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Our interview with Neil Barnes from backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk travel blog:

Why did you start travelling?

I was lucky enough to be taken on holiday a lot by my parents when I was younger, but my first bought of what I was now call actual ‘travel’ was in 2005.   Fresh out of University I enrolled in a 6 week volunteering project out in South Africa, which would see me teach sports and English to young children in the Port Elizabeth area. I enjoyed myself so much over the course of those 6 weeks, that I actually changed my flight home and ended up travelling the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town with a few of my volunteering buddies.

What is the most important during your travels?

Escapism, by which I mean escaping from the stresses of ‘everyday’ life, and meeting new people, whether it be locals or other backpackers.  Everyone has a story, and I like listening to stories.

What is the most important experience that Neil Barnes had during his travels?

Probably that same 6 week volunteering project experience I wrote about in question 1.  It opened my eyes to a new way of life, and showed me just how much existed outside of my little corner of the world.

What is the most beautiful place that you have been to?

Ouch, tough question!  Sri Lanka will always a special place in my heart, but it might just have been outdone by Iceland, where I saw the Aurora Borealis last year.  As you can imagine it was really something very special … and beautiful 🙂

What do you avoid when you travel?

I can’t think of too many things I would avoid whilst travelling, apart from crime hotspots and hostels with bad reviews.  I need a decent hostel and certainly do my research when it comes to finding a bed for the night.

What is your biggest travel dream?

I have a couple at the moment, hopefully thats not cheating?
Canada has been the big one for a while now, working my way from Calgary to Vancouver via the rockies would be magic.  Lately though, having been told about it in detail at a friends wedding, I have been dreaming of riding the Trans-Siberian Railway.

What are Neil Barnes favourites travelers?  Which blogs do you read?

I read a whole host of blogs, I love getting stuck into other peoples travels and learning from their experiences.  Some favourites include …
backpackerbanter.com
headforpoints.com
thetravelhack.com
vickyflipfloptravels.com

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