It’s been a while since I posted, but the lovely Amar from travel blog Gap Year Escape agreed to take part in the Travel Blogger interview series, so here it is…
HI, CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF?
1. Name: Amar
2. Age: 29
3. Travel Blog: Gap Year Escape
4. Twitter: @gapyearescape
5. Home Town: Warwick, UK
6. Current Location: London, UK
7. Tell us a bit about where you are at the moment and what you’re doing there:
I’ve spent many years travelling full time but at the moment I have a base in London and I travel from here. I run a couple of blogs full time but travel is, and always will be, my biggest driver.
8. First ever travel experience:
I went to Pakistan when I was three. It was my birthday and I had a golden tuxedo. I’m thinking of doing the same for my 30th. Think of the bling!
9. Where’s next in your travel plans?
I’m currently planning a trip around Sri Lanka. I’ve never heard a bad thing about the place and I’m really keen to go on leopard safari. Other than that, no firm plans but I’m considering Germany or Denmark for the Christmas markets and a road trip in Australia at the beginning of next year.
10. Give me the top 3 places you’ve visited and why:
So many to choose from! Antarctica was a humbling experience due to its beauty and remoteness. The island of Caye Caulker in Belize has to be on the list, incredible food and great vibes. I recently got back from the Maldives where everything looks like a postcard so that will take the number three spot. Ask me on another day and this list might change though.
11. What 5 countries do you want to visit that you haven’t yet been to?:
I think I need more than five! Off the top of my head Japan, Botswana, Philippines, Iceland and Brazil. I’ll get to them eventually, I always do.
12. If you could avoid going anywhere where would it be and why?:
I’m really struggling to think of an answer to this. I think everywhere has something to offer but you may have to look hard to find it.
13. What are your top 5 travelling items?
My phone because I use it for pretty much everything. My PADI license and snorkel because I like the freedom to swim and dive anywhere. My decent hiking boots which, despite not even liking hiking, have got me through many hikes. Finally, my backpack. I’ve had it for years and it’s done me proud.
14. Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given:
Get into travel hacking and stop using a debit card! In the early years of my travels I dread to think how many free flights and upgrades I left on the table because I didn’t look into this sooner. Provided you don’t spend anything extra than you normally would, put everything on a points credit card and pay in full, there’s no reason anyone shouldn’t be travel hacking. A little bit of research and you’ll be on your way. Here’s a really useful guide on travel goals to get started. I will admit though, collecting points becomes addictive!
15. Worst advice?
It’s nothing specific but I get really irked when people tell me I “have to” see or do something when I’m travelling. I was once in Guatemala and after rather uncomfortable journey and a bad night’s sleep my back was in all sorts of pain. I didn’t feel like doing the tour that day so I dropped out. Fifteen people who were doing the tour than started to berate me for bailing. “You’re only here once!”. Well no, I actually flew back a year later and did it then. Be open to new experiences but don’t ever feel pressured.
16. What do you miss most when you’re travelling?
Family and friends. Sure you meet a lot of new people on the road by the same old introductions and getting to know people can get pretty old. Sometimes you just want to hang out with someone who knows you well and has a history with you.
NOW FOR THE RANDOM QUESTIONS
17. Hostel, Hotel or other:
I’d actually say Airbnb. Hostel and hotels both have their uses but I find Airbnb’s can be a nice middle ground both in terms of cost and local feel.
18. Favourite food from another country:
Either Italian or the sea food in Belize.
Chocolate. Always chocolate. I’m an absolute chocolate fiend.
20. Best travel app?:
Not the sexiest answer but Google Maps. It has to be the most useful app on your phone!
21. Favourite travelling soundtrack/What are you listening to at the moment?:
Right now I’m listening to Nick Mulvey but it really does depend on how I’m feeling.
22. Favourite travel movie?:
Not sure you would quite call it a travel movie but I really liked Everest that came out last year. I sat up researching Everest all night after watching that.
23. Favourite travel book?:
It would have to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
24. Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. Now please take a few lines to tell everyone about your website…
Gap Year Escape started in 2009 and documents a seven year, seven continents, 50 country adventure. The blog covers a range of topics, from hostels and luxury resorts to relaxation and adventure sports.