Note: I apologize that this interview is being published a day late. Unfortunately the person originally scheduled for yesterday’s interview didn’t provide me with enough photos, so I had to shuffle things around a bit and move Taufan’s interview up a week.
Today’s interview is with Indonesian blogger Taufan Gio. I met him in India during my recent trip and was immediately impressed by how much fun he had. While it takes me awhile to settle in and let loose, he was always socializing and constantly smiling.
Taufan’s blog Disgiovery is about helping readers see the world in a different way. He has won several awards and his photos and writing have been published in several places. Now on to the interview!
How long have you been writing/blogging about travel and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging random stuff since 2006, but just started my dedicated travel blog in October 2013. I realized at that time that travel blogging is my real passion. I was more serious and happy traveling and blogging than programming and cracking codes like I used to do.
What was your first memorable travel experience/trip?
When my grandparents took me on a 800 km (500 miles) train ride from the west to the east of Java island. It was a joyful experience. I liked to stick my face against the window in an attempt to see the whole new world outside. I was only five. And when I got thirsty, my grandmother only served me cold milk.
Can you tell me what makes your blog unique?
I think everybody is unique, so every personal blog should be unique as well. My blog represents a poetic side of me, I guess. I rhyme through words and images.
What is your absolute favorite place in the world and why?
White sandy beaches and turquoise water. Misty mountains and green landscape. Nice people and rich culture. Could be anywhere. I visit Bali regularly because it has everything I like very much, so I think Bali that is.
Can you share a useful travel tip with my readers? Something that you have learned through your own travel experiences?
Don’t wear any white/bright color when you visit National Parks, it can attract predators/wild beasts. Bright colors can be considered as threat or living prey.
I was told about this by the park ranger at the middle of our journey in Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, India. So in my case, I was the first target if any tiger or elephant decided to hunt someone down at that time. Luckily nothing happened. I never forget that moment.
What inspires you?
People I’ve met. Friends I’ve made. Could be anyone, or anything.
What is your overall favorite travel experience and why?
So far it’s the Kerala Blog Express trip. First, I’ve never been to India before. Second, Kerala is not like India as I imagined it before going. Third, it makes me want to go back to India to explore more. But most of all, I’ve got a bunch of cool new friends from around the world. I’m not a crier, but I became teary eyed on the last day of the trip.
Why do you continue to travel?
Because I like to have different experience/perspective of the places I visit, the people I meet, or the culture I learn.
Backpack or suitcase and why?
Backpack, because it enables me to move easily and leaves my hands free. I only bring my (wheeled) suitcase on some media/arranged trip where I don’t need to run to catch my bus/train.
Do you have anything else to share with my readers?
I have one favorite quote from Henry Miller:
“One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”
I want to thank Taufan for allowing me to interview him. His passion is something that I rarely find and one reason that I highly recommend his blog.
I also want to apologize for the delay in getting this interview out. I promise the interview series will return on time next Saturday. Have a great rest of your weekend!