Today’s interview features a travel blogger who is all about adventure travel, he’s even come face to face with a grizzly bear. Please meet Stephen Schreck of A Backpackers Tale.
What is your name?
The names Stephen Schreck and I run the A Backpackers Tale – Adventure Travel Blog. The purpose of the blog is help people conquer their fears of travel and provide them with first-hand travel tips and guides.
Which country do you come from/call home?
Ha, I guess it depends on where I am at the moment. I’m originally from a small town in Ohio but I would say that my real home is on the road. It is the only place I feel truly alive, and free.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I started off as a short term backpacker taking 1 to 3 month trips. As my love of travel grew into my passion I turned into a long term traveler. At the moment, I have been on the road about 18 months, and can’t see myself stopping any time soon.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
Through a variety of ways; I teach English online, do freelance writing, and make some money off my blog.
I am hoping to draw a full income off my site in the next year, and I have lots of ideas in the works. A few things I have in the works is partnering with Backpacker Banter to produce an eBook that will be coming out in a few months. I’ve also partnered with Epic Gap Year, and Where the Sidewalk Ends and I am going to start doing reader tours starting early next year.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
Oh yes, it was the most defining moment of my life. The first time I went abroad was to Ireland, and I was 22. As the plane was about to land I looked out the window and saw the emerald green landscape of Ireland. At that moment, something inside of my changed and I knew travel would be a massive part of my life…..and it has been ever since.
It’s funny because the plane hadn’t even landed, but I was already head over heels in love with traveling.
What drives you to travel?
There is a quote that inspires a lot of the decisions I make; it says “Living is the rarest of things, most people just exists.”
What fuels my wanderlust, adventures, and travels is my desire to live!
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
I went to Turkey one trip out of sheer desperation. I was in Greece and quickly running out of money. I went to Turkey with no real desire to see it only to make my money last longer, and I absolutely fell in love with the country. Istanbul is such a grand city and a perfect introduction to the Middle East.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
I’ve had some close calls like coming face to face with a Grizzly Bear. But never anything to life threatening.
As far as bad experiences, it is just a natural part of traveling long term. A lot of people think traveling is all rainbows and sunshine, but you have some really tough days where everything goes wrong, you don’t speak the language, and been awake and traveling for 30 something hours.
Are the bad experiences worth it?
100% worth it!
Do you have any funny travel stories?
Haha, where to begin. I spent one afternoon hanging with Russian Cops, I’ve been lost in Mongolia, and stranded in Kazakhstan, that story got me a nomination from funniest story of the year by hostel world.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
I try to find something good in every place I visit. However, my least favorite country is Kazakhstan. The roads are horrible and there really isn’t anything that exciting to do. I spent a few weeks driving though, and by the end I was ready to leave.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I am head over heels in love with Italy. I want to live there someday. The food, the history, people, and landscape are all a massive draw for me. I’ve spent months in Italy and have never grown tired of it. I just wrote about Italy travel tips on my site and it has been getting a lot of positive feedback.
Other countries I love include Thailand, Turkey, and France. But honestly I love everywhere!
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Yes, and is everything an answer lol. My bucket list almost grows daily. Right now the top of the list are a lot of things in South America such as Machu Picchu and The Galapagos.
Last year I marked off some major things like the Mongol Rally, Running of the Bulls, and Skydiving. I believe in living free, and in the moment that is one of the main reasons I choose this life of adventure.
What is the Mongol Rally?
The Mongol Rally is an adventure where you get into a old slow car and drive 1/3 the planet from London to Ulaanbaatar. It is one of the wildest most random things I’ve ever done.
Can you imagine life without travel?
Honestly, no. Travel has been my life for the last decade. I don’t remember what life was like before I was obsessed with traveling, and a life without it doesn’t really appeal to me.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Ah man, hard to say but probably working the grind 9-5 in some office with a wife and 2.5 kids. Those things are perfect for some people, but I’m just not built that way.
The thing about working online is that I work way more than I would in an office. I just can do it anywhere in the world I want, and I actually like what I am doing.
What is the name of your travel blog and the URL?
A Backpackers Tale – http://abackpackerstale.com
When did you begin your website?
About 1 ½ years ago. Blogging quickly became a passion of mine as well.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
Haha, all of the above. I love connecting and inspiring other people to travel. I also enjoy it and find it therapeutic. Of course, I am in this for the long haul, and so making money is nice.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
One thing that sets my site apart is that a lot of the time I am facing my fears. Like scuba diving, absolutely terrified me, but I write to show other people that once you face your fears they really aren’t so bad.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
I’m actually repurposing my website to offer more to my audience I just launched a travel planning service, and am finishing my first eBook which will be out in a few months. T
he Ebook is all about helping people plan and achieve their around the world trip.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
20 things you learn Traveling in your 20’s. I had so many hits in 3 days that it knocked my site offline for 24 hrs.
As far as travel guides I am extremely pleased with my Europe Travel Tips
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I really love train travel. You get to see the landscape, you can walk around if you are cramped, and the rocking of the train always makes for a good night sleep.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Do it, and do it now.
What has travel taught you?
Haha, what hasn’t it taught me. My favorite lesson travel has taught me is that experiences are more valuable than any amount of money.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? British Airways
Favourite country? Italy
Favourite city? Rome
Favourite beach? Almost any beach in Southeast Asia
Favourite food? Chicken w/ Cashew Nuts – Thai Style
Favourite language? French and Spanish
Please provide the following:-
Website URL? www.abackpackerstale.com
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/ABackpackersTale
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/u/0/+StephenSchreck-travel-writer/posts