Spotlight On: Nomadic Samuel

Samuel Jeffrey is the author of the humorous, informative and always engaging travel blog His story is different in that he doesn’t have an “escape from the cubicle” tale since he’s never had to work in one before. After graduating from university, he moved to South Korea to teach English before becoming a full-time traveler, writer and photographer. Sam has been away from his native Canada for six years now and has never looked back. During this time, he’s been all over North and South America as well as to sixteen Asian countries.

Sam considers himself “a wandering nomadic soul completely infatuated by all the splendor and woe long-term travel has to offer an individual.”  I recently had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his experiences as a traveler and writer.

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

That’s a great question. My honest answer to that question is actually best exemplified with another question – why didn’t I start one sooner?  I’ve been living overseas for a long time, as both an expat and backpacker, and in recent years I’ve really gotten into travel photography and video projects and discovered that I enjoyed writing and documenting my adventures.  A travel blog is a perfect way to share all of this and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

You’re Canadian but have been abroad for over six years. What’s it like being away from “home” for so long?

At this point, I honestly don’t miss living in Canada, but I certainly love to visit family and friends back home when I get a chance. Living abroad has given me a more global perspective and when I come back home for a visit I really appreciate what Canada has to offer.

What’s your favorite place that you’ve visited so far?

Most definitely India! It’s such an incredibly diverse country that is a completely unlike any other I’ve ever visited. I once heard that more goes on in India than the rest of the world combined.  I’d have a hard time arguing that point. :)

What are the top three things on your “bucket list”?

1)  An overland journey from London to Singapore

2)  An overland journey from Alaska to Patagonia

3)  To cover all major train routes in India

Those all sound awesome. Sign me up for all three! What was your first experience with traveling?

My first ‘real’ experience travelling abroad occurred when I took a trip to Japan and Korea in the summer of 2004. I instantly fell in love and realized I wanted my life to revolve around travel from that point on.

Name a book or movie that has inspired you to travel.

When I was in university, I often went to the library to pick-up these Lonely Planet videos about travel in various regions. I remember one Christmas having over 40 holds at the public library and receiving a call that I had gone over my limit. After watching these videos, I became inspired to travel abroad and I started saving hard to manifest my dreams into reality.

Like me, you love traveling by train. Tell me about your favorite train trip.

My first train in India was from Delhi to Jaipur. Passing through slum areas, witnessing scenic landscapes and interacting with other passengers on the train, while I constantly sipped Chai, made me realize this was the most enjoyable trip I’d ever been on.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done or place you’ve ever been?

The most adventurous place I’ve ever visited was Bangladesh. It’s not on most travellers/backpackers radars and that’s a shame. The locals are such wonderfully friendly and curious people.  It’s hard to walk down the street without noticing a smiling face. I’ve encountered a lot of adventurous (what some might call dangerous) moments over the years. It’s hard to pinpoint one particular moment, but I feel as though I’m close to using up my nine lives. 😛

What do you always take with you on your trips? Do you have anything you can’t live without?

I don’t think I could live without my camera. I admit taking photos is kind of an addiction at this point. I could care less about what clothes or toiletries I have in my backpack. As long as I have my camera & computer I’m totally satisfied.

I know that you’re traveling around Southeast Asia right now. What are your plans for 2012?

My plans are to continue to travel around Asia basing myself in various locations for a fixed period of time. Now that I’ve become more serious with my blogging projects my days of fast paced travel are in the rear-view mirror. I’ve totally embraced the concept of slow travel and I feel it allows me to connect with a place a lot more than in the past when I would often scuttle off somewhere else every 3-5 days.

And finally, what advice would you give to first-time travelers?

My best piece of advice for first-time travellers is to have a flexible schedule.  I see many first time travellers racing around with a to-do check-list of places to visit and conquer. I used to travel that way myself. What I’ve discovered is that my most epic adventures and memorable moments have often come about when I didn’t make plans and just allowed things to progress naturally.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview!

Samuel Jeffery is the wizard behind the curtain pulling the strings of Nomadic Samuel – Travel Site, a travel blog featuring photos, videos & quirky travel stories along with photography tips, interviews, ESL tips, reviews and general travel advice. Additionally, Samuel runs other travel-related sites: Smiling Faces Travel Photos ,Travel Photography Tips, Teach English Travel Overseas & How to Make Money Travel Blogging. One can get in touch with Samuel by following him on his Facebook Fan Page , Twitter , Stumble Upon , Youtube & Google + !

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