Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! I got yet another interview for you guys today. Remember the interview I did with Giles Jordan for his podcast The Blogging Pod? If you didn’t hear it click here to hear him and of course my wonderful voice. He’s doing a lot of great stuff over at his blog. Well he returned the favor and I got the opportunity to interview him. It’s a really good interview and I think you all will enjoy it. Check it out below.
2TALL: Hello Giles. Thank you for doing this interview. First thing I want to know is what inspired you to want to start traveling?
Giles: I had always wanted to travel but never got around to it, with school and my career taking over. I got to a stage where I was living and working full time in London and had been for 4 years, but wasn’t happy and needed a change.
However, what finally made me quit my job and travel (without a plan for when I returned) was a small 2 week travel trip I took in the USA. We road tripped all the way from New Orleans, to LA stopping by loads of amazing places along the way (including the Memphis, The Grand Canyon and Vegas to name a few…).
I was travelling with a company called Contiki who are a group tour company, and I decided to travel with them on a bit of a whim.
Long story short, alongside my roommate having travelled and inspiring me through his experiences, I felt like I’d experienced and ‘lived’ more in that two weeks than I had working my full time jobs in London. There was more out there I needed to experience whilst I could.
So I saw it as my best opportunity and that if I wanted to travel it was now or never.
2T: How many times a year do you travel?
G: Now I’m working full time it’s a bit more difficult to travel, as I only have 4 weeks holiday a year. It also depends on what you consider ‘travel’. For me, even if you do have limited time you can still ‘travel’ and see new places or parts of your own country for example.
So bearing this in mind, through various long weekends and some planning I still manage to travel probably 5-10 times a year, usually with one longer trip (1-2 weeks), and lots of long weekend type trips taking a day or two off here and there. This year’s travels outside the UK have included Iceland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and Ireland to come. Also a work trip to San Diego but that doesn’t really count.
With flights being so cheap around Europe, it’s a lot easier to travel somewhere new without needing to spend loads of money. Last year in Europe I travelled to Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Romania.
The dream is to be able to work remotely so that I can travel for more time in the year. I’ll never be a permanent traveler as I do like home comforts, but there’s so much more of the world to see, so I’d love to have more time to travel.
2T: What are some of the myths that people hear about when it comes to traveling?
G: Probably the biggest myth I’ve heard is that there is one ‘best’ way to travel or experience a place.
We’re all different, and we all enjoy different ways of travelling and often it’s not until you actually go out there and try it out, do you know what styles of travelling you do or don’t like.
I travelled in all sorts of ways, from the more common way of staying in hostels and meeting people along the way, to travelling with friends, to travelling in groups. All the different ways of travelling will suit different people and have different positives and negatives.
So ignore the people who judge you for wanting to travel in a certain way, travel how you want and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
2T: What would you recommend to someone who wants to start traveling?
G: I know how scary a step it can seem taking a long period of time away from work, or even quitting your job to travel.
So my biggest bit of advice here would definitely be to do a smaller mini trip and try it out. If you’ve always wanted to but just need that push, then the enjoyment you’ll get from getting a taste of travel will make you want to take the leap and do it more.
Also, there’s a great travel show called ‘Departures’ on Netflix, which will be sure to inspire you to travel more!
2T: What made you want to start sharing your travel stories by blogging?
G: My travel blog originally started out as a way to document my trip. Also I’d seen people that had blogged, so thought ‘why not’.
It was a way that I could not only share my experiences with friends and family back home, but also have a record of what I did and experienced it for the future.
2T: What are some of the challenges you’ve come across since starting your blog?
G: The biggest challenge was probably the realization that once the initial interest from friends and family died off on my blog, hardly anyone was reading it.
There were lots of reasons for this, but it was pretty tough putting all my effort into something that it seemed nobody really cared about.
So the biggest challenge for any blogger I’m sure, will be being patient with your results. Blogging takes time, and those people who smash it out of the part straight away are the exception rather than the rule.
2T: So aside from blogging, traveling, and your day job you produce two podcasts. Before we talk about them what made you want to start podcasting?
G: Mainly, podcasts are my favorite way to consume content. In the aforementioned day job as a digital marketer, I get a lot of time to listen to them. So for a while, I basically wanted any excuse to start my own.
I firstly actually created one for my work, as I work for a medium sized magazine in a niche medicine related area and get a free reign as to different ways of marketing our content.
This podcast is actually by far the most successful and has now had over 10,000 downloads which seems pretty crazy… But that’s because I knew the content in the magazine was good, I just needed to get it in front of more people. The podcast has also been going over a year, which of course massively helps.
2T: I like that! Any excuse to start a podcast. So the Blogging Pod is the first podcast you started. Where did you come up with the idea for that?
G: As mentioned above, I wanted to start a podcast as I thought it would be fun. But wasn’t sure what I would podcast about outside of my work podcast.
The reason I started a podcast about blogging, was an out of the blue feature for one of my posts on the topic of blogging.
WordPress Discover (which is wordpress.com sharing content they like) shared a post I wrote on the 10 biggest mistakes I made in my first year blogging, and it got loads of great engagement and views for my blog.
So I thought, if people find this blogging content useful, and my experience has been chosen by WordPress why not create more of this type of content. I felt that I had useful advice to give on blogging for other people starting out.
2T: WordPress Discover. You must’ve been thrilled to be featured on there. So the second podcast you started was The Travel Pod. What made you want to take on not just one but two podcasts?
G: I got to a stage with my blog and the first podcast where I wasn’t having time to do everything. So starting a new podcast on top seems a bit silly. However, the main reason for the travel podcast was to further get my ‘travel’ related content out there.
My blog was always meant to be a travel blog, and it was becoming a bit blogging focused. Also I needed to get my blog to the next level before I could talk about more advanced blogging topics.
Having already been set up with doing podcasts through Libsyn, and having the microphone etc, it was pretty simple to set up another one.
Whether I’ve once again stretched myself a bit thin I don’t know, but the travel podcast was an experiment that I thought I could just record some content, give it a go for a while and see what happens. I didn’t see many similar podcasts out there either.
Mainly though, I just wanted to experiment as I’d already produced the content so wanted to see how it could do.
2T: What are some of your favorite podcasts to listen to?
G: As mentioned I listen to quite a few podcasts, most of these are either sports, comedy, blogging, or personal finance related.
There’s a great blogging podcast called ‘do you even blog’ which is hosted by a guy who took the leap and became a full time blogger. He interviews a lot of experienced and successful bloggers in his podcast, and there’s plenty of useful stuff in there. It’s actually a reason I felt a bit of ‘impostor syndrome’ with my own blogging podcast, as the content is so good.
If you like personal finance type podcasts the ‘Financial Independence Podcast’ hosted by the ‘Mad Fientist’ is really great too
Some other slightly different podcasts I’d recommend, one called ‘Unfiltered with James O’Brien’, is an interview podcast with a mixture of different famous and interesting guests. It’s a rare podcast where you’ll hear interviews with people you haven’t heard of but are still really interesting.
Jon Ronson’s ‘The Butterfly Effect’, was also really fascinating if you like more of a short series one off podcast type.
‘Ear Hustle’, is a really interesting well made podcast bringing you stories of what life is like inside prison, shared and produced by prisoners.
If you want a gaming podcast, IGN Game Scoop!, is a great weekly roundup of gaming news and topics, that’s my go to gaming podcast at the moment.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of others but there is plenty of choice there to keep you busy…
2T: Game Scoop! is a podcast I like to listen to. Anyway when we last spoke you told me you were playing Monster Hunter. So that tells me you do game from time to time. Care share with us the consoles you have and what games you are currently playing?
G: The consoles I have that I currently still play are a PS4 and Nintendo Switch. I also have various older consoles somewhere, including my original GameBoy, PlayStation 1 and N64…
Having recently played and completed the latest God of War (which was a lot of fun, with plenty of enjoyable end game content too), I was a bit lost for a new game so have gone back to playing through Fallout 4 at the moment.
I’m waiting for the new Red Dead, and pondering if I want to spend the money on Octopath Traveller for the Switch.
2T: I would recommend Far Cry 5 while you wait for that new Red Dead. Tell me a little bit about your gaming history a bit. What did you have and what did you play growing up?
G: I can’t actually remember if I had a PlayStation or GameBoy first… But these were my first two consoles as a kid being born in the early 90’s. I remember my first GameBoy game was Tetris on my yellow brick sized GameBoy.
I was always a playstation owner growing up, and only got my N64 just as they were stopping making them. I was always very jealous of my friends playing games like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but still had plenty of fun on my PlayStation.
A gaming low point was dropping my GameBoy Advance in a swimming pool whilst on holiday…
Some favourite games I remember playing as a kid, were Worms Armageddon (which gave me endless hours or playing), Rayman, GEX, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysey to name a few…
Also the occasional movie based games such as the Bond and Harry Potter games. I always loved kart racing games, so had a couple of more niche racing games like micro machines too.
I played a lot of my GameBoy too especially on family holiday’s. My second game was Mario World 2, which I still remember well and fondly to this day! I also played hours of wario games, and Zelda Links Awakening, which massively stumped me in the days before being able to google solutions to puzzles…
Online gaming wise, I played World of Warcraft with friends as a teenager for a few years, before realizing how addicted I had become to the game and stopping…
I also briefly went to an Xbox with the 360, before it got the red ring of death and I swore off Xbox’s and went back to PlayStation.
These days my favourite games to play tend to be single player open world RPGs, such as the Fallout games (New Vegas is my favourite), The Elder Scrolls Games (Oblivion still my favourite), Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War etc.
I was really pleasantly surprised by Mario plus Rabbids on the Switch though so will be on the lookout for more turn based strategy in the future too.
2T: You have quite a bit of a gaming background. Any gaming titles coming out that you want this holiday season?
G: I actually never played the original Red Dead, but my girlfriend as well as the general gaming community did, and everyone raves about it. So as a fan of open world RPGs I’m looking forward to buying that one when it comes out. Also really looking forward to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Switch.
I’m super bummed that the new Fallout 76 is multiplayer only, as they are some of my favorite games…
2T: Sounds like you and your girlfriend like to game together! That’s awesome. Ok Giles time to TRAVEL in a different direction! LOL!
Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
G: Rugby definitely. Although I don’t play anymore (and I am showing my Englishness), rugby is without doubt my favorite sport to follow especially England, this is closely followed by football (soccer) and cricket. I’m generally a big sports fan so follow most major sports.
2T: Favorite color?
2T: A place you hope to travel to someday?
G: Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list place. More realistic is Alaska, as I’m actually moving to Canada at the end of the year so have grand plans of road tripping up north.
2T: Antarctica? Hope you dress warm! Coke or Pepsi?
G: There’s no comparison for me, coke 100%
2T: Mario or Sonic?
2T: Favorite food?
G: Unhealthy favorite is chocolate. Healthy favorite is sushi
2T: I wouldn’t say sushi is all that healthy! LOL! Favorite shoe?
G: Shoe brand is Timberland, I have a couple of different styles of their shoes. They’re expensive but last years and are super comfy.
2T: Reebok or Nike?
2T: Favorite music?
2T: Guilty pleasure?
G: FPL (Fantasy Premier League), it’s our fantasy football (soccer) game that’s become a mild obsession of mine.
2T: A place you hope to travel to again?
G: It’s so difficult to pick just one… But a few are, Africa (the continent is huge and has so much to offer!), New Zealand (road tripping around the South Island), Japan, and Fiji which is probably one of the most under-rated desert island paradises in the world, with the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
As I’ll be living in Canada, not too far from the USA, I’ll also hope to road trip more around the USA and some of the national parks.
2T: Let me know the next time you are in So Cal. Anything you want to ask me or tell the readers before I conclude this interview?
G: A gaming question is, what in your opinion is the most over-rated game? I’m mean a game that for some reason everyone raves about but you just don’t see what the fuss is about…
Other than that, thanks for having me on your blog! This interview has been really fun, and it’s always great to interact with other bloggers.
If there’s one bit of blogging advice I can give to finish off (that I also need to remember myself), it’s that blogging should be fun and it takes time to get results. Yes, there are some things to do that are ‘better practice’ in blogging, but the reason people usually quit is they are too focused on quick results and forget to enjoy it. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, the rest will come with time.
2T: Giles thanks for doing the interview. Thank you for the great blogging advice, and travel advice. And to answer your question Fortnite.
I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as I did. Here are links to Giles blog and podcast pages below:
As a friendly reminder if you would like to be interviewed on this blog. Please reach out to me BEFORE I reach out to you. Until next time! Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIVES MORE. Thanks for reading folks! Have a good one!