- Name: William Tang
- Occupation: Project Manager
- Website: http://goingawesomeplaces.com
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/goingaewsomeplaces
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/goawesomeplaces
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/goingawesomeplaces/
- What country do you call home: Canada
After quitting my job in consulting, I travelled all throughout Asia for 4 months and that is howGoing Awesome Places began. I was looking for a way to share my experiences with my friends and family but soon found out that I was able to reach out to so many more people. Since then I’ve continued to travel and blog and it’s been an incredible journey every step of the way.
Where are you now?
It’s funny you ask but I’m actually doing this interview from 10,000 feet in the air on my way from Toronto to Las Vegas.
How would you classify the type of travel you do (a backpacker, long term traveller, business traveller, live and work abroad)?
I would probably call myself a seasoned traveller
Can you tell us about your most recent trip and what brought you to this location?
I recently came back from a trip to China and had a great experience going to one of the country’s central hubs for history – Xi’an. You can read about the whole journey.
When did you start to travel and where did you first visit?
I started to travel at a young age. As a kid, I did a lot of travel within North America with my parents but typically it’d be on some sort of bus or on one of our many road trips. I started travelling on my own when I did an exchange semester in Sweden during university and that’s really when my passion for travel took off. The first place I went to as a kid that I can remember is Orlando when I was 5 years old.
What inspired you to travel? What people and places do you find most inspirational in travel and in life?
My biggest inspiration to travel is really the fact that the world is such a big place and that there’s so much to see. Doing those 4 months in Sweden, I came to the realization that if I wanted to put a dent in seeing every corner of the globe that I need to start working on it right away. What inspires me the most is that no matter where I go, humanity’s redeeming qualities are ever so present. Kindness, compassion, and love trumps all and when you encounter it on the road, it’s particularly special.
Why do you travel? Do you go places for tourism, business, adventure, or a mixture? We like to go places to experience culture and document the world through photography.
For me travel is all about new, wonderful, and sometimes crazy experiences. Travel is so addictive because I get to break out of the monotony of everything we know and are used to at home and get to do something totally unexpected and different on the road.
How long do you often stay in one place before heading to your next destination?
You typically won’t find me in one place for too long because I’ve never been able to travel without any time limits. As a result, I’m always trying to see as many places as I can.
What is your favorite means of transportation?
I love to fly. It’s really the only mode of transportation that allows me to cover great distances in short amount of time. There’s nothing else that can match that.
What is your favorite country to travel in and why?
New Zealand is definitely on the top of my favorite countries. The incredible Lord of the Rings landscape and Kiwi’s sense of adventure make it one of the best places to have “An unexpected journey”.
What are your favorite travel app(s)?
Despite being a tech guy, I actually don’t use a whole lot of apps when I travel. The problem with most apps is that they’re designed to be paired with data but most of the time I don’t travel with a data plan. As a result, the most useful apps for me are usually the free city or transit maps. If I’m travelling with a big group, an app like SplitWise is useful to keep track of expenses and tabs.
Top five items you can’t travel without:
- Smartphone (Yeah I’m hooked)
- Buff (Most versatile clothing accessory)
- Camera (M43 is the way to go)
- Sunglasses (Gotta have cool shades when you travel)
- Rainbow flip flops (Best flip flops ever)
What aspect of traveling do you enjoy the most?
A lot of times what makes a really good trip is when there’s a lot of good food along the way. Japan was one of these trips. While the sights were amazing, at the end of the day, what put the biggest smile on my face was always the unique snacks I could try along the way and the incredible meals I had every day.
What do you like to bring back from the places that you’ve visited?
The one thing that I collect everywhere I go are magnets. I knew I had to pick one thing and magnets just seemed to make the most sense because they’re usually pretty small and not too expensive.
What are some of the unique foods that you have tried on your travels? Which were your favorites and which will you never try again?
Back in the day, I remember being shocked that squid ink was something you could have . While it was interesting and fun to make my lips black, I’m not sure if I’d have it again.
What is your best travel memory?
In recent years, I have to say that my trip to the Maldives with my girlfriend was epic on all levels. Thanks to my points I was able to make it happen but I’m really not sure if I’ll be able to repeat it again unless I somehow win the lottery.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I have quite a few. One of them involves me being on a press trip to Quebec. We were snowshoeing one of their national parks, Monts-Valin. Deep in snow at the peak, most of the trail is well packed which made it easy to hike through. At one spot, I remember taking a step forward to grab a shot of the panorama when the snow completely caved beneath me, leaving me trapped in snow up to my waist. What made it hilarious was that there was a fellow journalist with me and instead of helping me, the first thing he did was pull out is phone to snap a photo. It was just too hilarious in the moment.
What are some of the challenges you have faced on your travels?
Language is always the biggest challenge when travelling to a non-English foreign country. You have to become really good at charades and sign language. It’s always a fun challenge.
What have you learned about people and yourself from your travels?
Kindness comes in all shapes, forms, sizes, and shapes.
For how long do you see yourself traveling?
Forever or as long as I’m able to!
You are the writer behind Going Awesome Places. At what point on your travels did you decided to create Travel Blog Breakthrough and why? Is it challenging managing both blogs on the go?
I learned so much about blogging after 2 years and after getting so much support and help from the community, I wanted to find a way to give back. My goal with Travel Blog Breakthrough was to take all the little tricks I learned from Going Awesome Places and provide a platform for others to leverage to help them get to their breakthrough moment. Managing 2 blogs is definitely a big challenge. Already committing to 2 posts a week, I also write for Travel Blog Breakthrough once a week so you can imagine how busy it gets. What keeps me going is the amazing feedback I constantly get and the fact that I’m making a real difference whether it be folks doing research for their trip or a travel blogger wanting to learn and do a better job.
You interview so many amazing people on Travel Blog Breakthrough. What are your tips and tricks for getting these high profile interviews?
The secret to all of my guests has been to just ask. Just like how you asked me to be part of your blog’s interview series, I did the exact same thing with the Travel Blog Breakthrough podcast. I realized very early on that the worst that could happen was that I would get a “no” back.
What key advice would you give anyone wanting to travel the globe full time?
My biggest advice to anyone wanting to travel full time is to just take that leap of faith and make it happen. Leaving that comfortable job or lifestyle may seem like a big sacrifice but if your passion is travel, there’s no other feeling like being free of those golden handcuffs and live out your dream.
What are your future travel plans?
I am pretty excited about my upcoming trip to Europe in July where I’ll be participating in an Amazing Race for normal people. It’s run by a company called Competitours and I’ll be going with a good friend of mine to compete against 10 other teams on challenges all over Western Europe. I can’t wait!