Before I went on my RTW travels, I could be often found stalking other travel blogs but what really interested me was the blogger behind the witticisms of their writing. Who are they? Are they real? Are they fit? So hence, for a long time coming, I wanted to do some travel blogging interviews and crack them open for their rawness inspiration of travel inside. Think Michael Parkinson.
This week’s interview is no other than the most conscious travel blogger around. He’s fallen in love, travelled to all continents, has his own guide and what’s more living the greatest travel blogging lifestyle in Thailand. I first met him when he discreetly slipped me his travel business card at the World Travel Market and since then, I’ve followed his travel website with keen interest. Without much further ado, I give you Ian of Where Sidewalks End.
1. Name: Ian Ord
2. Twitter: @globe_trottah
3. Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Where-Sidewalks-End/181732501887134
4. Blog URL: http://wheresidewalksend.com
5. Where are you originally from and where are you now?
I grew up in a city called Guelph, about 1 hour west of Toronto, Canada. I’ve lived in many cities now, and at present, Bangkok, Thailand is my home.
6. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Adventurous – Passionate – Explorer
7. Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there?
Where Sidewalks End is a blog and a reference guide all rolled into one. The majority of the entries are destinations, travel products, reviews, the usual stuff, always trying to keep it off-the-beaten-path in nature. I like to talk about the interesting things you might not find in travel guide books. The rest of the articles delve more into topics such as controversial debates, interviews with inspirational world explorers, personal challenges to push my own envelope and do so while travelling (making it even a little more difficult). Every entry has a personal element of experience – a piece of myself.
8. Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up?
I started writing as a place to share my favourite travel stories. People wanted more, (Ed Note: Of your handsome face I’m sure) and so I dug deeper. What I was doing was easy – as I had kept if very simple. Once I decided to take it seriously, there was certainly a learning curve, but nothing so complex that you couldn’t learn the ropes if you put your mind to it. I saw an interesting outline article just the other day with some step by steps: My Travel Money
9. If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be?
Seeing as how I’ll be travelling with some very soon, I should give shout outs to Anthony (Man Vs Clock) and Johnny (One Step 4 Ward). I think it would be quite fun if Niall (Disrupting the Rabblement) and Will (The Gonzo Traveller) came along too! (Ed Note: Sounds like a line up of the Village People)
10. What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers?
Don’t give up! It gets really frustrating some times – that’s when the majority give up, usually in the first year. If you stick at it, and join lots of forums, read lots of info on the business of blogging, and treat it as such – a business – you can be successful doing it! It just takes time. No one’s going to tell you it’s easy – but they’ll certainly tell you how rewarding it is!
11. Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels?
Other than a job? Ermmm… selling your things? wait.. that’s still working though. umm.. lottery? I still work for my money to travel – quite hard at that. Though it’s less conventional. I work for myself with blogging, photography, writing, etc. I wouldn’t call it easy though – I’m currently writing this interview at 10:30pm on a Friday night. This is pretty standard though. If you hear of an easy way to make money without working, please hook me up!
12. Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest?
I’ve been to all 7 continents. (Ed Note: Absolutely amazing!) Most of them more than once. I certainly don’t have a favourite, nor a least favourite. The funniest might have been Antarctica, as the penguins shoot projectile multi-coloured poop everywhere. Galapagos being the most random, with the crazy diversity of animals – none of which seem to belong there. The scariest? Hmm… my home. Toronto, a few years ago. It had so much gun violence that year, it was nicknamed “the year of the gun”. Granted – it’s also still one of my favourite cities.
13. Naughtiest experience on your travels?
Skinny dipping – in way too many places!
14. Luggage or Backpack?
Carry-on only is the only way to go!
15. Top 3 items that you would save from your backpack if it was about to be sunk in shark infested waters?
My laptop, my camera and my passport. That’s pretty much all that’s in there anyway. (Ed Note: No incriminating photos of Will Peach?!)
16. Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?
Skydiving. Done it countless times and love it! Bungee jumping just freaks me out.
17. Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane?
Charles Darwin. That dude travelled the whole world and saw all it’s wonders (before many of them were destroyed by poor tourism practices). I imagine he’d have some pretty good stories, and I wouldn’t want to ignore him with the private movie console. Though he might do that to me?
18. What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels?
19. Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf?
Used to hostel, currently guesthouse/hotel, need to couch surf more.
20. Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam?
Live Vietnam, Day trip UK (it’s so expensive!!), Backpack Australia
21. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?
Can I choose Where Sidewalks End instead? 😉 (Ed Note: Erm, how about yes, wait, are there pigs flying? 😛 ) I used to use LP when I was first starting off – and quickly discovered that they were really proving to only be beneficial to me for the first day in a new city. The maps to orient myself. After that, it was all word of mouth, speaking with the locals and other backpackers. The true secret of finding the off-the-beaten-path gems!
22. Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god?
I’m afraid Marianne might get jealous – would you like to be my plan B? (Ed Note: I’m no one’s seconds!)
23. Did you find love on your travels?
I did indeed. I’ve found love in people I’ve met, and the travel connections we’ve shared. I’ve found love of food, language, history and culture. I’ve found love for this planet and everything on it. I’ve found love in myself and my accomplishments. And going back to our last question, of course I found love in my partner in crime, Marianne 🙂 We met here in Thailand, both expats.
24. Would you go on I’m a Celebrity and eat pig’s testicles?
Hmmmm… I’m afraid I don’t watch television, and now I’m getting a glimpse into what I’m missing. In Canada, bull testicles are considered a delicacy (and named ‘prairie oysters’). I haven’t tried them, but I suppose they must be good. It would be more incentive if there was a free trip at the end of it. So let’s go with “yes”.
25. And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?!
Again, mate. TV. I’m more of an Outdoors Network and Discovery Channel guy myself – and prefer living them, then watching them.
26. Which 3 songs have you played the most on your ipod on your travels?
For years, in the early days of my travels, “Above the Clouds” by Gangstarr was on repeat – but that was on cassette tapes. Does that still count? Lately, I’ve been crankin a lot of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, and I’ve always loved “Progression Sessions 4” by LTJ Bukem for cruising new destinations.
27. You travelled on your own, how did that go for you and did you find it easy to make new friends on the road?
I travelled solo on my first trip to Europe for a month at 18, then again on my first RTW trip at 19. I think, even for shy or introverted people, doing something like that will essentially force you out of your skin and have to be social. I found it quite easy to meet awesome people – since the travellers you meet are all doing the same thing as you, so you already have that in common.
28. What are your next travel plans?
Later this week I hope to take Marianne out to an island near Bangkok to relax a day or two. Next week, we’re flying over to the Philippines for a few weeks. Upon coming back to Thailand, I’ll head up to Songkran in Chiang Mai. Then Laos for a week or two, before heading to Canada for a Travel Blogger conference in Toronto.
29. What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers?
Remember – it’s SUPPOSED to be different. I would see a lot of first time travellers getting frustrated or upset, and saying ‘back home, we do that differently’. To which I usually think – then appreciate how you do it there, but perhaps try to understand WHY they do it differently here. You may learn something about the people, if not yourself.
30. Finally, tell us a funny travel story..
Actually, to be honest, I don’t even like travelling… said no one… ever. 😉 (Ed Note: Very apt).
Thanks Ian for doing this interview! If you would like to know more about his journeys, click here.
If you would like to have an interview, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you featured on here!