Do you like travelling? How long was the longest trip you took? What kind of places have you visited?
  • To have a blast (idiom) - to have a good time, to really enjoy oneself.
  • Long haul (noun) - a long distance (in reference to the transport of goods or passengers).
  • Landlocked (adj.) - (of a country or region) almost or entirely surrounded by land.
  • Autonomy (noun) - freedom from external control or influence; independence.
  • To prize smth (noun) - to think that someone or something is very valuable or important.
  • Companion (verb) - a person you spend a lot of time with often because you are friends or because you are travelling together.
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Questions and answers
Maria: Rory, do you like travelling?

Rory: I love it, I've been I think I've been to about 30 different countries, actually, and I've loved every single one for different reasons. Each time I met really cool people and I've had a blast. So, yes, I absolutely adore traveling.

Maria: Have you done much travelling?

Rory: Well, like I said, I think so... Like, I know there are about 200 countries in the world and I've only seen about 30 of them, but I think that's more than most people. So I would say so.

Maria: How long was the longest trip you took?

Rory: Uh, well, I suppose Russia, technically speaking, because I was only supposed to be here for a year. But here we are five years later, and I'm still going strong. Probably after that, the second longest one was Sweden for Erasmus, which is like a scholarship exchange program in Europe. And then I spent seven months away in the mid 2000s traveling around Africa and East Timor, which is a small island off of Indonesia. So I suppose you could say I'm used to these sort of long haul adventures.

Maria: What kind of places have you visited?

Rory: Oh God, all kinds! I've visited developed and developing countries, active war zones, savannas, rainforests, islands, mountains, coral reefs. It would be easier to talk about the kinds of places I've not visited yet. I think my favorite places are usually by the sea. But I took a short trip to Kurdistan in northern Iraq and that was completely landlocked part of the world.... That was a once in a lifetime experience I'll treasure forever, even if it did get me put on a watch list.

Maria: Do you think it's better to travel alone or with other people?

Rory: Well, I almost always travel alone. It gives you a bit more autonomy and freedom of action. I quite prize that. So, that's good for me. I can still see the advantages of traveling with someone, and hopefully, one day I'll find that person who's an ideal traveling companion.

Maria: What do you do while you're traveling?

Rory: All kinds of things. I've been free diving and I wrote a few books while I was away and I read a lot of books. I've read a lot more than I've written. I go out and I talk to strangers and have adventures. Of course, I do traditional things like tasting the local cuisine and sightseeing, but I try to balance this with some more unique experiences as well. And meeting new people is definitely more unique than just seeing the sights.

Maria: Would you like to have a job that requires traveling to other countries?

Rory: Well, I kind of do, or I did, at least. I've been around the block for work for a few times, though I wouldn't really want to do it regularly, since it's quite hard on you.
Maria: What places would you like to visit in the future?

Rory: Um, oh, I've got a little list, actually. I'd like to see Belarus and Armenia and Georgia and more of Russia of course, it's the biggest country in the world, and the Balkans as well, particularly Serbia and Croatia. My friend and I have a plan to go there. And of course, I'll visit my friends in the Americas when I get a chance as well. There's still a lot to see and do out there.
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