Frequent Flyer Feature – Judy Garelli

How many countries have you visited and what 2 stand out to you the most? 

I’ve visited 11 countries including Spain, Egypt, Thailand, Oman, Italy, UAE, Turkey. The 2 that significantly stand out are the UAE and Italy.  I have to mention, Oman is also a significant favorite. I pretty much love the Gulf region, Egypt was phenomenal also.

Most people who travel a lot can point to one trip where the travel bug bit. When did you get it? 

I think the travel bug bit me when I traveled to Turkey. I believe it was just the history of the location and seeing things I’ve never seen before.

Right now travel is really popular probably because of Instagram, but it’s still not as popular to live abroad. You lived abroad for about ten years. What’s the main thing you think people don’t realize about a place when they just visit and don’t stay for an extended period of time?

First, and foremost, I believe people are uneducated about different regions of the world and they are fearful.  My experience has been that we really have no idea the reality of different regions of the world and the only way to find out the truth of any circumstance is to live it.  People think they know things and it turns out the information is false.  

What’s the annoying part about traveling that people don’t get to see on Instagram?

I don’t find much annoying, but I do find ridiculous, dangerous photo opportunities annoying.  Also, not being respectful of the regulations set in place. An example of this would be stepping out of the allowed paths to take photos and littering.

For someone who’s never left the United States, where do you recommend they go for an experience that might change their perspective on things?

Of course I would recommend UAE.  It was the safest, cleanest, most friendly place I’ve ever been to.  I also find it a most unique location with a true melting pot of cultures.

Where have you been where you weren’t very impressed?

India – The Taj Mahal was amazing, but the country overall was underwhelming.  If you could fly in to Agra, see the Taj and get on a flight that day, that would be my recommendation.

Safety is a big concern, especially for female travelers. What advice do you have for young women traveling without a spouse?

As with any country, be aware of your surroundings, keep your money, credit cards, etc. in a body bag, like a fanny pack.  Be respectful of the cultural norms, even if you don’t really have to.

What’s next for you? What’s still on your bucket list?

Greece and South Africa are on the list.


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