Today’s travel blogger interview features Steve Biggs of Biggsy Travels. Steve learned the hard way that you should check official guidance on visa requirements. Read on to find out why.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
Weekend/”annual leave” traveller
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I use some of my full time salary
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
Salou in Spain circa 1984 when I was eight. “Adventurous” British families would head off to the sun with companies such as Cosmos
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Everything’s been as expected so far!
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
I was pick pocketed in a less than salubrious area of Bangkok. Luckily my wallet contained no cards, notes, or anything of any importance. Just some loose change but I still felt a bit violated afterwards
Do you have any funny travel stories?
Travelling 8 hours all the way from Phnom Penh to the Laos border…only to have to go all the way back again for the visas we needed. The 4 of us had to sit on white plastic garden chairs in the aisle of the coach as they’d run out of seats. We foolishly took someone’s advice that you could get the visas on the border. So don’t believe everything you hear. But that was back in 2009 so don’t believe what I’m saying here either as things may have changed 🙂
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
None. Travel helps you to treat every good/bad experience as a “positive”. Maybe I’ve just been lucky
Where is your favourite place in the world?
New Zealand’s South Island. It’s got glorious roads with nobody on them plus ‘Lord of the Rings’ scenery around every corner
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I’m lucky to have already ticked a lot off the list but there’s still strolling around The Galápagos Islands, witnessing Iceland’s Northern Lights and taking the train across the Canadian Rockies for starters
Can you imagine life without travel?
Your world would quite literally shrink but there’s so much within 50 miles that you can see and experience as well. One person’s “opposite end of the Earth” is another person’s “backyard”
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
So I’m currently working and not travelling but I value the importance of always having something booked in the calendar
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
‘Biggsy Travels’ – http://www.biggsytravels.com
When did you begin your website Biggsy Travels?
August 2014 – initially to just do a “one-off” blog post having befriended many travel bloggers at meet-ups such as Travelmassive in London
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
Mostly for fun, a little bit to learn the “blogging” process but also to put my unique stories out there for others to “hopefully” enjoy
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
Literally the “uniqueness” as I try to write about unique experiences that at the very least haven’t been written about before. At best, experiences that nobody has ever actually had before! Also, the travel blogging demographic of “mid 20s female” is quite overpopulated so I’m writing as a 39 year old male …with a mortgage.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
What’s it like to win a private jet? which was about me and 49 friends flying from London to Stockholm for the weekend!
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
My favourite post is running the New York City marathon with a supermodel [Christy Turlington]. She leads her own maternal health charity ‘Every Mother Counts’ so this was a triple whammy. 1. Getting to meet her and her charity colleagues, 2. Completing the NYC marathon and 3. Raising over £1,500 at the same time.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
All four for different reasons but you can’t beat the clickety-clack of the rails as you gaze longingly out of the window … although not generally on my daily commute in and out of London
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Travelling the world is an amazing experience (I had 6 months out 2009) but don’t blindly follow those memes saying “Quit your job and travel the world”. Everybody’s financial situation is different and those advocating this might have a career/property all in order to help facilitate it. This applies less to 18-22 year olds of course 🙂
What has travel taught you?
In a foreign land it’s you who’s the foreigner! There’s so much we can learn from other cultures, especially for us Brits who sometimes have a “we’re better than everybody else” mindset
What are your travel concerns?
The dilemma of knowing that flying is the single most environmentally unfriendly thing a person can do but realising that you can’t feasibly travel long distance without planes :s Should we be trying to replace a few plane trips every year with alternative options/destinations to minimise our carbon footprint?
The travel moment you thought “It doesn’t get much better than this”?
Driving a motorhome to Queenstown, New Zealand on a sunny Summer’s afternoon accompanied by the 3 Swedish girls I’d met in Vietnam 4 months earlier.
What would you like people to realise about travelling?
There’s so much to see within 50 miles of your own backdoor. There are countless tourist locations I haven’t been to yet in my home county of Hertfordshire.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Virgin
Favourite country? New Zealand
Favourite city? New York
Favourite beach? Eastbourne!
Favourite food? Chinese sweet and sour chicken balls and egg fried rice
Favourite language? Swedish
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://www.biggsytravels.com
Twitter handle? @biggsy321
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/biggsytravels/