Sometimes the desire to travel you grab and never let go. This is exactly what happened to Stephen, after taking his first trip abroad. His trip to Ireland caused the flame inside that all travelers know. After that, he just didn't want to go home. It took off again and started a travel blog and his passion for the fact a priority. We asked Stephen to learn about some details of his life, how he moves, where it has been, and what motivates them to continue after so much time on the road.
What motivated you to take such a big trip?
Haha, I think the right word is obsession. When I was 22, I took my first trip abroad. I was immediately hooked and soon made travel an annual tradition.
Every time that I went, it was hard to go back to my small hometown in Ohio and easier to leave town. Then it occurred to me to start a travel blog and use it as a platform to get jobs freelance. I wanted my passion as my life, not my hobby.
Where did you and where are you going?
Oh man, where am I past! Normally I do not discuss my travel stats because I can't believe I'm bragging. But since you asked, for the moment, I went to 45 countries, mainly in Central Europe and Southeast Asia and Oceania. I spent a total of about 3 years on the road.
In November, I go to Asia and headed home for a brief holiday visit. So I'll start to explore South America. I'm flying to Columbia early next year.
How do you plan your route and how is spontaneous?
One of my favorite things about travel is the spontaneity. I love the randomness of life on the road, so I never plan too. I like the freedom to meet people and travel around with them if I want or positions just my own way.
However, I do not read the tips and things to do in a country before arriving. It gives me a rough plan, I never end up sticking to.
How did you decided what places to visit?
I minor research and planning before I arrive at destination. I firmly believe that the best way to find unique places is in dialogue with locals and other travellers. It allows you also to change plans at any time and follow whatever path comes before you. I try to spend at least a month in every country I visit. This leaves me understand decent on the culture and see a large number of countries.
How you move around?
My personal preferred mode of travel is Train. You get to see the scenery, meet people, and it is not as narrow as a bus. Throughout my travels, I took planes, cars, bikes, trains and ferries.
A lot of people get confused about the best ways to get around. Each mode has it's pro and con some of the ways less expensive to get around Europe can really surprise you.
What have you learned about yourself or what you think, you will learn?
Oh completely! I learned so many lessons of life traveling the world in my twenties. I've become more confident, learned how strong I am. Overall trip gave me a richer and deeper in the world, understanding traveling has helped discover me my personal legend, as indicated in the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What is the most surprising place, you have been so far and why?
The Turkey was a pleasant surprise. I don't really not expecting much, and I fell completely in love with the country. Istanbul is still one of my favorite cities. Meet East west in Turkey, and it's a perfect introduction for those who wish to explore the Middle East.
First of all, I went to the Turkey because I was short of money, and the Turkey was cheaper than the Greece. Now I can't get enough of country.
How do you determine (or manage) your budget for your trip?
A lot more carefully than when I started. I think that this is a skill you learn, the more you travel. You guys also have some incredible resources for determining and managing your budget.
In today's world, there are many useful applications that help manage expenses and track how much you spend per day. My favorite app is Trail travel portfolio without end.
What's the craziest story you have of your trip so far?
Too many. For a total of my car, is that the Russia was pretty crazy. We have only crossed the border that night so we had not bought insurance for the Russia self again. I was with Norbert of Globo Treks and our friend Alex. We reached a small semi truck, and all expected to spend the next two weeks in a Russian prison cell.
The cops came, and once they've discovered don't speak us no Russian had to pull the school English teacher to interpret. Rather than throw in jail, that they were out to lunch, helped us find a hotel, and we found ourselves in the local newspaper.
I also face to face with a grizzly bear in the wilderness of Alaska and was blocked in the Kazakhstan.
Do you have any tips for other travellers?
Don't let fear not define your life. Dream big, chasing dreams and overcome any obstacle that gets in your way. When you travel you have rough days and a lot of people get intimidated and want to go home. Don't do it! These moments can help you develop a traveler and a character!