Twipper of the Week: Joel Harris from Exposured Photography.
Current city: I just moved back to the U.S. from Doha, Qatar. But currently I’m sitting in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Total countries visited: 39 and counting… given my trips tend to be of short duration (over holidays and weekends), I also tend to visit countries multiple times.
What makes you interesting: If it’s not the fact that I’m obsessive about travel (I once traveled to over two dozen countries in a year because a colleague said it wasn’t possible with only five weeks of vacation), it would probably be the fact that I have an extremely broad and spontaneous approach to travel. It’s not unlikely that you might find me flying international business class to arrive at a $5 a night hostel, or booking a reward flight an hour before a red eye departs to a country I’ve never visited, or spending my holiday with a tour guide I just met, or showing up to a train station with a few mates to play train roulette (buy a ticket to the destination with the next departure time).
If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: That’s an interesting question. Maybe Singapore. When I think of Singapore, I think of the diversity – not only the cultural diversity but from a travel perspective too. Fast paced to easy going, high end to budget. Now if I could only speak the four official languages…
Where and when were you the most culture shocked: I recall feeling the most culture shock during and immediately following a 10-day trip to Peru back in 2006. It was the first time I’d visited a developing country and seen such poverty. I realized upon returning home the experience created for me a strong awareness of how happy people could be with almost nothing, living simply.
What do you put in your carry on luggage: As a general rule I never check luggage. So, I have to pack the essentials in two carry on bags. I also wind up with a lot of electronics – my camera gear and laptop. Of course, I always carry a koozie and cigars.
Best thing you have bought during your travels: Experiences. But I do have a couple of other items I am partial to… Tibetan bowls from Nepal, handmade stainless elephant bar glasses from Thailand, a $1 handmade traditional coffee pot from Ethiopia, and a fine set of chopsticks from Singapore.
What is the most interesting food you have ever tried and where: Fried buffalo skin with iced Beer Laos – where I was the only foreigner at a local bar in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Next travel destination: I’m currently beginning a six week trip to Southeast Asia – Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. When I get back, I think South America is likely.