This weeks Big Blogger Interview is with Traveling Ted. Enjoying outdoor adventures along the way, Ted was bitten by the travel bug at the young age of 10. Ted talks to us about the nicest man he has ever met, discovering Guyana and reminisces on his trips with his dad.
You’ve been travelling around since you were 10 when you would go along on yours dad’s travels. What was it about travelling that appealed to you at that age and what’s your most memorable travel experience from when you were younger?
When I was younger I really enjoyed seeing wild animals and birds. I loved being outdoors for the opportunity to see bear, deer, moose, and birds like herons, eagles and hawks. When we would drive to wild places I would be in the back of the van with my eyes glued out the window with the hopes of seeing a deer or something else exciting.
There are so many travel memories from when I was younger that it is hard to pick one, but if I had to it would be a two week hike on Isle Royal National Park. This park is an island in the middle of Lake Superior with wolves and moose and very few people. We hiked up and down the island and spent two weeks in the wilderness.
With a goal to give tips to fellow travellers, your website gives great advice from planning trips to gaining followers on Twitter. What’s the best piece of advice you can give?
I would advise all travellers to find a spot on the globe they have barely heard of before and check it out. I did this with Guyana in South America. If you are a blogger you become the travel expert on that country. If you are not a blogger, it makes you interesting to your peers because everyone will want to know what this place is like. There are plenty of safe countries around the world that are lightly travelled and fit this mould.
Hiking, canoeing, skiing and fishing are some of your favourite outdoor travel-related adventures. What’s been your biggest and best adventure so far?
My three month trip to Southeast Asia was the most adventurous trip I have ever done. I would say to pinpoint it even further would be my two days in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. I ended up stranded at the gates of the park and had to walk 13 kilometres to the campground through tiger country uphill with a full backpack on. Fortunately, I was picked up rather quickly by a group of Thai college students who took me under their wing and fed me, gave me drinks, and let me go on their night safari with them.
You’re a very active person and you’ll even be running the Chicago marathon in October. Do you tend to plan your travels around your sports or your sports around your travels?
That is a really interesting question. Most often I pick a place that appeals to me and then research the adventure activities later. Hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and fishing are activities that can be done just about anywhere. The Chicago Marathon is in my home town, so that really does not count for travel; however, I did do the Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathon in Wisconsin so that is a time I travelled around my sport activity. Next year I plan on doing a cross-country ski marathon in Canada and in future years I hope to do some in Europe and maybe even Japan and Australia.
You have some great daily travel photos on your website. Can you share some of your favourites with us?
Here are a couple. Due to posting this picture, I was contacted by McGraw-Hill Textbooks who purchased a copy for a College Biology textbook. This is my first piece of photography I have ever sold. It is a picture of my mom and dad hiking through the swamps of the Everglades National Park in Florida over 20 years ago. I also really love snow pictures being an avid skier; I never tire of snow on top of pine trees next to a skiing trail.
Whilst you do specialise in outdoor adventure travel, you also enjoy the cultural side of travel, like meeting new people. Which characters from your travels stand out the most and why?
When you travel there are two types of people you interact with: other travellers and the people who live in the country you are travelling in. Here is one from each group. On a Halong Bay boat cruise I met a really cool Australian named Neal, who was a blast to hang out with. We drank many beers together and we then decided to fish with these bamboo poles… the pictures tell the story. Another stand out person was a Thai fellow named Lex who helped me out of a big jam when a lady friend and I ran out of gas in a car we rented in Chiang Mai,Thailand. We were in the middle of nowhere, and he drove me to a gas station on his motorbike and then back to the car. After that problem was taken care of, he took us out for drinks at the local bar. He refused any payment for the help and then refused to let us pay for the drinks. He is the nicest person I have ever met in my life.
Of course this interview wouldn’t be complete without asking you this: What’s the deal with the fanny pack!?
One thing I love about travelling is how liberating it is. You are out on your own and you have no cares in the world about how you look and how you dress. It is almost like another existence than from what you lead at home. I started seeing some online posts making fun of the fanny pack and those who wear it. I took a little bit of offense to them, so I started to be the e-defender of the fanny pack. I find them to be useful when I travel, and I don’t really care how they look. I got an email last year from someone who started International Fanny Pack Day on the 2nd Saturday in March, and I embraced the idea.
With 20 countries and 36 states under your belt (or fanny pack), you’ve travelled a fair amount of Chicago, North America and other parts of the world including Asia. Where are you planning on journeying to next?
In the immediate future I am going to the Stagecoach Music Festival in Palm Springs, California, Red River Gorge in Kentucky, and the TBEX travel blogger conference in Toronto. My only other planned trip is Seattle,Washington for a week in July. Other than these trips, I have no concrete plans but a trip back to Guyana is possible as is Costa Rica, as well as a canoeing trip to Canadaor maybe a hiking trip back to Isle Royal.
Thanks Ted! Good luck in your upcoming sporting events and other travels! If you want to keep up with Ted’s travels, visit www.travelingted.com.
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