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.
I’m pretty much excited to be interviewing this amazing travel blogger who I’ve followed since I started my blog. I also had the pleasure of meeting him in person in Finland two months ago so cue screaming fangirl madness. He’s a very much slow-paced kind of traveller, choosing to spend months in each destination. He may be extremely tall, shy and has bundles of enthusiasm, but he certainly knows how to live his life travelling. It’s a far call from his life in Florida and really took a break from it all or should I say ‘hiatus?’ Without much further ado, I give you, Jason of Hiatus4Life!!
1. Name: Jason Jones
2. Twitter: https://twitter.com/hiatus4life
3. Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/hiatus4life
4. Blog URL: http://hiatus4life.com
5. Where are you originally from and where are you now?
I was born in South Florida, USA, which is where I lived up until 2013 when I left the United States to start traveling. I am currently in Budapest, Hungary for another 3 days before moving to Italy.
6. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Independent, Awkward, Ambitious
7. Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there?
My blog, Hiatus4Life, is honestly just my place to vent. Sometimes I bitch. Sometimes I share my happiness. Sometimes I actually talk about the destinations I am visiting. I like to share a lot of my personal introspection when it comes to socializing with locals in different parts of the world. Notice how I described myself as awkward… well that’s because I constantly get myself entangled in cultural and language miscommunications, which keeps things interesting. I’m also going to be putting more focus on gay travel in 2015, because I happen to be a gay traveller. There really aren’t many decent blogs for the gays.
Unlike a lot of travel bloggers, I have had my blog going for over 2 years now, and I don’t make money off it. I do have a donation page on my site, but I have never been paid for advertising or sponsored posts. That is not to say I wouldn’t consider it in the future. (Ed Note: Join the Dark Side!)
8. Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up?
I started writing my blog, Hiatus4Life, because my parents are still living in the 1950’s. They don’t use facebook, and they have a certain disinterest in the internet that I find frightening. I had to create a blog because my mom only knew how to use a browser. In this way she could see the same pictures I was posting to facebook. Yeah, I’m a momma’s boy.
9. If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be?
Erin of De la Pura Vida because she really sparked my interest in visiting Central America, a place that is my spiritual home in hippie speak.
James from Escaping Abroad… ummm because he is really hot and muscly and sweet… and he’s my secret man crush.
And you of course! While I did have the pleasure of touring Helsinki for a day with you last month, that just wasn’t enough. You tell the absolute worst jokes ever, and I’ll never get sick of hearing them. (Ed Note: Glad to be of service!)
10. What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers?
Use my blog as an example of how not to make any money.
11. Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels?
How to get money without a job… well most of my ideas are probably illegal or inappropriate. So let’s just say, No Comment. (Ed Note: I can definitely believe that!)
12. Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest?
I started my travels in Central America where I backpacked from Guatemala down to Panama. Then I moved to Thailand for 1.5 years and travelled extensively in Southeast Asia. I am currently spending 3 months traveling through Europe spending approximately one month at each destination.
Best place – Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. I am a hippy at heart, and this place is pretty much heaven.
Worst – Managua, Nicaragua. I had the absolute worst and most disgusting motel stay in this city… ughhhhh gross.
Funniest – Getting peed on by some old woman in Lumphini Park- Bangkok.
Most Random – Getting on a bus headed for Burma to do a visa run. The roundtrip to the border and back was supposed to take 8 hours, but somehow we ended up in Cambodia 10 hours later in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t get back to my apartment until 3am the next morning.
Scariest – I have actually never been scared while traveling. I’m a 6’3” guy that really doesn’t get messed with too often. (Ed Note: How about taking a pouting photo? You were pretty scared then…)
13. Naughtiest experience on your travels?
Naked Sauna parties in Finland… duh.
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?
Hard drive, Passport, Camera
16. Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?
Skydiving, absolutely. It’s one of my favourite activities.
17. Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane?
Joan McKniff. She is a former US Diplomat that has been following my blog and facebook for years. She serves as a role model of the kind of person I want to grow into.
18. What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels?
I really don’t stay in hostels. I’m an introvert. I just prefer being alone. However, when I couchsurf or make friends with locals I always like to cook them southern food from Florida.
19. Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf?
Renting apartments or Airbnb
20. Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam?
Live in Vietnam. I am a slow traveller. At this point I am starting to spend a month or more in each destination. I just keep getting slower and slower as I age. I also don’t like developed countries. Give me the grit and grime please.
21. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?
Neither. Blogs all the way.
22. Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god?
YESSSS!!!! Ummm, I mean… The pleasure would be all mine. (Ed Note: Get in the Queue!)
23. Did you find love on your travels?
Not yet. But it’s coming… I can feel it.
24. Would you go on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and eat pig’s testicles?
What the hell are you talking about? Is this some motion picture thing? I don’t watch tv.
25. And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?!
I’m too old for this. (Ed Note: You’re NEVER too old!)
26. Which 3 songs have you played the most on your ipod on your travels?
I love my Spotify. I listen to a lot of Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Julie 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?
I’m a loner, so it’s totally fine with me. My first solo trip was 12 years ago when I was in high school and participated in an exchange program to Finland. I left my home, family, and friends to go live in Europe. At that point, it was the best experience of my life, and I believe it set me up to be independent and uninhibited as a (young) adult traveller.
I don’t really have a problem making friends on the road. When you are traveling you get to be somewhat anonymous and social pressure is much lower.
28. What are your next travel plans for Hiatus4Life?
In a few days I will go to Italy and stay there for a month. Then I will head to Spain for a few weeks.
29. What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers?
Buy your ticket right now! Do it and do it in advance. Let that be your excuse to take actions. So many people plan and plan and plan… but they delay in actually taking any action. My philosophy is buy the plane ticket the minute you have enough money to do so. Then you have a timeline that is set in stone. It’s much easier to continue taking actions that will prepare you for your trip and help you save money when you know you have a non-refundable ticket you have to use.
30. Finally, tell us a funny travel story.
So for the last 1.5 years I have been living in Thailand and traveling in Southeast Asia. That’s a long time, and I actually started picking up a lot of the cultural mannerism without noticing. Last month when I arrived in Finland I found myself speaking partial Thai/English to strangers or placing my palms together in front of my face and bowing whenever I left a restaurant or met someone new. It got even more awkward when I started to haggle at a supermarket for a pair of wool socks. The Scandinavian cashier was literally speechless…
Thanks Jason for doing this interview! If you would like to know more about his journeys, Look up Hiatus4Life!
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!