Name: Sabina Trojanova
Occupation: Student & blogger
Where do you live?: London, UK
I’m a blogger, student and international troublemaker. I have a passion for fashion, I revel in travel and I’m always in the mood for food. I also have a weakness for delicious cocktails and cute animals (boys included!). I’m trying to make the whole world my home and “Girl vs Globe” is my progress report.
How would you describe your travel style?
I’m a curious being who constantly seeks out adventure. I might not have jumped out of an airplane (yet), but I definitely don’t shy away from getting dirt beneath my fingernails or making a fool of myself while trying to communicate with locals in their language.
That is not to say I don’t like to travel in style though. My blog is all about combining my daredevil adventures with glamour. That does not necessarily mean five-star opulence and breaking the bank – it means savouring the luxuries of life, be they an indulgent meal, a luxuriant spa experience or an extravagant dress.
What’s your earliest travel memory?
It is from my second international trip – a holiday in Gran Canaria when I was 2. I don’t claim to remember much about it, but there’s one memory which managed to lodge itself into my brain’s hard drive. The scent of coconut, deliciously foreign to my senses, charmed me unlike anything I’d ever smelled before. Even to this day, the sweet smell is a wanderlust trigger unlike anything else.
When researching travel destinations, how important are food/drink choices and experiences to your overall decision-making process?
I would never decide not to go to a place I wanted to explore if I was underwhelmed with the food choices on offer, but I would gladly change my itinerary to include a destination that only excelled in that department! I can’t say I have ever experienced either scenario in real life though – every place has its hidden gems, culinary or otherwise.
Culinary traveler or food explorer? Which do you identify more closely with?
Definitely a food explorer. I am willing to try just about any food and love pushing my limits, although I draw the line at eating the big hairy spiders I saw at a night market in Beijing. Exploring a country through its cuisine is immensely rewarding, because food brings people together and enables conversations with the locals that may not have been possible otherwise. Besides, there is no better souvenir than a new exciting recipe to take back home with you!
If we ask your best friends if you’re a foodie, what would they say?
They would say that I’m a foodie… in the right circumstances. Although I really enjoy cooking I rarely spend much time on it, opting for simple stir-frys and pasta dishes. But as my life gets a little less hectic after I graduate this summer, I hope I will find more time to spend in the kitchen. For now, my foodie adventures are mainly restricted to restaurants – but I am not complaining because, after all, why not let the experts do it!
What’s in your carry-on? Any essential food or kitchen tools you won’t leave home without?
Absolutely not. When I go to a new place, I want to fully submerge myself in its culinary scene so bringing a piece of home with me would be counterproductive.
What’s the most unusual food you’ve eaten?
I ate a snake at a night market in Beijing! I’m glad I did it – but only because it makes for a good answer to this question. Once was enough, I’d say.
If we handed you a ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If my fare was paid for, I’d love to jet off to New Zealand. Those tickets are incredibly expensive and the country looks incredibly beautiful – not to mention that it can sweeten the deal with a Pavlova!
What’s the best culinary travel experience you’ve ever had?
When I was about 16 years old, I went on a road trip around Italy and France with my parents, visiting some of the best foodie destinations in the world – the entire trip was like an extended culinary experience!
But one moment stands out in particular. We arrived to the small town of Tivoli, exhausted after exploring the ancient Villa Hadriana all morning under the scorching sun. Unfortunately for us, most places were closed for what I presume was a midday nap and we had almost given up when I spotted a tiny restaurant in a side street and a friendly looking old man sitting on a bench in front of it.
In broken English he told us to wait and sprinted inside. After a minute or so, he reemerged with a young girl who explained that she was his daughter and that, although they were still closed, they would open the restaurant just for us.
What ensued was a two-hour feast during which we tried some of the most mouth-watering local dishes you could imagine – all locally sourced and handmade. When we asked to see the chef, she shyly introduced herself as the owner’s wife. There is nothing better than mother’s cooking and this visit left us feeling like we were part of their family.
Any great travel tips to share?
Alex Garland says it all in “The Beach” – “If I’d learnt one thing from travelling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.” I use this quote in almost every interview, but it’s such a simple yet powerful piece of travel wisdom! Get out there and start experiencing the world, one spoonful at a time.
Favorite Culinary Destination: Greece
Favorite Cuisine: Impossible question!
Favorite Restaurant: Psaraki Tavern, Santorini
Favorite Street Food: $1 savoury pancakes with chicken and sausage in Beijing – if only I knew what they were called!
Favorite Food Market: Borough Market, London
Favorite Gourmet Shop: Eliseyev Emporium in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Favorite Winery: Santo Wines in Santorini, Greece. Divine flavours and divine views. Their Vinsanto is probably the most delectable drink I have ever tried!
Favorite Brewery: Pilsner Urquell brewery in Pilsen, Czech Republic
Favorite Cooking Class: Tapas class by Slow Travel Barcelona
Favorite Food/Tasting Tour: Devour Barcelona
Favorite Travel App: TripIt
Visit Sabina’s favorite culinary destination, Santorini, Greece by booking a stay at the Canaves Oia Hotel. This luxurious getaway is carved into the hillside of that famous Santorini village. The Infinity Pool restaurant only adds to the beauty of the property with stunning views and even private wine tastings!