Andrew Chow’s a travel blogger, social media and public relations strategist, entrepreneur and speaker based in Singapore.
He’s also the best-selling author of a highly popular series of books, including Social Media 247 and Public Relations 247. Andrew has spoken in over 15 countries and addressed more than 20,000 people on topics such as digital marketing and personal branding.
With a career spanning 30 years, he has accumulated a number of achievements and accolades. This includes winning the Spirit of Enterprise award in 2008, and the Successful Entrepreneur award in 2010. Most recently, he was listed in the Top 10 most influential speakers in Singapore in 2013 by the Singapore Business Review.
An avid traveller, Andrew also volunteers and does fundraising events for a local charity called Teen Challenge. You can check out his IQPlanner profile here.
Why did you start travel blogging? How long have you been doing it?
I started 6 years ago when I began to travel internationally for speaking engagements.
At first it was purely business from the airport to hotel, and then back to the airport. Then I began extending the stay and exploring each city and decided to write about business travel.
Name your top 3 most memorable places?
Cape Town, South Africa. It’s the place where you can experience 2 oceans, and enjoy a 5 degree difference in temperature compared to Johannesburg. You also get to enjoy different mountains that display a different feel almost daily.
Masai Mara, Kenya. This safari has a very neat landscape and unparalleled views of almost 15 km of clarity. You will hopefully see the big five, and many other animals if you’re lucky. What’s more, in the right season, you will see massive migration.
Kittiia in Finland is a good place to view the Northern Lights. It has unbelievably clear skies most of the winter with good hostels located in the area.
The paths to the hills are usually clear, meaning you can enjoy the nature’s display of lights. Take note, as it can get very cold (-40°) at times!
What’s the best thing about being a travel blogger?
There’s something magical about travel and seeing the world through different languages, cultures and daily lives.
You begin to feel that what really matters a lot to you, may mean nothing to others. You also begin to see life from a diverse big picture point of view.
And the worst?! (if there is one)
Losing your bags at connecting flights. You cannot believe how many people lose their bags in one day at a single airport.
Some people only get theirs back after months, with a big hole and several missing items.
Give your top tip to a blogger starting out
I’m going to wear my business traveller’s hat, and advise bloggers to sign up to key airline frequent flyer programmes and plan the countries you wish to visit.
This method helps to reduce excessive travel, plus you’ll also appreciate lounge access when waiting in a packed airport or arriving early and need to catch up on writing your blog.
Planning multi-city destinations on most airlines will also give you more points then simple return trips.
Hotel freebies: take ‘em’ or leave ‘em’?
Take them. You’ll always need some extra shampoo on trips when you can’t get a hotel and need to bunk in a hostel.
I’d also recommend taking tea bags, because they’re very handy in removing the smell from socks and shoes!
Laundry bags are also a great idea to take, as you can pack different clothes and items within your large travel bag.
What’s at the top of your list for destinations this year?
Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole. It’s a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass.
Most cruises to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches towards South America. It’s known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, as well as its striking, iceberg-flanked passageways.
The peninsula’s isolated terrain also shelters rich wildlife, which includes many penguins.
Why should people subscribe to your page?
People who like my page are usually business travellers who have a weekend to spare before beginning their work meetings.
There are many things a business traveller can do to enjoy some leisure within 24 to 48 hours. However, most travel blogs feature travel destinations that need at least 3 days to complete.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten on your travels?
Balut in the Philippines. It’s a type of egg that has a developing bird embryo inside. You eat it raw without any sauce or spices.
Name a place, city, or country where you feel happiest?
South Africa. It’s a place where you experience a tremendous amount of love, peace and forgiveness.
Considering the history, it’s what is holding the country together since Nelson Mandela became President.
Where’s your next adventure?
New Zealand. It’s a place where people are outnumbered by sheep 10:1!
Its climate is very soothing, and I look forward to the strong winds and the open ocean.
The mass of sheep actually look like white carpet in the open field!
Find out more about Andrew and his next travels, or speaking engagements by clicking on any of the links below.
Andrew can be found in all his social media platforms under the moniker @ideasandrew.