Who is Anna Cook and what is her travel story?
Name? Anna Cook
Homebase? The French countryside currently (although always subject to change)
Day job? Teacher (although always subject to change)
Solo or group travel? Don’t make me choose! I spend most of my travels alone, which has been this incredibly empowering and transformative experience, but there’s also nothing quite like delving into a new place with the people you love.
Favorite airline? WOW because they were pioneers in connecting North America with Europe for a discount rate and now so many other airlines today are trying to recreate the same model. I think that access to inexpensive air travel is integral to having the freedom to see the world.
How many countries have you visited? 30
Favorite city and why? I love Miami. It’s this incredible combination of perfect weather, pristine beaches, diverse people, art and food. It’s like nothing else and I love it.
Top bucket list destination? The Himalayas and Antarctica
Airbnb or hotel? It depends on the location but I will say that my favorite Airbnb of all time is this tiny log cabin in the Northern Michigan wilderness. It’s tucked away into the woods with a wood burning stove and feels like the perfect slice of paradise.
When and why did you first get the travel bug? I was 19 when I first left North America on a trip that my sister and I saved up to send ourselves on. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Most memorable trip? I spent a summer living and working in Hong Kong and met the most incredible people who are some of my closest friends to date. Hong Kong is so dense–from it’s hyper concentrated cityscape to its many layers of culture. It was the perfect setting for one hell of a summer and I dream of returning soon.
Best travel advice for new travelers? Just. Go. I spent so many years dreaming of faraway places and telling myself “one day” but “one day” is never going to arrive unless you commit. Book a flight. Book a train. Take a vacation day. Just go already.
What’s your secret to affording the ability to travel? I try not to participate in heavy consumerism as much as possible and keep things minimalistic. I quantify new clothing, makeup, homegoods and electronics all in “travel currency”. For example, before buying a fancy new pair of headphones, I’ll think to myself $150? I could buy myself a flight from Paris to Greece for that.
Do you have a travel blog we should check out? Not currently but maybe some day!!
Upcoming travel plans? I’ll be heading to Kenya in a couple weeks and I’m super excited.
Anything else you want us to know? Solo traveling is absolutely possible as long as you exercise diligence & vigilance. Be diligent—do your homework, research where you’re traveling to and equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Be vigilant—use caution, common sense and never let your guard too far down.
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