As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we contact travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured with Matthew Kepnes from NomadicMatt. Today, we’re happy to share an interview with Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel, a travel blog featuring photos, videos & quirky travel stories along with photography tips, interviews, ESL tips, reviews and general travel advice.
Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel is not your typical travel nomad. Originally from Canada, he’s spent the majority of his 20’s overseas working diverse jobs in Asia. He’s visited 26 countries during his 6 years abroad, and his longest bus journey was 68 continuous hours from Quito, Ecuador to Puno, Peru! We’re happy to feature him today.
1) Where are you now, and where are you headed next?
I’m currently based in Asia as a digital nomad. I’ve most recently visited some friends in Korea and Taiwan and now I’m figuring out where to base myself. With so many attractive options it’s very hard to narrow it down exactly!
2) You’re a self-described jack of all trades with a long list of skills and careers. Which one of these skills have you found most useful while traveling, and which job have you found most fulfilling while living a long-term lifestyle on the road?
This is a great question! In my opinion, my skills and qualifications as a teacher have come in most handy while being based overseas. Prior to becoming a digital nomad I literally funded all of my backpacking expeditions through my savings teaching overseas. Now that I’m a digital nomad, I feel as though my skills as a travel writer, photographer and v-logger are what’s going to allow me to continue earning a living on the road. I think having the background as a teacher is very comforting because I know if for some reason I was struggling financially or not making ends meet with my travel related projects, I could always go back to teaching temporarily.
3) At Busbud, we’re focused on making bus travel easier. What tips would you give for new travelers, and which countries have you found most bus-friendly?
I’ve had some fantastic journeys by bus. Two countries that immediately come to mind when I think of excellent trips and services are Argentina and Chile. Not only were the buses modern and comfortable but I was also provided with delicious meals and other on board snacks and entertainment. For new travelers, I would suggest bringing enough items to keep you entertained. Charging your iPod, Kindle or other portable media player will allow you to pass the hours on long trips. Additionally, having some books or guidebooks to read are a great way to kill time. Finally, bringing some items such as a neck rest, sleeping mask and/or ear plugs will certainly help you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
4) You’ve ridden by camel, horse, donkey, elephant and ostrich. Can you elaborate on the ostrich experience and how it compares to bus travel?
LOL! I can say immediately that I’d much rather be on a bus than an ostrich. If the ostrich was capable of speaking it would have said something like this: “You want to go on a ride? HA! I’ll give you one you won’t forget anytime soon.” It literally tore around the pen and I felt I was riding a bucking bronco. I would compare an ostrich ride to some of my the most treacherous bus journeys I’ve ever been on in Bolivia. In both cases, I was somewhat fearing for my life!
5) Do you have an interesting bus story to share with our readers?
Although I have many tales of misfortune that I could get into I’ll pick something positive. When I was travelling in South America I met some of my closest friends that I still keep in touch with on various bus journeys. Many of my trips were 24 hours or longer providing the perfect opportunity to get to know whoever I was sitting next to. When traveling by bus I would suggest keeping an open mind. A great new friend might be sitting next to you.
6) You’re Canadian (like us!). What’s your favorite hockey team?
I’m a huge fan of Team Canada during the Olympics and World Juniors, but I must admit I’m a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan. Even worse is that I’m originally from a small town located on Vancouver island, so the recent rivalry between the Blackhawks and Canucks has been especially intense for me. I was in Sucre, Bolivia when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. I was prancing around the courtyard on this occasion and a mostly European crowd didn’t have the slightest idea what was going on.
7) Finally, what’s the most rewarding thing that keeps you passionate about travel after 6 years and 26 countries?
The stimulation I feel from being in an exotic land and experiencing something new keeps me going. Furthermore, certain places I loved visiting feel more like home when I come back again. I feel like I’m living my life to its fullest potential when I’m on the road. I know this is what I’m meant to do. I still get goosebumps the same way I did on my first journey. I absolutely love what I do :)
Samuel Jeffery is the wizard behind the curtain pulling the strings of Nomadic Samuel Travel Site. He also runs other travel related sites like Smiling Faces Travel Photos. You can get in touch with him on Facebook, Twitter , Stumble Upon, Youtube & Google +.
Photos by Samuel Jeffery