Mittie Babette Roger is a native Louisianan, born and raised in Baton Rouge. International travel has been a theme that led her to the UNESCO World Heritage site, San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, where she currently resides. Now bilingual, and certainly Mexican at heart, she works as a translator and tequila blogger.
Starting today, I’ll be using Sparkpunk to highlight people who inspire me to write better and travel more. Mittie is one of them—in fact, she was the first person to contact me when travel blogging/writing was blossoming into a full-blown career choice (circa November 2011, during Boots’n’All’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project). So, you know, she’s special. And she’s got some great travel ideas of her own. Her favorite posts from her own blog include Machu Picchu Blues, Toilet Chronicles, & Gender Confusion. I’ll let her take it from here:
Finish the simile: Travel is like…immersing your body in a tub of Jello. Exhilarating, strange, uncomfortable, fun, compromising and revealing in your manner to react.
Longest time in transit: 36 hours non-stop. I was coming back from Accra, Ghana and our pilot spontaneously went on strike. Ouch.
What’s the grossest/most exotic thing you’ve ever consumed? Cat. I’d been traveling for 12 hours on a bus and hadn’t eaten. You know the old adage “I could eat a horse.” Well, I could’ve and would’ve as long as it wasn’t rotten. So the chop-shop sign had a picture of a chicken, a fish and a house cat. I ordered chicken, but seeing as they’d run out they brought me the next best thing. I’ve definitely tasted better. It was clearly a very lean (possibly starving) cat.
What’s something “touristy” that you’ve done that you don’t regret in the least? Although I try to avoid “touristy” at all costs – I have to admit that some things are touristy because they are really worth taking the time to do. Recently, during a stint in Thailand, I went to the Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary which included an elephant “show.” I’d decided before I went that I wouldn’t want to see it, but (somewhat) against my own will I stayed and watched it and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t a circus ploy as I had imagined. The most interesting part was watching an elephant paint portraits of other elephants with its trunk, even choosing colors as we would – grey for the elephant and green for the grass.
If you had to pick one country’s signature beverage (alcoholic or non) and drink it exclusively for a year, what would you pick? Okay, this question is almost too easy. Tequila me, por favor. I mean I am a tequila blogger and all. But no pussy-footing around with margaritas and such. Straight, room-temp and no training wheels. Good tequila is to be sipped like fine scotch or wine.
Scenario: You’re only allowed to take one book on any airline flight you take forever. What book do you take? As an avid reader, the thought of picking only one book to read indefinitely is terrifying. I’d need a good sense of humor to survive it. To that end, I would pick Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
What’s your #1 personal rule of good travel practice? I try to keep an open mind. It sounds simple but it isn’t always. It’s easy to make comparisons from the culture you come from, even subconsciously. But keeping an open mind means seeing each country and culture as its own separate entity, unique to its history, location and people. It also means seeing yourself as a unique entity when you’re there, bound to the context which you come from but not limited by it.
Five things you can’t travel without (other than clothes, camera, or computer): a 3 inch flip-blade buck knife, a journal and pen, a well-stocked yet streamlined first aid kit (man, could I go into more detail here …I feel that stocking a first aid kit is almost an art form), trail runners, and bungee cords. Depending on the climate I’d swap my cords for a mosquito net.