While ago, Joanna, the owner of a clothing brand 4mom, asked me a few questions related to traveling. You can read our interview below.
4 mom is a company with high quality and attractive clothing for mothers.
Joanna: Are there places you wouldn’t recommended for a family trip?
Malvina: Rather not, unless to the countries with destabilised politic, conflicts, wars, etc. We can always check it on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, I do that quite often.
Personally, I think we should never limit our options, if we would like to go to a certain place of our interest, especially when our family like it as well.
The worst we can do is to feel afraid to go somewhere and do it anyway, it is like asking for troubles 😉 I always listen to my intuition very closely.
Of course, there are countries with a more dangerous reputation, such as Iran. How it is presented in the media, we all know … And that’s where I met the friendliest people! I have never felt such a warm welcome before, their hospitality has exceeded my expectations. Most people there believe in values other than their government, and suffer very much because of the political situation.
If you decide to go to a country that is not listed among the safest places, I would advise to check information if you can withdraw money there, or is it possible to exchange it in your native country. In some places, it is not possible to use ATM because of the sanctions and our standard card (Visa or Master card) does not work everywhere.
J: How do you usually prepare yourself before an exotic trip?
M: It is important to check if you need a visa and can you get it on arrival. We forgot about it once and it cost us a lot of stress and money to get it in the last moment. This is usually not a problem and can be obtained online or at the airport, but then you often have to stand in a long line.
It is good to check the currency before leaving and what is the best way to get from the airport to the our destination on f.eks. trip advisor.
I also check what I should wear as a woman. In some Muslim countries, a woman should cover her hair with a headscarf and wear loose, long clothing. Some countries do not impose this on tourists and you do not have to worry about it. However, it happened to me that I felt inadequately dressed and got unwanted attention.
It’s great to learn basic words in the language of the country you are going to. This often opens hearts of many people and doors to many places.
Some people are shocked when in Indonesia you speak to them Bahasa (one of their languages), some talks to you like with a local and you cannot keep up, but the most important, it’s a nice addition and ice breaker that enriches every trip.
J: What kind of typical local behaviour have you encountered during your trips?
M: Bedouins seduce women and they do it well 😉 Their appearance is very unique, resembling pirate Jack Sparrow with hypnotic black eyes and a headscarf.
In Iceland, people love Polish Prince Polo.
In many Asian countries, local people are interested in tourists, want to talk to you or just say “hi”. When you open yourself up to people, you can have an adventure of a lifetime, and truly get to know their culture.
In Morocco, I was ignored by many men, which made me angry at first. For example, I bought something, I paid with my own hand, and the rest was given to my boy friend. I asked a question, the man answered my boy friend. It certainly changes because of tourism, but still can be a bit surprising.
J: What is your top 5 places you have visited so far?
M: Philippines, Indonesia, Jordan, Iceland, Romania, Iran. It’s top 6, I couldn’t resist 🙂 Actually, I could name a few more …
It’s hard for me to choose, because every country has its soul and charm. Philippines and Indonesia are countries of thousands paradise islands. In fact, Indonesia is round 18,000 islands, and Philippines over 7,000. Turquoise water, sun, coconuts are amazing especially for someone living in the northern hemisphere.
Romania have beautiful nature, mountains, fairy-tale castles, magic in the air, and intriguing stories about Transylvania. Being there I studied some documents and historical materials about the medieval ruler of this country, who initiated the legends of Dracula.
In Jordan there is ancient city built in a rock called Petra, Bedouins, who look like pirates, Red desert Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, where you can float on the water, Red Sea great for diving, and the most delicious humus.
Iceland is an island of fire and ice, literally. It is very cold (I’ve never experienced such coldness in my life!) and there are many hot geysers exploding from the ground.
It was my dream to see aurora borealis (northern lights) and one night it happened. It was the most beautiful dance of colours on the sky.
I added Iran to my list because I didn’t know what to expect at first, and it turned out great, people were friendly, architecture very symmetrical and precise, impressive ancient monuments, interesting history associated with Zoroastrianism – the original philosophy (the oldest form of religion).
J: What is your next destination?
M: Tomorrow I am going to Crete, which was a quite spontaneous decision. I didn’t plan it or thought about it, but this place is definitely worth visiting. I would like to see the whole world 🙂 and there are many places I would love to see. I check websites such as fly4free and momondo, kiwi for interesting opportunities.
J: How do you usually pack for a trip? Do you buy anything in the places you travel to?
M: I like traveling light with a small backpack. I don’t travel with huge suitcases at all, as many people think 😉 It gives me a sense of freedom and makes it easier to move. I’ve never run out of anything, but if it would happen, I’d go shopping in a local store. Every hotel offers laundry, so it’s not really a problem.
I like to take a large scarf to feel cosy on the plane or at the airport. It is multifunctional, you can lay it on the beach as well.
I recently bought a vegan Lush shampoo in a bar, it’s very nice, small and good quality.
It is better to buy an anti-mosquito remedy on the spot, because mosquitoes in Europe and in other parts of the world are different types. Probably the scent of citronella repels all mosquitoes on Earth. In warm places, you can also buy 100% aloe vera for tanned or burned skin.
I always buy magnets, I’m obsessed with it, but there’s no space on my fridge anymore. I also choose colorful dresses, jewellery, herbs, oils. I love stores with these magical stuff.
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