This week’s guest is Jennifer Kramer, one of the founders of Baja Test Kitchen and the author of the Moon Baja Travel Guide. Jen has been traveling throughout Baja California since she was six months old. She was born and raised just over the border in San Diego, California where her parents started Discover Baja in 1991. Growing up, family time was spent exploring the Baja peninsula in a VW camper.
To learn more about Jen, check out our Q&A with her after the jump.
1) Where have you traveled?
Mexico, Canada, Morocco, South Africa, Mozambique, Thailand, Istanbul, Australia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium. All over the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
2) What’s been your favorite trip so far?
My most memorable travel experience was probably going to Brazil for Carnaval. I had the opportunity to actually be a participant in one of the Samba groups parading in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro for the official Carnaval celebrations. It was indescribable getting to be in thick of it all—the costumes, the floats, the music, and especially the energy of being in the arena with 100,000 people celebrating. It was a total adrenaline rush. We were at the Carnaval festivities all night and then came back to our hotel as the sun was rising over Copacabana beach. It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
3) What are three things you always take with you when you travel?
For me, my iphone is indispensable for travel, even just for the camera aspect. Especially in developing countries where you don’t want to be carrying around a large expensive camera, it’s so convenient to have a fantastic camera that fits right into your pocket.
Canvas tote bags are really convenient to have. I always take a few of them when I travel. Whether I’m throwing my purse and jacket into them to carry around for the day or need an extra bag at a market or for dirty laundry or anything else, they are really useful to have around.
For warm weather destinations I always take a sarong since it’s lightweight and packs up small. It’s so diverse and can be used as a beach towel, light blanket, bathing suit cover, scarf, wrap, head cover, or even a makeshift dress or skirt.
4) What’s your next destination?
It’s almost always Mexico, since I’m usually in Baja multiple days a week. My brother just bought property in El Salvador so I’m hoping to make it down there to visit him soon.
5) Give us one reason why you travel.
It forces you out of your comfort zone. It makes you try things you normally wouldn’t try at home, eat new foods, talk to people who are different than you, see new landscapes, and learn things that can be truly life-changing. I think it’s only when we are forced out of our own realm of familiarity that we can truly learn appreciation and tolerance for people, places, and customs that are different than what we are used to.
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