Forms of identification: Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain, editor of Gap Year Escape, gets acquainted with the locals on Monkey Beach, Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand.
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
1. Where would you rather be right now?
I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but on my “down the world” trip from Canada to Antarctica. I’m currently in Honduras having done copious amounts of diving in the Bay Islands, and next off to Nicaragua. If I wanted to be anywhere else I would just go there. That’s the major benefit of being an online entrepreneur.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
Ewan McGregor. I can’t ride a motorbike but I would certainly like to go on a trip with him. Long Way Round was an exceptional documentary and I really respect the way in which he interacts with people from different cultures.
3. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
I’d have to say Chichen Itza in Mexico. The sheer volume of tourists visiting this Mayan ruin makes it, in my opinion, unbearable. The ruins at Tikal in Guatemala have far more of that “Indiana Jones” feel with lower footfall and no touts.
4. Your most embarrassing travel faux pas:
Snoring. I feel sorry for anyone else I share a room with. Don’t forget to pack ear plugs!
5. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
I certainly don’t miss the corporate lifestyle but I actually miss my suits. With the hot climates I am in, I just about manage shorts and flip flops. Dressing up usually involves putting on a t-shirt.
6. Most unique souvenir:
I have a scar on my head from a surfing accident in Australia. Most people wouldn’t notice it unless they looked very closely but I see it every time I look in the mirror. It is a constant reminder of how lucky I was that day and how important it is to really live your life.
7. Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom:
I learned some important lessons from my Gap Year, and one of the most critical is that travel – and life for that matter – is a solo race. Up and leaving to travel can be quite daunting. Am I setting back my career? Will I be behind people my own age? Should I be settling down? Should I buy a house? You are running your own race and there is no need to look left and right.