On October the fourth, Wandering Earl will be passing through Turkey on his way to a tour round the Middle East. For those of you that like to book vacation packages and plan everything right down to your daytime excursions, then Wandering Earl is a solo traveler that will amaze you.
Wandering Earl has an unique way of traveling. He books his plane ticket and that is it. Accommodation or a hotel is found when he arrives and his next destination is where ever the road takes him. He is having the adventure of a life time and writing about it all in his blog.
Wandering Earl will be traveling solo on his tour and when it has finished, he wants to spend a month in Turkey before returning to the United States. What will he do while in Turkey? No one knows, not even Earl. I took the chance to interview him and his answers will prove to you that travel really does broaden the mind.
1 – When we spoke previously, you mentioned that you had visited Turkey before. When was that and what are your memories?
During the 5 years I worked on board cruise ships (scattered between 2001-2009) , I was fortunate enough to have visited the Turkish coast on about 10 different occasions. My fondest memories are mostly of eating wonderful Turkish cuisine during my work breaks but my visit to Ephesus was of course a major highlight. The thing is, my time on board cruise ships only gave me a glimpse of Turkey, but those glimpses were so positive that I knew I would be back one day to explore the country more in depth.
2 – You are visiting Turkey on your way to the Middle east. What do you hope to gain and experience while you are here?
As with all of my travels, my main goal is to both challenge and educate myself. It has always been my preference to explore the world with my own eyes instead of assuming that I know what’s really taking place based upon what I read in the media. This trip will be no different and I really hope to gain a greater understanding of the religious, political and cultural aspects of this region, a part of the world that I’ll admit, I don’t know too much about.
3 – You are well known for going where the road takes you instead of planning your trip down to the last detail. Many people who are not well traveled, would consider this madness. What is your message to them?
I’d say that my style of travel fits perfectly with my goals and that before setting out on a trip, it is essential to determine what you hope to gain. For me, I normally don’t focus too much on trying to see the popular sights of a particular country and instead, prefer to spend my time interacting with and learning from the local population. As a result, this style of travel does not require much planning.
By not planning certain travel details ahead of time (such as accommodation and transportation), the experience of finding a hotel room each night and figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B becomes a major, and infinitely rewarding, part of my travels. However, if this is not the type of travel one is looking for, then planning ahead of time might be the better idea. The style of travel really all depends on why a person is setting out on their particular adventure in the first place.
4 – To finance my trips, I take on freelance writing contracts. What is your source for funding your trips and any advice to any one out there who wants to travel but has a lack of funds?
I’ve used a variety of methods over the years, including teaching English in Thailand and India, working on board cruise ships, writing and selling eBooks on line and even taking advantage of a handful of investment opportunities that came my way.
The best advice I can give is to keep in mind that once you start traveling, you will suddenly discover an infinite amount of opportunities to earn money that you simply don’t even know exist at the moment. But if you don’t take that first step, then you’ll never be able to discover and take advantage of them! Earning money to support a traveling lifestyle is not nearly as difficult as finding the courage to buy that first plane ticket and start your adventure!
5 – There is a lot of discussion in the blogging world at the moment about solo female travelers. If you were a solo female traveler, would you still feel comfortable about traveling through Turkey and around the Middle east?
Absolutely. And the main reason I say that is because one of my best friends, who I’ve known for 15 years, just returned from the region. She traveled alone and had originally planned to spend 2 months in Turkey, Syria and Jordan.
However, she felt so comfortable and welcomed everywhere she went that she ended up in the region for 7 months! With that said, she was an experienced traveler but I really feel that as long as some very basic precautions are taken, then a solo traveler, even female, will be able to avoid any major problems no matter what part of the world they choose to visit.
7 – What do your friends and family think about your blog, the way you travel and the country of Turkey?
Well, that’s an interesting one. About twenty minutes ago I received a phone call from my mom and she told me that she wants to come to Istanbul with me. And now she’s looking for flights! I actually have a very supportive group of family and friends at this point.
They all read my blog, send me ideas and quite often, as is the case this time, figure out a way to accompany me on my travels every now and then. As for Turkey, everyone I know has a favorable opinion of the country and its people and many of my friends and family have already visited!
Follow Wandering Earl on his travels around the Middle East and Turkey.
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