As part of the next instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner (previously a local South African travel interview section on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust), I chatted to Michael Gregory, travel blogger at The Wandering Broski.
Keen traveller Michael Gregory – a travel blogger based in London – has a passion for helping people to break free from the traditional nine-to-five job and enjoy a life full of travel.
When he’s not exploring the world – his favourite destinations are Europe, the US and Southeast Asia – Michael runs his entertaining and insightful travel blog, The Wandering Broski, even as he works in various teaching/coaching positions. Whatever he is up to though, one thing is for certain: Michael is doing his best to help people be brave and live fuller, more experience-rich lives.
Michael believes that travel can be a wonderful addition to every aspect of your life – but he feels that, sadly, most of us travel too little during our lives… For himself, he hopes to one day make a full-time profession out of travel – but until then, you can join him on this part-time journey, which is filled with plenty of passion, encouragement and insights to get you out and about in our world!
To hear and see more from Michael, be sure to check out his fun travel blog, where you will learn how to create a life full of travel… rather than a life full of things!
1. Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
Whilst I was at university (about three years ago), I was dating a girl, who ran her own food blog and she really seemed to enjoy it.
Knowing my passion for travel, she suggested that I set up a travel blog and she promptly introduced me to WordPress.com… Well, I took her advice and three years later, here we are.
2. What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?
I’d definitely say I’m a mix of a few of these… I’m a hundred percent a nature lover; I am still yet to visit Yosemite and Yellowstone, which are right at the top of my lists. I’m also a bit of a thrill seeker, as I love adventure activities such as scuba diving, zip lining, and quad biking.
I do love to explore new cultures; some of my favourite travel experiences have been in Asia, where the culture is completely the opposite to what I’m used to in the West – very eye opening!
3. Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
1. Koh Tao is an island in the Andaman Sea to the south of Thailand: I visited the country in 2014 and spent a week on this small, but popular island. The sea surrounding Koh Tao is full of a huge variety of fish; the beaches are an absolute dream; and you can explore the whole island in a day on your quad bike. It’s like a secret James Bond island just waiting to be explored…
2. Budapest is currently my favourite European city and for good reason! The city is full of beautifully ornate spas, which are open for bathers during the day and then, during the night, they turn into massive spa parties!
The architecture of the city is just stunning, as are the people that live there. The ruin bars, which dot the city, are perfect for a great night out. Chilling out during the day in the swimming pools on Margaret Island was perfect.
3. In 2015, after spending three months working at a summer camp in the US State of Maine, two friends and I hired a car and travelled down a large portion of the US East Coast. We visited cities such as Providence, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Charlotte and New York.
The whole journey lasted a little over two weeks, and was full of memories, which will stay with me forever.
4. What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?
Travelling to the Lake District in my home country, the UK, as a 13-year-old child was a holiday, which showed me both the beauty – and the dangers – of the English countryside. The Lake District sits in the north of England and is full of rolling green hills, deep cold lakes and towering mountains.
It’s a popular holiday destination – and Scafell Pike is a popular mountain to climb. My dad and I made it to the top of the mountain pretty easily… However, on the way down, heavy fog descended and we couldn’t see one metre in front of us.
We ended up taking completely the wrong route back and ended up on sheep’s path, with a steep cliff edge on one side. If we had slipped, that may have been then end of us. We made it down – but on completely the opposite side of the mountain to where we started!
5. Worst local travel experience?
This is an easy one. By far the worst travel experience I have ever had was taking an overnight bus in Laos from the town of Luang Prabang to the capital Vientiane. This bus ride occurs in the pitch black and takes you over a mountain range, which has plenty of hairpin corners and sheer drops of hundreds of feet…
The bus driver was completely insane and hardly slowed down for each corner. We had multiple near misses with buses coming the other way; the bus had no air-conditioning; my friend had a panic attack and tried to leave the bus; and my sandwiches turned to much it was so humid… Not to mention that I didn’t get a wink of sleep.
6. Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
- Europe: Is that cheating?! The way the borders work, it feels like one big country! It’s the best playground for a wanderlust seeker.
7. Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
A fun website that I haven’t booked through yet is Kayak Explore. On here you choose your home airport then the time of year that you want to travel, hit search and it displays a map showing the cheapest destinations around the world at that time.
8. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Havana, Cuba: Probably because I’ve had the song ‘Havana’ stuck in my head on repeat for the last week. But also, because it looks like a beautiful city. The retro cars, which line the streets, are so iconic, the colourful buildings so vibrant, the beaches so soft, and the weather is sweltering.
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
Why don’t you check out my blog? I’ll give one big tip, get an Oyster card for you travels!
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
I would suggest embracing and being respectful of the culture of the country that you are in.
Try to learn a few simple words like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’… Even if you end up speaking English, the locals will appreciate that you tried.
To read about and see all of Michael’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit his awesome blog. Or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you very much, Michael, for appearing in this guest travel segment.
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.