Interview With Matt and Deborah of Travel With A Mate
Matt and Deborah, please give my readers a background about yourself.
What made you want to start travelwithamate.com?
We're a 30 something couple who are addicted to travel and exploring new cultures. We even got married overseas! We've been blogging for 6 years now but wanted to do something more than just write posts. We wanted to help other bloggers too so we started the community website travelwithamate.com. It's grown so quickly and now helps us travel even more!
In all of your travels, in your opinion what country has the best food?
and the worst food?
Matt: I'd say it's probably the country we're in right now, Malaysia! It's population is made up of Malays, Indians and Chinese from many provinces too. This means the range of food here is amazing! So varied and so tasty! It's also some of the cheapest food you'll ever buy. It costs more to eat in than eat out! We've enjoyed so many fantastic meals here.
When you both first started traveling, did your families support your
Matt: Of all the crazy things we've done the one thing they've always supported is our love of travel. We have quite big families with grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews and we miss them all dearly, but they have their own lives to live and we have our passion for travel.
If you had to choose one favourite destination, which one would each
of you chose?
Deborah: The Galapagos. They're so beautiful and lots of amazing animals that are totally unique to that area. Amazing diving too!
Matt: Definitely Japan! It's a truly mind blowing place. Such a modern and urban environment with so many cultures, traditions and fashions too. I adore Sushi as well so it's perfect for me!
What has been the least exciting destination you've traveled to?
Deborah: Caracas in Venezuela. There's really nothing to see there. It's dirty, busy and I was glad to leave!
Matt: Skopje in Macedonia. While we enjoyed our stay there thanks to a friendly hostel, the city itself is fairly unloved and run down. You could probably see all it has to offer a tourist in a day! Glad I've been but won't be going back.
Did you always have a love of travel or did you both develop your passion
for traveling as you got older?
Matt: I've always enjoyed travel but it was definitely something that developed over time. The usual european holidays as a child until I was 22 and decided to go to New Zealand for 4 months. After that I was hooked!
Deborah: I've always had a love of travel! I remember when my grandmother went to Australia when I was 7. It really made me want to explore far-away places.
What impact has travelwithamate.com had on your lives?
A huge impact! What once was a hobby to write about our travels is now a full time job for both of us. We've met so many interesting people, been able to organise meetups around the world to help others meet too. It's allowed us to travel and work for long periods of time without the need for short holidays. It's also helped us to meet very interesting hotel owners, tourist guides and people in the travel industry who have invited us to places we would never normally go as a tourist.
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.
Interesting question! I think probably Singapore. Everyone's first preconception is that it's all corporate business, skyscrapers and expensive hotels. We spent some time there recently and found there's so much culture, history and green open spaces to explore. It's such a shame most tourists only have 2 days there and miss out on all the interesting districts like Little India, Serangoon and Holland Village. I've always loved Singapore and finding out how much it has to offer just makes me love it more.
If you had to decide which destination has been the most influential
in your lives, which destination would you chose?
I think Australia has influenced us a lot. We lived in Sydney for 6 months and made life long friends there. We were able to work and also set up www.travelwithamate.com too. It gave us the confidence to leave the UK once more and travel the world. Sydney is such a beautiful city too.
What advice would you give to a newbie traveler?
Challenge yourself as much as possible! Stay in unusual places off the beaten path and definitely try to meet local people. Even if you just meet for lunch with a local you'll learn more in 2 hours than you ever could in 2 days as a tourist! I'd also recommend trekking! I never used to like the idea of long walks but once you've trekked in the hills of Northern Vietnam or Thailand, you'll soon want to do a whole lot more!
In 10 years, do you see yourself still traveling or slowing down?
Definitely still travelling! There's so many countries in the world left to explore. There's no way we could fit it all inside a decade. Travel isn't about being a tourist, it's a lifestyle we love, highly addictive and has the ability to make even the mundane routines of life a very memorable event. I'm excited to see where Travel With a Mate will be in 10 years time too!
Thanks Matt and Deborah for the interview. Please visit their blog @ Travel With A Mate !