Posted by: Elena Grama - 20 December 2010 / 10:05
Welcome to Behind the Blogs, where we take a moment to get to know the bloggers in the Scribnia Community on a more personal level. We’ve read their words, but now it’s time to learn a little bit about the person behind the keyboard.
Today’s interview is with Jeremy Jones who writes for Living the dream. Jeremy is a 20-something recent graduate who has put off looking for a job in order to travel the world on a budget. He writes to give other people observations into his travels to show how you can do the same while maintaining a small budget.
1) Why did you start backpacking through Europe?
I took my first trip backpacking through Europe in 2008 because it was the top destination on my list. Since it is the most traveled continent, it seemed logical to pick the one that would be simpler to explore in order to get my feet wet and learn the basic way to travel. If I would have known then what I do now, however, I would have spent wayyyy less money in the process. Europe is not cheap.
2) What was the most interesting thing you’ve seen in your travels?
Petra in Jordan is probably the most interesting place I have been to in my travels. Nothing can prepare you to exploring the ancient city, and accounts of the region in popular culture (Indiana Jones, Transformers 2, etc) make it seem a lot smaller and compact than it actually is. It is one of the places that lives up to the hype. One 8 hour visit may not be even enough to see just half of what there is in the area. That is one great site.
3) What is your favorite country in Europe and why?
Switzerland is easily my favorite country in Europe that I’ve been too. I love it because it is so beautiful, chilled out, and relaxed. Quiet mountain towns, beautiful views at the top of many accessible peaks. Not to mention the small farmers that have sheep with bells around their neck.
4) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On a beach in Thailand.
5) Do you have any big regrets in life?
Not particularly. I suppose I would have started to travel earlier when I had the opportunity but I think it is going good so far. Why waste time thinking of the past when the future is open.
6) What is your biggest fear?
Heights, but only if I am not strapped into something. Planes, roller coasters, paragliding – im good. Ladders, viewing platforms, and other tall places… not so much.
7) Why did you start a blog?
I started my blogs originally to keep myself focused on my goal of going on extended travel. Without such pillars to reinforce the goal, I might have backed out or stopped saving as much in the process. Then it evolved into a way to show others how to do the same based off my experiences as my little niche.
How do you define success?
Being happy with yourself is the biggest metric that defines success, over all other things including social status and money. However, if I could ever be my own boss and not have to answer to anyone else, that would be the next level of success after happiness for me.
9) Tell us a short story about a weird/funny thing that happened during your travels?
I got into a really bad air conditioner war with a Chinese girl in a hostel in Bangkok. She kept turning the air con off completely or up to 26C and low air flow (essentially off). Keep in mind that Bangkok is one of the hottest and most humid cities in the world year round. She tried telling me, someone who has education in the matter, that air conditioning is bad for you.
By the second night I tried to keep the remote near me, but kept the temperature at somewhere respectable. She waited til I fell asleep to sneak out of her bed and change the temperature. That is ok, but the air con beeped anytime something changed, and had a tendency to turn off at any slight issue, which required more beeping. She just laughed when I yelled at her.
The third night I kept the remote completely hidden, because well, if I am paying for a room with air con in a hot city, I expect it to be on. She got up at 4 in the morning, got a second remote from the front desk and turned it off (beeping at the same time). Well, I made sure to make her know that wasn’t happening, so I let her fall back asleep and beeped it about 10 times, and turned it down cooler just for spite.
Worst air con war ever. Funny story after the fact.
10) Where is your favorite place to go write, read or think?
I write in my dorm rooms most of the time. I don’t like being hassled to take all my stuff to a different establishment just to write.
11) What are 5 things you want to do before you die?
Visit 100 countries, have a house and dogs, live outside of the USA, be my own boss, and scuba dive the worlds top dive spots.
12) Have you travelled anywhere else besides Europe?
I’ve traveled to around 11 countries in Europe. In addition to Europe I’ve traveled the USA pretty extensively, a few spots in Canada, as well as Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Egypt, Jordan, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St Kitts, St Maarten, St Lucia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
13) What country do you think is the most interesting and why?
Out of the countries I have visited, I think Egypt is the most interesting. Having one of the longest recorded histories on the planet, and still surviving ruins to go along with it is just absolutely fascinating.
The country that I haven’t visited that I think is the most interesting is Bhutan. Most people haven’t even heard of the country, which is located right next to Nepal. I like it for several reasons. One, the nickname “Land of the Thunder Dragon” is just plain awesome. Two, the government says time and time again that they value “Gross Domestic Happiness” over GDP. Three, its relatively unknown. The downside is they have a daily tariff that is fixed for all visitors and has only gone up in price every year (somewhere around $250-$300 PER DAY right now, all inclusive). Even with the student discount (something like 25% off), that I am almost about to lose eligibility for, I do not have the kind of money to plop down on that. A week long visit would set you back over $2000k, excluding the fees to get there, whereas I just spent a month in Thailand for less than that. Sigh.
14) What is your dream job?
Travel blogger, of course!
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Jeremy. Reading your blog makes me want to travel even more. Keep up the writing.
Again..Make sure to read Jeremy’s Blog, follow him on Twitter and review him.
If you know of an interesting blogger/author that we should interview for the Behind the Blogs series, or if YOU are that blogger, send me an email at Elena [at] Scribnia.com