It is our pleasure to interview Amar Hussain Editor-in-Chief in GapYearEscape.com
1. What is your favourite travel movie/song/book?
Not a movie but I really was a fan of Long Way Round with Ewan Mcgregor. I’ve never been into motorbikes but I just thought the undertaking was fascinating and the way they interacted with the people they came across and the challenges they faced were admirable.
2. How do you fund your travels?
I make an income from a few online ventures but before I started blogging I did anything and everything to get my travel fund together from focus groups and being a runner, to working in a warehouse and trucking. There really are numerous fundraising ideas that you could implement so there is no excuse to make your travel plans a reality.
3. What do you focus on while travelling to a new place – people, culture, attractions, food, adventure, or nature?
I think all of the above has an impact on your experience within a destination. However, I’m really into my adventure travel so if there’s something unique to jump off, climb, swim, mountain bike or anything else, I’m there!
4. What is your number 1 money‐saving tip to other travellers?
Start looking into travel hacking. I spent a few years wasting what is effectively free flights because I didn’t look into this rather lucrative subject. By just spending what you normally would but putting it on a card that gives you points such as avios, you can rack up free flights and upgrades. I’m only just getting into it now (and it is addictive) but its well worth making a start. Websites like upgraded points have tonnes of guides about how to maximize your points. Personally I’m saving them up for a long haul trip to Australia.
5. What is the longest you have travelled for? What advice would you give to travellers thinking of long‐term travel but are hesitant to go ahead?
I did about a year and a half travelling from Canada to Antarctica. It was a very long way down! It’s certainly challenging going away for that amount of time but my best advice would be to try not to plan the whole thing as it will only change anyway. I had a start and end point on that long trip but everything in-between was left fluid. I’d also suggest stopping periodically to recharge. Constantly being on the move is exhausting so if you’ve got time, schedule in a long stop and try and get out of a hostel for some home comfort. Airbnb is great for this as they tend to be reasonably priced and for longer stays you get an even better rate.
6. What is the craziest thing you’ve done during your travels?
I think going to Antarctica was pretty crazy due to how remote it was. I’d put cage diving with Great Whites on the list along with doing the death road in Bolivia and experiencing zero gravity.
7. What advice would you give to anyone who is considering travelling but is scared to take the leap of faith?
Please, for your own sake, just do it! It’s not as big or scary as you think right now. In fact, when you finally do take the leap, you’ll feel silly about all the worries you did have. Provided you are prepared and done a bit of research, travel is relatively safe and easy.
8. Do you travel full time? Or do you take breaks in between?
I used to travel full-time but I’ve found as I’ve got older I do much prefer having a base and being closer to friends and family. It’s also much more productive having a base to get work done and not always be distracted by the beach or diving.
9. Any upcoming trips you’re looking forward to?
I’m currently putting together my trip to Sri Lanka. I’ve heard such good things about it, particularly the tea plantations and leopard safaris, and thought it was about time that I paid the country a visit.
10. Where have you visited so far?
I’m fortunate to be able to say that I’ve been to all seven continents. I’ve done big round the world and down the world trips along with lots of other stints abroad. My favourite regions would have to be Central and South America but really I think you can find something fun to do anywhere.
11. Why did you decide to blog? Has it had any impact on the way you travel?
I actually started a blog on a whim a week before I went travelling. My friend was a full-time blogger and they always say to write about what you are passionate about and travel was it. I set off on a round the world trip in 2009 and the rest, as they say, is history. Being a full-time blogger has certainly had an impact on my life and on the whole it has been very positive.