1. Welcome James from Mistakesandadventuresblog! To kick things off could you possibly tell us a bit about you and your website?
Absolutely! I’m an Australian with a passion for travel and a dream of being a professional writer. My blog is an amalgamation of travel and fiction stories. I offically began blogging in May 2016 but didn’t really take it too seriously till around November. My plan is to write about my travels as much as possible, with the odd fictional short story or poem thrown in along the way.
2. What in particular draws you to travel?
If I had to narrow it down to one thing I’d say the freedom of it. I love being able to wake up and whatever I choose to do that day is totally up to me. A close second would have to be the variety that comes with it. Every day can be different if you want, especially in a country with vastly different cultures and climates to home.
3. How did you start your adventures?
My first trips were around Australia when I was a child with the family. Those were fun, but the first overseas trip was with my ex-girlfriend to Thailand in 2015 for two weeks. It was a pretty vanilla trip as far as they go. We travelled to Bangkok and Phuket which are the usual destinations for Australians on holiday, but it was a truly mezmerizing adventure for me and I loved it. Needless to say I was bitten by the travel bug on that first day and I haven’t looked back.
4. What do you do to fund your travels, and do you have any money-saving tips for us?
To fund my travels I work in a bar as a bartender which I really love. As I return to Australia from my current trip I am without a job, but I hope to fix that up as soon as possible to get back to saving for more travel. I’m considering working two jobs this time just to be able to stay overseas for longer. If travelling is what you really want to do then my saving tip for everyone would be to sacrifice in order to gain. Only buy what you need not what you want while you’re saving up; don’t buy that brand new computer, latest pair of jeans, or new DVD because you really don’t need to. You’ll notice a dramatic change in how much you put away and how much you get to experience when you start on your adventures.
5. I know you’ve spent a lot of time travelling around Asia; is there any particular place that stands out in your memory?
Yeah all of my overseas travel to date has been to various parts of Asia and to pick a place is nearly impossible! Asia has so much to offer everyone so of all the places I’ve been. I’d have to say for adventure activities and a bit more active trip you can’t go past Laos. It’s extremely cheap, the people are lovely, the food is delicious, and the countryside is stunning. If you’re after a deeper cultural experience then I have to recommend Japan. The experience is well worth the cost of the trip, which is higher than most places in Asia, but I’ve never seen a more beautiful country. You’re surrounded by culture everywhere you look and the best part I found is that the more spectacular sceneries are found by their cultural heritage sites anyway so it’s a win win.
6. What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you while travelling?
That’s got to be the time in Ho Chi Minh City where I went to take a shower and the door jammed and locked me inside. The door opened inward so I couldn’t kick it open again and was stuck in the bathroom with nothing but a small washcloth. My ex had to get help from the hotel and soon there were three Vietnamese men atempting to undo the door and kick it in. This continued on for about 20 minutes, I even had my hand cut up pretty bad in the chaos. Eventually I was set free and from that moment onwards everyone who worked there knew me by first name, nothing more awkward than 20+ Vietnamese people saying “Hello James” every time you leave your room.
7. What’s your favourite moment from your adventures?
That is a ridiculously hard question Alice! I think my absolute favourite moment from my travels would have to be Abseiling in Hoi An, Vietnam. It was a mind blowing experience and one I was so scared to do at first but pushed myself into it. It was myself and a small group of friends who did it. Basically you walk up a mountain, and once at the top you make three jumps of varying heights. The first was only about 30 or 40 metres into a cave below, and it was the tester. The next jump was over 80 metres and by the time we had completed it there was a crowd of tourists cheering us on. The third and final jump was over 150 metres and it took you deep into a cave that had a buddhist temple inside. The sense of accomplishment afterwards was matched only by the adrenaline rush as our feet found hard ground for the last time. It was both a challenging and beautiful experience so I think that might take the cake.
8. As a food-lover I’ve got to ask: what’s the best thing you’ve eaten on your travels?
This one is a two way tie, and I can’t separate them. The first would be the whole fish I ate in Laos. It was cooked in front of me over a fire on the side of the street near Kuang-si waterfall and it was sublime! It came with rice and each mouthful was a delightful experience. All in all it cost me a $3.50 so it was a bargain to boot!
The second would be the ramen I had in Hiroshima on my latest trip. I won’t go into too much detail as you can read about all here on my blog but needless to say I knew it was special the moment the broth hit my lips. I actually made satisfied groans with every single mouthful throughout the entire dish. I even returned two or three times it was that good.
9. Where do you hope to head next?
This is the question that haunts my every waking moment Alice. I have plenty of dreams, and goals, but they’re all just ideas at this point in time. Ideally I’ll be working for a bit here in Australia to save up and go on a really big trip of 12 months+. The goal there is to backpack South America slowly, and if I fall in love with any particular country on my way through I might try working and living there for a while to immerse myself in the culture. If I save better than expected
I also have ambitions to go to Nepal and Tibet to hike to my hearts content. I guess we’ll see how it all goes and it will all depend on what kind of work I get here.
10. Do you have any tips for wannabe travellers before you go?
- Stay flexible! You never know when the best flights/deals might pop up and if you’re locked into travel dates you might miss them. Plus you may just hate a city/place and want to leave earlier, or conversely you might adore somewhere so much you want a longer stay.
- Pack light as your back will not thank you for that extra pair of jeans you definitely don’t need.
- Hostels are amazing and a great way to save money, but always bring earplugs and a sleeping mask. Also don’t be afraid to try Airbnb or couch surfing for even cheaper alternatives.
- Another tip would be to double and triple check before booking flights as you might surprise yourself at the savings you’ll find elsewhere.
- Reiterating the saving tip I mentioned earlier – sacrifice the unnecesary stuff. You do not need the latest name brand whatevers in your life.
- The best way to get going on your travels is to get going on your travels! I used to sit around and day dream and never actually go anywhere, and I can assure you it is way funner out there in the world then at home!
You can find out more about James and his travel adventures over on his blog Mistakesandadventuresblog! He’s always writing about his exciting adventures, so I really recommend you check it out!
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