Why I Travel: Sunrises, farmers markets and local cafes

By Annie Shustrin

I travel to keep experiencing the things about life that I value the most, because in the end, it’s this list of things that keep me coming back for more.

Why I Travel:

I want to watch the sky in every place I visit. The clouds look so different depending on where you are. So does the sunrise. So does the sunset.

Favorite Memory: Watching the sky turn from bright blue to a deep purple on the island of Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. This island, though only a short ferry or fast boat ride from Bali, seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Sanur and Kuta. Without thumping nightclubs and big resorts, Lembongan reminds us what Bali was before the tourist rush. Here, you can sit and watch the sun set over Bali and the Indian Ocean with only the sound of waves lapping on the sand.

Indonesian sky

I want to visit farmers markets. I love photographing and taking in the scents of local food. What are they growing? What are they cooking? What are they eating?

Favorite Memory: Visiting the farmers market in Pai,Thailand. This small town not too far from Chiang Mai is known for its cool mountain air, relaxed travel community, and boisterous night market. Each day, farmers from all over the area bring their fruits and vegetables to market right in the center of town. The exotic produce is overwhelmingly colorful and scents of coriander fill the air.

Farmers market pai Thailand

I want to snowboard on as many mountains as I can, as the view from the top of the highest chairlift is almost always the most amazing part of snow sport travel.

Favorite Memory: Riding the chairlift to the top of the Cerro Catedral Ski Resort in Bariloche, Argentina. The 360 degree view of Nahuel Huapi Lake and the snow capped mountains of Northern Patagonia were breathtaking. I almost didn’t want to snowboard down the hill.

On top of Cerro Catedral Argentina

I want to sit at a table at a café in every city I visit and watch its people. How is it different from my current home in Brooklyn? What are people wearing, eating, drinking and talking about?

Favorite Memory: Sipping tea in Chengdu’s People’s Park tea garden. In China, tea is an important part of life and culture. Experiencing this, surrounded by tables of locals enjoying family time, the brisk fall weather, and the peacefulness of the park, was a true immersed travel moment.

Tea in peoples park Chengdu China

I want to look out the plane window as I land and see what the world looks like from above.

Favorite Memory: Though I was filled with sadness upon leaving New Zealand, flying west over the southern Fiord lands near Queenstown struck me as one of the most beautiful airplane views I’ve ever seen. The sharply cut mountains pierce into the sky as reminder of New Zealand’s unique and mysterious landscape.

Flying over Fiordland New Zealand

I want to come home from every trip feeling inspired to keep traveling.

Annie Shustrin is a travel addict. When she’s not on the road, she’s either thinking about past trips, planning future ones, or fantasizing about where she’d like to be right now.  She has visited over 30 countries on both long and short term travels, and is now based in New York City. She writes for her blog TravelShus.com, as well contributing articles to other online travel publications. Though Indonesia and New Zealand are amongst her favorite destinations, her favorite travel memory was in China, where she got to hold a baby panda on her very own lap.

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