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Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.

Name: James Clark
Title/bio: Location independent entrepreneur and digital nomad
Twitter/website: @nomadicnotes |
Born in: New South Wales, Australia
Currently living in: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

1. Where would you rather be right now?
I'm happy to report that I am exactly where I want to be right now, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I'm here for three months and I already feel as though that won’t be enough time to get to know this city.

2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
Sir Richard Burton would have been a fascinating person to travel with. If you are in London make a trip to his mausoleum.

3. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
The most recent place that comes to mind is Bran Castle in Romania. Dracula's home looked more like a Spanish villa than a Gothic castle – not exactly what I had imagined. I was told to skip it but I had to see for myself. This could well be a genius tourism board marketing strategy. Tell people not to go and people like me will!

4. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
Antarctica. I'm not in a rush to go there but it would be a great experience to do once in my life.

5. You’d be mortified if people knew you did what when you travelled?
I still use paper guidebooks for some places. I have gone mostly paperless for my business and I read books on an e-reader, but for new destinations I still like guidebooks, especially where internet is not as reliable.

6. If someone was visiting your town, what’s the one thing you’d show them?
I'm from Melbourne so I always like to take visitors on a cafe tour. There are so many cafes hidden away in laneways and unassuming industrial buildings, and the coffee is world class.

7. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
A carry on-size, wheelie bag Tardis

8. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
I miss being able to make my own breakfast as it is the only meal I make.

9. The place you don’t want anyone to know about but are willing to divulge here:
Lake Toba in Sumatra. If you are looking for a place to go in Indonesia beyond Bali this would be a good start.

10. Travel-related film or book that inspires you to pack your bags:
The countryside in Waking Ned inspired me to live in Ireland for a year (even though it was filmed in the Isle of Man). The Bourne series always makes me want to travel the world (as well as wishing I had multiple passports). Books also give me itchy feet. I read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and then Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta. After that I booked a flight to Mumbai.

11. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
When I was in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo in 2010 I was invited by a new friend to attend a wedding at her home village. I spent the weekend at her family home, which was by a river not far from Mount Kinabalu. On the wedding day I was honoured to lead the wedding party through the main street of the village. I was dressed in the traditional Dusun tribe outfit, which was by far the fanciest formal attire I have ever worn.

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