have been so lucky to have made friends in almost every country I travelled to and keep in touch with all of them whenever I can. To me the people I meet in the countries I travel to are as important as seeing what the country has to offer. It’s the people that make the country and I love meeting different people and connecting with people.
The most embarrassing/funny moment you had while travelling?
I think the funniest thing that happened was on my trip to Kenya; after a nerve wracking flight on a small 10 seater plane from Nairobi to Samburu and a lovely 2 hour drive from the airstrip to our camp at Elephant Bedroom camp, my mum and I went for our first lunch on our very first safari. We excitedly sat at our table on the river bank under some trees when across the river we saw a herd of elephants walking with their baby elephants. It was a picture postcard so both my mum and I got up from table and walked closer to the river bank to get a photo. As we were taking a photo, we suddenly heard a ‘fart’ and a splat and our nostrils were greeted with the most unwelcoming smell. We turned around and above our table was a naughty little monkey who had just gone to the toilet on our lunch plates from the tree above! Luckily we moved when we did! Our waiters were quick to get him to move, apparently he is a real cheeky monkey who loves to play up and even the alpha monkey has had enough of him! What a welcome to safari we had!
My next holiday is booked to go back to Goa in March for a week for a family occasion so the whole family are coming together. After that, I am planning a trip to Lisbon as I have not been for 2 years and missing it more than words can say. I have promised myself that I will travel to a new place every year so I am contemplating going to Ethiopia on another photography holiday in the later part of the year. I will still have a week of holiday left so after that who knows. The world is our oyster, it’s up to us to make the most of it. There is so much out there, I just want to experience as much of it as I can! https://www.instagram.com/rachey.roo/
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