Interview With Alan Perlman of The 9 to 5 Alternative
Please give my readers a background about yourself. What made you want to start
I had been writing online for a few years when I bought this particular domain name. I knew that I wanted to live a quasi-unconventional work life and thought the name made sense. I ended up getting a job where I was traveling quite a bit--50 countries in 3 years--so I used this blog to document my travels and connect with like-minded people along the way.
In all of your travels, in your opinion what country has the best food?
and the worst food?
In terms of street food, I enjoyed Bangkok the most. I also like the mezzeh plates in places like Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. I could eat middle eastern food all the time. Eating in Nigeria was pretty difficult, as I never developed a taste for Nigerian spices.
What has been the least exciting destination you've traveled to?
Least exciting? I tend to find all travel exciting, no matter the destination. Traveling in certain countries, though, I found it harder to enjoy the ethos of a particular city, hence perhaps less exciting. Qatar and the U.A.E. come to mind.
Did you always have a love of travel or did you develop your passion for
traveling as you got older?
I've always had a love of travel. After studying abroad in Kathmandu, I knew that travel would be an important element in my life, and I was fortunate enough to find a job after college that allowed me to explore that interest.
What has been the most surprising destination you've been to? Meaning, you
had a specific mindset about a certain destination but it was totally a different
experience than you had imagined.
Syria, definitely Syria. As an American Jew, I wasn't sure what to expect there, and I also hadn't had enough time to research the country before going there. Damascus is one of the coolest and most hospitable cities I've ever been to. The food is fantastic, everyone was incredible friendly--it's a shame what's happening over there right now. When current events settle down, I'd go back to Syria in a heartbeat.
What advice would you give to a newbie traveler?
Hit the ground running--do as much research beforehand as time allows, and you'll enjoy the destination that much more. Also, try to find someone local to hook up with for coffee or drinks. I've always found my most rewarding travel experiences involve locals.
In 10 years, do you see yourself still traveling or slowing down?
Still traveling, but because I no longer work at my former company, I don't think I'll ever be traveling at the same rate that I was these last three years.
Thanks Alan for the interview. Please visit Alan's blog @ The 9 to 5 Alternative