Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sharon Bijo of Geneva SWITZERLAND

21. Featured Traveller 

Sharon Bijo
Journalist : Editor-in-Chief : Traveller 



(Geneva, SWITZERLAND)
                               
Travel where your heart leads you. We grow from our journeys no matter what they are; all of them have secret destinations that we're not aware of.  that's what makes them exciting!”


No matter how busy Sharon is in travelling and blogging, she still finds time responding to our request for an interview so that this blog can share her journey.  At the time of writing, Sharon is in Israel.  It is not her first.

She'd been visiting the country a lot of times and she blogged about her trip on all her destinations for the information of the travelling public.

Sharon tends to travel with her entire closet stuffed in suitcases. Not anymore! She realizes that it is not worth the back pain.  Her advice to fellow travellers is to pack only the essentials; enough clothes to look great on photos.  Travel light, that is!

She revealed her travelling secrets for you, our readers, and for those who may be interested.  You may continue connecting with her through the information we provided at the end of her travel story.

Flag of Switzerland 

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The Interview:
What is your favourite country/city/town of destination?
Torino, ITALY
It’s hard for me to choose one favorite country after having visited so many. I’ve been traveling since I was five months old when I boarded a plane for the first time to Rome, Italy.  Since then, I can’t get enough of trotting around the globe. Every country has a story, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. I think what makes a country your favourite are the memories you create in it. If I am to choose one country from the long list I’ve visited, I’ll say Thailand, for its rich culture, warm people and great scenery. I’ve been there several times and have visited Phuket, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.

Can you share with us the countries you have travelled before?
The list is so long! I was born and raised in Asia, in Taipei Taiwan. I’ve traveled throughout the Asian continent, particularly in: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.
Since I live in Switzerland, I have the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. It’s great living there because you can travel from anywhere in 3 hours or less. I’ve been to the UK, France, throughout Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Turkey over 8 times, Austria and Luxembourg.
Geneva SWITZERLAND
I’ve also been several times to the United States and spent a couple of months recently in New York City. It has been a great experience!  Most people have a love-hate relationship with the city – either they can’t get enough of it or either they can’t wait to leave. I love NYC and go back whenever I get a chance. You can read more about my New York adventure here: http://theworldwider.net/destinations/confessions-of-an-ex-new-york-citizen/
I’ve been countless times to Panama as well. It’s such a beautiful country with one of the nicest population’s I’ve ever encountered. Food is also great there! 

Israel is a home away from home.  I make frequent trips to the holy land, the Promised Land. Majority of the Israelis are warm and friendly.  Security is tight though.  So be ready to open your bag for inspection when asked.


What are the countries in your WishList to be visited in the future?
Even if I’ve travelled extensively across North America, Europe and Asia, I’ve never been to Africa nor South America. If I have to come up with a travel bucket list, I’d add Brazil, Croatia, South Africa, Tanzania, Australia, India and New Zealand to the list.
I also love a relaxing vacation on the beach, disconnected from the world. I think the perfect destinations for such travel would be Maldives and Bora Bora, which are the locations that I hope to visit in the near future.

What transport you prefer to use to go around your destination?
Believe it or not, I’m terrified of airplanes. I hate the feeling of being stuck in a flying tin can for hours, crammed into seats with a million passengers. But even so, I love the feeling of arriving to my destination and looking at the gorgeous landscape from the airplane window. I mostly travel by airplane because I tend to travel to faraway destinations, however, when I’m in Europe, I travel a lot by car as well. Everything is so close – Milan, Italy is only a 4-hour drive away!  

Recently, I also drove to Turin, Italy for the day. It was a beautiful 3h30 drive where I got the opportunity to travel through three countries in less than one hour (Switzerland, France and Italy).
When I arrive to my destination, I take either taxis or local transportation, depending on their quality and safety. 

Can you give some tips that you want to share with our fellow travellers?
Try to speak to as many locals as you can while travelling. Begin talking with people even when you’re boarding the airplane. Travel guidebooks and online sources will often send you to tourist traps. The only way to get the real, authentic experiences is through the locals. Who can know better the secret gems of a city than a native?

Would you share with us other information about yourself?
I was born and raised in Taipei Taiwan. Growing up in Asia was amazing. People from all countries surrounded me given that I attended the American school in Taipei until I moved to Switzerland at the age of 8. I didn’t go back in 14 years until this summer, where I had the opportunity to go back to my roots. You can read the article I wrote about my feelings here: http://theworldwider.net/destinations/taiwan-its-good-to-be-back/

I speak 4 languages fluently: English, French, Spanish and Hebrew and can manage well in German. I’m currently learning Brazilian Portuguese as well and plan on learning Mandarin in the future.  Knowing so many languages enriches my travels, given that I can talk to pretty much anyone. I think knowing so many languages helps to grow as a person ~ you can create strong bonds with people from around the world and constantly learn from the people you meet. There is no longer a language barrier. 
All of my travels are full of adventures. 

Recently, in Taiwan, we were driving from one city to another and our car broke down in the middle of a dump. It was hilarious at first, then terrifying, but we finally reached our destination 6 hours later full of great memories. I never knew one could learn so much about a country from a trashcan.
I am a freelance journalist and the founder of The Worldwider while still completing my double-bachelor at university. I’m double-majoring in Business Management and Media Communications and minoring in Journalism. Having such a polyvalent degree has opened several doors for me and has helped me break through the journalism world. I founded my online magazine The Worldwider in March 2012 to develop my journalism work as well as to give a voice to those who wouldn’t have one otherwise.

 Furthermore, my ultimate goal through my magazine is to create an online traveller community and help spread the word about the secret jewels hidden around the globe.

The Worldwider is created as an online source for travel inspiration, worldwide culture and global experiences. We also feature inspiring photography from around the world, tips to become a better traveller, as well as recipes from different cultures. We have contributors from the four corners of the globe and are looking to expand even more!
Please feel free to read through these following articles to learn more about my adventures around the globe:


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Are you a traveller who would like to share your travel story with our blog and our readers?  Then, I'd love to hear from you! 
Please email me at fromatravellersdesk@gmail.com

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Watch for these blogs! 
They all have been travelling for many years and I can guarantee that all of them have travel tips that all of us can learn and benefit from.  I have to thank all other fellow travellers who have responded to my invite.  I will definitely publish your stories as soon as I have completed the details.