Who are you?
Where are you from?
Where have you been?
Where are you now?
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?Tough question. Visiting 39 African countries in a row without leaving the continent was unreal. Getting to see how diverse every African nation is and visiting some of the least-visited countries in the world was amazing. I got to volunteer at an elementary school in Kenya where the students made me feel like family. In Somaliland I was on the only national English T.V. program. In Libya I heard explosions going off right outside of Tripoli. In Benin and Togo I was taken in by local families and saw the inside of their daily life. I took public buses through Burkina Faso and Mali in 125 degree heat sandwiched in with the locals and was the only foreigner at the Great Mosque of Djenne in central Mali. Visiting 39 countries in Africa in a row was most certainly memorable.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
I was excited for a two week journey down the Amazon River from the border of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru all the way to the mouth of the Amazon. Upon boarding the cargo boat with all the local people, I was stopped by the local police. I was told that my documents which showed my long-term work visa was in process allowing me to stay in Brazil were not legitimate. This was exactly the opposite of what the counsellor of foreign visas had promised me when he gave me authorised papers saying I could in fact continue living in Brazil. I was hauled off with several drug smugglers who were also boarding my boat to the federal police office. I waited and sweated in the heat for eight hours to have my case heard. The federal police agent was not in a good mood by the time he got to my turn at the end of the day. He gave me 10 days to leave the country or else I would be imprisoned in Brazil. I had to leave my teaching job, apartment, and friends behind and head back to the United States and start life over again.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?In Colombia I went running while I was staying in Bogota. I ran a couple miles out into a hilly section of the city when a soldier wearing camo gear came sprinting down the hill with his machine gun faced at me. I thought it was the FARC, or rebel forces, who are famous for kidnapping people and taking them into the jungles of Colombia. The soldier told me to get on the ground and held me at gunpoint for 20 minutes in the mud until his superior came up the hill in a jeep. When his superior arrived, they told me to stand up and proceeded to lecture me on how they patrol the hills in Bogota to make sure that the FARC aren’t kidnapping people or smuggling drugs. With a strict warning to only run in the major city parks, I was let go and sprinted back to my apartment at a blistering pace, thankful to be alive.
What is the most random job you have had on your travels?
How do you fund your travels?
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
What are your future travel plans?
Thanks to Brian 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!