This post may contain compensated links where we may earn money or products from the companies mentioned. Clicking on the links doesn't affect the price that you will pay. It does help us to keep the site running and offer content for free. We thank you in advance for your support.
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 makeup 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’!
Contact them at:
Cool interview, I liked the answer to #5! Keep pushing for you dreams and make them a reality!
Thanks, Mark….that’s my credo too!
Great interview! Love the new series, and you couldn’t have picked a better pair to kick it off!
Aren’t they great?
I like your new Inspired Travel Series Renee. I am disappointed to hear about #3 because I am from the Philippines and I believe the country has a lot to offer. Yes Manila can be dirty and polluted (which is a lot of cities in the world) but I don’t think it smells! I hope they give it a chance and that this not discourage any other traveler to explore Manila =)
I understand your point, but I would like for everyone who participates to feel free to be honest about their true feelings. As you know, every place isn’t meant for everybody as evidenced by my review of Myrtle Beach on this site. I hope everyone understands that it is simply the traveler’s particular experience and to please not get offended. The other interviewees will be just as candid and to be honest, I learn a lot this way. So, Grace, I am glad that you got a chance to voice your opinion as well. This is really just meant to be fun, insightful and educational.
Hi Grace – as we said in our answer, there are parts of Manila that we enjoyed and we absolutely loved Cebu and Bohol during our time in the Philippines. But a city like Manila just wasn’t our thing – the smell we experienced along Manila Bay when we walked along there was terrible (maybe the breeze was just blowing the wrong way that day?).
I’m half Filipino and completely encourage other travelers to explore the Philippines, but would recommend many of the other islands over Manila. I’m sure many Pinoys would agree with me!
Where in the Philippines are you from?
Hi Kieron, I was born and raised in Manila. Yes Manila bay is in a sorry state because of pollution which probably explains the smell. Just checked your blog and looks like it is going to be an exciting adventure ahead for the two of you this July. G’luck!
Fun! Glad you all have such great travel plans for this year. As for New Years, well, there’s so many options! I spent one New Year in Vegas and it blew my mind. And NYC is always “classic” isn’t it? Have fun guys!
Thanks Kelly – I guess it all depends where we are at the time! We were very keen to do NYC but have heard some poor things about it (it’s freezing, you need to get there hours in advance to even get near the ball, etc).
Vegas would be awesome!
Thanks Renee! You are right not every place is for everybody. I appreciate you providing a place where we can be honest and true to our feelings.
Thanks for understanding, Grace!
Great series and a great start! I love these introspective interview posts.
Thanks, Jillian….guys feel free to drop me a line if you would like to be profiled too. I would love to see your responses too!
Michael Figueiredo says
Great interview, Renee! I’ll start following Amy & Kieron’s blog now too 🙂
By the way, I LOVE your new header!
Thanks, Michael! Yes, please follow them. I love their budget travel tips. You know I’m really excited about the header too. Thanks!
Thanks Michael, appreciate you following us! 🙂
Nice to meet you guys, sounds like an adventure, I’ll have to follow you guys.
The Dropout says
Wow, amazed to see two great blogs combine.
I love Amy and Kieron’s blog and I love the interview. Great work everyone!
Thanks! Good to see you again!
Cathy Sweeney says
Very cool to find out more about Amy and Kieron. Fun couple enjoying the world! Their comment about travel insurance has me thinking more about it myself. I’ve never bought travel insurance, but maybe I should do it next trip.
I’ve bought it only once myself, but what they said hit home. Definitely going to get it next time around.
crazy sexy fun traveler says
Cool interview! Actually this is the first time I hear about you, guys! Good luck with the RTW 🙂
I know I am a little late to the party but I really like this series!