Traveller Interview: Steve Bloom, Born to Travel
Posted by Stephen Whitfield
Where will you go next?
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Here, we interviewed long term traveller Steve Bloom about his case of wanderlust. The one place he'd really love to visit is out of this world!
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So, Steve - what first made you want to travel the world?
As a kid I was a big fan of adventure movies like Indiana Jones and James Bond. They were always traveling to exotic locations and seeing amazing places. That was my first real taste of the world around me and of a looming travel bug.
Later, when I was in college, a friend of mine spent several months living in England with his family. He worked in a pub and traveled around. As he told me his stories, it hit close to my heart; I wanted to see the world too.
What was the first taste you got of traveling?
That’s a difficult question to answer. To be honest, I was too young to remember my first international travel experience.
Growing up, I lived in North Dakota about three hours from the border with Canada. I lived so close to the border that Canadian flags fly at hotels in my area to make Canadians who visit feel welcome.
My family would regularly drive up to Winnipeg – usually for hockey tournaments, but for a variety of other reasons too. I clearly remember the border crossings. It was special and I knew it was important to be respectful and remain quiet. We’d always exchange money shortly after.
It was travel in name only. Everyone spoke English with a similar accent. The weather was cold and it was usually covered in snow – it all felt like home. So even though I was in another country, it never quite felt like it.
My first big international trip (other than Canada) was Thailand. Coming from the frozen tundra of North Dakota, I felt like someone was throwing me in the deep end of the traveling pool: I had major culture shock.
Suddenly I was surrounded by crowds of people offering me street food, there was crazy traffic and I was grabbed by ladyboys.
It was sink or swim for me. For the first few days, I didn’t say much. Luckily I started to adapt and adjust. I opened out of my shell and it changed my life for the better.
Of all the places you've been to, which is the most memorable? (Good or bad)
When I was in Morocco, I set up a side trip to spend a night in the Sahara Desert. My wife, my parents and I were picked up in Marrakech and driven to the outer edge of the desert. From there we rode camels with Tuareg guides for an hour.
By the time we reached base camp, we were exhausted and sore. After a light dinner and mint tea, the guides sang traditional music to us. Later, my wife and I hiked onto a nearby dune to lie down and look up at the stars which were clearer and more abundant than I’d ever seen.
The next morning, my wife and I woke up to watch the sun rise over the horizon. After a quick breakfast, we got back on our camels to make the long trek back to Marrakech.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would it be and why?
I’d really love to be the first traveler to go to the moon. Everyone who has been there was on the job as a government employee. No one has gone for the love of travel – just to go.
I can’t think of a more amazing than to see the earth rise over the horizon. To see this giant blue ball fill the sky and see all of humanity in an instant. It would be a breathtaking sight that you could never equal anywhere else.
Of course, this is all just fantasy at the moment. If I had to be more realistic and remain on the planet, I might just have to say Petra in Jordan. When I first saw it in Indiana Jones, I didn’t think it was a real place. Ever since I found out it actually existed, I’ve been dying to go.
Apparently, it’s a jaw-dropping experience. In order to get there, you have to ride camels (which will bring me back to my time in Morocco). And when you get there, you have the opportunity to stay in a cave nearby. I can’t pass that up – I want to stay in a cave for a night!
Looking back, is there anything you would change?
I would have started traveling earlier and more frequently. I feel like I was late to the game – I was in my mid 20s by the time I took my first big international trip.
It wasn’t due to lack of money. I was just too scared to take the first step. Part of it was that I didn’t know what I was doing. Travel seems so complicated if you’ve never done it before. Although it’s really not.
What advice would you offer people who want to travel the world, but don’t have the confidence to make it a reality?
The only way to build confidence is to just do it. Even if you start with a small weekend trip or go with a tour group, you’ll eventually get the know-how. Eventually you just need to stop thinking about doing it and just go somewhere.
Try this thought exercise:
Imagine yourself later in life. Imagine yourself when you’re eighty or ninety and you’re looking back on all the things you’ve accomplished and all the things you’ve done. Now imagine that you’ve never traveled.
What would your future self say to you? Would they tell you that it’s important and you need to make it happen? Use your future self as motivation to go. Don’t give yourself a big regret later in life. See the world and give yourself some good memories to last your whole lifetime.
Steve is the writer behind Do Something Cool where he blogs about travel, motivation, self-improvement and adventure. He’s always looking for ways to make life more interesting. Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Do you share Steve's sense of adventure? Whether you're planning on playing it safe or venturing into new terrains, make sure you have a healthcare plan that suits your needs. Contact the team at Medibroker to find out what kind of health insurance you need overseas. You can call us on +44 (0) 191 270 3034 or email Customer.firstname.lastname@example.org
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