Tamas, a 31-year-old Hungarian, is one of our programmers on Team Liligo. We sat down with him recently to chat about his love for travel and some of his favourite travel memories around the world.
Hey Tamas. When did you first start travelling? Where did you go and what can you remember about the trip?
We used to travel a lot with my parents but the first trip that I remember was to Greece, Corfu. It was my first experience travelling by plane, so I remember it pretty well. And we also did a boat trip to Santorini which is an amazing place, a typical Greek postcard town (blue roofed white houses everywhere). As the capital, Fira, is built on the top of a hill looking down to the sea, you have to climb (or use cable car) to reach the city. So we decided to go by donkey which was pretty cool!
How do you choose your destinations and organise your trips?
I think one of the most exciting parts of travelling is planning before you go. I try to avoid the typical tourist places, and I prefer sightseeing in cities instead of lying on the beach all day. I also like to discover how the local people live and have fun, Foursquare is a great tool for that.
When I finally decide on a destination, I start reading a lot of travel blogs, comparing hotels and apartments, checking all the pictures and familiarising myself with the city map. I also like checking Airbnb to find apartments hosted by local people who can give me nice tips on what to do and what not to do in the city.
What are the three most important things in your luggage?
- Phone charger as I use my phone all the time to check Foursquare and also for navigation.
- Instant coffee because sometimes it’s hard to get even a mediocre coffee in an unfamiliar city early in the morning.
- Corkscrew which comes handy when you plan a private wine tasting on the sea shore.
What’s your perfect trip: alone, in a couple, or with friends?
I prefer travelling with my girlfriend. I used to travel a lot alone and it was fun as well because you can meet new people really easily and you can do whatever you like, whenever you like, but sharing the experience is even more fun.
One of the biggest trips you took was to Australia. Can you tell us about the experience?
I stayed in Australia for 3 months in 2005 to learn English and discover Sydney. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I could tell a thousand stories about this trip. I discovered the city with my fellow schoolmates from different countries of the world.
Things I saw: friendly and tolerant local people, beautiful shores and beaches, vivid nightlife, interesting food in a huge city.
Things I did NOT see: giant spiders, terrifying snakes, sea monsters, ugly bugs.
Now let’s jump over to another country you love, Thailand. What is it about this country that caught your attention?
Thailand was a completely different experience as I was travelling alone and only spent 2 weeks there. I was in Bangkok for a few days and the rest I spent in Pattaya. Bangkok is a typical Asian metropolis with all the terrible smells and high humidity but the food is great, people are friendly and the city is really safe even during the night. And yes, there are lots of old European tourists walking hand in hand with young Thai girls that are much too young for them.
Pattaya is a small city but the nightlife is even more lively than in Bangkok. The city is crowded with hotels, bars, night clubs and tourists. However, the beach is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen with white sand and crystal clear water. If you want to leave the bustling city, I suggest taking a boat and going to one of the small islands near Pattaya. The beaches are even more amazing, especially while you’re drinking a Mai Tai cocktail from a pineapple.
Back to Europe: what are your favourite European destinations? Why?
I have been to several great places in Europe. I just came back from Thessaloniki and it is a surprisingly vivid city with a huge number of trendy cafes and bars with great beaches nearby.
For a long weekend, Prague is a great choice, especially if you like Czech beer. And if you happen to hang around in Katowice in August and like electronic music, visit Tauron Nowa Muzyka. It always gets the prize for the best small European festival and you can enjoy the music in a coal mine which is also pretty cool.
But let’s not forget about Budapest. I really think I live in one of the most amazing cities in Europe. Nightlife, street food, craft beer, festivals are making Budapest a really trendy place to live right now.
And where are you heading next?
My next destination will probably be Gdansk in Poland. Its amazing buildings, monuments, seafood and the cold sea are fascinating me. But it’s not decided yet, so if you guys have better tips, please share it in the comments!