Archive for interview

Interview with Matt Fagg I met in Thailand and then Slovakia

when met Matt on Koh Lanta

I met Matt Fagg through Couchsurfing when we were in Thailand both at the same time. After not being able to meet, we finally spent a few hours together and some more friends on Koh Lanta island. Then Matt during his European trip visited Slovakia at the time when I was at home so he spent a few days in my home town.

WARNING: Never force Matt to drink Slovak plum brandy slivovica … unless you want him to punish you with a painful massage and acupuncture 🙂

when met Matt on Koh Lanta

when met Matt on Koh Lanta

So Matt,

1. Who are you? Tell us something about you.

I’m Matt Fagg, a physiotherapist by profession, though I rarely seem to be working! My life generally revolves around chasing the sun, moving to tropical areas in winter, and to beaches in the summer. I am a competitive basketball player, and enjoy almost every sport in the offseason. I love a simple life, and nothing makes me more happy than swimming in the ocean under a sunny blue sky, knowing that life is great and I am free…if I have a beer in my hand and have beautiful women around me then that is even better 😉

2. What is your favorite place, city and country and why? (all three of them)

In life I find it very difficult to pick favourites, because my tastes are quite diverse and it is hard to compare two things that are completely different…but these are definitely in the top 3:

Place: Gili Trawangan, an island in Indonesia not far from Lombok and Bali. I spent one week on this paradise and completely fell in love with the place. A place where there is no stress, there are no cars on the island, the weather is always warm…each day when you wake up you can decide to do whatever you want, from surfing or scuba diving, to sunbaking on the perfect white sand beaches surrounded by impressive mountains. Everything is really cheap, and some of the food I had at the markets was amongst the best I have had in the world. The relaxed and happy atmosphere on the island makes it easy to meet travellers and locals alike, for me it is one of the perfect places I have experienced 🙂

City: I am not a big city person, so while I have been to some very impressive cities in different parts of the world, I would have to pick my favourite from some smaller places. Cairns in Australia is one that comes to mind, only a small city, but there is always something to do. The great barrier reef is just offshore with the best diving that I’ve ever had…There are tropical rainforests everywhere…you can drive along the coast road with mountains on one side and water on the other, and the weather is never cold! Plus the city is always filled with many interesting people from around the world!
Queenstown in New Zealand is another favourite, set on a lake surrounded by impressive mountains, you can go skydiving, skiing, jet-boating or frisbee golfing 😉 Another special place in the world!

Country: My favourite country is of course Australia 😉 But more about that later…If I was to pick a country that I have travelled to, then Norway has to come on top. 3 of the most amazing experiences of my life surrounded by the most beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, fjords that I have ever seen! The island of Tromsø at the top of the world, inside the arctic circle, surrounded all around by snow-capped mountains despite the sun being up 24 hours/day is a remarkable place, I remember having a smile on my face all day, and feeling overwhelmed by the unique and remote beauty of the place. Hiking to Preikestolen and Trolltunga, meeting random friends along the way and having everything work out completely perfectly despite being stuck in such a big country by myself with no car, tent or plans are experiences I will never forget! Norwegians are among the most hospitable and helpful people I have met as well, definitely a country that is close to my heart 🙂

Matt in Norway

Matt in Norway

3. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

Maybe just some random un-populated point on the map, because if I had the power to be anywhere in the world, then it would seem silly to go somewhere where I could just get a train or plane. I would enjoy the challenge of trying to survive and find my way back to safety, and to be able to say that I’ve been in a place that noone knows about!

4. What do you love the most about your home country?

I love a lot of things about Australia!! The amazing beaches, coral reefs, rainforests, deserts, vineyards, waterfalls, animals and a whole heap of other natural things that I could list forever….The freedom of living in the country and the life I can choose to live, following the good weather 12 months of the year and knowing I will always have a job in whichever city or town I choose. Australian people were voted the 2nd most friendly in the world, and I love being able to know that wherever you go there are friends waiting to be met. And of course my friends and the Australian sense of humour, I always love laughing hard at ridiculous things with old friends, this is something that is hard to find on the road.

5. How travel changes you?

I am a different person when I travel, definitely. I am not worried about time, I am looking at the world in a different way, each day is another adventure, and not part of the same routine. There are lows and highs of energy, and I am generally more tired from always doing things, talking to new people, partying etc. but I am always in some kind of happy mood! I think by experiencing different cultures and standards of living you can also get a fresh view on life. When I went to Asia I saw guys who earn $5/day if they are lucky, eating rice everyday and living in small huts with their families, and they were generally much happier than most people I see living in cities in the developed world, complaining about traffic, the weather, and the price of their daily coffee.

 

Thanks so much, Matt. Not so many thanks for the very painful acupuncture you gave me … and the pain all the days after 😛

Love,

Alex

Interview with cool tattoo guy Christopher Stetson

Chris in Costa Rica

I met Chris when rafting on Pacuare river in Costa Rica. We both happened to travel around Costa Rica for a few weeks at the same time and met when decided to try that crazy rafting on one of the top ten rafting rivers in the world. With all the cool tattoos and muscles he has, he looked much more suitable for rafting than me, a beach girl 😀

I just wish we had more time to talk … but maybe we will meet again somewhere else in the world or when I go to visit Canada in 2013 🙂

 

So Chris, tell us more about you and your traveling:

1. Who are you? Tell us something about you.

My name is Christopher Stetson, I’m a heavy duty mechanic for a CAT dealership in Canada. Which means I fix big machines that say Caterpillar on the front of them.

Chris in Costa Rica

Chris in Costa Rica

2. What is your favorite place, city and country and why? (all three of them)

I can name my 3 favorite places that I’ve been which are:

A) Phuket, Thailand I loved all of the beaches that were in the area and the night life was pretty crazy.
B) Vancouver, Canada I love this city for the people and the scenery. It is a beautiful with lots of parks, beaches and cool bridges.
C) Varadero, Cuba I love this place for the beaches white sand for miles and the people are great. Awesome rum and cigars! But most of all for the fact there wasn’t any Americans there!

3. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

Cairo, Egypt because of the history… I’m kind of a nerd and love history.

4. What do you love the most about your home country?

I love everything about my country, I love the reputation that we have with the rest of the world. We are a peaceful place that everyone else in the world generally likes.

5. How travel changes you?

Traveling has made me more thankful for what I have. It has made me less shy and more out going then I was. It has totally made me a better person.

 

Thanks Chris for the interview. Hope to see you around the world again for some crazy adventures 🙂

Love,

Alex

Interview with the best travel buddy Jason Montana of Montana the Explorer

crazy sexy fun traveler with Jason at Carmen Chocolate Hills in the Philippines

During my South East Asia trip in 2011, I decided to go to the Philippines for 3 weeks because of 2 reasons – Jason (and Mica) convincing me was one of them, and super beautiful beaches was the second one.

Jason planned a travel week together when we visited Palawan island, did some island hopping around, then I got my flights to Cebu and also Bohol. To say it was a lot of fun would be an understatement. Jason is the best travel buddy 🙂

The pic of us below is from Carmen Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines 🙂

 

crazy sexy fun traveler with Jason at Carmen Chocolate Hills in the Philippines

1. Who are you? Tell us something about you.

I am Jason Montana, a certified beach bum and traveler. I live in Cebu Philippines and currently working as recruitment specialist in a BPO company. Definitely not a home buddy but an outdoor person who loves traveling, exploring, food trips (but I don’t eat vegetables), crazy long rides, doing extreme activities that give me an adrenaline rush and of course beaching. I also own a travel blog named www.montanatheexplorer.com –where I write and share my crazy experiences while hitting the road, some destination ideas and travel tips in the Philippines.

 

2. What is your favorite place, city and country and why? (All three of them)

This one is difficult because I happen to love two places and choosing one is not possible for me. I’d go for El Nido in Palawan and Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. When I travel and choose a destination, pristine beaches must be always on the top of my list. The fine white sand, the water and the sound of the waves made me feel at home and relax. I don’t know but somehow I can feel that I’m a sea creature on my past life! Hahaha

For my favorite City and Country, that would be Singapore. The city is so clean and the people are very well disciplined. I also happen to love how small the city yet very progressive.

 

3. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

Definitely New York, USA and to be more specific in Manhattan! Hahaha. Though NY is such an expensive city but it has so many things to do and to see. I love their super busy streets, the restaurants, the bars, the museums and of course Central Park. Plus the fact that the city happened to be the setting of my all time favorite tv series and movie Sex and the City. That already convinced me that NY USA is my dream destination and hopefully I will be able to go
there someday.

 

4. What do you love the most about your home country?

Our unique culture, the world-class beaches and other breathtaking destinations and of course the People.

Jason at the beach - his favorite place

Jason at the beach – his favorite place

 

5. How travel changes you?

Traveling totally transformed me to become more mature and wiser in dealing life. Usually I travel solo and that really demanded a lot from me. I can no longer rely to my family and friends since they are miles away. That’s why I had to take care of myself and that’s a huge responsibility already, you got to be really wise or else everything will be fucked up.

Traveling also changed the way I see life. It made me realized that life is such a precious gift given to us and we should not waste it. We need start doing what we love and always pursue our passions.

 

Jason, hun, thanks for your answers! I hope to see you soon again and have those great conversations and laughs like we had every day!

 

Love,

Alex 

Interview with my dear Lola DiMarco of Lola’s Travels

Alex and Lola at Cape Cod enjoying the pool

Meeting up with this crazy and funny girl Lola was a destiny I believe! I went to visit Boston when I was in the US and just broke up with my boyfriend so spending time with Lola there was my Independence Day from my ex boyfriend.  We got along so well that then we spent some time in Cape Cod too. Until the end of this year we will reunite again, first in Spain in September and later in some more places. 🙂 I just love this girl!

Alex and Lola at Cape Cod enjoying the pool

Alex and Lola at Cape Cod enjoying the pool

 

Find out more about my lovely friend Lola via her answers:

1. Who are you? Tell us something about you.

I’m Lauren DiMarco but my travel persona is Lola.  The name of my travel blog is Lola’s Travels – where in the world is lola? I’m a gal from the United States – Texas to be specific, but I’m a wanderer at heart and love traveling the world. With my blog, Lola’s Travels, I relay “fun tips for quick trips” in a playful yet informative way. My stories are about what I see, do and learn to encourage people to travel even if only for a short trip and what to do to get the most out of your time away.

 

2. What is your favorite place, city and country and why? (All three of them)

My favorite place I’ve found so far is St. Barts, a beautiful French island in the Caribbean. I love St. Barts because I’m an island girl, love the sun and especially love the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean sea.

My favorite city would have to be Paris. I love its architecture, food, fashion – everything about Paris is like eye candy for me. It’s been a while since I’ve visited but I’ll be returning in late November and I hope Paris doesn’t disappoint.
AND my favorite country I’ve visited would have to be France. Can you notice a theme?? French island, Paris & France! I just adore all things french and the french lifestyle. It suits me…I AM Lola after all!!

 

cute sassy Lola with boa as usual

 

3. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

I should probably say a far-flung destination that I’ve never been to but, if I’m being honest, it would be St. Barts. It is my happy place. If I had to pick where I would spend the rest of my life at this very moment, it would be here.

 

4. What do you love the most about your home country?

I love that I have the freedom to BE and DO anything!

 

5. How travel changes you?

Traveling makes me realize more clearly how similar we all are in our basic needs in the world. It blurs borders & religions for me. It has made me feel more like a citizen of humankind. I love seeing and doing new things but my passion is with people. We all have something special to offer and my wish would be to meet as many lovely people around the world as possible.

Thank you so much my dear friend for this interview! Cannot wait to see you again soon in Spain 🙂 Miss you lots!
Love,
Alex

Interview with Monette Fernandez of Flip Travels

me with Monette and Marky at Captain Morgan Party in Manila 2011

I met this nice and beautiful girl Monette at Captain Morgan Party in Manila in November in 2011. It was sooo much fun! She is really sweet so I am sure next time when I am in SE Asia we will meet again 🙂

me with Monette and Marky at Captain Morgan Party in Manila 2011

me with Monette and Marky at Captain Morgan Party in Manila 2011

 

Find out more about Monette via her answers:

1. Who are you? Tell us something about you.

My name is Monette Fernandez. I work as a senior training manager for a third-party healthcare provider in the Philippines. I have been travelling for over five years and have been blogging with my travel partner, Ron Cruz, for over four years at Flip Travels. On regular days, I am a homebody. I enjoy ordinary bus rides to and from the office to save money for my trips. I am fuelled with caffeine, I devour books, and I breathe music. I do not know how to swim but love to go to beaches. As much as I enjoy traveling with Ron, my friends, and my significant other (together or separately), I am most blissful when traveling alone. Oh, and I hate frogs…

 

2. What is your favorite place, city and country and why? (All three of them)

My favourite place is by the beach. I’m not sure why as I don’t know how to swim… I just know that it gives me so much peace to sit, stare, and imagine what is over the great beyond. Or it just might be the beer… lol!

I love to stay in so many cities, but my ultimate choice has got to be Luang Prabang. I love its people’s almost whisper-like footsteps in the morning. I crave for its baguettes and brewed coffee sold on streets. I miss how this city warps time to make the hours passing really slowly, or stretches time to make the hours last longer. This place could lift me in its arms and cradle me to sleep.
My favorite country is Indonesia. I’ve never felt so close to one culture as this place. I feel comfortable moving along its streets and mingling with its people. I love how its food imitates my craving for home. I can feel its art as I trace my hands along its amazing islands. I can’t wait to go back there!

Monette in Muine Vietnam

3. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

Switzerland for the Alps, chocolates, and cheese. Oh! And there is a guy who lives there who stole my heart and hid it somewhere in his basement… 

 

4. What do you love the most about your home country?

I especially like the fact that my family and friends, at least most of them, live in the Philippines. I don’t feel powerless. Also, I like how people get to squeeze in mall-ing, three-hour coffee breaks, and drinking during a work week!

 

5. How travel changes you?

Travel changed me profoundly in such a way that I always come out of every trip being better version of myself. There are always new things to discover, especially culture. I know now that people from different countries are no different from me. The more I meet people, the smaller my world becomes that I can practically wrap around my arms around the world.

 

Monette, you got me with Switzerland and their chocolate and cheese, I cannot get enough of them either 😀 Thanks for the interview!

 

Love,

Alex