Today, A View To A Thrill begins a new Friday series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. First on the hot seat are Amy and Kieron from Don’t Ever Look Back.
1) What is it about traveling that makes you smile?
This is actually a harder question to answer than we thought! We’ve been bitten hard by the travel bug but find it difficult to explain why we love it so much. We guess it’s the freedom you feel when you’re traveling, the new experiences you have and the memories that you create that will last a lifetime.
Ultimately though, we have plenty of fun when we travel and that makes us smile.
2) What is your favorite place in the world?
Apart from the lovely Melbourne, Australia? We’ll stick close to home and go with Bali, Indonesia – the destination of our first overseas trip together. It’s beautiful, it’s affordable and the people are just so friendly! Oh, and the delicious food, the warm weather and the laid-back atmosphere are all pretty amazing as well.
We could go on forever, though if you ask us the same question in 12 months time, it’s quite possible that we’ll give you a different answer!
3) What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?
Even though Kieron has some family there, we would have to say Manila in the Philippines. While some parts out of the city are indeed beautiful, a combination of things including the traffic, the pollution and the smell would make this a destination that would have to pay us to come back.
(Side note: Due to flight schedules, we will actually be spending a night in Manila in April en route to Mindanao. However this is simply a transit stop, airport to hotel and back to the airport again).
4) What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?
“If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. It’s something we were told on our first international trip and while cliche, it’s a great piece of advice. After our first trip went without a hitch, we briefly considered whether we needed it on our next South East Asia sojourn and are very glad we did after being stuck in the Bangkok yellow shirt protests in 2008 that ended up closing the airport for many days! We incurred many additional costs that fortunately were reimbursed by our insurers once we got home.
5) How has traveling changed you as a person?
The biggest change is that we no longer accept an “average” life as acceptable. We’re delaying/sacrificing the full-time work schedule, the mortgage and plenty else so that we can make traveling our number one priority.
We want to make the most of our time on this earth which means making our dream of traveling the world a reality.
6) Have you ever volunteered during your travels? If so, what did you do? If not, will you ever?
We haven’t volunteered yet due to time constraints on our past travels but definitely plan on doing it at some point during our RTW, hopefully for a few weeks.
The only issue is that we’re having a hard time deciding which volunteering experience we’d find the most rewarding – we’re torn between working with children or with animals. Hopefully we can do both, depending on budget and circumstances.
7) What is the best piece of advice that you can give our readers?
We’re gonna borrow a line from Nike here – just freakin’ do it! Anything is possible, so follow your dreams and stop making excuses about why you can’t achieve them. People of the world would be a lot happier if they based their decisions on what makes them happy rather than what is the safer option.
8 ) Since this is a budget travel blog, what is your best budget tip, bar none?
This isn’t a specific tip – but always do your research, weigh up your alternatives
and never accept the first option you find!
The initial plan for our RTW was to fly direct from Melbourne to LAX, but further research revealed that we could stopover in either Hawaii or Fiji for a much cheaper price. Talk about a massive win! (Cheap plug: If you want plenty of specific tips on how to save money before and during travel, check out the Frugal February section on our blog!)
9) Where do you plan to travel this year?
After just 4 nights of domestic travel in 2010 (talk about deprived!), we plan to more than make up for it this year! We’ll start with a week-long trip in April re-visiting Singapore and the Philippines. The main purpose of this trip is to visit Kieron’s terminally ill grandmother but we also hope to take in a few sights and experiences along the way.
On July 26, we’ll then set off on our big round-the-world adventure that will commence in Hawaii, continue onto North America and who knows from there! Anybody have some recommendations on where we should spend Christmas and New Years?
10) What are the three things that you could never do without during your travels?
First and foremost, a camera to capture all the memories.
Secondly, money – you can’t travel without it!
And finally, travel insurance. See our answer to question 4 for our reason why.
Thank you Amy and Kieron for agreeing to participate! To quote Audrey Hepburn, thanks for proving that “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
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