Welcome to another Take 5 post where we ask ‘the five’ questions to travellers and adventurers about their incredible exploits.
Today we meet blogger Dylan Lowe. I first met Dylan in Copenhagen, just one of many destinations he has explored. Shortly Dylan will be embarking on an incredible hitchhiking adventure across Canada.
1) Air, Sea, Road, Trail or Rail? and why? I like to explore places I go to on ground level; besides, being suspended half-way across an ocean or 15,000ft mid-air renders my restlessness frustration-stricken – unless I’m going for a swim/jumping out of the plane. I like to maintain a healthy balance between all these modes of transport: I love trekking for sensation-fest from natural spectacles and architectural might; I adore quaint train rides for both silent contemplations and mingling with strangers; as for my hitchhiking needs there’s always the road.
2) Your biggest surprise on your travels? Contrary to the popular belief that it’s none but a myth, that hitchhiking is very much alive and piously practised. One of the greatest perks of hitchhiking is that you’re constantly exposed to human kindness – that to a lot of travellers, like myself, is fuel to our motivation. Hitchhikingalso leaves you basking in senses of satisfaction: whenever I arrive in a destination by hitchhiking I feel I’ve deservedly earned my place there through sheer endeavour.
3) Where are the special places you have stayed and the one that disappointed? The South Pacific has occupied a spot of affection in my heart ever since my visit to Fiji and Vanuatu two years ago. Away from the tourist hotspots I was immersed in cultures so diverse – from island to island – as well as enriched, that locals claim that it’d take an entire lifetime to learn a tribe’s language, customs and rituals. It was also on these islands that I was introduced to the concept of unconditional sharing. And how could I fail to mention the kava? Its mucky-water appearance, earthy taste and narcotic properties has had such a grip on me that I’m still frequenting the Fijian communities here in London for more ‘high tides’ – an eloquent way of asking for copious mouthful of kava.
I’ve been to Morocco twice now, both experiences being drastically different to each other. My first visit was flattering: little did I expect I’d be invited by several Moroccans into their intimate social circles and empowered me much about their culture. Determined to embark on a pursuit ofcultural understanding I returned to Morocco for a second visit, only to be met with touting, scamming and being treated like an ignorant tourist. As you can image I was sombrely dismayed and disappointed.
4) What’s on your travel wish list? I tend to spend chunks of my time in one place than visiting as many places as I could afford to – which meant I have quite a sizeable travel bucket-list. Even countries I regularly go to I always find it largely undiscovered; being someone so deeply enamoured by the Spanish culture, despite having been there six times I still feel I’ve hardly seen much of Spain.
I have a thing for off-beaten tracks, hence my tendency of straying off the ‘gringo trail’ and opting for locations less frequented by visitors. I also seek out quirkiness and the unusual: one thing quite high up in my before-30 to-do’s is living and working in Antarctica for a few months – even if the constant exposure of sunlight might drive me bonkers.
5) One tip to take from your experiences? Always go with your instincts. My adventures have converted me into an apostle of improvisational means of travelling –hitchhiking for instance. Unpredictability might intimidate the heck out ofanyone, but it may well be your greatest ally; as you travel with little tozero expectation whatever results your encounters yield will be twice as rewarding. Serendipity is something you can never find, but what you may utterly enjoy when it finds you.