Welcome to another installment of my travel interview series World Travellers. Since 2012, I have been featuring other world travelling bloggers who certainly get around. Now whether you call it Czechia like me (for the last few years) or the Czech Republic, a lot of us have passed through Prague a few times on our journeys. Today we welcome Matěj from Czech The World, a cool title with a pun in it for his blog.
Who are you?
My name is Matěj Halouska and I am travel blogger from the Czech Republic, operating website CzechtheWorld.com. I grew up in boy scouts and that’s where my passion for nature, outdoors, and travelling had begun. I was also very lucky to meet my beloved partner Adriana, who has the same passion for traveling as me and we are travelling together ever since – for 8 years already. On the profession side, I have always leaned to computer science. I have master’s degree from web design and human-computer interaction, therefore starting our own website about traveling was a logical choice, which combines our two passions – IT and traveling.
Where are you from?
I was born In Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, small country in the middle of Europe.
Where have you been?
I have visited more than 30 countries so far. That isn’t that many, right? That’s because I prefer to stay longer and get to know the country more deeply. For example, I have worked 3 months in Yellowstone, 3 months in Alaska, whole summer in the UK. I have studied one semester in South Korea, and most recently, lived for a whole year in New Zealand. And I am still young and have a lot of time to explore the entire world.
Where are you now?
Because of coronavirus, I am now working on my travel blog at home in Prague. We have borders completely closed and we are not allowed to travel even in the Czech Republic. Therefore, I am writing, writing, and writing… and looking forward to travel again, hopefully sooner rather than later.
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
It’s very hard to choose just 3 places, every country is beautiful in different way. If I have to choose, I would say United States, Norway, and New Zealand in no particular order. All these three countries have unbelievable nature! Yellowstone and other national parks on the west coast of USA are just stunning. Alaska is amazing because it’s pure virgin nature with almost no people. Fjords in Norway are simply spectacular, I’ve been there just for 3 weeks and it’s one of the top places on my bucket list to return again. New Zealand is amazing because they have everything! Beautiful beaches, monumental snowy mountains, massive glaciers, thermal areas with geysers, imposing fjords, or unique fauna and flora.
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
Every Couchsurfing! I have been hosted by more than 15 different hosts and every single one of them was amazing! The highlight were our New Zealand hosts, where we have spent our first week after arrival. They were caring about us like we were their children. Many people were saying that the first few weeks are sometimes struggle with all the paperwork, buying a car, etc. It was so much easier for us because our amazing hosts helped us with everything.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
I can’t say there was a single country I didn’t enjoy. I would just rather not visit Manila, which is incredibly dirty city. The Philippines are amazingly beautiful but avoid the capital city. Just go straight away to the nature.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
I would say a mouse travelling with us 1000 km during our road trip around US national parks. We tried everything to get rid of her and it was quite a fun how creative we were. First, we have bought mouse traps and tried several different baits. No luck… We have downloaded mobile apps, which were playing these annoying sounds against mice. After a while, we were so bothered by that and mouse didn’t care… After a week and 1000 km, we finally were able to put away all our food from the car into the bear box and the mouse finally got caught in the trap.
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
When I accidentally found myself so close to the Moose in the wild nature in Alaska. It happened when I was doing side job and cleaning the trail, where we were driving horse-wagons with tourists. I was looking down and didn’t see the moose. I went so close that he jumped away from me. I was reeeealy lucky that he jumped away and not on me because I might not be writing this interview, otherwise. Moose are very dangerous animals. They injure much more people than bears for instance.
What is the most random job you have had on your travels?
I would say doing bike-taxi in Auckland. It was fun! We were basically giving rides to a slightly drunk people from bar to bar. They were really enjoying the rides! The other amazing job was house sitting. It was great because we could live in luxurious houses for free in exchange for taking care of pets. That was great!
How do you fund your travels?
Till last year, I was always working in the destination first to make some money and then traveled around. Since last year, we have pushed our blog from hobby to the next level and we are now making living from the blog. Or at least we did before this virus came… Hopefully, the world will start to travel again soon, otherwise we would probably have to do something else again.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
Just don’t wait and go! You don’t have money? Traveling is cheaper than you might think and you can work on your trips. You don’t know the language? There is no better way to learn than living in the foreign country. You don’t have anyone to travel with? Travel solo! You will have even more opportunities to meet amazing people than traveling as a couple.
Everything is about YOUR attitude. If you smile and if you are happy, people will love you and want to help you. If you look angry and unhappy, nobody will want to talk with you. The vast majority of people in the world are nice if you are also nice to them.
What are your future travel plans?
It’s hard to plan anything in this situation. However, after the world opens again, I have a lot of places, I would like to visit. For instance, South America is very high on my bucket list. I would love to spend at least 4-6 months there. My girlfriend’s brother also plans to buy a yacht and sail around the world and we would like to join. Not for the entire voyage but something like two months in the Caribbean don’t sound that bad 🙂 One of my more distant plans is Antarctica. And my secret dream is to visit the space, I believe it will become affordable during our lifespan.
Links (website, twitter, facebook)
Thanks to Matěj for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured, either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my contacts page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below! Safe travels!