Today’s guest is Ian Cartwright, the #momtripelba competition’s winner. Let’s discover his adventures!
- Please give a short summary of who you are what you are doing
You may remember Ian from our recent #momtripelba competition? He was the lucky winner with his entry on beaches. Ian is a 20-something Australian guy who gave up his career, packed his backpack, and headed to Europe for a couple of years of solo travel. Ian started out with no real plan, just 2 years of travel beginning in Turkey. That was a year ago, many adventures and friendships later, brings us to today where Ian is earning his dive certifications in Dahab, Egypt and about to sail the Nile, see the pyramids, and explore everything Egypt has to offer.
- What is your favourite travel destination, and why?
It’s so hard to pick a favourite travel destination…
For me the best travel memories have been because of the people I’ve met, and the fun we’ve had. But in a year, how can I pick just one? There were the great people I met in the Greek Islands, Hungary, and the romance I had in Croatia. Every day brings a new adventure, and almost every week a new travel destination. The best times I’ve had have been with good, adventurous, spontaneous, friendly, and outgoing people (often CouchSurfers); and almost always in the summertime — there’s something about summer — people are more open to having a great time.
- What is your least favourite?
I was robbed in Florence, Italy; but that’s a whole other story. I was also ripped off (several hundred Euro) in Erfoud, Morocco; but these bad experiences don’t make a destination bad for me. Everywhere I’ve travelled has something that makes it special. Even my 3 night stopover in Geneva; now, Geneva doesn’t really have anything to offer tourism-wise (and the prices are phenomenally high); but I met 4 amazing people on the trip, and had a great time getting to know them a little, and having them show me their lifestyle, enjoying good food, wine, and meeting friends. This is why I travel. Soak up the culture; get an idea of how people live “on the other side of the world”.
- What is the worst meal you have ever eaten on your travels?
Hmm… I’ve had some bad ones. When I travelled through Italy with a friend from CouchSurfing, we ate on such a tight budget. Often our meals were freshly baked bread, Gnutella, and a cheap bottle of red wine. But the times we had!
- What is the nicest accommodation you’ve ever stayed in?
Definitely in Croatia. I booked private accommodation just by walking into places from off the street. It was summertime, the weather was warm. The beds were king-size, with rooftop views, and air-conditioning; the rooms were even romantically themed, and sometimes came with a welcome drink. I don’t usually get nice accommodation travelling, and am usually happy with a warm shower, a clean bed, and a Wi-Fi connection.
- Is there one thing you never travel without?
An open mind? I would say a passport, but I travelled without one of them for a little while (after the Florence, Italy incident). I’ve travelled without everything at one time or another. No laptop, no phone, no jeans, no shoes, no passport. Material things are replaceable, I’ve found. Even if you have to travel all the way to Amsterdam to get a new (English) laptop.
- What is the most memorable encounter you’ve had with a person along your travels?
Wow. Many. There was the week I spent at Lake Balaton, Hungary with a group of Hitchhikers I met at Sziget Music Festival (Budapest). There were the couple of weeks I travelled with the young girl I fell in love with. There was the long distance relationship I had with the Greek girl I met in Athens. There was the epic Oktoberfest road trip I had with 50 loud and drunk English/Australians/Welsh. Or, maybe the 3 months I spent living in Madrid, learning to speak Spanish? Many memories with great friends there too.
- What is your favourite travel book?
I love non-fiction, travel, and adventure style books. I try to pick one up to have on me anytime I’m taking a long flight/bus/train ride. At the moment I don’t have one. I should get onto that, maybe I can swap one of the books I have at the next hostel I stay at. There have been some great ones, but I can never remember the names. Have you heard of Torre DeRoche? Her book Swept was a great (and easy) read, and my kind of travel/romance adventure! The books not available for purchase at the moment, but if you’re interested follow her blog for re-release details.
- Do you have any travel vices?
I really like a hot shower — unless the weather is really warm — but at the moment its winter; so yeah, please have a hot shower. Oh, and indoor plumbing I prefer (not squat toilets). Sometimes though, I have to make do, like the 2 nights I spent in the desert in Morocco.