I first came across Chris’s blog when researching costs and routes for our RTW trip. I reached out to him as we got the blog up and running and ever since he has been a big help and a really nice guy too! One of the great things about having a RTW travel blog is sharing our experience so we can help inspire others, which is exactly what Chris has done so far. Its always nice to meet someone who is keen to help others out on this journey. Check out his website and drop him a message sometime! He runs two websites Backpacker Banter
and Epic Gap Year
, both of which are a lot more legit than ours!
1. What are the best unexpected stories of hospitality you have had while traveling?
I’ve encountered heaps of awesome examples I could use – but one that sticks out is when my push bike totally broke outside of Siem Reap in Cambodia. A local family came out to help and we spent the best part of 3 hours with them chatting and playing with the kids whilst the dad fixed up our broken chain. When we parted ways we offered them some money for their help but they politely refused – instead just taking a couple of cigarettes from my friend as payment. From my experience Cambodians are some of the nicest people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet.
2. For us accomadation and travel are our biggest spenders and also our biggest savers. Whether it’s staying with a friend or hitching a ride, what is your top way to cut costs while traveling (airline miles, couch surfing, food, or entertainment)?
Work for accommodation is easily my biggest saver. Once I find a place I want to stick tight in for a bit I try a wangle a couple hours work a day in exchange for a a free bed. In places like Australia this can save you hundreds of dollars a week!
3. Travel is a balance for us of keeping with a budget but also not caring about it and doing what you want. How do you balance the two? Ex. Spend five days just doing nothing and spending nothing after taking an epic african safari for 20 days?
Hmmmmm this is a tough one really! I guess as I make my income online I can be a bit more relaxed about it as I make money on the road now. However before that was the case I went in with the mindset that if it was REALLY something I wanted to do I’d rather do it. In my opinion it’s better to travel well and achieve what you want in a shorter space of time than stretch it out simply for the sake of being away for longer.
4. What are the moments you get the most worn out? For me it is being in a place with too many tourist, spending hours planning where to go and what to do next, or trying to find good food at the right price.
I get totally burnt out if I try to cram too much in in a short period of time or i’m simply bouncing around from stop to stop too quickly. Travel slow and you travel heaps happier!
5. At what point for your blog did you start to make it into more of a business?
Turning my blog into a business was a combo of a few things. I was on the road to turning it that way and I happened to meet the right people at the right time which gave it a huge bump start. …which was a few years ago now! I do my best to pass on the favour if I meet and newbie bloggers or someone emails me though.
6. Going back to the past, how did you take off and start traveling RTW? What made you jump ship? What were your thoughts?
I first started at uni when I headed to Ecuador as part of a uni project – it was all very last minute and to be honest I barely had a clue where the country was! It set the seed of confidence with solo travel even though it was only a month long trip. My first big solo gap year though was a year in Australia – I’d always wanted to go there so I just made a plan and went!
7. Its funny because travel for me is unplugging, and for sure we are more unplugged than when both of us were working, but handling a blog and social media with a blog also keeps you pretty connected. Do you ever have struggles with that, and how has the blog changed from when you started till now?
To be honest I love tech anyway so it’s not a major block for me to update social media. When it comes down to it though I’ll always pick surfing and traveling over my blog – so if I need to jump on a boat and surf around Indo without access to the net for a few days I’m not going to stress about it hahaha! It does get in the way sometime but I tend to coast along nicely – I know my blog could be even bigger and better if I put in the time but I’d rather chill and enjoy life!
8. Favorite place so far, or favorite mini excursion/surfing so far? Was it planned or not?
Byron Bay in Australia always wins this question! I love that place – stumbled upon it totally by accident and had no plans to stay more than a few days – 6 months later I only left because my visa was up! I take any chance I can to get back there!
9. Do you typically plan a tentative route for the country you are visiting or kind of see where it takes you when you arrive and just book one night stay?
I tend to have a rough plan and alot of times I follow it through. Of course if something awesome pops up I’ll shuffle everything around but I always pencil in something rough to begin with.
10. How long did you devote to one city or country? Did that change as you went?
I like spending a month in a country – for most places it’s a good amount of time to get a good feel of the main things. If I like a place I’ll head back and really get stuck into a particular spot, but usually I spend a month and head to the next stop – it kinda works well with most tourist visas too!
11. Biggest advice you can give a fellow RTW traveler/blogger?
It’s your trip – make it yours! Too many people delay things, spend money on stuff they’re not keen about of simply hit up a place because its the done thing. I pretty much dont bother with places that I can’t surf anymore becuase that’s my passion! Dont be afraid solo and dont be afraid to change your plans if you find yourself not enjoying yourself
12. What budgeting app do you use?
I use Trail Wallet which is a really easy and fluud way to keep track of your spending and what you’re spending on. Upgrade to the pro version if you’re travelling for a while!
13. What was the most remote location you have been too?
I have gone crazy off the beaten track to be honest as I like staying by the ocean and alot of those places are pretty well populated! I really enjoyed my surf charter boat through Lombok and Sumbawa in Indonesia. Some great surf spots well off the main backpacker map!
14. What upcoming destination are you looking forward to most?
I’m FINALLY getting to the Philippines later this year which I’m super stoked for! I have no clue why I haven’t got their sooner as it’s full of diving, freediving, surfing and beach life – I have some high expectations of my travels there hahaha!