Hi there, my name is Ian Paterson and I’m a travel consultant and travel blogger at Resfeber Travel Blog from Glasgow in Scotland. I first travelled extensively, when I bought a round the world ticket in 2010 and spend a year on the road. After getting back from that trip, I started to work in travel and have helped lots of people build the trip of their lifetime.
I’ve also always been interested in writing and these two passions collided when I started travel blogging a couple of years ago. The name of my blog ‘Resfeber’ comes from the Swedish word, which describes the excited but nervous feeling you get before travel. I love the word Resfeber and I wanted my website to be a place that excited people about travel, so it was a natural choice for me.
Aside from the aim of exciting people, my work and personal trips have given me great insights into the methods people use to experiencing culture and the way the travel industry works. For that reason my blog focusses less on destination guide and much more on the ethos of travel. There are lots of really great guides out there and as I had a more behind the scenes perspective, I wanted to bring something new to the table.
What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
Right now, my partner in crime – Kate – and I are planning on our next great adventure. We are going to attempt to travel all the way from my home in Scotland, to Kate’s home in Perth, Western Australia, by land and sea.
In the modern age of air travel, something I feel strongly from my previous trips, is that flying to places, I’d lost all comprehension of how big the world is. With this trip I want to see what travelling half way around the world is really like. To see how much land and sea passes beneath us, will hopefully demonstrate just how big the world is.
It will also be a huge challenge, as there will be sections of the journey through politically unstable places and countries with little infrastructure. It is a challenge which my work over the last few years has prepared me well for, however.
Does your blog cover anything else other than travel?
I also have a huge passion for music and write as a music journalist for magazines sometimes too. When I go abroad, I like to listen to really good music from the place I am visiting and immerse myself fully into that culture. For this reason, I’ve made lots of music playlists for countries I’ve visited. I collaborated with lots of music journalists and international people I know to make these playlists and posted them on Resfeber Travel Blog so other tourists could use them for their travels too. It really enhances the experience of visiting a place to immerse yourself in not only see the sights, taste the foods and look at the visual arts of a destination but the hear the music too. Involving all your senses helps you get more from your trip.
What can our readers find on your website?
On Resfeber Travel Blog, you can expect to find lots of things to help you get excited about travel, from great travel films, documentaries and shows, to stories and interviews about peoples experiences on the road.
There are lots of articles which delve a little deeper, asking the questions about why and how we travel, new techniques to help people get more out of their trip and some inside travel industry knowledge.
Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?
There are lots of people giving good technical advice about blogging but to me writing is best when it’s passionate. About 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin said “either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”.
If a subject bores you, don’t write about it – it will likely be bad. Write about the things that make you happy, sad, angry, excited, cry and laugh. If you don’t feel inspired to write, then instead get out and do something that might inspire some writing – this way you are still being productive.
What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?
It pains me when I see things happening in travel that I disagree with. This can be from animal cruelty, to spoiling beauty spots to rich westerners exploiting people in less well-off countries. Travel is not always done with a good spirit, so I see it as important to promote the good sides and ethical methods of tourism.
As a community, I don’t think travel bloggers realise the power they have. Sure, one blog on its own is unlikely to change the world but together, we are a force. Collectively, I’d like to see travel bloggers pushing more issues together and asking the travel industry to change the things that aren’t good. For me, that starts with helping tourism to work for the people whose country we are visiting – making sure that we are promoting good ethical standards and behaviors.
What type of traveler are you?
When I travel, I generally backpack to keep costs down. I tend to stop and work in one places in-between periods of travel. Then I save up some funds and do a nice long trip. On my next trip, I will likely to a little writing work as I go, as a digital nomad.
On my next trip, I want to do some volunteering. Contact with local people is important to the experience of travel. I want to understand firsthand what is happening in the places I visit and this seems a great way to do this.
What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
The travel blogging community is an amazing resource. I like using the articles written by regular travelers like me. There’s pretty much a travel blog for every style of travel and every place. Whilst there isn’t one blog that is a comprehensive site that provides everything you need, as a collective it is a thriving hub of information. You needn’t look any further.
Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?
I like to read travel fiction about a place before going or whilst travelling. I loved ready Rusty Young’s ‘Marching Powder’ before I visited San Pedro prison in Bolivia. I got passionate about my trip to Thailand through reading ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland. For me, it’s all about find the books about the places you are going too and immersing yourself.
What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?
Colombia was an eye opener. I was expecting a hostile environment and whilst it has some problems, the people are very warm, family orientated and wonderfully welcoming.
I was a little ill during my trip to New Zealand, so didn’t make the most of it but what a stunningly scenic place. It is breathtaking in its beauty and for these reasons, I have to go back.
I had an amazing time meeting my girlfriend’s family when I visited Western Australia. Unspoilt beaches, fantastic food and wine culture and amazing marine biodiversity.
What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?
You are probably beginning to sense, I wouldn’t travel anywhere without my laptop. Kate and I use a Macbook and a less costly Windows laptop when we are on the move.
For photos, we use a Canon SX430 IS to shoot our pics. It’s a fairly simple set up but keeps me focused on creating posts with a focus on the writing and good visual photos.
Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?
I’m not a technically advanced photographer but so long as we have shots of things that really interest us, then I’m happy. We try to be quite restrictive over the number of photos we take. Being restrained makes you more selective and really think about what you shoot.
What’s the TOP blog posts on your page?
The most viewed post on our blog is a Qantas Round the World ticket guide. I’ve built lots of these tickets for travelers in my job, so wrote this guide to help people. It ended up featuring on some new sites like Travel + Leisure in the USA and News.com.au in Australia, so it’s had 8k views so far.
Then, there is an article I wrote about sensory and music travel. It’s just a great way to soak up the maximum amount of culture from each destination you visit.
Lastly, I wrote an article on why I got into travel and how my family life motivated me. It’s probably the most personal bit of writing I’ve ever done and I think people like to understand that the person writing the blog has a story behind them.
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
I haven’t monetized my blog but I get side income writing for magazines. All it takes is a well thought out email to the editor with a pitch for an article that would work well on their site. So long as you can write a great piece, why not pitch it?
Sure, most of my pitches miss and rejection is something you have to learn to handle but if you keep on going, pitching good ideas, you will get commissioned.
Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations?
Okay, so on my next trip that I’m currently planning for I’m going to take the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is a huge tick off the list for me. We also hope to spend serious time in East Europe, which is a fascinated part of the world.
Over in Asia, I’m really keen to better understand China, so looking forward to travelling there. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll make it to Japan or the Philippines but they are two other places I’m keen to see.
Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
I’d love to do safari in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda – the experience the Serengeti would be amazing. I really want to meet some African tribes too.
I’m very keen to better understand Russia, its people, culture and even politics. The same goes for China. These places often are made out to be challenging places but I want to see with my own eyes.
The number one place I really want to see is the Okinawan Islands in Japan. They have the longest living people in the world, incredible culture, music and food. They are such an interesting people.
Do you have a money saving travel tips?
Trying to lead a minimalist lifestyle helps me to afford travel. I don’t own a car or a house or things that can weight me down – this also saves me money. I saw a documentary called ‘Minimalism’ on Netflix recently and got lots of tips from that. Give it a watch.
Do you have any funny or strange travel experiences to share? Please state what happened.
I once contracted pneumonia – a lung disease – at very high altitude in La Paz, Bolivia – where the air is very thin. I remember being dragged around the Witches Market by a friend who thought I was just hungover – no sympathy at all! It took me a week to get down into Argentina and seek good quality medical help. It was terrible at the time but I can laugh about it now. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
I mentioned a little earlier that I’ve seen a few things whilst travelling that I didn’t like. I really worry about Thailand and Bali at the moment. These are now huge tourist destinations but very little of the money seems to go to local people to improve their situation. Now the beaches there are beginning to get spoiled. If you are heading to these places, please try and support the local economy and minimize our footprint. What is the point of seeing the world, if we are ruining it as we go?
What’s in your travel bag?
Sunscreen – I’m from Scotland and burn in seconds.
Headphones – I want to listen to culture as well as see it.
A Hat – Avoid bad hair, protection from the rain, or sun. An essential item.
Laptop – I’m a blogger and writer and need to write when the moment takes me.
A photo – nothing helps you connect with people who don’t speak the same language as family photos.
What travel apps do you use and why?
I use airline apps for my flights, depending on who I’m flying with. Flight Radar 24 is a cool flight tracking app too.
Always travel with Shazam – you never know when you’ll hear a piece of random music you love, in a café somewhere. Music is just as good as a photo or great culinary dish when travelling, to bring back happy memories of good times.
What are 3 things travelling has thought you?
Travel has given me the confidence to go out into the world on my own. It has shown me how to communicate with people who don’t share a common language and helped me gain understanding and empathy for those who live in different situations. These are some of the most important life lessons I’ve ever learned.
Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened?
There was this one time in Quito, Ecuador that I felt I was being sized up for a mugging but I didn’t hand around to find out. The tourist area was fame for street robberies and I felt I had to keepo my wits about me all the time. Then again, I might just have been being paranoid because of the risks the guidebooks mentioned. I can’t say for certain. The key for me is, stay alert and sensible and you’ll stay safe.
Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved?
I loved the eternal spring like climate of Medellin in Colombia. If you surf goofy style, then the beach paradise of Mancora in Peru, has the best goofy waves. Meelup Beach near Margaret River is the best beach I’ve ever been too – it was so idyllic. New Zealand is the overall best looking country I’ve seen though – stunning.
Have you visited any off the beaten track places?
I once slept the night on a coffee plantation near Salento in Colombia, without any electricity. I sailed from Panama to the San Blas islands too, meeting the indigenous Kuna people. I like these kind of experiences, that connect you with nature or people who lead a simpler life. It really makes you evaluate how we live and what is really valuable.
Where do you see your travel blog in two years?
I don’t know if my blog will be more or less popular in two years but I hope that the writing on it is still passionate. It might be earing me some income, which would be good but it’s not the primary focus, more of an enabler to do more blogging. Most of all, I hope it is a record of helping inspire and motivate people to be more open to other cultures. People can sometimes harbour tensions for those different from them and place and travel is a way of helping aid understanding between cultures.
“If you have someone you think is the one, take them and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all over the world, to places that are hard to reach and hard to get out of. And when you land at home and you’re still in love with that person, get married.” – Bill Murray.