Today’s interview is with Agness, one of the two writers for E-Tramping
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
I am originally from Poland, but I call China my home at the moment.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroader?
I am definitely a long term traveller who is living and working in China.
On my days off me and Cez put our backpacks on and travel the world on the
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
We work very hard to be able to afford our travels. Right now we are
full-time English teachers in China, we used to be web designers and
photographers in Cambodia and who knows what else we can do in the future!
We also control our limited budget by never buying too many clothes, rarely
partying, always cycling or walking instead of using cabs and local
transport and sleeping in dead-cheap hostels. The most important to us is
to keep the balance. That’s our main rule – “if you spend too much one day,
make sure you spend less the day after”. In this way, we can slowly travel
all 7 continents without (hopefully) any debts!
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I went to Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic when I was 7 or 8
years old. It was a two day school trip. I remember carrying a Barbie
backpack full of food and drinks. I looked so cute!!
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
It was definitely Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. We were expecting a
place so much like China as we were told by Chinese Tibet is so Chinese. As
it turned out, Lhasa took us by surprise. Tibetans were amazingly
hospitable and religious people who, despite the repressions from China,
still smiled and stayed positive. We also loved the food, so different from
Chinese and we were blown away by the atmosphere and rich Buddhist
architecture there. That was a journey of our lifetime so far!
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
It happened during my stay in China. I was bitten by a spider. My whole
neck and face were infected and it took me a long time to recover (about
two months as far as I remember). I was pretty scared and looked like a
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I’ve learnt one of the most difficult Chinese songs and sang it in front of
my Chinese friends. I won my RMB100 ($16), but they couldn’t stop laughing
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
I didn’t enjoy Vietnam at all. We spent over two months cycling across the country, visiting local villages and bigger cities. Although I think Vietnam is so beautiful and charming, I didn’t enjoy my stay that much. Locals tried to rip us off all the time and people never smiled.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Yes, of course! I extend my bucket list every single day. It’s getting
longer and longer and that scares me as I know I won’t be able to do
everything what’s in there. Let me give you some examples of things I wanna
do and places I wanna see before kicking the bucket:
- Go cycling across Australia
- Fly business class
- Save someone’s life
- Visit Madagascar
- Have malaria and recover from it
- Have a real sushi in Tokyo
- Take part in a parade in Brazil
Can you imagine life without travel?
Can you live without the air?
No, I don’t think so 🙂
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
I would be a lawyer perhaps.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
eTramping – http://etramping.com
When did you begin your website?
It was back in 2011 when Cez felt an urge to set up his own website and
create a travel community where people could share their travel thoughts
and experiences, and I wanted to start blogging about my life and work in
How did you arrive at the name “E-Tramping”?
The word itself consists of three morphemes: prefix “e” meaning electronic
or internet as we are digital nomads going online and sharing our travel
experiences with people, the word “Tramp” meaning a homeless person – we
are homeless, by choice and suffix “ing” emphasizing the continuity of the
state of being a tramp. This is also a very active state, like jumping,
trekking, doing, etc.
You aspire to travel on less than $25 a day. How do you manage it and are there some big sacrifices to make?
There is not much to sacrifice to be honest. We just walk instead of taking
taxis/tuk-tuks, travel by land avoiding expensive flights, eat in local
restaurants and buy some food in a supermarket, sleep in budget hostels
(mainly dorms) and try not to spend too much money on souvenirs :).
Travelling can be quite stressful. Yet you two have travelled for a long time as best friends together. Don’t you have arguments and fall out a lot?
We have been best friends for more than 5 years and we know each other very
well. We always meet half-way, talk a lot and try to avoid unnecessary
arguments. We have a lot in common which helps to stand each other for a
longer period of time :).
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
We feel the urge to share our stories with others. There is nothing more
important than feeling connected with people. We want to prove that
everyone can travel, no matter how old you are, what your nationality is
and how much money you have on your account.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
We share budget travel tips with our readers which can help them
out when planning a trip on the cheap. We write about how to keep your
finance under control, where to go on the cheap, what you can
see/eat/explore for free and much more. We guess it’s a very informative
website for wanna-be travellers.
You can now buy a new book (Add your brick to the Great Wall) about life in China which was co-authored by Agness. Just click the image of the book below to find out more:-
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
The most popular post is called Couchsurfing or Sexsurfing? What is the difference nowadays? where I described my couchsurfing experience with different hosts I stayed at when travelling in Europe between November and December 2012.
What has been your favourite article to write?
It is called Travellers vs. non-travellers – will we ever understand
each other? where I shared my my personal reflection on how sometimes
non-travelers try to discourage me to travel. It is a very personal
article, definitely my favourite one.
When do you think you will go home and settle down?
I am planning to continue my studies next year. I might be moving to Europe
for a year to do my master’s degree in Social Media. I would be much closer
to my family and friends, but I have not decided what country it is going
to be. Maybe France, Spain or the Netherlands. Although I will be a
full-time student again, I am not giving up my travels. There are so many
places I want to go in Europe!!
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
“If the plan A fails, stay cool the alphabet has another 25 letters.”
What has travel taught you?
I have learnt that there are amazing people out there and stunning places
to explore so we should not be afraid of the world and always follow our
dreams. Thanks to travels, I am an open-minded and confident person, became
more spontaneous and much happier. I try to stay positive all the time and
be optimistic with everything I do. I love adventures and eating. I don’t
give up so easily and I believe that you get what you give, so I try to
give people my all. I also have learnt how to respect other religions,
traditions and enjoy every second of my life.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Aeroflot
Favourite country? China
Favourite city? Beijing
Favourite beach? Koh Phangan, Thailand
Favourite food? Pancakes with nutella, Thai pad thai, fruit salad, salmon
Favourite language? Chinese
Please provide the following:-
Website url? —> http://etramping.com/
Twitter handle? —> https://twitter.com/Agnesstramp
Facebook page? —>
Google+ profile/page? —>
StumbleUpon? —> http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/Agnesstramp
Pinterest? —> http://pinterest.com/etramping/