Guests’ Corner: Mountain Leon, Cal Bailey

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 Cal Bailey, travel blogger at Mountain Leon.

Cal Bailey, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, runs the exciting new, up-and-coming outdoor adventure/travel blog, Mountain Leon. After years of outdoor travelling, Cal decided to start up his own blog, encouraging others to take life by the horns, head off the beaten track and go out and explore this beautiful world we live in.

His blog, Mountain Leon, gently merges a few of his favourite things, including his love for both the English and Spanish languages. Its name is a combination of the Spanish word for lion in ‘leon’ (his favourite animal) and mountain climbing (his favourite activity). Follow this exciting, new blog for more fun, outdoor adventures, tips and insights!

1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?

I’ve always wanted to keep a travel journal, but, when on the road, it’s hard to stay motivated to write about what you are doing. By starting a travel blog, it makes documenting your experiences more tangible and adds an elements of accountability for you.

On top of that, I want to inspire other people to pack up their bags, say ‘f@#k it’ and go travelling, because everyone says they want to travel – but tomorrow never comes.

2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?

I like a mix, really. Too much of anything and it becomes less special. I really love going out in nature and being away from the city and society. Just at peace with my own thoughts.

On the other end of the spectrum, I really love the hustle and bustle of the city. I grew up in a rural area, so have never lived in a big city. So, when I travel, I love to experience that lifestyle too.

3) Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.

1. Travelling with Family:
Over the past two years, I have probably spent 12 months travelling with my brother. This is great for a few reasons:
a) You become closer.
b) If you have a disagreement or get sick of each other, it doesn’t really matter because, at the end of the day, you get past it.
c) You still feel a close connection to home because you have a family member with you.
2. Skiing in Colorado:
When I was in university, I did a study abroad program in the United States. I was lucky enough to spend a week in Crested Butte, Colorado. This was a truly amazing experience to witness the rocky mountains, while snowboarding all day long.
3. Backpacking through Europe:
In 2016 and 2017, I did two six-month trips through Europe. This was truly amazing! The part I loved the most was being able to fly one hour and be immersed in a totally different culture.

4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why? (Please provide your home country’s name too.)

When I finished university in 2015, I travelled for three months half-way up the east coast of Australia (from Melbourne to Brisbane). Along the way, I stayed in Sydney and Byron Bay at different backpackers’ hostels. It was eye-opening, because, for the first time, I was meeting so many people from around the world.

In Australia, Australians generally do not stay in hostels, so everyone was mostly from Europe. This gave me insight into European cultures, languages and gave motivation to do my own trip there.

5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?

I’ve never really had a bad travel experience.

6) Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?

1. Barcelona, Spain
2. New York City, United States
3. Bali, Indonesia

7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?

I am reading these two sites (Fly4free and SecretFlying) daily. They find the cracks in the airline pricing and suggest ultra-cheap trips you can go on. It’s always so motivational to pick up my things and grab a cheap flight somewhere.

8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?

Right now, I am travelled out. After two years on the road, I am looking for a bit more routine and stability in my life to recharge the batteries. But I am planning a trip to Colombia in mid-2018.

9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?

I live in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a beautiful city, filled with great music, food, coffee and summer events. I would recommend staying away from the typical tourists things and ask a local where the good spots are.

I am constantly meeting tourists, who have visited my city and never experiences the quirky venues we have to offer. I’d go and grab a coffee from a hipster cafe, have some Eggs Benedict and go see an up-and-coming live band – that’s what is unique about my city.

10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?

Try different transport options in every city. Get a metro ticket to easily explore the areas away from the city central. Hire a bike and ride to a random spot. Just go for a walk and see where it takes you… You never know what – or who – you are going to run into.

To read about and see all of Cal’s exciting travel stories and advice, you can visit his blog. Or follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Thank you very much, Cal, for appearing in this international guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!


Author: Tamlyn 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.

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