An avid outdoor enthusiast, Jill has been an international travel director and event coordinator for the past 20 years. She shares some travel advice here:
about tcs20 Questions: Expedition Leader Jill Peacock
1. In my carry-on bag I always have my flashlight. I find that especially in more remote areas I might need a little light to find my way back to my room after dinner.
2. On my first TCS World Travel trip I traveled on the Seven Seas with Lynn Garrison who was the expedition leader. What a wonderful trip that was, and a great learning experience with a top-notch team.
3. The most unique thing I have done on a TCS World Travel trip was.... it's hard to pinpoint just one, there are so many incredible things that we do. I love our visits to Papua New Guinea, traveling to the Sepik River where you are so remote, boating up the river to see the local communities. Another experience that stands out is hot-air ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey with the snow falling around us as we floated over the beautiful landscape below which was covered in a light powder of snow.
4. A place I thought I’d dislike, but I fell in love with was .... I don’t think there is a place I thought I would dislike. I love to meet the local people wherever I may be. I do, however, prefer developing countries and more remote locations to the busy cites.
5. My absolute favorite hotels are the incredible Indian Hotels, from the tented camp in Jaisalmer to the Palaces in Jaipur; pure decadence.
6. One place I haven’t seen yet….. I’ve been to Africa but there are just so many countries to visit, I am slowly making my way thru them all. Each country is so unique; it is always a pleasure to experience each of the different cultures.
7. The strangest food I have ever tried is fried beetles. It's not one that I’m too eager to repeat. I’m usually pretty game, I’ll try most things. I don’t always enjoy the taste, but I do like to try different foods. I feel eating the local food is a big a part of experiencing the culture.
8. One of my favorite countries to eat in is India. I love Indian food and find that the Indian food at home just doesn’t come close to eating in India. They just have such wonderful spices, the food is not spicy hot, but full flavored, I love it.
9. The best meal I have ever had was in China, we went out for a dine around dinner one night and requested the server order a variety his favorite of foods. When I eat Chinese food, I tend to order the same old favorites, but the food he ordered for us was out of this world, and not even offered on the main menu. What a night. We ate and ate and ate, and I still have no idea what it all was, but it sure was delicious.
10. The best souvenir I ever bought for myself was a carpet. I love carpets and have about four of them now scattered around my house. My favorite is the one I bought in Iran a few years ago. I have a small house, so I tend to buy only things that I can either hang or walk on to keep the clutter down.
11. My favorite market in the world is Marrakech. I’m not a huge shopper but I do like to people watch and the square in front of the market is great for people watching. I also really enjoy the food markets in South America, it’s fun to see all the interesting foods hanging in the stalls.
12. The one place I love going back to is Machu Picchu. I first went there when I was 18 as a backpacker and fell in love with it. This summer I took my nephew there to hike the Inca Trail. The expression on his face as we passed through the Sun Gate and saw Machu Picchu for the first time was unforgettable.
13. My favorite way to travel is by myself. I have found that when I travel alone I meet so many people along the way. I have friends from the road that live all around the world. I love meeting fellow travelers and hearing their story.
14. My favorite thing on vacation is to be active. I go canoeing every summer with my family in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. It’s great family time, no phones, or TV just fishing and talking for 10 days. I admit I’m definitely ready to go home and have some non-family time when it’s over. I recently walked the “Camino de Santiago” in Northern Spain. It was 32 days of alone time, really gives one time to analyze life.
15. My favorite experience for guests on a TCS World Travel trip is when people go a bit out of their comfort zone and try something new. It doesn’t really matter what it is. Part of the fun of travel is to see and do new things, keep expanding our experiences.
16. In my suitcase, you’d be surprised to find too many clothes. You’d think that after 30 years of travel I would know how to streamline my packing. I still come home with clothes that I never wear on the expedition. I seem to be getting worse at packing not better.
17. Before I go to a country, I try to learn about local customs. It's my number one priority, as I think it’s important to understand the local customs and know at least a few words of the local language.
18. The first time I traveled abroad, I was 15 and my Mom took me to Guatemala for the summer to study Spanish.
19. My favorite foreign language to listen to is Brazilian Portuguese. It sounds like music to me.
20. My best piece of travel advice is to expect the unexpected. Just let the journey take you wherever it may. It’s the things that do NOT go as planned that you will remember and laugh about in the years to come.