Dutch travel blogger and regular IQPlanner magazine contributor Sven Koster, features in this week’s Blogger Voice.
Sven loves to get the most authentic experience as possible. He’s lived in Taiwan, Tanzania and Ghana, has volunteered in India and Uganda, and is currently living in the UK.
He’s visited 31 countries so far and hopes to visit a lot more in the future! Check out his IQPlanner profile here.
Why did you start travel blogging? How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been blogging for only 3 months on my new website. However, with my previous travels I always had a website available where I would post my latest stories when I was away.
People around me started asking where they could follow my latest stories, so I decided to start my own travel blog and share my experiences.
I use my own stories and experiences to tell local authentic travel stories, but also give people tips and ideas as to what they can do on their trips.
Name your top 3 most memorable places?
El Nido has the best, and not so touristy beach and diving place in the Philippines. The second would be Mount Meru. Forget about wanting to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania — Mount Meru is way cheaper, and offers a more exciting hiking trail.
In the end, you’ll finish on top of the mountain, where you can see the sunrise over the savannah and Kilimanjaro in the background. My third choice would be the Amazon rainforest in Peru. I love nature, and the fact that I could spend a week in the rainforest and be one with the outdoors was just unbelievable.
What’s the best thing about being a travel blogger?
To inspire other people. Every time I come back to my village, some random people talk with me about my latest travel experiences.
I used to have difficulties answering questions, but now with my blog, I’m able to share my experiences in a more focused way.
And the worst?! (if there is one)
I think it’s finding the motivation to put an article up every time. However, up to now, I haven’t had this difficulty — I’m still full of stories that I want to share.
Give your top tip to a blogger starting out
Just start! I didn't know anything about how to start a blog before, and am still learning along the way. This discovery process is also why I love to blog.
Create your own space where you can share your experiences with other people.
Hotel freebies: take ‘em’ or leave ‘em’?
Take of course. I’m Dutch and a budget traveller, so how can you say no to free stuff?! Those small toiletries are really useful for short city trips.
What’s at the top of your list for destinations this year?
I really want to go to Myanmar before it becomes spoiled by tourists.
Right now you can still get a local experience, but I’m afraid it will become a new Thailand within a short period of time.
Why should people subscribe to your page?
If people want stories about local experiences instead of standard travel advice then they should subscribe.
I don't take trips to places where you only stay for a couple of days. I much prefer to stay for at least a month in a country, connect with locals and get the best local tips.
I’ve been living in London now for a year, and still discovering new stuff that you’d never see as a tourist. I’ll happily share those kind of experiences and tips.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten on your travels?
From deep fried bees and snake soup to fried scorpions and rats, I’ve eaten it all!
But, probably the most unusual thing would have to be 'Balut'. It’s a boiled fertilised egg, and a Filipino delicacy. It won't be to everyone's taste, but over there, they just love it!
Name a place, city, or country where you feel happiest?
Taipei. The nature, city and beach are all within close reach.
Where’s your next adventure?
At the time of writing, I’m going to Newcastle in the north-east of England.
However, my next big adventure is still under development. Hopefully it’ll be Sri Lanka this summer.
Follow Sven on his adventures by clicking on the any of the links below.