Rory Cummins is the write and blog owner of Traveling Round The World, one of the newest blog that I’ve been reading lately. He has tons of information that a new traveller will definitely find useful.
Rory just reached his first year in his round the world trip and is definitely a strong proof that we can turn our dream into a reality.
Get to know more about Rory and follow his blog at Traveling Round the World.
Before you click away, check out my short interview with Rory.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“Although I loved taking trips growing up, my real passion for traveling was discovered when I backpacked Europe solo all the way back in 2002… It was the most unforgettable experience I’d had up to that point in my life and ever since then, I’ve been hooked with the travel bug. When I got back, I was determined to see the world but like many people, my dream of world travel got put on hold with the ‘daily grind’ of life. However, I finally made the decision to just go and after more than 20 countries and a year later, my passion to continue my travel adventures is stronger than ever!”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“Have you ever had the feeling of being so sick that you actually think you’re going to die? Well, after ending a week of travel in Vang Vieng, Laos, I left out of there with just that feeling! A friend of mine that I’d been traveling with up to that point had recently gotten Dengue Fever and by my 2nd day of symptoms, I felt I had the same. Three doctors, two hospitals and one country later, I ended up Hanoi, Vietnam and still had no idea what had gotten me sick! However, after 8 days, the crazy symptoms I had finally subsided.
To highlight the worst of this 8 day saga was my 7 hour bus ride from Vang Vieng to Vientiane to fly to Hanoi. I felt like pure hell and looked it too… and the poor sap sitting next to me probably thought I was possessed or that my head would explode by the reaction on his face during the trip. By the way, if you don’t fly the 2 hours from Laos to Hanoi, the only alternate is a 30 hour bus ride! That would have been a LOT worse:)”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“This is definitely a tough question to answer but I’d have to say it was my time traveling through India. Most of my time was spent in Rajasthan but included time in Jaisalmer as well as a couple other places. I think what made my travel there so unforgettable was how different it was from all the other countries I’d been to up to that point and the fact that India makes you feel so ‘alive’.
Everything is so up close and personal and at times, its just plain crazy whether you’re walking down streets filled with monkeys, camels and cows to buzzing around town in a tuk tuk weaving through a mess of traffic. You’ll often find that travelers there either love it or hate it. I think it boils down to embracing the differences from what you’re accustomed to as well as accepting the fact that you are ‘the tourist’ since you will no doubt be treated like one while there. If you can accept this, your travels there may be some of your best ever.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“The biggest impact that this trip around the world has had on me is the fact we are all connected! Before I left home, when I’d watch the world news and see what’s going on around the planet, it had never affected me quite like it does now. After traveling for a while, you’ll quickly realize this planet really isn’t as big as you thought it was and you come to learn how each country and its people are interconnected with others. After almost a year of travel now, I hold more of a ‘global’ view than I ever had and I’ll never see things the same as I used to no matter what country I end up living in.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“I think a lot people get confused when trying to differentiate between traveling and a vacation. When I told people I’d be leaving for a year at the start of my trip, they said ‘Wow, I’d love to go on vacation for a year’ but it is so much more than that and also so different at the same time. I have never considered my travels as a vacation. For me, traveling means exploring the world, experiencing new things, finding new adventures and discovering not only our planet but also yourself in the process. These are things you probably won’t find in a short 1-2 week vacation. And these are also the things that really motivate me. For every day that you travel, it truly is an adventure as well as a learning process in which you gain more and more each day. I think that that is the part of traveling that is so addicting for people…. the discovery of yourself, the world and its diversity of people.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“Wow, another tough one… How about Bear Grylls… I think he could turn any outdoor walk in the park into some extreme adventure. I think the first stop I’d make with him is Patagonia and onward to Antarctica. I’m sure we could get helicoptered in with nothing but a knapsack holding our survival gear consisting of a lighter, flashlight and knife. Oh, and maybe a Twinkie… as long as Will Ferrell isn’t coming along!”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“Without question my favorite is Iceland. After driving the Ring Road around the entire country, Iceland has been the one place on earth that has impressed me more than other other place I’ve ever traveled. You can go from walking on black sand beaches, craters and glaciers in the morning to visiting hot springs, waterfalls and mud pools in the afternoon. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery and is one of the most unique countries on earth. The people you’ll meet there are also great as is their only official city, Reykjavik… I wrote more about this in my Iceland Top Ten.
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
“Pace yourself! The last thing you want to do on any trip, whether it’s one week or one year is to continually rush from one place to the next. Too many travelers have a bad habit of this and I was guilty of this too when I first started! And nothing will eat into your budget more than transportation costs from point A to B to C, etc. So take time to enjoy each and every place you visit. Try to spend 2-3 days at minimum. You will save more money this way but more importantly, you will get more out of your travels and have a more enjoyable experience.
So don’t rush and if you’re out on a long term trip, say more than 5 or 6 months, take a vacation from your travels! After 6 straight months on the road, I chose to spend 3 weeks on the beaches of Goa, India to do absolutely nothing but sit on the beach! It was well worth it and restored my energy to hit the road again after that needed break.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“In order to properly answer this, I think I better rephrase the question to “What’s the funniest thing you’re willing to share with the online world from your travels?!?” Since some things won’t be getting posted live to the net… if I had to pick one that could be described as funny, crazy and/or stupid, it would be swimming off Iceland’s northern coast during my road trip around the country. At the time I thought it would be quite an experience to swim only 25-30 miles from the Arctic Circle but after 30 minutes of trying to get my blood flowing again, I realized it probably wasn’t the best idea! I did take video of it but the only thing that made it on my Iceland blog post were a couple photos.”
What do you think about yourself?
“Without sounding egotistical here, I would say that I’m simply a traveler that is extremely curious about the world. I love adventure and discovering new places and cultures. Traveling around the world has been nothing but a dream of mine for the past ten years and I’m both grateful and glad that I gave myself the opportunity to actually take this trip! I’m also a very active and social person who enjoys learning constantly so traveling helps fulfill this for me too.”
“When I started out on my trip, my travel blog was simply a means to keep in touch with friends and family back home because at the time, I hardly even knew the meaning of a ‘blog’ let alone how to write one. However after writing a few posts at the start of my trip, I realized it was a great way to not only allow people to share in the experience of my travels but hopefully to inspire others to travel as well. Today I write to help people plan their trip, offer advice where I can based on my own personal experiences and also to share my stories from the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met along the way.” – Rory Cummins
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Rory.