Hi, you girls and guys!
Meet Tariq, a very cool guy with an amazing travel blog. He's been to a lot of places and has gathered many experiences from his adventures. Have a read of his inspiring stories, you will definitely not be disappointed!
About Tariq and his Blog
- When did you start blogging and why?
I started my blog whilst on a sabbatical year I spent travelling South East Asia. Having been made redundant from my job as a barrister in London, I decided to sit back and take a look at my life. I was 32 years old and for the last 10 years or so, I have done little else other than work, first as a pupil barrister and then as an employed barrister. My friends were all getting engaged, buying houses or having children. I decided what any sane person would do in that situation. I bought a plane ticket.
- What topics does your blog cover?
At the moment, the blog focuses on what travelling has shown me and sharing some of the wonderful memories I made during my time on the road. I focus on articles that I think will help people, such as:
- 10 things to do before you Quit, Pack and Go.
- How not to get sick in El Nido, Philippines
- Things I learned from getting sick abroad
- 12 Tips for Renting and Riding Mopeds in South East Asia, or
- A travel bloggers packing list: 3 items I wish I had taken with me
- What advice would you give someone who may want to start a blog?
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you how easy it is to make a living from a blog. Blogs take time, hard work and constant updating to do them right. Do it because you love it but also think what you can offer people.
- What is the thing that you have achieved in your life that you’re the proudest of?
From my travels? I think it would be the eBook I am about to publish: A backpacker’s guide to the Maldives. The Maldives was an amazing place and we spent a month there. Having seen a lot of the world, I have never seen anything like this. The water is incredible, the islands tiny and the wildlife is unreal. It is no longer the preserve of the super wealthy and I want to help support the local businesses that are starting up there. Everyone should be able to see this place and its right on the main backpacking route through south east Asia. You can read more about the eBook on my blog at quitpackgo.com.
Another thing I have been very proud of is Gyms of the World. This is a travel fitness website that I founded, containing the only Backpacker’s gym guide to South East Asia and beyond. As I struggled to find information online about gyms in Asia, I built this site to help other travellers find gyms. It includes geotagged locations, prices, photos and even an assessment of the suitability for single female travellers. My site was also recently featured in Healthy for Men magazine in the UK too!
- What’s your all-time favourite quote?
I always loved:
“Perdition catch my soul, But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.” Othello Act 3, Scene 3, Page 5 – William Shakespeare
- Why do you travel?
I always loved travel. Getting to experience new cultures, architecture and foods is one of the best feelings in the world. But travel has also helped me to appreciate the little things in life. When I was about 8 years old, we visited the Masai Mara in Kenya. We met the local children and their families. The children were asking the tourists for pens and paper. At this stage, pens and paper were about the most mundane things I could have thought of, but these children wanted them more than anything else in the world.
I remember this experience having a profound effect on me when I arrived back in the UK. It's one of those experiences that had helped me to stay grateful for the kind of things most people take for granted. I think it is difficult to truly understand life without the context that travel brings.
- What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were traveling?
At the time, this was not a funny story but looking back on it, it was probably losing my passport in Taiwan. I was there on my own and due to meet my girlfriend in the Philippines the next week. Thanks to one of the guys I had met on my travels, I ended up getting it back the same day, and only really lost a few hours of my trip. But the emotional highs and lows of one day were incredible. You can read all about it in an article I wrote called, The day I lost my passport in Taiwan.
- Which countries have you traveled to so far?
I have been very to have been able to see a fair few places over the years. During my last trip, we saw Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Taiwan, the Maldives, Lebanon and Cyprus!
- What is your favourite method of transportation and why?
I really fell in love with the trains in Sri Lanka. Their rolling stock is about 60 years old and everything in their stations is still analog. The stations signs are changed by hand. The tickets are hand cut and stamped by the station staff. Rather than travelling in first class with the other tourists, we really loved third class, with its huge window and open door, you really get to soak in the country as you go past. It is also a great place to try the local food, as women with huge baskets balanced expertly on their heads walk through the train selling everything from locally made crisps to samosas and chai tea.
I very much hope that you enjoyed reading that as much as I did. If you want more, go have a look at the rest of my HC Humanize series, where I collect real stories from real people.