Guest Interview – Lessons Learned Abroad

Chris from Lessons Learned Abroad

This week’s guest post comes from Lessons Learned Abroad. He explains: ‘Ethical Travel for the Budget Adventurer – That’s how I would sum up Lessons Learned Abroad, I think. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for adventure…but I’m also all for sustainability and saving money. I’m also a big fan of minimizing risk…so I’ll #YOLO with the best of them, but only after I do some research and am relatively sure I wont die. I guess I’m just a look before you leap kinda guy. Reasonable, right? When I’m not backpacking around I am liking reading, writing, hiking, or playing chess…all while planning my next adventure…whilst trying to figure out how to pay for it…whilst trying to convince Christine to join me on it. Oh right, Christine. She’s here too…though usually in a hilariously Karl Pilkington-esque mood. We first travelled together back in 2012, from Germany to China, over a 2 month journey that ended on the beautiful beaches of Hong Kong. It was love at first adventure, and we haven’t looked back since’.

Chris from Lessons Learned Abroad
Chris from Lessons Learned Abroad

1. What is your name and where do you come from?

Hey! My name is Chris, and I’m a Canadian travel blogger presently living in Sweden.

2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?

Right now I’m a part-time traveler who loves backpacking on a budget. I usually spend my summers working a TON so that I can spend the rest of the year focusing on things I enjoy – chiefly travel and writing (about travel, of course!).

3. How do you fund your travelling?

I work a seasonal job in Sweden that pays me the bulk of my income. I am also the Community Forum Manager at Nomadic Matt, and I have my own blog that I am slowwwllllyy trying to monetize. Since I really don’t make a lot of money (under $15,000USD/year) I try to keep my travels on a budget. I have no qualms sleeping in an airport or eating boring meals if it means extra time exploring a new country!

4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?

This is tough! I’m not sure about ”best” but the most interesting and surprising  places I have been are Vietnam and Mongolia. In both cases I did absolutely zero research, and so my expectations were wide open. I was able to experience the countries with fresh eyes and it really made for a memorable experience. Of course, both countries are interesting and chaotic on their own so I highly suggest them both!

5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?

I hate to say it, but after two visits to China it is my least favourite country so far. I found the chaos super intriguing, but the pollution was unbearable. People would throw their garbage everywhere – even at the Great Wall – which was very disheartening. Unfortunately, I have no desire to go back. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now I think I’ll avoid a third visit to China.

6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?

I do! I find it’s a great way to keep track of all my future plans, and to act as a constant reminder of my goals. As it stands, here are 3 of my top travel goals:

  1. Iceland Road Trip: I’m heading there in 3 weeks!
  2. Walk the Appalachian Trail in the USA
  3. Explore Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand

7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?

  1. Patience
  2. A Sense of humor
  3. Journal/Computer so I can write!

8. What makes you happy and why?

I try not to rely on things or people to make me happy – I work to make myself happy and content each and every day. I’ve been practicing meditation for years, and have even lived at a monastery. Meditation is something that I have always found helpful for keeping me centered and balanced and happy. When you can learn to be happy and content in any situation, for me, that is something that will benefit you for your entire life.

9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

I’ve been blogging for about one year as a hobby that I’m starting to transition into something more full-time. I’ve actually just set a new milestone on my blog (a recent post received almost 15,000 views!) which has been some great encouragement to keep going.

I really just love to travel and write, which is how it all started and why I keep blogging. I like to tell stories, and blogging is simply a modern medium for us storytellers to share our tales.

10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?

My blog is all about ethical travel for the budget adventurer. It’s about connecting, feeling, sharing. It’s about opening yourself up to the ups and downs of travel – of living – and accepting everything that arises. Lessons Learned Abroad is more than just tips and stories – it’s a place where you can come and see just how beautiful and weird and wonderful the world is.

From ESLT – thank you Chris for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂

You can also find Lessons Learned Abroad on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 


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