Backpacking Buddies: Russell Sneddon from Sydney, Australia

In backpacking buddies, it’s YOUR TURN to shine ;-) I’m delighted to be able to feature my backpacking buddies from down the years in this new series. Each post will be a short 10 questions and a bit of background to someone else that I met on the road. Someone I shared some great times with on this journey. It has been overwhelming the last 11 years to have met so many interesting and inspiring people that I want to start featuring you all on here.

“Your journey is my journey and vice versa”

In my latest interview with personal friends and backpacking buddies I have met down the years, today I bring you Russell Sneddon from Sydney, Australia.

Backpacking Buddies: Russell Sneddon at Everest Base Camp

Backpacking Buddies: Russell Sneddon at Everest Base Camp

1. Who are you?

I am Russell Sneddon, 36 and had more Ups and Downs in my life than the stock market

2. Where are you from?

Sydney, Australia

3. Where have you travelled to before?

Not a lot of variety recently as I’ve been back and forth to Thailand in the last 4 years since meeting my now wife, who was working at Impiana Hotel in Phuket when I holidayed there in December 2010. Prior to then I completed all 7 continents. From Safari’s in Africa to mountain treks, Piranha Fishing in the Amazon to Swimming in Antarctica, Staying in Beach Resorts to Climbing through Viet Cong tunnels. 2 Clear Highlights were my 5 weeks trekking in Nepal to Everest Base Camp and the full Annapurna Circuit, navigating through a blizzard in Antarctica and commencing the Camino de Santiago in Spain

4. Where are you now?

Chained to my work desk in North Sydney.

5. Where are you going/hoping to go next?

with my Long Service Leave (8 weeks) coming up in December 2015, I’m hoping to save another 4 before then and head back over to the Camino de Santiago, and wherever else I get the urge to go. Strangely, as I’m getting older I have the urge to go and visit those I’ve met along my way.

6. What is the weirdest job you have ever had?

Weirdest Job was an Online Sports Trader at What was weird about it was that I loved EVERY minute of it.

7. What is the craziest place you have been to?

Antarctica was the craziest because it’s freaking ANTARCTICA. The other craziest place was the Djemma-El-Fna square in Marrakech. After a day of getting lost and constantly attempted to be ripped off in the Grand Bazaar , sitting with a couple of drinks in a bar overlooking the square watching it turn from day to night was crazy!

8. Where did you meet Jonny of Don’t Stop Living?

Met him at Ushuaia the day before boarding our vessel to Antarctica when I boldly asked ‘what is an Englishman doing wearing a Parramatta football jersey’. I learned very quickly that Jonny was Northern Irish (just don’t try telling him an Irish joke).

9. What is your inspiration for life?

I can’t actually pinpoint what inspires my life on a grand scale, but I like to look for inspiration in everything I do, no matter how small. When travelling I look to the locals for inspiration. I’m a people watcher and I am forever inspired by their compassion, openness, hardships and humbleness. in 1998, an old bread seller in Elmali, Turkey inspired me to be content with my place in life. and I’ve been reminded of that many times by unassuming locals

10. Golden Rule of choosing where to sleep?

For me, it’s the ‘10/80/10’ rule – When using social sites like TripAdvisor, ignore the best 10%, worst 10% of reviews for a place and based your decision on your gut and the middle 80% of reviews. There will always be people whose expectations were way too high, and there will always be people who think the hotel is the best place ever. But between all that you will find a wealth of useful information that will help you choose the perfect place.

Backpacking Buddies - Russell and Jonny having a Beer on Deck in freezing Antarctica!

Backpacking Buddies – Russell and Jonny having a Beer on Deck in freezing Antarctica!

Backpacking Buddies is a regular feature on Don’t Stop Living on real life people I have met on my journeys around the globe since leaving Northern Ireland in 2003. If you have met me on my journey (shared a bed, got a night bus, worked in a bar, cut broccoli, backpacked in Antarctica, studied in Uruguay, fed hyenas, drank in Brunei etc..) and would like to feature in this series, please contact me by e-mail only to:

jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net and will try and get you featured in an upcoming edition!

It’s all about you!

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