This is our second piece of our new series #travelleroftheweek! Every monday we will interview travellers from around the world who inspire us through their travels and their personal stories. This week we got to know Alex Block from AlexBlockTravels.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Could you give us a short introduction about yourself.
Hi, guys! My name is Alex Block, currently I am travelling around the world full-time, taking photographs and telling stories about my travels. Before going I was working in office for a long time, but i decided to take some time off to travel for a while. Today is my 260th day.
Could you describe the moment you have been bitten by the travel bug?
I haven’t had opportunity to travel abroad till my mid-twenties, but I still remember short journeys in my homecountry, when we went outside for a day or two. I remember that feeling of sitting in a bus and listening to some music (Robert Miles was one of the most popular soundtracks for roadtrips for me that time).
Later when I got the opportunity to explore abroad, it wasn’t a big deal: I want to see and explore more as I always knew that I want it. And the more I see, the more I realize that I saw just a little part of what our beautiful world can show us.
How many countries have you been to?
At this point I’ve been to 70+ countries, but I don’t like to count them. Numbers were interesting till 50 countries, but after it I realized that this number got no big sense. There is a big difference between visiting San Marino or USA, Kosovo or Italy, Monaco or Spain. Sometimes one day is enough to see a lot of interesting things, but it could take years to travel around Russia, China or Canada.
How do you decide where to go next?
I have a written a wish list of places I want to see, so sometimes I just look at it and decide what will work for my next destination. Also after choosing a destination, I look for UNESCO Sites and browse through blogs to learn more. I try to choose particular regions and travel to see the interesting things over there.
For instance, this summer I was travelling along Adriatics and moved little-by-little. I have visited all countries from Slovenia to Albania and then Macedonia, Bulgaria. It was interesting as all of them are similar in some ways, but very different in others.
Why did you start with your blog and what do you want to accomplish?
I had a blog since 2006, but it was in my native language. I always loved to share and loved the idea of having some kind of diary. My English blog is 2,5 years old. I made it, because at some point I thought that it would work better as I will have an opportunity to meet people from around the world, not only from my country. It’s really very nice, when you arrive to a place and there is someone, who knows you. I really appreciate how good it works for me because people are really willing to help and give me very good advices.
What is your advice for someone wanting to start a similar blog to yours?
Try to make it simple, modern and decide your unique topic. Also I would add, that you need to be really passionate about it as blogging is really time-consuming. I literally sit in the busses, working with my pics or writing my posts on the phone. Some days I do nothing, but it. Writing good post with several pics took me up to 8 hours, so it could be full-time job.
How do you make money travelling?
I don’t make money travelling at this point, because now I prefere to concentrate on travelling itself.
What are the top 3 locations you want to visit?
Each time you will ask, I will give you different answers, but now I would name:
- Iceland as it is one of the few European countries I haven’t been to.
- Mexico as I’m really interested in its culture and Mexico city is one of the largest capitals I haven’t been to.
- Marocco as there is such a big buzz about it. I want to see it by myself.
But really, when I’m thinking about it, I want to add 20 more places to this list!
What has been your favorite and least favorite thing about living on the road?
I love big cities as I am a big city boy, I know how they work and I always can find something interesting to do. My favorite is visiting big cities and finding hidden places, where no one goes. Also I really love the opportunity to see how beautiful our world is and what miracles we can make here! You know, these WOW moments!
My least favorite is that, unfortunately, still these days many people try to rob you if you are a travelling foreigner. For instance, taking some extra “taxes” like happened with me in Montenegro recently, sometimes in very abusive way like the one that happened with me in Bosnia, when a bus driver hit me on my back to get a 1$ luggage fee. Or famous scamming in India, when people approach you in a very “friendly” manner and you end up sitting in some tourist office. I hate it not only because of the money itself, the amount is usually very small, but mostly because you need to be aware and hardly can believe anyone, who will approach you. Even if it’s just a friendly local, who probably just wants to be friendly.
What is the worst place you’ve travelled?
My least favorite place was Cambodia. I loved Angkor Wat, but apart from it Cambodia doesn’t work for me. It is not super cheap as promoted, many people are rude and grumpy, most of the country still relies on help from outside, there is not much to see apart from Angkor and generally in places like Sihanoukville there is too much of obvious “sex-tourism” in a very open manner. That was the only occasion, when I left country much earlier, than I planned.
What is one of the funniest things that happened on your travels?
Recently one thing happened to me in Budapest. We went out to explore its ruin pubs (which are really good) and there was a group of British guys having a party. I really love how crazy they can be! They were wearing Scottish kilts without underwear and were ready to show it to anyone! Yes, they showed it to me, too! I don’t know how, but we ended up having push-up competition and I can be proud, because I won a drink!
Do you have a favorite place in this world?
I would say that London is definitely my favorite place for everything. I love being there, partying, walking, visiting theatres, drinking coffee, exploring museums, walking along Regent canal or searching for cool stuff on flea markets, taking numerous shots, visiting galleries. I love how historical and modern it is, how offish and crazy it could be at the same time, how freely people can do whatever they like and show themselves in the way they feel. London is definitely a special place, like no other!
Would you ever settle down? If so, which country?
I haven’t thought about it much at this point. I still have my homebase in Moscow and come back every several months here. Mostly because usually it is the most logical during my travels as it’s very handy homebase. I would love to live in an other country for some time to learn how it feels and whether it could suit me or not.
You can read more about me in Instagram, Facebook or at my website with my daily travel diary.
Don’t forget to submit your story for a chance to be our #Travelleroftheweek and Comment below if you have more questions for Alex.