Christopher is a Canadian travel blogger, photographer, podcaster, and freelance writer. His curiosity has led him to visit some 70 countries so far, while putting down roots in cities like Seoul, Oslo, and Istanbul along the way.
He feels incredibly lucky to have seen so much, and aims to see so much more. His goal is to visit every country on the planet, and write about it along the way. Check out his IQPlanner profile here.
Why did you start travel blogging? How long have you been doing it?
It’s a good question, actually. I started travel blogging, I think, because I felt that what I was experiencing was so meaningful that I wanted to make sure I wrote it all down, and captured some of that ‘magic,’ so to speak.
Also, I started my blog when I was studying at the University of Oslo in 2010. It was the first time I had moved away from Canada for an extended period, and I think it was also a way that I felt I could connect with friends and family back home.
Name your top 3 most memorable places?
It’s really quite hard to say, but I’ll write down 3 that come to mind.
The first place is Kyoto, Japan. It’s a city that is just teeming with culture, and I deeply respect the roots upon which the city was founded and thrived.
Japanese food also happens to be my favourite food on the planet, so that helps. I feel like it’s the sort of city where you could take the top 10 tourist sights, split them into 10 other cities, and those 10 cities would still be worth visiting.
What I mean is, Kyoto is, in my opinion, one of the most historically significant cities on the planet.
The second place would likely be Koh Lipe, Thailand. I visited this ultra petite island in 2012, and it was really off the beaten path at that point, though I’m not sure about now. Either way, it was like I’d found paradise for the first time.
The island is incredibly small, but the culture and people helped to make it feel like it was the centre of the universe, and the only logical place to be.
Thirdly, I’d say Quito, Ecuador. There’s an incredibly relaxed vibe there, and I feel like the people know how special Ecuador’s capital is, but perhaps the rest of the world doesn’t just yet. It’s one of those cities I’m sure I could live in.
What’s the best thing about being a travel blogger?
For me, I think being a travel blogger forces me to ensure that I’m doing proper research in the places that I’m visiting and that keeps me travelling responsibly. It ensures that I’m accountable to myself, and I know what I need to see to do a place justice.
Furthermore, I appreciate that I walk around places with an inquisitive eye. I’m always looking to capture a good photo, and I’m constantly thinking about what makes the place different, or how it is similar to other places I’ve been.
And the worst?! (if there is one)
I don’t think people realise how much time you have to spend in front of a computer screen (or just a screen in general) to really ensure that you continue to remain relevant in the travel blogging sphere.
It’s a bit of a paradox really, because we aim to show how great the world can be, and what a ‘wild and free’ life we have, but in a very real sense we’re also chained to the screens which enable us to pump out content.
Give your top tip to a blogger starting out
Be consistent. Unfortunately, the reality is that you’re not going to be relevant unless you’re pumping out content on a regular basis on your blog and respective social media.
Furthermore, I’d say that you need to be you. It’s not sustainable to be a falsified version of yourself indefinitely, and people will see right through that.
Hotel freebies: take ‘em’ or leave ‘em’?
It depends really. If I’m staying at an Airbnb after staying at a hotel and I’m not sure if they’ll have shampoo, I might throw the extra shampoo in my bag, but generally speaking, I just ‘use ‘em!’
What’s at the top of your list for destinations this year?
Russia. For far too long I’ve had this massive amount of space staring at me on the map that I haven’t been able to imbue with my own personal understanding, and that’s got to change in 2017. I’ve got my eyes set on going this summer.
Why should people subscribe to your page?
I think people should subscribe because I’m ‘growing with my readers.’ What I mean is, I’m constantly changing, tweaking, and improving things, and I talk about some of that kind of stuff in my monthly newsletter.
I’m honest with my readers and followers, and that’s why I feel people engage with me. So, if you subscribe, you get to come along for the ride, and I’m happy to engage with you on a personal level on almost any social media platform.
People are also always welcome to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve recently been helping people build out itineraries with greater frequency.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten on your travels?
I ate a pigeon during a recent trip to Fez in Morocco last week — does that count? It’s hard to say, really.
I’ve eaten crocodile, alligator, ostrich, and everything in between. Well, maybe eating guinea pig in the mountains of Chimborazo in Ecuador takes the cake — it’s a real delicacy there.
Name a place, city, or country where you feel happiest?
It has to be Toronto, Canada. It’s where I was born, where my family is, and where I have so many friends I hold close to my heart.
Not to mention, I support all the sports teams, so it’s always a pleasure to watch games at a normal North American hour when you’re used to watching games in the middle of the night Europe time.
I never left Toronto because I didn’t love it, I just needed to figure out how I felt about the rest of the world.
Where’s your next adventure?
As I write this, I’m sitting on a rooftop in Essaouira, Morocco. Though, I’ll be heading back to Istanbul (where I currently live) in 2 days, then the following weekend I’ll be flying to Izmir, Turkey for a wedding.
That’s just the next 10 days or so, but I can’t really say what’ll happen past that. Plenty, though, that’s for sure.
If you want to read up on more about Christopher and his next journeys, click on any of the links below.