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.
When I recently attended a London Travel Massive, I became aware of a grinning face being directed at me whilst in cahoots with Vicky Flip Flop Travels. Enquiring within, I found out that Amar was one of the ‘older’ travel bloggers who made it big before travel blogging was a huge thing and attended lots of Travel Massives. Then he went to visit all seven continents, yes including Antarctica! His silly sense of humour and bordering on the earthquake measure of the teasing scale, I knew we would just get on extremely well. After all, you should watch the vimeo video in the interview… who wouldn’t love him. Without further ado, I did you Amar of GapYear Escape!
1. Name: Amar
2. Twitter: @GapYearEscape
3. Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/GapYearEscape
4. Blog URL: http://GapYearEscape.com
5. Where are you originally from and where are you now?
I’m from Warwick originally and I’m actually here right now. Mumsie was missing me!
6. Describe yourself in 3 words:
I Love Lamp
7. Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there?
Well even though my blog is a multi-author site, the unique thing about it would be, well, me. I’ve never been a fan of “this is what to do in x”. Sure it’s part of travel writing but I prefer to write about finding out what happiness means in Mexico or the girl who slept with the wrong guy in Australia because she was so drunk. That’s what I bring to the table.
8. Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up?
I started a blog for the same reason as most people; I like writing, I love travel and I wanted to use it to keep friends and family informed. I started in 2009 and there certainly wasn’t as many blogs then as there are now. The travel blogging community was a little closer back then, less competitive, more collaboration. So yes, I think setting up and growing was relatively easy.
9. If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be?
An easy one. Backpacker Becki, Pommie Travels and Vicky Flip Flop. Blondes and Banter. What more does a guy need?
Incidentally, that would make a great blog. Hmm… (ED NOTE: Banter prefer Blondes?)
10. What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers?
Keep trucking on. Blogging, especially professionally, isn’t easy. You should run a blog for the love of it first and foremost. Success at blogging isn’t linear, there are ups and downs for sure. Keep sight of what you want to achieve with it and keep heading towards that, correcting your course as you go.
11. Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels?
I’d say drug mule but that never seems to end well. (ED NOTE: Was Peru too much for you in the end?)
12. Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest?
It’ll be a long list but I recently acheived my dream of going to all 7 continents. The best would be Belize and Antarctica. The worst I’d probably say Vietnam but probably more to do with my experience rather than the country itself. I had a cracking time in Honduras and Panama because of the funny trio I was in. El Salvador would probably be the country I felt ill at ease.
13. Naughtiest experience on your travels?
I once ate 1.5kg of M&Ms in one sitting. I’m such a bad boy… (ED NOTE: Very bad boy, you should be locked up and the key thrown away!)
14. Luggage or Backpack?
Backpack for sure.If you make sure you get a good backpack first time around it will last you for years. I’m a big fan of the Berghaus Jalan and the Osprey Farpoint.
15. Top 3 items that you would save from your backpack if it was about to be sunk in shark infested waters?
Woah, I’d swim down and save my bag with one hand whilst simulataneously stroking the shark’s belly with the other. Who doesn’t love a belly rub? (ED NOTE: I do, but you didn’t give me one…)
16. Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?
Done both in the Alps and I’d have to say Skydiving was better. It’s a longer and more enjoyable experience. I’d quite like to do a HALO skydive one day!
17. Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane?
Ewan Mcgregor. I found Long Way Round really inspiring.
18. What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels?
I wouldn’t say I have a party trick but I’m quite fond of telling embarrassing travel stories. (ED NOTE: #AwkwardStories)
19. Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf?
Private room in a hostel is the happy medium I’ve found between sociability and comfort.
20. Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam?
I’d like to backpack Australia again but ultimately I think I’d prefer to “live” in the UK and use it as a base to keep on travelling.
21. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?
My old housemate used to work for Rough Guide so I have been well and truly converted.
22. Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god?
I think I’m busy washing my hair… (ED NOTE: #SadTimes)
23. Did you find love on your travels?
Most defintely. Have you ever had Cold Stone? It’s so good in your mouth. I also found dove in a soapless place.
24. Would you go on I’m a Celebrity and eat pig’s testicles?
Both the thought of eating that and appearing on reality tv repulse me!
25. And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?!
I’ll have to say Neighbours even though Karl Kennedy is always bugging me for my autograph whenever he sees me.
26. Which 3 songs have you played the most on your ipod on your travels?
Above & Beyond – Small Moments, Incubus – Wish You Were Here and Kanye West – Gone.
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’ve done long term travel both solo and with a friend. Making friends is easy in hostels. Being a solo traveller you get quite skilled at making friends and saying goodbye often. Breaking up with a friend you’re travelling with though… that’s awkward…
Break Up With Your Travel Buddy Through The Medium Of Interpretive Dance from Amar Hussain on Vimeo.
28. What are your next travel plans?
Well I just finished up a 20 country trip and an Antarctica expedition so I am quite happy with home soil at the moment. Right now I am toying with the idea of Barcelona, Bali or Brazil.
29. What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers?
Try everything once, hug strangers inappropriately and don’t eat yellow snow. (ED NOTE: Check, check and done)
30. Finally, tell us a funny travel story..
This one time in Colombia I somehow ended up in some weird, one sided tickle fight with a girl. A good defensive is a good offence so I decided to tickle her back. She fell to the floor laughing and as a last ditch attempt she thought it would be a good idea to pull down my shorts. Well… she grabbed my boxers too and was left with the old “wang in face” situation. But you know, you shrug it off, stand proud and let it all hang out.
Thanks Amar 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 email@example.com and we’ll get you featured on here!
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Great interview questions Ed. I really enjoyed doing this one!
Totally hilarious. Great questions, answers and commentary. Love it
hahah I like this guy!