Name: Adam S.
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Current Country Count: 28
Favorite song: "Stubborn" by New Found Glory.
Adam joined the group for the Uzbekistan portion of the GAdventure Multi-Stan tour. He was often off interacting with the locals sharing in pictures and laughter. He even seemed to have a bag full of souveniers to give to the locals he really connected with. He left smiles on many faces, including mine and the rest of the group. He was caring, patient, listened well, and had great stories. He also brought the Frisbee that provided hours of enjoyment at the lake. During one of our last long bus rides together, I was able to ask him a few questions...
And the spotlight begins….
When Did You Start Traveling and Why: 2009 and because I finally had a job that let me travel. I traveled with the family when I was 14 overseas. I really enjoyed it but I just didn’t have the means up until now.
What is Your Most Memorable Country and Why: Mongolia. Ummm… because it is still… parts of the country living in the Genghis Khan lifestyle. Still living warriors. When the rest of the world is sort of sedentary they are living a nomadic lifestyle. It is still quite unusual. Sometimes you go to a place and you feel like you have been there before. It was really familiar to me even though it was my first time. This was also my first country I went to alone. Namibia – just the remoteness. It is wild and rugged and you come across these colonial German towns that are really hospitable. You really feel like you are traveling in the edge of nowhere and it is a really powerful place.
What Is Your Inspiration to Travel: To see how other people live. And I tend to go to more unusal or untouched places because you get to see other people live. And to me travel is about making connections with other people.
Highlight of Traveling: Playing Frisbee with North Korea kids in Pyongyang because they just haven’t seen anything like it. It is quite choreographed. But the Frisbee broke down barriers. The guide said she hadn’t seen anything like it.
Lowlight of Traveling: Umm… yeah stuck in (laughs)... Being hit on by a guy that looks like Charles Mansion in a hostel in Ottawa, Canada. We were in a room that looked like a tiny cell. Or being sick for 4 days in Myanmar and not being able to get out and see … hike in the mountains. My companion for 3 days was the toilet after a dodgy mutton curry. The curry was delicious and we commented it was so good.
How Often Do You Travel: Ummm… 2 – 3 week trips a year. And if I can exchange some shifts I can sometimes get another 2 weeks in.
How Long Do You Normally Travel: Normally about 4 weeks.
How Do You Plan Your Travels: I look online through travel companies but then if there is not one that suits exactly what I want to do I plan my own. I find with 2 – 3 weeks you get more bang for your buck doing a tour like this. I generally take a week to myself at the end. If there is anything I want to do I do it then. I travel independently for the shorter trips. Botswana and U.S. independent and those were both 12 month trips.
How Much Time Do You Take Off Per Year: 6 weeks annual leave a year
1) Packing: Pack a Frisbee. It breaks down language barriers and it includes people where sometimes they are wary of strangers.
2) Packing: If your charger doesn’t work, most televisions have a usb port, so you can normally still charge your phone in the television port.
3) Packing: Don’t pack too much. You can always buy a t-shirt overseas but lugging a heavy bag around is such a pain.
4) Smile: Smile makes a big difference.. It makes such a big difference.
Preferred form of travel: It has changed as I have got older. Um.. when I was younger I preferred with a group. As I am older I prefer independence. You enjoy the time to myself.
Tour Companies: Intrepid, GAdventure
Con: More regimented so have less free time to wander on your own.
Pro: GAdventures tends to use a lot of local transport. In Guatemala it was catching chicken buses and trains. Being in the city with local people.
Travel Story: I did an intrepid tour for 2 weeks in Mongolia which sort of gave me confidence to buy an old Russian motorbike and ride around alone in Mongolia. Sometimes I would camp alone or sometimes I would stay with local nomadic families. Beware of Mongolian vodka. One time I stopped off at this yurt, it was the only yurt in the horizon. Somehow word would get out to neighbors and they would come riding over the horizon with bottles of vodka under their arms. And you would have these marathon vodka matches. The national sports are wrestling and horse riding so after filling you full of vodka all of the hosts want to wrestle you or put you on a horse. It’s fun.
Adam also shared in stories about his year working in Africa, his job as a paramedic, and travel adventures. He always maintained a smile, was willing to trade off pictures, and even when not feeling the greatest showed compassion and interest in others. You are a beautiful person Adam. I am glad to have met you! All the best.