Hong Kong, January 2015, I had just arrived and checked into a small hostel in Kowloon. On my way out I saw only one other person, a guy sitting by himself reading a guide book. He looked up and smiled and said hello. I nodded back and continued quickly out the door to explore the city. Little did I know I had just met my travel soulmate and that I would stalk him on social media all over the world for the next four years. Yes, it took four years before our roads crossed again in my hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.
My travel soulmate’s name is Jason and is an aboriginal, or original depending on how you view it. He comes from Port Hedland in Australia, a place so remote that not even Australians themselves know where to find it on the map. I decided to ask Jason to share his favorite destinations in the world and other useful travel tips.
Can you start by telling me why are you travelling all over the world?
To experience, to taste everything, to meet new people, to get out of my comfort zone which back home is sitting in my room.
What was your first destination outside of Australia?
It was to Europe in 2009. One of my friends was living in Scotland. It was really funny, I took a personal loan to travel to see my friend, and it took me almost four years to pay it off because I kept traveling in between. It was amazing! Jason laughs at the memory.
What are your favorite destinations in the world?
1.My first country would be Vietnam because it’s a big shock as soon as you land. The smells, the traffic, everything is a big shock. It’s cheap. It’s probably one of the cheapest countries I’ve been to. The food is amazing, the people are amazing. The landscape is very diverse. You go from a city to a beach to a desert, to mountains, to rice fields, to beautiful bays and caves.
2. The second specifically would be Cape Town, South Africa. It’s cheap, the people are really fun and cool. They’ve got some nice cafes and bars, and it’s just so fresh. You can do as much as you want and as little as you want. If you want you can go paragliding, hiking or diving with sharks if you’re more adventurous. You can go on safaris and wine tasting. And you get to see the three different styles of living; the really poor, the middle class and the really rich. You get to really see the differences.
3. Number three would go to Jordan. I really enjoyed Jordan. Everything you can do is so accessible. People back home told me not to go, but I went and I didn’t feel unsafe. They have the best falafel and hummus that cost 55 Dinar which is about .60 USD. I did Wadi Rum, you can spend the night under the stars, do the desert tour, see the ancient city of Petra, you can spend hours there hiking. And then finish off by floating in The Dead Sea and look over Israel, that was really cool.
4. The Atacama desert in Chile is one of the coolest ever sceneries. There’s a desert and snow capped mountains in the background. It feels like you’re on a totally different planet and it’s not real. For real. It’s probably one of my favorite times I had in Chile.
5. Budapest, Hungary, this was a fun one. I was originally spending two nights there in 2016, and then I ended up spending eight days. The city just swallowed me, from just walking around admiring all the old buildings. The nightlife is next level, they turned all the old ruins into bars and restaurants, and it’s very affordable. Yeah the Goulash! And you get a beer for .50 AUD
6. íMexico! I did three weeks of Mexico. I went from Cancun to Tulum exploring the white sand beaches and the Cenotes which are natural sink holes that have filled up with water over the years, you can scuba dive from one sink hole to another. I tested all different types of tequilas, visited Mayan ruins, and ended my trip in Mexico City which was one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to. It’s a weird city but it’s cool. It’s massive. The streetfood in Mexico is like next level amazing! If you do go to Mexico City, hire a private river boat with a group of friends in Xochimilco on a Sunday. Take some beers, take some food and just enjoy the atmosphere with the locals. That was definitely the highlight of Mexico City and one of my favorite memories.
7. And just to add something from home, is Esperence in the southwest part of Australia. It’s a hidden gem. The surrounding beaches and nature is next level of beautiful. Its white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and it’s like a little beachy getaway town for a nice weekend. Just seven hours from Perth.
What is the one thing you always bring with you on your travels?
An open mind! haha that’s so original. Jason says sarcastically.
A carry-on size backpack. For me, a carry-on size backpack is the best for my style of travelling. It allows me to save money on airline baggage fees which helps me to travel for longer.
What is the number one destination on your bucket travel list that you haven’t visited yet?
Number one I think is Mongolia. I feel it’s untouched at the moment, and the stories I’ve heard and photos I’ve seen have made me desire it more.
What are your best travel tips? from your experience of travelling the world
My number one travel tip is to get a travel insurance! If you can’t afford a travel insurance you can’t afford a holiday.
Number two is always separating your money, your bank card, and your passport. Never have your valuables on you at once, and keep them separated within your belongings. For me this is a big one, I always do it.
The third, withdraw a big chunk of money to last you at least a week which will help you save on bank fees. Especially in destinations within Asia where you have to pay by cash.
The final tip is staying in hostels/backpackers as your money stretches further and it’s a much better social atmosphere than staying in a hotel. If sharing a dorm room isn’t for you most of them also offers private rooms.
Travelling solo or travelling with friends?
Travelling solo! Because for me travelling solo I get to do what I want to do. I don’t have to worry what people want for breakfast, I don’t have to worry about what we’re going to do today by schedule, and I can wake up whenever I want. If I’m not feeling up to doing anything that day nobody is going to complain about it. It’s a lot easier to meet new people when you solo travelling versus when you’re travelling with a group or someone else. And I just feel like you learn more about yourself and your limits, it brings you out of your shell. The first time you do it is a big step, but once you do it you won’t go back.
Final words of wisdom from Jason
Go out explore what the world has to offer and fill each page in your passport with stamps!
Thank you for reading this blog post about my fantastic and inspiring friend Jason. You’re welcome to stalk him on Instagram like I do.
jasontrc – follow for amazing travel photos and inspiration!