This week we would like to introduce Kayla of The Princess of Tea. Kayla is a twenty-two year old studying International Relations at a Canadian university, with a passion for travel and culture. She loves black and white photography and tends to spend the time that she should be using for studying on YouTube looking at funny cat videos.
I think the main inspiration for my urge to travel would be the books I read. I have read a lot of Historical novels and from a young age I’ve always wanted to see the places in those books. I define a traveler as someone who is curious about places, people and culture and takes pleasure of being in a foreign place where you may not know anyone or even the language.
2. For those who don’t yet know you, can you explain your travel style?
My travel style is sporadic. I have been fortunate enough to take two big international trips in 2 years but other than this strange occurrence I am the traveler who takes a trip every once in a while. Usually this depends on my bank account.
3. How do you afford your travels?
Very good question. Well I work part-time as I am a full-time student and so it is very rigorous process saving of paychecks and holiday money for a bit before I can begin to plan a trip.
4. Where was your first international trip and how old were you?
I am not going to count the USA because I live in Canada and that to me is not an international trip but more of a 30 minute drive south. My first international trip was in 2010 and I was 18 years old. My mom and I went to Europe (The Netherlands, France and England) for 2 weeks. It was sort of a high school graduation gift/the only way I was allowed to go to Europe was if my mom came with me and I paid for half of it. I had an amazing time and I am happy that my mom came with me.
5. Where has been your favorite destination? Where has been your least favorite?
This is always the hardest question to answer. I don’t think I can pick a favourite but I guess I will choose The Netherlands and Belgium. The Netherlands because I got to meet cousins for the first time and Belgium because I made amazing friends and had such a great time there. It is a beautiful country. I don’t have a least favourite. I have loved all the places I have been, in Canada, the US and Europe. The only place I can think of is Charles de Gaulle airport. I found it very confusing and they did not announce that the gate had changed for my flight and I almost missed it. Very frustrating and I do not want to fly from there again.
6. If you had to settle down in one location forever, where would you choose and why?
England. I really enjoyed my time there, it was a very relaxing place to be and since I have yet to fully master any language besides English I think settling in a place different yet still familiar would be a good idea. Also I hope that I would eventually develop an accent and maybe score an invite to tea with the Queen or the Duchess of Cambridge.
7. Have you ever had high hopes for a destination, tour, etc., only to be disappointed in the end? Or any travel mishaps?
The only travel mishap I have had was the incident at Charles de Gaulle, other than that I have had great luck when travelling and I try and see the positive in everything. I am hoping my travel luck will continue.
I experienced something odd in Belgium. I was by myself and I had dinner at this really nice place. In Canada the waitress/waiter brings the bill to your table automatically when you are finished your meal. In Belgium I guess you need to ask for it to be brought, otherwise you can just sit at the table for ever and they will never bring it to you! I learned that on my first night which was very helpful for the remainder of my trip.
9. What keepsake do you have to get at all your destinations?
I always buy postcards from the places I visit even though I have about 5 of the same picture on my camera. I don’t send them or anything, I just like to have them because I really like post cards. Whenever I visit a historical place like the Tower of London or a Chateau in France I always buy a book on the history of the place or about the genealogy of the Kings and Queens of that country. My suitcase is always over the limit coming home.
10. How about the one thing you cannot travel without?
A journal and a dress. I always pack a journal so I can record memories as I am travelling. And I always pack a dress, it is not always a fancy one but I like having a dress on hand just in case I need one.
11. Why did you begin blogging? And how did you come up with your blog name?
I started blogging because I had been reading other travel blogs and just loved the idea of having really nice articles about the places I had been. Also my friend told me she was wanting to start a blog and I thought that was an awesome idea so I decided to jump on that bandwagon. My name to some probably sounds like something a 13 year old would come up with or something a snotty pretentious person thought of. I love tea, I have been drinking that stuff since I was about 4 years old and I have always loved royalty. It just came to me one day and I went with it. I love the name and I think it suits me perfectly.
12. What’s next for 2014?
I recently flew out to join a group in Israel and Palestine! This is my first backpacking adventure and it is also a volunteer trip. I will be working for 6 weeks with 3 community organizations. On the weekends and during my independent travel week, I will be exploring Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. This is my first time to the Middle East region and I am excited to explore a place I have been studying for three years.
Backpack or suitcase? Well I have only used a suitcase on travels so I would say suitcase but I will be going on my first backpacking adventure this summer so maybe my opinion will change.
Window or aisle? Window. I like to see the word!
Solo or group? I enjoy both. It is nice to be with a group and have the opportunity to go solo for a bit.
Tapas or sushi? I honestly do not know what Tapas are so I will choose Sushi.
Beach or mountains? I want to say both, I love seeing the water but at the same time I love mountains.
Be sure to follow in Kayla’s travels around the world: