Will, the Broke Backpacker, is a self-described “wandering adventurer, travel writer and amateur photographer.” Although, judging from his photos below, we’d like to call his bluff on the “amateur.” He starts his bio on his well-trafficked site by saying, “I like to get muddy, naked and painted.” He has lived in India for a year, worked on bars in Vietnam, herded goats in the Holy Land and conquered the highest navigable pass in the world armed with a poorly drawn map and a packet of ritz crackers. Will insists that if you know how to travel cheap, you really can travel forever, and his beautiful blog generously teaches you the tricks of his trade. We had to interview him for our Gypset series, for obvious reasons, and he graciously obliged.
Wanderable: Walk me through an average day in your un-average life.
Broke Backpacker (Will): Pretty hard to do to be honest as every day is totally different. Sometimes, I wake up early, do a bit of a workout and then hit the town / mountain / beach or jungle to explore for the day! Other times, I have work to do and end up spending most of the day on my laptop… but I try to avoid that!
W: How did you come to lead such a life? Did you always want to be a traveler, or did you just fall into this?
BB: I’ve always wanted to travel, I like maps… since I was a kid I have been obsessed with putting pins in maps and collecting National Geographics. I first started travelling when I was 18 and although there has been the odd hiccup I would not change it for the world…
W: Which Wanderable Experience would you most love to try ?
BB: Wow! These look pretty awesome – Ok, I guess I would have to go for one of the Hawaii experiences, I have never been there– it looks likes an amazing place to be.
W: What pays the bills?
BB: I make some money off my website but I also write articles for a few travel companies on a freelance basis – this is what keeps me travelling and pays for flights!
W: What do you miss about “home” (where you’re originally from)?
BB: Crossfit. I am obsessed. My biggest complaint about travelling is I miss out on my workouts… I actually wrote an article about the 7 things I miss about home just last week.
W: If you could bring anything/anyone from home, what/who would that be?
BB: I miss a couple of my friends particularly badly – we’re like brothers. I also miss my actual Brother! But I am heading to the Philippines with him in a few months 🙂
W: Advice for aspiring backpackers? Go.
BB: The best advice I can give anyone who want’s this kind of lifestyle is make the transition, make an active decision to get out there and explore on your own. Don’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect flight or the perfect travel buddy – none of these things will ever align, just grab your pack and hit the road.
W: What location is on your bucket list, and why?
BB: Iran – I’ve heard the people are amazingly friendly and I’m a mountain junkie… there’s a lot of mountains. I would also love to explore Papau New Guinea, it’s raw, untamed and largely unexplored by the backpacker crowds.
W: What are your go-to travel essentials?
BB: I never travel anywhere without my Morakniv Knife. My iPod Touch is also super useful, I can write entire articles on a super bumpy bus!
W: What was the best thing you recently ate?
BB: Just today, I found one of the best ice-cream parlours I have ever visited… in the middle of a tiny fishing village in the middle of nowhere.