September 12, 2013

Travel Interview with Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel

Today Mindful Travel has the honor of interviewing Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel. He's been traveling for 6 years and visited 26 countries so far through America and Asia. Would you like more about him?

Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel

1.       When and why did you decide to left everything and travel the around the world?

I first became very interested in living overseas while tutoring ESL students at my University in Edmonton, Canada.  Several of my students from South Korea suggested I try teaching in Korea after I finished my degree.  I listened to their advice.  I've been abroad working and/or traveling ever since.  I'm officially hooked!

2.       When, why and how did you start your travel blog?

I started my travel blog on July 1, 2011.  Prior to having my own personal blog, I shared many photos, videos and stories on Facebook with family and friends.  I decided I wanted to reach a larger global audience.  My only wish is that I didn't start my site sooner. 

3.       What is the best thing of travelling?

I love the freedom I feel when I'm on the road.  I like breaking from routines and doing spontaneous types of activities.  I love being constantly stimulated by new cultures and attractions.  Moreover, I love to try new foods!  I enjoy just about everything when it comes to travel.

4.       What thing you always put in your luggage and you never forget?

My camera!  Without my camera I'd be lost.  I love to take photos almost every single day.  If somebody stole my clothes I wouldn't really care.  My camera on the other hand is my precious ;) 

5.       What kind of traveler are you?

I used to be a backpacker but now I consider myself a flashpacker.  In the past I was always looking for the cheapest place to stay and I rarely splurged on meals.  These days, now that I'm working on the road, I prefer a bit more comfort.  I'm willing to pay a bit more for a nicer room with creature comforts and a great meal. 

6.       What’s your most memorable travel experience or favorite trip ever and why?

My most travel experience has been on this recent journey. I'm now traveling with my girlfriend Audrey of That Backpackerwhereas in the past  I traveled solo.  I've found having somebody to share things with has really enhanced my experience.  Our favorite country to date has been Vietnam where we've gone hiking in Sapa and touring down the Mekong Delta to name just a few things.

7.       And the worst?

My worst experience was in Ecuador.  Several of the girls staying in my guest house were raped on the streets in Quito and a few guys were beaten up during the few days I was there back in 2010.  Apparently, there were issues going on between the police and military at the time.  I think Quito has a lot of potential as an 'it' destination but at the time I felt it was dangerous to be there. 

8.       Is there any destination you would never want to go?

I wouldn't want to go to a country experiencing internal conflict.  Otherwise, I plan on going everywhere that is considered politically stable. 

9.       Please, tell me three things you always have in mind when you are planning a trip.

1)Value  2)  Attractions  3)  Climate

In terms of value, I like to travel to places where I can experience a lot of things without having to spend a fortune.  When it comes to attractions, I prefer a country that offers diversity in landscapes and features both cultural hubs and sprawling cities worth exploring.  I prefer hot or warm climates as opposed to colder ones.  I've experienced enough chilly winters in Canada in my lifetime ;) 

10.   Do you prefer relax or adventure? Why?

I like both.  I can't have one without the other.  Sometimes I like to go, go, go as fast as I can trying new and exciting things; however, I need to recharge my batteries and also relax.  Now that we're working online we need to travel at a slower pace. 

11.   Do you know Spain? If yes, what do you think of the places you visited?

I've never been to Spain but Audrey raves about her experiences there.  I've heard most people prefer Barcelona over Madrid and I'm especially keen on exploring Northern Spain.  If time would allow I'd love to try hiking El Camino. 

12.   Is there any culture that changed your thinking?

I've spent most of my adult years in Asia.  I think it's had a huge influence on my life.  I'm adopted Asian mannerism such as bowing and I'm now just as comfortable using chopsticks as I am a fork and knife. 

13.   Have you ever try coachsurfing? If yes, where and how was your experience?

I haven't had the chance to try couchsurfing yet.  I think the concept is great.  When I travel in Europe next year I plan to try it several times.  I think it's a great way to save money and interact with locals. 

14.   What is your advice for people who just started their travel blogs?

Try to decide whether it is a hobby or a career.  If it's just a hobby enjoy posting whenever you want and just have fun with it.  If you're trying to turn blogging into a career you really need to focus on expanding your audience by guest posting and posting consistently on your own site. 

15.   Where are you off to next?

I'm just moments away from boarding a flight from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Macau, China!  I'm excited because we plan on exploring China for over a month.

Samuel Jeffery is the wizard behind the curtain pulling the strings of Nomadic Samuel cultural travel blog. He's also the lesser half of Backpacking Travel Blog which he runs with his girlfriend Audrey Bergner of That Backpacker. You can connect with Samuel on his YouTube travel channel and on Google+.