Interview: Globetrotter Justin Walter Talks His Top Travelling Experiences
Living by the motto ‘the adventure you're ready for is the one you get’, world traveller Justin Walter dives head first into adventure, sharing his experiences as he goes on his fantastic blog Around The World With Justin. Here, he shares tales of his travels, future plans and his perfect Clickstay holiday…
1. We’ve loved reading up on your travels and the many places you’ve managed to venture to! Can you describe how Around the World with Justin came about?
During my junior year at Boston College I spent four months living, studying and working abroad in Australia and became addicted to international travel. After my first ever solo backpacking trip to the Australian Outback - a dream of mine - I realised how passionate I was about making travel an important and regular part of my life. Over the years, I’ve always loved sharing my adventures so I started my travel blog as a travel resource and way to inspire others to travel.
2. You’ve managed to check off so many destinations from your travelist. Out of the five regions you’ve travelled through have you got a favourite and why?
This is such a tough question! If you’re going to make me pick, I’ll have to go with South America. I’m an adventure traveller and so far South America has given me such incredible travel experiences that were all so different from one another. During my trips to Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil I backpacked through jungles, tropical beaches, ancient ruins, remote mountains, glaciers and so much more. South America is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise!
3. What are the top three destinations on your travel bucket list and why?
Iceland - Every time I see photos of Iceland on Instagram I lose my breath and experiencing the Northern Lights is a must. Serengeti, Tanzania - It’s always dreamt of going on an African safari and a lot of travellers have told me this is where to do it. And lastly, Borneo - I’m a huge fan of the TV show, “Survivor” and would love to explore the island where the first U.S. season was filmed.
4. If you had to move to another city, which would it be and why?
I'd have to say Sydney, Australia. I loved being close to so many amazing beaches and being a short flight away from countless adventures in that region of the world. I also wouldn’t complain if I developed an Australian accent.
5. We noticed that you’ve visited Thailand. What was your favourite thing about your trip?
Thailand offered so many exciting hands-on adventures and I loved feeling like I experienced all of it! While in the interior of Chiang Mai, I participated in the Yi Peng and Loi Krathong festivals, stayed in a tree house in the jungle and volunteered with abused elephants. While island hopping in the south, I went rock climbing and deep-water soloing in Railay and snorkelling and partying in Phi Phi. See our villas and apartments in Thailand.
6. The Yi Peng Lantern festival looks unbelievable in pictures, but I can bet there is nothing like the spectacle of being there and living it. Can you tell us what the festival was like?
The Yi Peng Lantern Festival was the most beautiful experience of my life. When I booked my tickets to Southeast Asia I planned my entire trip around going to Yi Peng and it was the best decision possible. The festival is completely magical - being surrounded by thousands of travellers from all over the world gathering to release lanterns. It was also very spiritual - letting go of the lanterns as a symbol of releasing negative energy in hopes of good fortunes. Attending Yi Peng should be on everyone’s bucket list!
7. From climbing the Mayan ruins in Guatemala, to snorkelling in Belize, to Ice trekking in Argentina – is there any particular experience that stands high above the rest?
My 5-day trek on the “W” in Torres Del Paine, Chile was hands down the best thing I did in Patagonia. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding travel adventures of my life. I spent 5 days hiking and camping through glaciers, lakes, rivers, valleys and some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. It allowed me to connect with nature in ways I never have before and to disconnect from technology to spend quality time with myself.
8. We saw that you visited the famous Angkor Wat Temples of Cambodia. What do you think earned them the #1 ranking in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist?
The Temples of Angkor are completely mind blowing and earned Lonely Planet’s #1 spot because there is nothing else in the world like it. It’s rich history, religious significance and unparalleled beauty are truly unmatched. The grounds are massive and full of so many temples, each with it’s own personality. Waking up early to catch a sunrise over Angkor Wat will help any traveller understand why this destination literally means “Heaven on Earth.”
9. How would you describe your perfect Clickstay holiday?
I come from a loud, crazy Italian family and still haven’t been to Italy! My perfect Clickstay holiday would be a family reunion at one of the amazing villas in Sicily. It would be an unforgettable holiday exploring my homeland with my family, stuffing our faces with delicious Italian dishes and drinking a lot of wine.