Describing his blog as epic stories, thrillers and narrowly avoiding death tales it is little wonder the guest for today’s travel blogger interview makes a fascinating read. Please meet Will Hatton of The Broke Backpacker.
What is your name?
Will Hatton, but many people know me as The Broke Backpacker
Which country do you come from/call home?
I’m originally from the UK but I’ve been on the road for most of my adult life, I’ve lived in India, Myanmar and Colombia as well as, of course, England.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I’m a backpacker, I love travelling and exploring new places, vibes and cultures. I’m working hard to enable myself to live abroad more permanently, I dream of owning a hostel on the beach, but, for now, I’m simply one more wannabe adventurer!
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I used to bring stuff home from my travels to sell at festivals, I would also get lots of part time jobs in bars and hostels. More recently, I’ve been able to make a living out of writing online.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I must have been about eight. I went to Greece with my family, it was my first time out of the country. Greece had the worst weather it had experienced in over 25 years for the duration of our holiday, I made a lot of macaroni pictures…
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Aw man, yes!! Pretty much everywhere I go is different to how I imagine! Right now, I’m in Venezuela, the ‘kidnap capital’ of South America; everybody I met, Venezuelans included, told me to not come here; it was supposed to be a hotbed of crime, political instability and muggings. So far, I absolutely love it; it’s crazy cheap, just dangerous enough to be interesting and filled with amazing sites and wonderful people.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Any long-term traveler is going to have bad experiences at some point or another. I’ve been mugged a couple of times, had a sword (nope, not a knife!) pulled on me, crashed some motorbikes and gotten pretty sick, once leading to expatriation back to the UK, on my adventure but hell, that’s all part of the fun!
You got expatriated back to the UK? Tell us about this…
I was but a fresh-faced 19 year old when I first rocked up in Costa Rica with the aim of exploring most of Central America and seeing where the winds took me! I started off by trying to cross Costa Rica; the plan was to start at the Atlantic Ocean and finish at the Pacific! Just three days in I got seriously ill, I eventually made it to a hospital where I was told my leg may need to be amputated. Two painful weeks later, I was sent back to the UK where I spent months recovering; it was a heck of a blow to my fledgling career in backpacking around the world but, overall, it improved my outlook. Anything can happen, prepare for the worst and expect the best!
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I rode an ostrich once, it was harder than it looks…
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
Hmm, this is a pretty loaded question; India is without a doubt the craziest, dirtiest, most controversial place I have ever been. Saying that, it is also a paradise for budget backpackers, filled with fascinating cultures and, well, the home of curry so can it really be that bad!?
Do you have a favourite city?
Recently, I rented an apartment and lived in Medellin, Colombia for a short while; I absolutely loved it. It was hands-down the best quality of living I have ever experienced; great parties, great food, plenty of amazing sites and all of it was wonderfully cheap! I had a penthouse apartment for $250 a month!
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Myanmar for the wonderful people, Nepal for the stunning scenery!
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Do I ever!? This year I hope to finally inter-rail my way across Europe, up through Turkey and then cross overland into Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan; from there I want to continue overland to the Philippines where I hope to explore the many islands by boat…
Can you imagine life without travel?
I’ve tried. I had a brief break from travel where I worked as a travel agent for a year; it didn’t work out and I hit the road again. Ultimately, the people I meet and the experiences I have are so much more awesome than my life in the UK. I feel like I have missed the ‘careers boat’ so I am trying to carve out my own niche online to fund the eventful building of my hostel…
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Writing Sci-Fi scripts…
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
The Broke Backpacker over at www.thebrokebackpacker.com
When did you begin your website?
I first started seriously blogging about eight months ago but I’ve been running this blog for friends and family for years; it was never particularly great until I put the time in more recently but it did teach me some of the basics about writing engaging content..
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I like to inspire people; as far as I am concerned, if I can educate, inform and amuse people, I’ve done a good job.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
There’s a lot of blogs out there but only a few people travelling the world on an extreme budget with the express aim of visiting dangerous countries; if you like cheap adventures, epic stories and near-miss thrillers then check out my site; barely a week goes by without me learning something random or narrowly avoiding death!
Do you have any products or services to offer?
I am a ghostwriter and I have also worked with numerous travel companies to promote their products.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
I wrote a post on the 10 Reasons You Should Travel to Burma – it accrued over 17,000 likes and shares on Facebook. I was in Burma, well, Myanmar, three years ago; a short stint before it was really on the backpacker radar; I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to go back!
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
Right now, I’m writing about corruption and inflation in Venezuela. I’m finding this an absolutely fascinating topic to write about and have been interviewing pretty much every Venezuelan I bump into!
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Boat; hand’s down, I like to fish.
Do you have any more epic adventures planned for the future?
Besides heading to the Philippines overland from the UK, I would also love to hire an old banger and drive it all over South America picking up hitch-hikers. I’m an avid hitcher myself and on the few occasions I had had a car I always go looking for brethren to help out, I’ve never had the chance to drive anyone a really insane distance before though; would love to give it a go!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Stop delaying, there will never be a perfect time, perfect country or perfect buddy to hit the road with; book those flights, pack your bag, stick out your thumb and hit the road!
What has travel taught you?
To expect the unexpected and that, with a bit of hard work, nothing is impossible.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Qatar or Emirates
Favourite country? Nepal
Favourite city? Medellin
Favourite beach? Palolem, Goa
Favourite food? Full english breakfast
Favourite language? English
Please provide the following:-
Website url? www.thebrokebackpacker.com
Twitter handle? @wandering_will
Facebook page? www.facebook.com/thebrokebackpacker.com