Tell us a little about yourself such as your name? Where you are from? What are your travel plans? Where you are in the world?
My name is Galatia Savva (or Tia for short) and I am the writer of the travel blog Tia Does Travel. I am a born and raised Greek Cypriot woman and although I spent 11 years in Europe pursuing a dancing career I have now returned to the gorgeous paradise of Cyprus as a dance teacher and a choreographer. My next travel plans are an assignment in Bulgaria in January, and the other destinations are still a secret for now 🙂 Lets just say they fit it perfectly with my ideal travel destinations – exotic, paradisal and far far away!
Blog name: Tia Does Travel – why not visit the website, to read more of Galatia work, and follow along on her travels by subscribing to her mailing list.
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1. Where has been your best travel destination and why?
Tough question..!! Each destination has provided memories that I will carry with me forever! A few that I especially loved are: Thailand – for its limestone cliffs and emerald lakes – Bali for its spirituality and unique beaches, China for the culture shock alone -Sharm El Sheikh for the incredible marine life, the Greek island Milosfor the most spectacular beaches known to man – Italy for the history, architecture and food, Belize for the Caribbean vibes and Costa Rica for its ecosystem and wild unspoiled beauty.
2. What’s your favourite thing about travelling?
Discovering nature and wildlife. A ferocious waterfall that’s hidden in the jungle of Bali. A hidden beach shack that serves the best lobster I have had in Belize. A botanical garden in Beijing that seems like its straight out of the Avatar film. Hidden beaches and caves in the Greek islands. The jaw-dropping marine life at Sharm el-Sheikh. The huge crocodiles in Costa Rica and the swimming monkeys in Thailand. Additionally, the views from various places of the world– viewpoints, cliffs, little wooden swings in the middle of nowhere on a deserted island, and the tops of mountains. The different languages, religions, people, smells, and colors. This planet of ours is so incredibly beautiful it often leaves me speechless!
3. Can you tell us a travel adventure that springs to mind, that was scary, exciting, happy or sad?
I have so many adventures, with mixed emotions of fear, excitement and happiness, but ultimately they all resorted in hilarious memories! For example, when I lost control of my scooter in Thailand and ended up head first into the Thai jungle wearing nothing but a white bikini. I had to be fished out of there in the most unladylike manner and thankfully only escaped with a few scrapes but the whole incident was immensely funny! I always seem to get myself in some sort of hilarious trouble and I am the queen of epic travel fails! Like when a monkey stole my sunglasses in Bali and proceeded to chew them in from of me!
You can check out my blog ‘The one when a monkey ate my sunglasses in Bali’ here. How about ‘when I killed a gigantic spider that ended up being someone’s resident house spider‘
Lastly, I won’t ever forget the shock of waking up next to a scorpion in Costa Rica or the time I swam with nurse sharks in Belize and ended up chasing them instead…
4. If a traveller was to visit your country, what’s the one meal that shouldn’t be missed?
To be honest Greek Cypriot food is one of the best in the world. You could spend weeks here and sample a different dish every day- and still, you wouldn’t be able to get through them all! My absolute favourite though has got to be ”meat mezedes”
The Cypriot answer to the Spanish Tapas, mezedes are served in traditional restaurants all around Cyprus. A set menu of a huge assortment of over 20 traditional dishes that will make your heart sing and stomach blow up. Make sure you arrive hungry as a bear and eat a little of everything – you will be begging them to stop bringing food soon enough! A traditional Cypriot food experience that CANNOT be missed.
5. Do you get home sick, and if so how do you overcome this?
I have never gotten homesick. I know, it’s shameful! But even as a 15-year-old girl, moving from Cyprus to London by myself to pursue my dance dream and enroll in a professional ballet school, I have never felt the need to return home.I was cooking and cleaning and being self-sufficient In no time and for that I have my Mum to thank! Generally speaking, I am always so ecstatic with a new destination that I hardly think of home! The closest I got to being homesick was a Christmas morning I spent in Rome without any of my family – and I have to admit that kind of stung a little. And brought a tear to my eye – until the freshly rolled pasta came out that is haha!
6. What is your travel style?
I travel as much as I can and as well as I can whilst maintaining a full-time job as a ballet coach and choreographer. I focus on affordability with a sense of luxury and exotic beautiful destinations. I have no problem travelling alone, or with some company, Providing said company is as obsessed with exploring as I am! I have never backpacked, although the more I travel the more I leave a tiny window open to backpacking – if I find a hostel that blows my mind that is 🙂
7. Do you have any travel tips?
Be prepared – I carry every medicine under the sun with me – and I have on occasions needed a lot of it! Be organised, and research the country you are visiting beforehand! If I am travelling to various parts of a country, I do an initial search to determine how many days I should spend in each city/island and then once I have determined my destinations I start nitpicking top things to see and do, places to eat, hotels in key areas etcetera. To get a better idea of what I mean, read my ultimate travel guide to Koh Samui or Phi Phi Islands.
A good all-inclusive guide like this makes life so much easier and you can be sure you won’t miss out on anything spectacular!
8. What inspired you to travel?
Being an ex-professional dancer, I toured Europe a fair bit so was very accustomed to planes and travel. Upon retirement from pro dancing though, an opportunity came up to go visit a good friend of mine in Beijing, China. To this day, I don’t know what pushed me to travel 20 hours alone on a plane to a country I never really thought I would ever visit. The whole process felt natural, like something I had done countless times before! China was a game changer for me – not only did it give me the culture shock of my life, but it also made me fall in love with Asia, but it opened up my eyes and heart to travelling. I soon began planning my trip to Bali and the rest is history- I won’t stop until I have seen the world!
9. What has travel taught you?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned whilst travelling is to relax and go with the flow. You cannot predict accidents or delays. You cannot control the weather either! I have learned to appreciate every living creature of this earth and I have fallen in love with nature and different cultures, foods, and smells.
10. How does travel make you feel?
Sometimes it makes me feel mad when I witness the damage done to the wonders of the earth by irresponsible tourism. All of us can do our bit to help lessen the devastating damage we have all had on our planet and responsible tourism is definitely one of them. No rubbish in the sea, saying no to plastic, no part in any illegal animal trade, saying NO to animal exploitation and abuse and many many more. On a happier note, travelling makes me feel proud..of myself! That I have made it, I have succeeded this goal I worked so hard to save money for!Lastly ..travel makes me feel… Alive! Elated, excited..and small. It makes me realise how small we really are in the grand scheme of things!
Aren’t we all just so incredibly fortunate to call this Earth..Home?