In my latest World Travellers interview, I feature Mexican traveller Raphael Zoren. Check out Raphael’s stories and his website Journey of Wonders.
Who are you?
Hi Jonny, thanks for including me. I’m Raphael Alexander Zoren, the man behind A Journey of Wonders. I’m a middle-class world-traveler who overcame the chains of the local economy and started to earn a global wage while traveling the world. A perfect day for me includes exotic animals, ancient pyramids, breath-taking waterfalls and tasty tacos. Lots of tacos.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Mexico and have been living abroad ever since 2012. During the last three years, I have been an international student in France, an expat worker in Argentina and, starting a few months ago, a perpetual digital nomad without any home base.
Where have you been?
So far I’ve been to 44 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. One of my goals for next year is to visit Oceania and possible Antarctica as well, I read some of your adventures there and I’m really looking forwards to swimming in the ice-cold waters right next to the penguins!
Where are you now?
I’m currently in Central Europe as I make my way to Greece via the Balkans. Recently I spent three weeks in Poland and I totally loved it, especially because of the incredible food they have over there. Plus, cheap beer! Seriously, Poland is one of the most underrated European destinations, it’s totally amazing! The city of Wroclaw is one of my favorite ones so far!
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
Easter Island, The Pyramid of Chichen-Itza and Paris. Yeah, I know it’s totally clichéd but Paris truly amazed me since it was the first European capital that I visited. They don’t call it the city of love for nothing!
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
The best one is definitely the first time I arrived to France back in 2012. Before that, my travel experience was limited to one very short semester abroad in Montreal since I never really had the money or the skills that are needed in order to be a traveler. Europe changed everything for me.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
Getting constantly harassed and scammed in Morocco. It got worse whenever I was with a female companion since some men over there simply don’t know anything about respect, gender equality and social boundaries. I even wrote a guide of the top 7 travel scams of Morocco in order to help future travelers to said country.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
It’s probably the time that I was coerced into taking part in a Cambodian wedding and do a ceremonial ritual dance afterwards. Yes, I was the groom. Trust me, it didn’t end well at all! To this day I still don’t know if it was a mock up wedding or if it was the real deal!
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
It’s probably the time that I scuba dived in Easter Island. It was my first time and I had 0 preparation so you can imagine how badly it went. I swear I believed that I wasn’t going to make it once the water started to enter my mask and I had to blindly swim all the way to the surface. It was insane and I loved it!
How do you fund your travels?
I do Marketing and Travel consultancy for medium sized enterprises and starting in September I will also do a travel blogging 1 to 1 mentorship in order to help fellow travel bloggers to fulfill their dreams and take advantage of their full potential. Check A Journey of Wonders for future updates about this new project of mine! It’s gonna be awesome!
What 3 tips would you give a new traveler before they set off on their adventure?
Believe in the kindness of strangers, always say yes to trying new things and (the most important one) leave all prejudices and misconceptions at home. Traveling is all about having an open mind and engaging in all sorts of amazing adventures. No regrets, just travel!
What are your future travel plans?
This year is going to be all about Europe and Turkey while in 2015 I hope to visit Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Can’t wait to see Koalas and Kangaroos in the wild! It’s going to be totally epic! Meanwhile, you can follow my Euro journey as I make my way to Greece by land. Get inspired and travel now! 😀
Raphael Alexander Zoren is a middle-class world-traveler who overcame the chains of the local economy and started to earn a global wage while traveling the world. A perfect day for him includes exotic animals, ancient pyramids, breath-taking waterfalls and tasty tacos. Lots of tacos.
Links (website, twitter, facebook)
Thanks to Raphael 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!