Every Thursday, A Dangerous Business will be shining the spotlight on a world nomad, travel blogger, armchair adventurer, or just someone really cool in the travel world. This week, the traveler is Charli from Wanderlusters. Wanderlusters is a new website dedicated to providing ‘Wisdom for Wanderers.’ Still in the early stages of development, those eager to travel can search for real world advice and keep up to date with the latest in travel news. The brain child of nomadic Wanderlusters Charli and Ben, they have set up the site to share their experience of long-term travel.
1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?
In years past, intrepid explorers set out on life-changing adventures to discover new and exotic lands that would benefit our growing civilisation. As the modern world flourishes, travel is gradually becoming more accessible, and I feel with this brings a change to the definition of a ‘traveler’.
With knowledge at our fingertips, we can explore at our will. The internet, media and film industry take us across the globe on a daily basis, feeding our imagination and igniting the wanderlust within. Travelers are no longer such a rare breed. People all over the world are seeing the benefits of reverting back to the nomadic lifestyle we once knew.
I believe a traveler is someone with uncontrollable wanderlust who relishes the chance to explore. It doesn’t matter if you jet halfway across the world or just step out into your back garden, if you’re happiest when visiting somewhere you’ve never been before, you’re a traveler. Based on my definition, I would consider myself a traveler. Having been nomadic for the past two years, my wanderlust knows no bounds and will continue to forge a path of exploration around the globe.
2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?
House-sitting has provided me with some incredible opportunities that have benefitted my experience of travel. The chance to engage with communities all over the world has given me the opportunity to learn so much. While house sitting in Costa Rica, I studied Spanish, I learned to snowboard while looking after a home in Vancouver, and during my Australian house sit I learned the basics of macadamia nut farming. With each new assignment I find the opportunity to try my hand at something I’ve never done before.
3. How about your proudest travel moment?
I qualified as a PADI Divemaster while living in Costa Rica. Training for six days a week for a total of three months, I learned just how far I can push myself. I struggled with an irrational fear at the beginning but worked hard with my course director to feel comfortable in the water. I am pleased I persisted as I qualified a happy and confident diver. The experience taught me a lot about just how much strength I have within.
4. Have you had any travel mishaps or bad experiences? If so, have these influenced how you view the place where they happened? Would you go back?
I find the most troubling experiences are always in more impoverished countries. Not to say that I have been threatened or attacked; I just find it hard to detach myself from the struggles faced by those who live in such abject poverty. Consequently I strive to connect with the communities I visit and see if there is a way in which I can give back during my stay. Having had such a fortunate upbringing in comparison, I am always at a loss as to how unfair this world can be.
I think we’ve been extremely fortunate as we’ve have not been the subjects of any bad experiences ourselves. We prefer to travel at a slow pace, avoiding a lot of major tourist hot spots and have perhaps benefitted because of it. We spend a lot of our time house-sitting and as such become involved with local communities all over the world.
5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.
My father once said to me ‘To see an image is to hear a thousand words,’ and I couldn’t agree more. For those with whom you share your tales of adventure, a photograph can be the most powerful tool to evoke the emotions of your visit.
6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.
Fear. I’ve always suffered with a lack of confidence in situations that are new or unknown to me. Ironic really that I have chosen to travel the world without an itinerary.
7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?
Travel has given me the confidence to know that I have the strength to succeed in the things I strive for. It has taught me to respect everything and everyone, to see value in life’s little lessons, and to carry their morals with me.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m still searching for my own piece of paradise. I hope that one day I may happen upon it, but until then I’m content to keep house-sitting my way around the world.
9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.
My bucket list is growing in size all the time, each time I read an interesting travel article the activity or destination will likely end up being scrawled at the bottom. However the item that remains at the top is to dive the McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. Although the water hits temperatures of -40 degrees, you are rewarded with incredible marine life and visibility of up to 300m.
10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?
To take other travelers’ opinions on the locations you want to visit with a pinch of salt. Take advice and heed warnings, however your opinions are the only ones you should trust.
Are you a travel blogger who has something to say on these topics? Do you know of somebody really interesting in the travel universe that you’d like to see interviewed? Speak up! The Thursday Traveler needs some interview subjects.