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TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Joe Looker from Joe Travel Blogs!

 

Current city: Reading, United Kingdom

Age: 21

Total countries visited: I really can’t remember but roughly 15! I think I am doing quite well considering I didn’t start travelling until I was 18 years old.

What makes you interesting: I always travel on a budget as cheaply as possible, so I can maximize the countries I go to. I always stay in hostels or with friends abroad, it means I can see so much more of the world.

What brands do you love: National Geographic because their work is incredible and constantly inspires me and Osprey for there rugged travelling bags.

What destinations are on your bucket list and why: Japan was the biggest thing on my bucket list for years. But I ticked that one off in January which was incredible after dreaming about going for so long. Now I would say highest on my bucket list is Norway or Canada! If you want to see more, my full bucket list is actually on my blog.

What is the most interesting food you have ever tried and where: When I traveled to Peru I tried Cuy which is wild guinea pig. I was in the Sacred Valley and it was cooked on a spit. However it was a bit boney, I am not really in a rush to try it again.

What was your best and worst travel experience: My best travel experience was going to the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand because we trekked the whole glacier and even got a helicopter ride to the top. It is also something that is becoming harder and harder to do now because of glaciers melting. So I’m really glad I did it when I had the chance.

My worst experience was at the Bolivian border. I was on a long haul sleeper bus and we just had to get off the bus and hand in our passports, get a new stamp and go. But my entry card had fallen out of my passport, which was unknown to me. It was so confusing because they were talking Spanish really quickly and I was only understanding parts of the conversation. Then I got taken into a different room and he said for 5 sol he could make me a dodgy new one but to keep it quite. It was all very sketchy. Then about 5 minutes later I got back on the bus and into Bolivia.

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: I think in 2050 I will be really proud to have visited Cuba before it was turned into a tourist hot spot. I believe it will change hugely soon because of how the country is trying to come out of communism and change to capitalism. The government also drives tourism massively with it being there biggest and most profitable sector.

What people say when they travel with you: Wow he never spends money! Haha

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Money is only a number and is worthless compared to experiences and memories.

Next travel destination: Italy because I have never been before and it is only in Europe so it is very close to me in the UK! I love the food and culture of the people. I really can’t believe I have never been before.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Clark Norton!

Current city: Tucson, AZ

Age: 71 (though since I can’t really picture myself as 71, I prefer “veteran travel writer” or “cutting-edge baby boomer”)

Total countries visited: 120

What makes you interesting:  People seem to find the life of a travel writer interesting – that you can actually make a living traveling and write about it. I don’t like to talk about my work all that much – there’s a lot of sitting in front of the computer pounding out (I hope) golden or at least silver or bronze words, and that’s anything but glamorous  – but I do love to talk about travel, and I can do that for hours. But only if the person on the other end of the conversation is genuinely interested and asking questions and isn’t fidgeting or dozing off; not everyone wants to hear about your latest trip. Otherwise, I put my work out there and let it speak for itself.

What brands do you love: LL Bean, Travelsmith, Magellan’s, REI, Columbia, Keen – all for travel clothes and travel gadgets.

What motivates you to travel: Of course, as a travel writer I’m motivated to travel when an editor sends me somewhere on a paying gig, but in truth, I would – and often do — travel even if I’m not on assignment. I can only say that I love it and there’s some sort of burning pit inside me that propels me to want to go anywhere and everywhere at just about any time. I think it’s mostly being curious about the world. What’s a place I’ve only read about really like? I never feel I can answer that question until I’ve been there and seen it for myself (and, often, write about it afterward – which helps me clarify my thoughts). Then there are countries like France, Spain, Italy and Greece that I return to again and again just because I like being there so much and enjoy the ambiance, people, and food.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: I’ll have to divide that into two parts. My parents were both teachers, had summers off and loved to take driving trips around the U.S., so I had traveled to 48 states by the time I was 12. My first big trip was at age five when my family visited New York City and Washington, DC; I’ll never forget the impression the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and the U.S. Capitol made on me then. But of all our trips, I was especially enamored of California and the “wild” West, which seemed incredibly exotic to a boy growing up in Indiana. My first overseas trip was to Europe when I was age 20, in college. Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam, Lucerne, and London were magical places to me and really opened my eyes to the world. And I’ve been traveling every chance I’ve had ever since.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: So many, but one quickly comes to mind: Margaret Mead, the anthropologist. She was quite old at the time and I was quite young, on my first trip to Africa trying to dig up stories for a news service but finding myself more interested in seeing the sights (naturally). I was sitting in the outdoor cafe of the New Stanley Hotel in Nairobi when I spotted her, cane in hand, standing at the corner of a busy intersection, clearly wary of facing the traffic. I recognized her immediately and jumped at the chance to help her cross the street, then accompanied her to a conference she was attending on environmental issues. She was incredibly smart, of course, but also very funny – she couldn’t get over how there was a KFC (which she called “that chicken place”) right across the street from the conference center — and I got a good story out of it.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: Walking around a city or hiking through the countryside, just observing, soaking in the atmosphere, people watching and relishing the scenery: The world’s best freebie.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: Probably the stamp I got on Easter Island (“Isla de Pascua”) on October 17, 2006. It pictures the moia – the giant carved stone heads the island is famous for – and epitomizes to me getting to someplace that’s in the middle of nowhere but absolutely fascinating.

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: Besides my laptop and camera, which I couldn’t do without, I still rely on good old-fashioned print guidebooks (often with the appropriate pages torn out to reduce the weight). My most useful guidebook was when I bought Arthur Frommer’s Europe on $5 a Day back in 1971 while spending three months traveling around Europe. Until I picked up that book, I was sort of aimlessly wandering around, and when I started reading it I realized how much I’d been missing. I’ve been devoted to print guidebooks ever since, no matter how smart my phone is.

Next travel destinationJapan: Tokyo, Kyoto, hot springs, cherry blossoms, bullet trains, great noodle dishes, a culture very different from the U.S.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Stephanie Sack from Barge Lady Cruises!

Current city: Chicago

Age: 43

Total countries visited: 8 and counting

What makes you interesting: I am a northside Chicago native, hardcore hot yoga junkie, passionate self-taught Paleo chef, Europhile medical and recreational cannabis supporter, PANK (Professional Aunt No Kids), true crime podcast addict, and all around wacky gal.

What brands do you love: ModCloth for street chic clothing; Airbnb for its innovations in global hospitality and travel marketing; Burning Man for its dynamic representation of inspirational creativity; Daybreaker for producing the best sober raves around the world; Atlas Obscura for positioning local discoveries as accessible for all.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: As someone who is relatively late to travel, I am consistently amazed, blessed, and honored by the local, secret, and offbeat experiences exclusively available to me as a traveler, which helps me stay youthful and present. Travel is one of the fountains of youth from which I drink often!

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: Anywhere with a Bikram-style hot yoga studio is where I plan to get my sweat on between now and 2050!

What are the top reasons should someone travel with you: I can always find the most awesome events in any city.  Recently, while in San Francisco, I attended a screening in an underground movie theatre of Akira, the classic Japanese anime, with a live techno soundtrack commissioned for this one-off screening.  YAS!!!

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: 15 years ago, I was in London with some other young folk, and somehow we found the most amazing underground nightclub! The music, space, lights, crowd – all of it was right out of David Bowie’s “Young Americans”.  We danced for hours, made a ton of friends, and had an epic time.  The next time we went to try to find the club again and literally could not locate where we had been.  I am convinced we entered a portal to some killer nightclub from another dimension!

If you wash up on a deserted island with your luggage in hand, what’s the one thing you’re thanking God you packed and why: Almonds.  I always have almonds at the ready when I travel.  They just solve a bunch of problems!

Next travel destination: San Francisco, for a one-night-only listening party to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon!

Twipper of the Month – January 2018

Twipper of the Month – January 2018: Tony Giles from Tony the Traveller!

16-bungee jumps, 3 skydives, and a near-death experience in the rivers of Zambia aren’t the only things that make Tony interesting and our Twipper of the Month for January 2018What makes him remarkable is the way he chooses to live life with no excuses.  His inabilities to neither see nor hear are not an excuse for him to go after his dreams and travel the world.  Since the age of 19 he began writing about my journeys and publishing two books, Seeing The World My Way and Seeing The Americas My Way,  and one version in Polish. He also has his own travel show documentary on BBC and interviewed for many publications. At 39 and 125 countries later, Tony is determined to visit every country in the world and maybe even the moon. He’s a reminder that with the right mindset we can go anywhere we dream about.

TWIPPERS OF THE YEAR 2017

Twippers of the Year 2017: Charlotte and Josh from The Spindrifters!

“It’s incredibly exciting to learn more about the world we live in and the amazing people that occupy it,” says Josh and Charlotte from The Spindrifters. Through their community service efforts, Josh and Charlotte immerse themselves into the local’s lifestyle to get a better understanding and knowledge. This traveling duo is always conscious of how they make an impact for local communities. It’s because of their need for helping others wherever their wanderlust takes them that we choose The Spindrifters as our Twippers of the Year 2017!

Long before meeting at Groupon HQ in London, Josh and Charlotte both shared a passion for travel. After two years of working corporate jobs in the “city of fog,” they couldn’t resist the need to “just go” and start a new journey in 2015, and after thinking of a great blog name. What is a Spindrifter? Well, a spindrift is the spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind. Just like this spray, Charlotte and Josh wanted to drift to dream locations, meet new people and take advantage of every opportunity they found along the way. And so they did!

Their favorite opportunities are when they have the chance to help locals in their communities. From working at Non Governmental Organization on a tropical Island in Borneo, to teaching in the slums of Mumbai, to working in countless hostels, they are the true meaning of an Altruist. There traveling isn’t all work without play. Josh and Charlotte always take some time for themselves to explore and experience the breathtaking sights at each destination, and share their adventures with their followers.

Read on for Charlotte and Josh’s travel update for 2017:

What was the best trip that you went on in 2017: We were still on our worldwide adventure in 2017 which lasted 16 months before returning home for a couple of months to see our friends and family!

What is your most favorite travel memory of 2017: We had so many it’s hard to narrow it down! Camping in the Thar Desert after trekking through the sand dunes on camels and eating under the stars by campfire was pretty awesome!

Where has been your favorite destination to volunteer: We volunteered on a desert island in Borneo for 2 months which was absolutely incredible. Working for an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) to help the island develop a sustainable living environment and educating them on waste management was really fulfilling, and it just so happened our bedroom door opened onto the beach!

What does “Travel” mean to you: Travel means, opening ourselves to new opportunities and experiencing amazing cultures, countries and people every single day. It’s eye opening and tough, but also incredibly fulfilling and exciting!

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: Definitely India. Every day to day activity and interaction is completely different to anything you will experience anywhere else. Landing in Delhi and walking around Old Delhi on our first day was definitely something to remember!

What advice would you give someone who wants to start traveling: Start! I don’t think we have ever met anyone who has regretted going travelling. It changes you in so many ways and allows you to experience life in a completely different way than you would in the normal 9 to 5!

Where are you traveling in 2018: We are living in Sri Lanka for the foreseeable future attempting to start a business related to travelling so watch this space!

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