20 Questions with Eszter
1. I never leave home without my favorite pillow.
2. On my first TCS expedition, I traveled through Eastern Europe by private train—the Red Prussian—from Berlin to Istanbul.
3. On our trips, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is all the details that go into making each day extraordinary.
4. A place I thought I’d dislike, but I fell in love with was Papua New Guinea.
5. My absolute favorite place in the world is India.
6. One place I haven’t seen yet, which I’m dying to visit is Brunei. It’s a very remote, mystical place with the richest monarch in the world. It doesn’t have hordes of tourists, and so I imagine it’s been able to hold onto more of its native culture than other more-visited countries.
7. If I could travel with anyone, dead or alive, it would be Michael Palin.
8. And we would definitely go to the Sahara and take a camel journey with the salt caravan.
9. My favorite place to shop is the silk market in Beijing.
10. The best thing I’ve ever brought home from a trip was a gorgeous carpet from Iran.
11. Some of my favorite countries to eat in are Morocco, India and China.
12. The one moment from my travels that I will never, ever forget was the sunset from Phnom Bakheng Hill inside Cambodia’s Angkor Archaeological Park. This was in 1994, when the country had just opened its borders for tourists. And it was just my small group of 12 travelers all alone on the top of this mountain temple listening to the sounds of the jungle.
13. If you get motion sickness, you should sit in the front seat of the bus, lie down on the floor of the boat, or just close your eyes and imagine that you are not going to be sick.
14. The best way to get over jet lag is try to follow the local daily routine, stay up until the evening and go to sleep when it is nighttime at the location. Never go to sleep in the early afternoon, because you will wake up in the middle of the night and won’t be able to get back to sleep.
15. When I need to relax, I get a massage, if I have the time.
16. When I get home from a trip, the first thing I do is give a big hug to my kids and drink a glass of champagne with my husband.
17. If I hadn’t been an expedition leader, I would have been a chef.
18. The first trip I ever took as a child was with my parents to Brussels.
19. I got my love of travel from my great grandparents and my father. My great grandparents traveled throughout Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. I remember looking through their photo albums of Austria, Croatia and Italy. My father was a civil engineer and worked in Egypt, Syria, Indonesia and a lot of places in Eastern Europe, so my family and I traveled a lot when I was young.
20. My best piece of travel advice is don’t think too much about where to go—just get on the road. Everywhere in the world you can find some unique places, meet interesting people and have some unforgettable moments.
Eszter Foldvary leads several journeys a year. Join her on: Treasures of Eurasia.