Storyteller Annette White | Bucket List Journey Travel Blog

Here’s our Culture with Travel interview with Annette White of the book Bucket List Adventures, and travel blog, Bucket List Journey
Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?
Hello, I’m Annette, the author of Bucket List Adventures, co-owner of the restaurant Sugo Trattoria, a serial adventurer and creator of the award winning travel and lifestyle blog, Bucket List Journey.
I love traveling because it is the best teacher in life. The lessons learned are not only about the places I visit and people I meet, but also about myself. With each trip my comfort zone expands, as well as my sense of empowerment from being able to navigate the world.
Being exposed to these different cultures and experiencing them first-hand, can dispel many myths of a destination which in turn can unite us by acceptance and understanding.
What surprising aspect of culture do you love about where you’re from that travelers may not be aware of?
My hometown of Petaluma, California is centrally located near the wine countries of Napa and Sonoma. What most travelers would be surprised by is that even though it is lessor known, my little town has wonderful wineries, too.
The “Petaluma Gap” vineyards produce some of the best varietals in the area adding to the wine culture. Having a glass of locally-produced wine with dinner, or while chatting with friends, is common and an aspect of my city that I adore.
Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!
In Sonoma County, California it is all about locally sourced, organic and fresh products to create dishes from all over the world. There isn’t one typical dish for the region, it is just about bringing the wine country culture into each meal.
For example, my husband and I own an Italian restaurant and use this philosophy when creating our menu. We will use farm-fresh mushrooms for our raviolis or local wine for our cabernet braised short ribs.
One of the most popular things we serve is our bruschetta trio, where you can choose 3 different flavors from the 9 we offer. Some of the favorites are the tomato, garlic and basil, or the housemate fig jam with sliced prosciutto and brie.
Annette White's restaurant
At Annette’s restaurant 
Share about a custom/tradition you observe, and talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you?
Being from an Italian family we still try to uphold some traditional customs. One of my favorites is having an all fish dinner on Christmas Eve. Typically, each family member cooks one of their seafood favorites and then we all sit down to enjoy. These times spent with family are some of the most cherished.
Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you. Share a photo, if you can. (i.e. street art, festivals, paintings, architecture, woven artwork, a family heirloom, etc.)
I know this may sound odd, but the art of knitting and crocheting holds a special place in my heart. My Italian grandmother used to create blankets, slippers and hats for the needy, and she taught me how to do it too. Though I will never be as good (or fast) as she was, every time I see something expertly crocheted it brings back incredible memories.
Languages not only give us the power to communicate but also can unite us across cultures. Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language. 
One of my favorite sayings is to “never let fear make your decisions for you.” It was a promise I made to myself many years ago, which has led to some incredible experiences around the world.
But, it is also something that I find myself saying to others to make them realize that they should not let fear run their lives.
7. Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story! 
There was one man that I will never forget talking to because he was fascinating and opened my eyes to the differences around the world. He was the chief’s son of a Maasai tribe in Tanzania. He welcomed a group of us into the inner circle of their living quarters, which consisted of about eight small huts.

There was one for each wife and their children, plus one for the husband who alternated which woman stays with him each evening. Not only was their polygamist lifestyle interesting, but so were their farming capabilities, minimalist living, and culture.

Follow Annette’s adventures on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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