BackpackerBanter, EpicGapYear, Chris Stevens, travel tips, solo travel

Expert's Advice: Fun Travelling - Interview with Chris Stevens

10 November 2015

Travel Information

Meet our travel expert Chris, the creator of Backpacker Banter blog and the owner of EpicGapYear online travel agency. He has quit his job at STA Travel and began his adventure to the world of amazing cultures, landscapes and beautiful blue waves - all mixed up "with chaos, calm and banter in equal measure". We've asked Chris to share his insight on how to become a better solo traveller and make the best out of every trip.

chris1Chris, your blog shows your trips from various angles i.e. cost of trips, tips, impressions, photos. Why have you decided to share it all instead of focusing on just one or two aspects?

I think it’s evolved like that over time - at first it was just stories then I realised I had heaps of useful info and tips I could pass on too. I think it’s good to keep a balance too, I don't want it turning into an over factual Lonely Planet esque bombardment of stats and facts, it’s good to showcase real traveller doing what they do best…travelling!

When did you realise you wanted to go and explore the world?

As a surfer it’s always been there and even when I was younger I was keen to see the world. It all really kicked off after uni though when I bounced solo over to Oz.

chris2How long did you have to save money to start your new life of a traveller?

After uni a couple of years. Then for my second/current trip a year. If you know that’s what you want to do you make some serious sacrifices with your social life to get back out on the road!haha!

Did you have any doubts against becoming a full-time solo traveller?

To be honest it was never my intention, it just snowballed with the site! But going solo has never really bothered me that much, it’s good to enjoy the world and meet heaps of new people on your own terms without worrying about another person!

chris3How exactly did you choose your first big trip destination?

Australia was always on the cards, I’ve always loved the ocean and diving the barrier reef was on my mind since I was little - so deciding to head that way didn't take much thought when it came around to booking flights!

In your opinion, what is the best way to truly get to know foreign country and its culture?

The food! Nothing better than eating local, you’ll bump into some of the best characters and end up exploring some awesome places!

chris4What is the greatest change travelling brought to your life?

My career! I studied photography at uni and now I run my online travel agency - EpicGapYear.com - my blog and also juggle surf coaching and photography too. It’s taught me to make use of all my skills to keep living the dream!

Chris, would you tell about the part of travelling that makes you the happiest?

Apart from the sun on my back and the ocean on my doorstep I’d say it’s the people I meet. They’re the best part of the journey and keep my creative energy going.

chris5You’ve been to a lot of countries so far. Are there any places you almost regret visiting or do you find something positive in every experience?

I was massively disappointed with Laos and wish I’d travelled to Cambodia quicker instead. That was way back at the beginning of my adventure though so I thought I only had limited time. Still I met some incredible travel buddies and they made it all worth while. I sometimes think I should go back and give it another go, but I just haven't got around to it yet!

Do you have a travel motto?

Waves, babes and bad decisions!hahaha! That’s probably the closest you’ll get to a profound travel quote from me! I’m all about surfing and enjoying life more for the sake of doing so than anything else.

chris6

Is there any advice you have as to travel preparation?

As much as it sucks budgeting and having a plan b are key. Money and what to do next are always the biggest stresses in my life, sort those and you’re happy days all round!

In the end, what would you say to encourage our readers to travel more?

Stop putting excuses in the way and go do it. If you really want it you’ll make it happen. It might not happen as quickly and as easily as you want it, but you’ll get there in the end.

We thank Chris for sharing his experience and some quality travel advice with us and we wish him to discover more fascinating destinations while traveling to the next countries on his list. His lifestyle is a real inspiration for every backpacker in the world.

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