NO COMFORT ZONES NEEDED FOR THIS WORLD TRAVELER
Crank up the enthusiasm level to 10 when talking with Brandie Bramsen Sinha ‘02, ‘06 (MSRE). Scratch that, she’s got more enough for both of you. And she’s not afraid to use it to turn you on to travel ideas you may not have contemplated.
She names so many favorite places it’s hard to keep up. “Growing up in America, you never think, ‘I’m going to go to Cambodia.’” But living in Hong Kong with her husband has opened up much of the world for Sinha, who chronicles her adventures on her blog, Skipping with Ice Cream.
“I have a soft spot for Switzerland. The natural beauty is absolutely unsurpassed. I love Japan. It’s just a completely different world. I have all kinds of favorites, actually. It kind of depends on when you ask me.”
Just now, she enthuses at length about Sri Lanka’s lovely people, the beaches of Mirissa, the temples, colonial villages and tea. Later, just in case you’re not sufficiently keen on the previously unimagined travel opportunities of Sri Lanka, she’ll email a link to her blog post, “20 Things to LOVE about Sri Lanka.”
Being married to a pilot helps with the travel life: “We’re super keen travelers. Sometimes we decide the day before.” That, and being based in a small apartment on the same island as the Hong Kong airport.
Getting out of her comfort zone is all in a day’s adventures for Sinha. “Asia in general is just mind-blowing. I like to go to places that challenge me. Asia is kind of an attack on the senses.”
She studied law, but now her vibe is more hiking the green spaces of her adopted Lantau Island home than immersing herself in law books. Not that she gave up her law-school-abiding love of fact-finding. She just directs it at her travel adventures now.
“My apartment in Hong Kong is filled with spiral notebooks, files and travel books stuffed full of Post-Its, business cards, maps and lists of places to get the tastiest street food, see the coolest live music, etc., in all of my favorite cities,” she enthuses. “Lawyers love a good research project.”
She sounds like the Arizona expat she is, by phone all casual American peppered with English-isms, like the “cheeky little” chipmunk that ate her snacks the night spent in a treehouse in Sri Lanka. She and her husband escape to an English cottage when even their little verdant slice of Hong Kong starts to feel a bit too bustling. While she doesn’t miss the hours and the pressure of working at a law firm, she did love delving into contracts. Now, she channels the writing part of her mind into her blog, where she details all the best eats and experiences she can chronicle.
“I spent weeks researching Roman delicacies prior to my trip and adding them to my travel book. I used this list, written on Hello Kitty Post-It’s I scored from my local stationer in Hong Kong, to eat my way around the city. I couldn’t wait to share my knowledge with my readers when I returned.”
Fitting for a woman who tries to demonstrate her blog title regularly and has a policy against taking endorsement money or sharing much of the inevitable mishaps that can arise when you devote yourself to globe-trotting.
“I would say that my blog is for happy travelers. I refuse to spread negativity, so I only write about things I love. Of course, I’ve had negative travel experiences. But I choose to only share the positive ones.” — Kelly Knufken
Read more at skippingwithicecream.blogspot.com.