Johnna Green 21 USA IG: johnna_elyse I moved to Thailand two and a half years ago and have been studying culinary arts and business in Bangkok. In my free time I like to read, go to cafes, and explore the city with my friends.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COUNTRY SO FAR?
It's difficult to pick just one country. There are so many places I have been and so many more that I want to go to, and they all have something to offer. That being said, I've found myself unable to leave Thailand. This country still fascinates me.
WHAT PLACE IS TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Iceland. Everyone I've met from Iceland has been incredibly friendly and the pictures are beautiful.
WHAT CAN'T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT?
A good book. I like to curl up with a good book and coffee at a local cafe everywhere I go.
DO YOU PREFER SOLO TRAVEL OR WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
It depends on the country. Some places are great with company, but others you need to go alone to fully experience all the place has to offer.
WHO IS THE PERSON AT HOME THAT YOU MISS THE MOST?
Of course I miss my family and friends, but they understand that I'm doing what I love. I stay in contact with my parents through text, but I have to Skype with my grandma at least once a week, on top of the countless emails and texts. I miss being able to cook with her all the time.
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET SO FAR?
My close friend here's grandma. She doesn't speak a word of English, but she's always speaking to me in Thai. She adopted me into the family without a second thought. She reminds me of my grandma back home. I love watching her make Lanna food.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR SCARIEST MOMENT?
When I first moved to Chiang Mai, I couldn't speak any Thai and the songtaew just kicked me out on a random corner and I had no idea how to get back. A British expat eventually helped me and it turned out I was only three blocks away from the apartment.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?
I can speak conversational Thai, but I'm always embarrassed when I'm having a conversation and I run out of words to say or say something wrong. When I first moved here, I was studying Thai phonetically from a book and the book spelled "หยุด", the Thai word for stop, "yut", which I read as "yed/เย็ด". For 4 months I told songtaews "Yed ti ni". A friend finally corrected me and explained.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST USEFUL ITEM YOU'VE BROUGHT?
A journal. I use it to write down phrases, or places to go, and the occasional journal entry.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED?
Someone from my hometown once said "Your life is amazing, but you have the worst love life ever. You can't have both." It made me realize it was unfair for me to ever expect anyone else to up and follow me or for me to follow them. Right now, I'm choosing travel.
WHAT'S THE LONGEST YOU'VE BEEN AWAY FROM HOME?
I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand two and a half years ago. I go home twice a year for a few weeks during the holidays to visit though.
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM JOB?
I'm still figuring that out. Definitely something in the food and beverage industry. Eventually, I would like to own a farm to table style cafe.
WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO LIVE IN THE WORLD?
At some point, I would love to live in Berlin. I would also love to live in New Zealand for a bit as they have many farm to table establishments.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TRAVEL MEMORY?
Going to the beach with my entire family every summer. Having dinner and going to play mini golf after a day in the sun.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED?
Nothing ever turns out how you expect. Life is a crazy journey, so you might as well embrace it.
IF YOU WROTE A NOVEL, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
It would be about crazy events that I always seem to stumble into.
WHAT TRAVEL SCAMS HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT?
Taxis. My biggest pet peeve in Thailand is trying to get a taxi home, and even asking in Thai for the meter, and the driver refusing.
NAME THE COUNTRIES YOU HAVE VISITED.
Germany, Italy, Switzerland, British Virgin Islands, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Qatar, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia
DO YOU CALL YOURSELF A TOURIST OR A TRAVELLER?
I consider myself to be a traveller. I'm not one to go to major tourist destinations. I would rather be eating at the most local, questionably hygienic looking street food vendor or walk around a local market.
STRICT SCHEDULE OR GO WITH THE FLOW?
Go with the flow.
WHAT'S BEEN THE BEST STREET FOOD YOU'VE HAD?
Somtum Pla ra. Issan and northern Thai food are my favorites. They are dishes that are difficult to find anywhere except in Thailand.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU'VE DONE?
Making the decision to completely relocate to Thailand was easy, getting on the plane after telling my family and friends that I was moving here for good was the difficult part. It's always bittersweet flying back to Thailand after going home to visit.
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL STAY FRIENDS WITH THE PEOPLE YOU'VE MET?
Definitely. Once you start traveling, you realize how big and how small the world can be simultaneously. I'm always crossing paths with people I have met all over the world.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING ANIMAL YOU'VE SEEN?
As cliche as it sounds, elephants. They are so big and beautiful and you just get the sense that they are mentally superior to so many other animals.
WHO IS YOUR DREAM TRAVEL COMPANION?
My younger sister. We don't always see eye to eye and it definitely wouldn't be easy traveling together, but I would really like for her to see the world.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM TRAVELING EXPERIENCE.
I want to travel the world by land and boat.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS?
curious, easy going, spontaneous
WHAT CAN YOU ADVICE TO PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO START TRAVELING?
Just go. The hardest part is getting on the plane. It isn't always glamorous and at times it can be very trying, but it's always rewarding. Once you go, everything falls into place.
TRAVELING brings us love, joy, it changes our beliefs and perceptions in life. It can make us better and stronger people. Through TRAVELING we learn to love, to forgive. to broaden our horizons. The best part of TRAVELING is to meet people along the way with whom we share stories, with whom we become friends, for that moment and possibly forever.
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