Before I went on my RTW travels, I could be often found stalking other travel blogs but what really interested me was the person 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 couply travel blogger around. Both of them are just jetting their way to Peru for a fantastic South American Experience! Both have just recently got into the travel blogging market and they want to tell YOU about their misdeeds of being 2 Bad Tourists in any given country. Their travel blog will prove to be interesting as I’m considering a jaunt over to this Latin Continent keeping me informed about their wild adventures. I got to know them very well in the last couple of weeks exchanging banter and of course, advice about all things blogging. Without much further ado, I give you Auston and David of Two Bad Tourists!
1. Name: Auston Matta & David Brown
2. Twitter: @TwoBadTourists
3. Facebook Fan Page: facebook.com/twobadtourists
4. Blog URL: www.twobadtourists.com
5. Where are you originally from and where are you now?
Auston was born in Phoenix and lived there for 25 years. David was born in Texas, but also grew up in Phoenix. We moved to Chicago in 2008 and started travelling in 2012. We are currently 8 months into our RTW trip. Currently taking a quick stopover in Arizona for the holidays then onto Peru in January 2013.
6. Describe yourself in 3 words
Auston: Organized, Sarcastic, Inappropriate
David: Disorganized, Klutzy, Passionate
7. Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there?
We know that there are countless travel blogs and places for people to get advice. Our speciality as bad tourists is experiencing the city in a casual way. Rather than only writing about traditional tourists destinations, we write about random experiences, nights out with locals, CouchSurfing and the mistakes we’ve made. Backpacking as a gay couple also allows for a unique perspective of our travels.
8. Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up?
We started our blog almost a year ago with no plans to provide any advice. We wanted to share our story with family and friends and keep a personal record of our travels. After a while we realized we have a lot to offer to other readers and we really enjoyed blogging. Travellers face a lot of challenges on the road and have endless decisions to make so it’s always helpful when you can provide a tip, an opinion or insight. We initially started with WordPress.com which was fairly simple to learn and configure.
9. If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be?
We are fairly new to the scene so our exposure to other travel bloggers is limited. Of course we would travel with Ed Rex because he seems outgoing and fun (Ed Note: Of course I am!) We also met Jaime from Break Away Backpacker in Singapore and shared a few beers. He’s a social guy and knows how to have fun so we think travelling with him would be a blast. Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Non-Conformity is another knowledgable writer that has inspired us over the past couple years. His view of life and his passion for travel is intriguing and would make for a good travel companion.
10. What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers?
We’d advise new bloggers to just be yourself and be honest. Find something that you are passionate about and start writing!
11. Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels?
If we knew the answer to that, we wouldn’t be watching our savings dwindle away.
12.Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest?
We’ve travelled to 30 different countries within Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Ed Note: That is totally amazing!) We’ll soon be travelling to South America and will have another few destinations under our belt. Our favourite country is Spain (which we hope to move to) as we love the language and were captivated by Madrid. Our least favourite was India – the memories of which we are therapeutically trying to remove from our minds. The most random was our 8 day adventure in Ethiopia. It was unplanned but we took advantage of a free layover with Ethiopian Airlines while travelling from Ghana to India, connecting through Addis Ababa. The scariest was an overnight bus travel in Guatemala when we got stopped by officials claiming to be police who were suspiciously not dressed the part.
13. Naughtiest experience on your travels?
Too many to list! Oh and yea, our families read our blog so we keep the naughty moments to ourselves and those that were there for the ride. 😉 (Ed Note: Don’t worry guys! They will tell me ALL over a few drinks…)
14. Luggage or Backpack?
Definitely a backpack! We can’t imagine “rolly-bagging” around the world, there’s too many dirt paths and cobble stone roads.
15. Top 3 items that you would save from your backpack if it was about to be sunk in shark infested waters?
iPhone, passport and running shoes (Auston’s shoes contain expensive, custom made orthotics for his fucked up feet)
16. Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?
Neither. Ever. David is deathly afraid of heights. But he has moments when he’d like to push Auston out of a plane.
17. Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane?
Well damn. If not you, then we’d sit next to Huyen Chip (http://travel.huyenchip.com/). She’s a young Vietnamese traveller and writer who we found out about from a CouchSurfing host in Nashville. We’d love to pick her brain about everywhere she’s been and the way in which she travels.
18. What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels?
We try to learn how to say “cheers” in country we visit. It’s about the only effort we put into learning the local language since we find ourselves having drinks so often!
19. Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf?
Depends on mood. We love Couchsurfing for everything it stands for. It’s economical, a great way to meet locals and forces you out of your comfort zone. But other times it’s better to have your own space and be free to come and go without being supervised by a host. A nice hotel is always fun when we can afford it, but hostels are the best way to meet people and to pick up the most relevant travel tips.
20. Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam?
Day Trip: UK
21. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?
Lonely Planet when we can find a digital copy to checkout from a digital library – we use our iPad for this. But usually we get bored of reading them after a few pages. We almost never make a plan for our travel destinations. We just kind of wing it when we arrive and take recommendations from people we meet.
22. Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god?
If we were single, yes. As a couple, yes. (Ed Note: Should I be scared?!)
23. Did you find love on your travels?
We had found it before we started traveling!
24. Would you go on I’m a Celebrity and eat pig’s testicles?
Gross, but probably.
25. And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?!
Umm, is this a British thing? Have no idea what you’re talking about.
26. Which 3 songs have you played the most on your ipod on your travels?
a.David Guetta – Titanium
b.Rhianna – Where Have You Been
c.Michel Telo – Ai se Eu Te Pego
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?
Obviously we’re not travelling solo as we’re a couple. But travelling on our own in lieu of a tour group has been ideal. We much prefer being independent travellers and figuring out the plan by ourselves. It has been quite easy to meet friends on the road through CouchSurfing and hostels. Social media and smart phones have also helped the reach of friends that you can meet.
28. What are your next travel plans?
We are going to Peru for the New Year and will travel throughout South America, ending in Rio de Janiero for Carnival. What what! (ed Note: I’m turning green with envy)
29. What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers?
Don’t plan too much and don’t lock yourself into unchangeable RTW plane tickets. Worst. Mistake. Ever. But most importantly, travel how you like to travel, whatever that means for you. Advice from experienced travellers is useful, but it’s your trip so make it yours!
30. Finally, tell us a funny travel story..
We had a 12 hour layover in Belgrade travelling from Austria to Bulgaria. After exploring the city, we settled into a cafe in the train station to wait for the next few hours. David desperately needed a bathroom and unfortunately was faced with the dreaded “squatty potty” hole in the ground. This one was particularly unclean from the person before who clearly didn’t make everything into the hole. Not able to hold it any longer, he gave in and spent several horrible minutes doing his business – sweating, thighs cramping from trying to position himself and out of breath from attempting to avoid inhaling the stench of the unclean air. He walked back to the cafe feeling violated only to find a perfectly clean, western-style toilet right behind where Auston was sitting. Regret. (Ed Note: I love Toilet Humour!)
Thanks Auston and David for doing this interview! If you would like to know more about their Bad Tourism, 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!