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Welcome to another installment of my travel blogger interview series! Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Tom & Zi from Craving Adventure.
Tom and Zi are the creatives behind Craving Adventure. They met while solo travelling through SEA and fell in love. Once that trip was over they both had to go back home – to the opposite sides of the world, but they couldn’t stand the distance so they found a way to make it work. They quit their jobs, packed up their bags, sold what didn’t fit into said bags and hit the road to travel full time. Through their blog and Instagram account they aim to bring you all the insights on a life of travel, exploration and adventure.
How long have you been blogging for? Why’d you decide to start a travel blog?
We’ve been sharing a lot about our trip on Instagram prior to that and kept getting questions about our travels. People would reach out to us for tips so often that we decided to compile them into a blog. Zi got herself the domain as a birthday gift to herself and suddenly it all got real!
Do you have any tips for new travel bloggers/aspiring travel bloggers?
So many that we actually wrote a full article about starting a travel blog! We went into it knowing absolutely nothing and wish we had a resource like this to help us out back then.
Many people think blogging is a walk in the park – including us at the beginning, naive, huh? As it turns out, blogging is actually hard work and the learning curve is very steep. SEO is something that every blogger should learn about, but building a community and having a distinctive brand is just as important.
What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started traveling?
Wish we learned to pack light sooner. When on the road for longer stuff really starts to get in your way and slows you down!
Why do you love to travel?
Huh, that’s a tough question and it would be impossible to pinpoint one reason why we love it. It comes down to the whole package and a mix of novelty, excitement, adventure, but also culture, learning, personal growth and so much more. For us, travel is a way of life.
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
The worst one is easy – Wellawaya in Sri Lanka, our biggest travel fail to date! Yes, worse than missed or canceled flights and any visa hiccup we’ve ever had… We had nightmares about it for weeks!
We can’t remember why exactly, but we couldn’t spend another night in Ella and we were not willing to miss out on the Diyaluma falls so we booked a motel in this little-known town just south of Ella and only a short drive from the waterfall. Turns out this town is a trap!
The owner of the motel knew there were no other facilities for tourists, no bike rental, and not many English speakers around so he tried to take advantage of us by overpricing his services at any chance he got. The room was full of black mould and we both got sick from it.
And since there was no mosquito net we had no choice but to donate our bodies to these pesky bastards. There were hundreds of them and had a feast! We were very eager to leave that town but as it turned out there was a festival in a nearby town so all the busses were overcrowded (yes, even for Sri Lankan standards!).
In the end, we had to pay a local for an overpriced taxi ride down South … worth every penny just to get out of there!
Disclaimer: Wellawaya was the one and only bad experience we had in Sri Lanka and we love this country and the locals deeply. We would certainly recommend visiting this gorgeous island… just stay clear of the Wellawaya trap 😉
Best travel experience is harder to pick as there were so many, but travelling New Zealand in a van we converted ourselves probably tops them all off. Partially because building it was extremely rewarding, and the freedom that comes with a house on wheels is hard to beat. It was a very adventurous 9 months full of beautiful starry skies, showers under waterfalls, and the most beautiful sceneries we’ve ever seen.
Do you prefer solo travel or traveling with other people? Why?
Both! These days we travel together but we met while we were both on a solo trip through SEA. We love the freedom and spontaneous nature of solo travel. It’s a lot easier to meet people when you travel alone and that brings with it all sorts of amazing adventures and memories. We also love travelling together as a couple and sharing these amazing experiences makes our bond even stronger.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to? Why?
That’s like asking a mother to pick their favourite child. There isn’t one and if there is, it’s not politically correct to pick a favourite 😉 But yes, there are some trips that we cherish deeply with New Zealand (our first real trip together), Samoa (the most underrated and incredibly beautiful island in the Pacific), and Thailand (the country where we met) making the top 3.
What’s your biggest travel tip?
Just go! Honestly, the conditions will probably never be perfect, the stars will never really align so cut the excuses, pack your bags, and hit the road. You will not regret it. Travel is such a wonderful thing that will help you grow as a person and change you deeply. Don’t be afraid of travelling solo as you’ll never really be alone and it will be the experience of a lifetime!
Is there one specific thing you like to do, see, or buy in every place that you visit?
While we hate waking up early on a regular day, we do love photography so on our travels we often get up for sunrise. Shooting in that yummy morning light just before everyone else wakes up and the streets are still empty is magical.
Is there one particular food that you’ve tried while traveling that you loved? What food was it and why do you love it so much?
Pad Thai from a dodgy-looking street cart is hard to beat! This was our go-to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days during our time in Thailand but we could never grow tired of it. We still make it ourselves once every few months and it always takes us back.
Plane or train? Plane, but road trips are even better!
Hotel or hostel? We like to mix them up. Hotels for a good night of sleep and hostels to meet other people.
City or nature? Nature, always!
Popular site or off the beaten path? Off the beaten path, we love discovering hidden gems!
Suitcase or backpack? Suitcase for Zi and backpack for Tom. Can’t agree on everything, can we 😉
Fast travel or slow travel? Slower than slow. We love taking the time to really experience a country, get to know the locals, and explore lesser-known places.
Professional camera or iPhone photography? Professional, and we couldn’t live without our trusted drone Buzz.
Warm or cold weather? Warm, preferably by the sea.
All photos used throughout this post are courtesy of Tom & Zi.