Name: Debbra Dunning Brouillette
What you do: Freelance writer/photographer and editor
Website or blog: www.tropicaltravelgirl.com
Social media feeds:
Facebook “Tropical Travel Girl” Page: https://www.facebook.com/tropical.travel.girl
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/debbrabrouillette
Where you’ve been lately:
- Where was your most recent travel adventure? Most recently, I spent time in central California attending the annual conference of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) in Oxnard, California, with trips before and after in San Luis Obispo County, including Paso Robles and Morro Bay. However, since my travel niche is tropical travel, I’ll also mention my favorite trip of 2015 — to Nevis, West Indies.
- What was your favorite experience there? Two of many favorite experiences in central California included: 1) seeing and photographing sea otters on Morro Bay and 2) touring several Paso Robles vineyards, then tasting the fruit of the vine. In Nevis, my favorite was the Dive and Dine experience, offered at the Four Seasons Resort. I scuba dived with the executive chef on a nearby reef where I attempted to lasso my own lobster. Thanks to the experienced dive staff, we came back with lobster, parrotfish and even lionfish for a seafood feast to remember.
- Would you go back? I would gladly return to both destinations, and plan on it!
- Could you live there? I could live in either of these places, but I’d prefer to have an island home I could retreat to part-time, rather than make it my full-time home.
- What’s your favorite animal travel experience? Being able to visit the Galapagos Islands aboard a 20-passenger yacht, which allowed me to see and photograph blue-footed booby birds, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, giant Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, and other endemic species was the experience of a lifetime. More recently, I swam with whale sharks in the waters off Isla Mujeres, Mexico, which had been on my bucket list for years.
- Do you have an animal travel bucket list? An African safari is still high on my bucket list, especially to see the big cats. As a scuba diver, I’ve not yet seen manta rays or hammerhead sharks. I’d also like a do-over with whale sharks, as my time with them was over way too soon!
- Beer, wine, or hard liquor? Wine, (almost) all the time… I’ll deviate occasionally for a Mojito or Bloody Mary.
- Have you ever traveled for one of the above? Not totally, although I would plan a trip focused on wine and wineries…no problem!
- What won’t you eat? No organ meats. No hot, spicy foods. No brains or bugs…but I did eat a termite right off a tree in the rainforest of Trinidad. They said it would taste like a carrot, and it did! Otherwise, I’m pretty adventurous and will try just about anything…once!
- Camping or glamping? Glamping.
- Is there a camping destination you’d love to try? Not unless it’s glamping.
- What’s your adventure profile? Hard, soft, or no thank you? Soft. I do love adventure, i.e. scuba diving, zip-lining, and having experiences in nature. I did a helicopter tour of Kauai, the kind with the doors off, which some considered scary, but, to me, just about anything goes to get good photos. However, I’ll say “no” to sky-diving, bungee jumping, cave diving, spelunking, or mountain climbing.
- Sailboat or speedboat? Sailboat.
- Big ship, small ship, or no ship? Small ship — To date, I’ve done small sailing ship cruises — Windjammer and Star Clipper, except for a mid-size conventional cruise aboard Holland America’s MS Veendam. I have little desire to do one of the mega cruise ships as I am more interested in the cruise ports than activities on the ship.
- Caribbean or Mediterranean? Both; anywhere there are islands and tropical destinations, I am there!
- The one thing a cruise line could do that might change your mind about cruising (or not cruising)? N/A
- Europe or Asia? Europe.
- North America or South America? Both, although I have only flown in and out of Ecuador and overnighted there on the way to and from the Galapagos Islands.
- Africa or Australia? I haven’t visited either but both are on my list
- New York or Los Angeles? Los Angeles.
- Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii. So far, I’ve only visited Kauai, but I hope to visit more of the Hawaiian islands in the future.
- Advice you’d like to share -1) If there is somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, or something you’ve always wanted to do, but are waiting “until…” find a way to do it now, or as soon as possible. 2) If you always vacation in the same one or two places, mix it up and try someplace new this year. If you always go on cruises, try a land-based vacation, or vice versa. 3) Get out of your comfort zone and be open to new experiences.
- Shameless plugs – I’d love anyone interested in following my tropical travels and getting destination information that may be helpful in planning a tropical trip to sign up for my website list at tropicaltravelgirl.com, LIKE my Facebook page, and follow me on my other social media listed above.
- Where are you headed next? Athens, Greece, where my husband and I will board Windstar Cruise’s Star Pride for a 7-night Greek Isles cruise. A few weeks later, I’m headed to the Florida Keys.