Traveljunkieindonesia.com – Travel is life. And if you miss travel, you miss life.
Hey travel junkies, want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
So, check this out! travel like the holidaze:
Name: Derek Freal
Hometown: Austin, Texas, USA
Residence: Jogja, Indonesia
Travel Blog/website: theholidaze.com
Short Bio: After a mid-life crisis at 24 I quit my corporate job to travel the world. After all, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done! (lyrics from the song Circle Of Life from Disney’s The Lion King) Five years later I’m still seeing and learning new things on a daily basis.
How did you first get into travel blogging: Although I started traveling using savings from my old career, at the beginning of 2012 my buddy pointed that my money wouldn’t last forever. Knowing that I never wanted to stop traveling I decided to start writing about my adventures in the hopes of inspiring others to explore this amazing planet.
What do you love most about being a travel blogger: Travel is the only multi-trillion dollar international industry that is entirely opinion-based. What makes one place, the scenery, or the food impressive varies completely from person to person. As such anybody can start travel blogging and (with some time and a bit of hard work) make a career out of it. Plus it gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want.
What’s the secret to creating a successful travel blog: Be honest. Your readers will love your candor. If you didn’t like somewhere just be honest about it. But be sure to cite reasons why and any mistakes that you made, so others can learn from them, rather than just complaining.
How do you get your blog noticed amongst the millions of other blogs out there: It’s not easy, not at all. Involves a delicate combination of good writing on a regular basis, outreach to other bloggers, SEO and site optimization, and lots of social media. Also doing something different always helps. Be untraditional. Feel free to zig when other people zag.
What advice would you give to fledgling travel bloggers: Keep it up, don’t stop, don’t lose faith. The first year is the roughest. If you have any questions or issues then ask a more experienced travel blogger. I’ve found the travel blogging community to be one of the nicest and friendliest I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. We all help each other whenever we can, it’s great!
How do you make money out of travel blogging: I make money through advertisers and sponsorships. However more than paychecks I also get an insane amount of free stuff — from hotel / resort stays, clothes, camping gear and travel supplies. And of course press trips — which are all expenses paid, even airfare and alcohol. Soon I plan to write my first eBook as well.
How do you fit in blogging while on the road: It is definitely hard and sometimes I go several weeks without posting. Especially when motorcycling around a country it is hard to find time to find wifi, open up my laptop, and write. It’s a bit easier when traveling on buses, planes, and trains, as you can use all that time to write. Short answer: take lots of buses and use that time to write.
What’s your most epic travel story: Making friends with a member of the Yakuza and getting the opportunity to see the back-door VIP side of Tokyo. The parties, the clubs, the food, the women — all amazing! Plus I finally got to check ‘nyotaimori’ off my bucket list. Or in layman’s terms eating sushi off a naked woman.
What is your favourite destination so far: Tokyo, Japan. The city is divided into 23 wards, some of which have 10 or more districts. The beauty of the city is not only how they seamlessly blend the old cultural buildings and traditions with the new skyscrapers and technology but also in the sheer variety. Also each district is completely different — Akihabara is the electronics district, Shibuya the party district, Asakusa the temple district, Shinjuku the business district, Ryogku the sumo district, and (ugghh) Roppongi the tourist district, just to name a few.
What’s been your biggest travel disaster: Ending up in a Mexican jail thanks to a drunk (and stupid) friend who, let’s just say, tried to buy something he shouldn’t have from an undercover. We were all thrown in jail and taken for everything we had with us — wallets, watches, phones, anything of value. Luckily we were released in the morning.
What are your top gadgets that you always take travelling: Just my cellphone and tablet. When landing in a new country I always purchase a SIM card before leaving the airport so that I can have a local number and (more importantly) data haha… I love to tweet while wandering the street.
What’s your favourite phrase in a foreign language: Besides cheers? Pergi dulu. Although a close second is: Jag gott och blandat. That is Swedish for “I’m yummy and mixed.”
Would you ever do any other job: The only ever job I could see myself doing besides travel writing is travel TV hosting. Doing that tourism film in Sumatra was a lot of fun and I’d love to do more onscreen work like that. Ideally one day I’d like to work for The Travel Channel or even Nat Geo.
What’s next on your bucket list: Don’t know what next but currently I’m working on one — motorcycle through Vietnam from north to south. Gue akan pulang ke Indonesia setelah.
Favorite travel blog/website(s) – besides Traveljunkieindonesia.com, of course!: Just Chuckin’ It justchuckinit.com. Rather than blend in with most travel blogs, Ryan goes about it a different way. He adds in emotions, family history, and more personal stories, but does so in a way that is very inspirational. Definitely not your average travel blog but a joy to read.
What has travel taught you: No one country does everything right. We all have much to learn from each other, if people would just learn to leave race, religion, and politics out of it.
Best travel tip: When traveling somewhere new, do as the locals do. Eat where they eat, go where they go, spend your evenings out as they do. That is the best way to truly experience a new place and learn the local culture.
Happy Sustainable Travels!