Before I went on my RTW travels, I could be often found stalking other travel blogs but what really interested me was the travel 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 informative travel blogger around. He’s just got about every finger in a wide variety of projects whether they are Traverse 2013, Things To Do In – crowdsourced things to do from all over the world, reviewing airlines, Live Blogging and who knows! Without much further ado, I give you Paul of TravMonkey.
1. Name: Paul Dow (TravMonkey)
2. Twitter: @travmonkey
3. Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/travmonkey
4. Blog URL: http://www.travmonkey.com
5. Where are you originally from and where are you now?
I’m originally from the North West of England, Warrington. It’s in between Liverpool and Manchester, but I’m now based in London.
6. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Laid-back, creative, busy
7. Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there?
TravMonkey.com is a multi-author blog/website so we publish lots of travel articles from different perspectives. We also have some amazing live blogging functionality for highlighting trips that our writers go on (http://www.travmonkey.com/real-time/copenhagen-scavenger-hunt/). (Ed Note: Live Blogging sounds absolutely amazing!)
8. Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up?
I was bored, stuck in Brisbane, had some free time and just started it as an experiment to see if I could get anyone to read it. It was easy, I think it was on blogger back in 2006. (Ed Note: Wow that’s early! Guess you’re an ‘old’ blogger!)
9. If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be?
I had a great time in South Korea for the F1 a few years ago with Chris Richardson (@theaussienomad) and John O’Nolan (ghost?), although John’s not much of a travel blogger.
10. What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers?
Try experimenting with new things, innovating, don’t just rely on writing the same old tired topics. Step out of the comfort zone.
11. Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels?
Create something that people want and need.
12. Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest?
I’ve been all over really, many places that I still need to go to and go back to! Hard to name a best and worst as they’re all really different experiences.
Best? Maybe Beijing because it was such a large dose of culture shock that I still have fond memories.
Worst? Huaraz, Peru because I had the worst food poisoning ever, I was shaking as I was walking down the street.
Funniest? I once fell off a bridge and down a hill in pitch black darkness, I survived. Wasn’t funny at the time but is definitely now.
Random? Spending a day sight-seeing with someone who couldn’t speak english, my Korean was pretty bad too!
Scariest? either when my girlfriend was bitten by something in the middle of the night on a remote Fijian island (turned out to be a non poisonous centipede) or when a fight broke out between police and the driver right on top of my on a bus at 3am in the morning in Bolivia or Peru.
13. Naughtiest experience on your travels?
Hmmm probably burning my face doing a flaming sambuca on a Thai Island – lesson learnt! Woke up in the morning wondering what the stinging pain was, had a burn mark for quite a few weeks.
14. Luggage or Backpack?
15. Top 3 items that you would save from your backpack if it was about to be sunk in shark infested waters?
Passport, credit card… that’s it, laptop (if I had it!).
16. Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?
Bungee jumping, much scarier!
17. Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane?
If he was still with us, Steve Irwin. Pretty sure he’d be entertaining..
18. What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels?
19. Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf?
Hotel more these days but mixture of everything really!
20. Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam?
UK live, Australia backpack & live, Vietnam backpack.
21. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?
22. Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god?
Most random question I’ve ever had in an interview. My girlfriend wouldn’t be too happy about this. (Ed: I bet she would want you to.)
23. Did you find love on your travels?
Yeh, very long story… too long for this!
24. Would you go on I’m a Celebrity and eat pig’s testicles?
If I was getting a book deal or something…
25. And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?!
Neighbours, although I’ve been to Ramsey Street and Summer Bay.
26. Which 3 songs have you played the most on your iPod on your travels?
Kaiser Chiefs – oh my god, the Clash because it reminds me of London.
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?
After a while it’s actually hard to find yourself on your own and you do have to make an active effort to go it alone (if you want to) because you meet some many people.
28. What are your next travel plans?
Finally, I haven’t got any. Having a break until something big comes along.
29. What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers?
Book it, pack it and…well… just do it. Don’t talk about it, get the plans in motion… committing to buying your flights helps! Some people just put it off for so long that they never go.
30. Finally, tell us a funny travel story..
Not particularly funny but I once got stuck in the middle of a riot after a football game in Chile. The game finished after 12 and there were riot police on horses everywhere, armored vehicles spraying fans with tear gas (or water) and fans responding with rocks. It was a pretty dodgy situation but we laughed about it once we made it to the safety of a pub! (Ed Note: Did YOU start the Riot?!)
Thanks Paul for doing this interview! If you would like to know more about her 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!