For the latest in my World Travellers series, check out Trevor’s story. Trevor is a nomadic backpacker that has been travelling for years and years.
Who are you?
I am Trevor Warman, long term world traveller and global nomad with a passion for long overland journies.
Where are you from?
I am from Bletchley, home of the Code Breakers, incorporated into Milton Keynes, home of concrete cows and roundabouts. England.
Where have you been?
I have travelled extensively in 99 countries. 93 UN recognized and 6 de facto/partially recognized states. See the full list >>
Though I am fully aware and proud of the number of countries, it is not the be-all and end-all of my travels. I have been in Malaysia on 10 separate occasions, Thailand numerous times, Morocco 3 times, Georgia 4 times, to name but a few. Had it only been about the numbers, I could have been on close to 200 by now.
Where are you now?
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
Syria, Sudan, Pakistan. The friendliness of the people in these 3 countries blew me away.
But if you want places, Meroe Pyramids in Sudan >> https://www.nomadicbackpacker.com/blog/meroe-pyramids-sudan
Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
I love long overland journeys. Typically I will pick 2 points and find an interesting as possible route between the two points and set off slowly, enjoying the ride as much as the places themselves.
So my best travel experience would be overlanding between Cairo and Cape Town. 19,000 hard-won kilometres, through 10 countries. And no sneaky flights! as a few have done despite claiming to have gone ‘overland’.
Such an amazing achievement and a personal milestone though it ended with my scariest travel experience (see below).
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
I was flying Kathmandu to Singapore via Delhi and there was a pilot strike by Air India. Stuck in a transit lounge at Delhi airport for 36 hours with no offers of food or drink by incompetent non-plussed airline staff. Rescued by on the ball Air Malaysia officials.
Being stuck in Kenya for 100 days in the early days of Covid was not much fun either. So much uncertainty. Too much!
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had? Hard to think of a funny travel experience but the weirdest or most bizarre, being stripped on stage at a strip club in Toronto by 3 wild women, set up by a buddy for my 25th birthday.
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
Being attacked by 2 guys with knives in Cape Town. I was walking with all my gear from the bus station to my hostel. Suddenly I was on a bad stretch of road. No lights, path blocked on both sides. Luckily I survived the ordeal physically unscathed and didn’t have anything stolen. It could have ended far worse.
What is the most random job you have had on your travels?
On my first trip to Australia in 1992, I was actually on a working holiday visa. For 2 days I knocked on people’s doors asking for money for a charity for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How do you fund your travels?
Most commonly I have returned to the UK to live and work after long periods away. Here I could live cheaply but not for free with my dad and get a job with lots of overtime available. I did 2 years with the Royal Mail. It’s the perfect job. Lots of walking, lots of fresh air, good money, always overtime available. The arrangement with my dad was not always the best and well, with the new situation we live in now, this option has been taken from me. He is under a LIVE ALONE order due to his age and to be quite frank, he prefers to live alone.
Between 2001 and 2013 I took seasonal jobs as a waiter in various hotels in Switzerland. Very highly paid, great tips, but it’s a younger person game now.
I run PAYPAL >> https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/nomadicbackpacker
and BuyMeACoffee >>
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/NomadicBackpac1 on my blog. I hope within 18 months that donations from these 2 sources will cover 1/2 of my daily costs, which in theory should be quite easy to do as I live quite cheaply but in reality, it is not consistent enough and the other half of my costs, covered by sponsorship. Traffic remains an elusive dream.
In the past, I have volunteered, privately organised, for free bed and food in Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia but am reluctant to do this now as they expect too much and promises of food and days off quite often didn’t materialise. And morally, they want cheap labour. Chances should be given to locals.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
Start a blog. Even if you do nothing with it, it’s good to have it all in digital form. And can be a creative outlet.
Learn a language. If English is not your mother tongue this is the one you need because in many places, if locals do speak a 2nd language it will be English.
If you are setting off for Latin America, learn Spanish. If you are setting off for West Africa, learn French. If Russia and the former Soviet bloc is where you are headed, learn Russia. In particular, familiarise yourself with the alphabet.
I speak German as a 2nd language and have been amazed that in a few far-flung places this has saved me. In Belgrade, I met locals who grew up in Germany during the Balkans war. There was a transport strike and being able to speak German saved my ass. Likewise in Vietnam, having been kicked out of a bus, with no idea where I was, I needed a cheap hotel. A lady who had lived in Hamburg for 3 years helped me out.
I am pretty OK in French and Bhasa too. Would love to learn Swahili.
And my 3rd tip for travellers before setting out would be to get your affairs in order:
If you’re British, file a P85. This tells the tax man you have left and you won’t get called up for jury service.
Be able to manage bank accounts and anything else remotely.
Order new bank cards with 3-year validity on them as you may want to extend your trip.
Set up a power of attorney. Someone who can deal with your affairs on your behalf.
What are your future travel plans?
I used to have so many plans but Covid has destroyed much of the freedom and momentum associated with the way I travelled.
But there are a lot of places and journeys still to be undertaken and I will be blogging about my travels, you can count on that.
Former racing cyclist, mountain runner, electronic technician, waiter and postman. Backpacking the world since 1992.