Hello Everyone , we hope you enjoyed reading our last interview. We are back with this month’s featured traveler interview series .We received an email from his outreach manager asking if we would be interested in publishing an interview about Adrian on our website. We checked his website and were awestruck by what we saw. So we just had to do an interview!
So here’s a little preview. Adrian is a sabbatical traveller and digital nomad who has already traveled to 85 nations in the last 3 years. Wow! Talk about travel goals. Let’s get to know more about him!
1. Tell us something about yourself – name, location, occupation etc.?
Hi, my name is Adrian Sameli. I’m coming from Switzerland and call myself a “web enthusiast on the road”. Three years ago, I gave up my traditional career in order to travel the world and use my skills for pro bono consulting (also known as skilled volunteering). I provide comprehensive technology consulting for startups and social enterprises.
2. What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
My first notable solo trip led me to China. At the age of 20, I used my first real salary to buy a return flight to Beijing. This was such a memorable trip because I was all by myself in a distant land. I felt pure freedom and happiness in meeting new people and learning about their culture. From the very first day, I completely immersed into a different world, made new friends and saw the world with different eyes.
3. Why do you travel?
Ever since, I am addicted to visit places that are less touristy and trendy. The less international coverage a place gets, the more interesting it is for me. After visiting over 85 countries, I have realized, that authentic experiences with people is the most valuable you can get when traveling. Especially on solo trips, you expose yourself fully to your host culture, as you don’t have a travel buddy to share the experience with. This increases your chances to meet and interact with strangers. I enjoy genuine conversations with all sorts of people around the globe, seeing the world through their eyes.
4. Your favourite destination/ location you have been to?
Last year, my personal highlight was Bangladesh. Before going there, I only knew one Bangladeshi through the internet. The country’s reputation is shying away many visitors, leaving it mostly untouched by tourism. It’s infrastructure might not match international standards but is more than enough for curious travellers. On my road trip across half the country, I met the friendliest and happiest people.
5. Do you have any interesting experience you would like to share?
Wow, I don’t even know where to start. The first experience that comes to my mind is from my recent Myanmar trip. In Yangon, I visited the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. This place was packed with Buddhist shrines, statues and worshipping visitors. Overwhelmed by all of them, I took a break and sat down on the stairs. Shortly after, a Buddhist Monk sat next to me and we started talking. For over an hour, we shared stories from each other’s culture and believes. After this conversation, he made me a very personal present. Because I promoted science over religion, he bought me a book about the science of Buddha’s Ultimate Reality. I’m curious to read it soon.
6. Do you have a travel bucket list? If so what is on it?
No, I don’t really have a bucket list, as there are too many wonderful places to visit. Of course, I take many notes of unique places to visit someday. Most places I want to visit, are not mainstream tourist destinations and there are no special offers. This May, I’m very excited to go to North Korea and lead a workshop at a startup bootcamp. I’m constantly looking for unique experiences and ways to visit difficult places. Next on my list are Turkmenistan, Pakistan and maybe Syria. Let’s see 😉
7. Who’s your inspiration?
Life itself is my best inspiration. I’m not following the footsteps of any particular person. Every single human being who is living an authentic life, especially those who are dedicating their time to helping others are a great inspiration for me. On my blog, I am curating and presenting such stories.
8. Is this a hobby or something you do for a living?
I am travelling to feel alive but I cannot make a living from it. As an IT and internet specialist, I can work anywhere in the world, even remotely while travelling. As long as I have a stable internet connection, I can work on the road to finance my travels. In between longer journeys, I have also been working pro bono for social projects. In places such as San Francisco, Nairobi and recently New Delhi, I helped social enterprises to improve their IT teams. Instead of a salary, they just covered my basic expenses.
9. What have you learned from your experience with travel?
There are many small learnings and I’m learning something new every day. One of the most important learnings is definitely to stay true to yourself and your beliefs. Everywhere you meet people who are telling you what to do, how to do it and how to lead a better life. But if you truly want to live a happy and fulfilled life, you should only listen to your own heart. Sometimes you have to leave your old life behind, change your surroundings and defy the rules of society. I see many people struggling with that, just because they try to please others instead of following their own heart.
10. Do you have any advice or tips for other travelers?
With pleasure. Here are three of many travel tips:
1.Travelling is not expensive! Forget all the luxury people are desperately trying to sell you. The best travel experience is coming from authentic interactions with real people. Don’t waste your money on luxury transportation or accommodation but in real experiences instead. Always cross check touristic offers with alternatives, especially local prices and in order to save a lot of money.
2.Get organized but stay spontaneous! If you want to travel more, you have to be prepared and organized. Basically, this means a good understanding of your possibilities and risks. Inform yourself about transportation and accommodation opportunities, and also get a realistic picture of security. But once you are on the road, just go with the flow. Do not plan much ahead and do not hang on to your pre-fabricated ideas. Adjust your plans regularly and react to the local situation.
3.Travel for the moment not the trophy! I’m sure you remember hearing people bragging about the places they have been. Have you ever asked them about their experience – and then realized how bad it really was or that they don’t even remember? If you really want your travel to have a lasting impact, enjoy all the small moments. Connect with locals wherever you go, create lasting moments together with them and you will always have a unique story to tell.
For more tips, follow me on social media and my blog.
You can follow / read more about Adrian on his blog and social media:
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