Today’s World Travellers interview is with “the Guy”. The Guy runs the site “Flights and Frustration” and is an experienced globe trotter with a tale or two to tell. Plus, name aside, I’ve got him to escape his anonymity by providing photos. Here’s what the Guy is all about…
Who are you?
I’m a long term international business traveller. I go by the name of “The Guy” because when I write my articles I write as though I could be anybody. I’m The Guy sat next to you on the plane, The Guy queuing with you for that ticket or the one you see with the camera by the beautiful sunset.
Where are you from?
I grew up in West Yorkshire in the north of England. I spent most of my childhood living in a city called Wakefield. I now live in a village in East Yorkshire.
Where have you been?
Wow, so many places it is difficult to remember. I’ve been to countries in 6 of the 7 continents (I’ve not quite made it to the South Pole yet!). Places visited include Australia, Austria, America, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, The UAE, Malaysia, Singapore to name but a few. I also spent 17 months living and working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Where are you now?
As I type this I am sat in a hotel in a very small village in Pennsylvania, just over an hour away from Pittsburgh.
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
Wow, top 3 eh. Well I love Australia, particularly Queensland. It is such a beautiful place with wonderful tropical weather and genuinely happy people. I always get a buzz when I go to Shanghai, that place is alive. I suppose I can include Sardinia in my top 3, that is where we went earlier this year for our honeymoon. (Oh sorry can I make it 4? I just adore Prague. Such a shame it is becoming so popular now, I loved it when it was relatively undiscovered by tourists.)
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
That’s a toughie. I’ve had so many travel experiences over the years. I particularly remember August in 2008 when I extended my trip to Australia by a
week. I spent that time in Mackay and took both my PADI Scuba Diving course and did a tandem sky dive. Such an action packed week!
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
Recently I suffered horrendous food poisoning whilst in Chile. I was there on a work trip and had to leave the office early. I’d the whole Saturday free to explore but spent it all either in bed or in the bathroom.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
I’m not sure this is funny but it was awkward at times. Whilst I was in Saudi Arabia I went on a trip to Malaysia with 2 colleagues for a week. We’d booked one large hotel room for the three of us in our 2 destinations Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur. We’ll I’ve never been very forward or overly successful with the girls. However early on in the trip the other 2 guys pulled 2 Swedish girls who stayed with us for the week, they even came to KL with us. So I kind of ended up playing gooseberry for a few days. A little awkward thinking should I go in the hotel bedroom or not? It was alright if truth be told, we were all okay about it. Just a little bit awkward that’s all since they were quite pricey hotels, trying to book a spare room was not really much of an option.
There was also a time when I went inter-railing around Europe with 3
school friends. On our first day on the continent we were walking
around Paris by Notre Dam. One of us had a bag from Morrisons (an
English supermarket) so for those in the know it was quite obvious
where we were from. Quite randomly a stranger with a Scottish accent
came up to us and said “Oi, have you got any soap?” – I think he was
in need of a wash.
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
I think I’ve been quite lucky in that I’ve not really had any truly scary experiences. I do sometimes sit on the edge of my seat when been driven around India or China, the driving is pretty crazy there. I also was nearly mugged in Amsterdam but I somehow managed to talk my way out of it. The guy was pretty scary though.
What is the most random job you have had on your travels?
I’ve been quite fortunate really. I travel with my job so don’t go looking for work when I travel. I have a financial background so work in various realms of that sphere. Whilst I was in Saudi Arabia I was on a big consulting project for the national telephone company there. Every day I met with our Saudi contacts and we had to begin each meeting by having a cup of tea and random chit chat. It was very slow getting things done out there but I did make some good friends.
How do you fund your travels?
Most of my travels in the last decade or so have been with work, I’m very fortunate that way. I get to stay in fairly decent hotels and usually travel in comfort (although not always). I do still have annual holidays of course which are funded out of savings and frequent flyer points.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
1. Dream and aim high. You never know when you will get a chance to
travel here again so try not to be put off any ideas you have.
2. Don’t overload your trip with too many things to do. Too tight a
timetable will not give you flexibility to take in the places you go
to. You will discover something which you didn’t plan for or something
will disrupt your schedule.
3. This last one is something I wish I was better at and that is travel light. Try not to take too many things with you just basic essentials. You can pick things up on the way. Take too much and it will slow you down.
What are your future travel plans?
As part of my work schedule my next 3 trips are to Florida, China and Australia. I might be following this up with trips to South Africa and India but this isn’t for certain yet. As for personal travel, well my wife loves Greece so I dare say that we’ll be heading there again soon.
The Guy is a long term international business traveller. Since May 2000 rarely a month has passed by when he hasn’t taken an international flight. He spent his time between May 2000 – September 2001 living and working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Links and Websites:
Twitter: @TheGuyWhoFlies https://twitter.com/theguywhoflies
Thanks to The Guy 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 (there’s a HUGE waiting list at present), 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!