Today we are traveling with Will Hatton from The Broke Backpacker.
Hey man, my name is Will Hatton, I’m English and, recently, I became an Irish citizen too so that I can get into Iran. I’ve been on the road for neatly a decade and my blog, it´s about extreme adventures on a budget. When I started, it was just about travelling with no money.
These days, I focus on getting well and truly off the beaten path and going tog countries like Pakistan and Venezuela. I still travel on a budget but I no longer have to feel insanely guilty if I want to order another beer.
What type of traveler would you say are you?
I suppose, really, I am an adventure-backpacker. My style of travel today is very very different to when I first started. These days, the longest I can leave my inbox is for about a week whereas when I first hit the road, I didn’t take a camera, phone or laptop – my folks were used to not hearing from me for months, these days, thanks to WhatsApp, that’s changed forever.
I’m a digital nomad, as long as I have my laptop, I can work anywhere in the world and earn enough money to go on more ambitious trips; like this one.
What’s inside your backpack? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry.
I always have a multitool, head torch and buff with me – they are endlessly useful.
What’s the big reason why you are traveling?
I have done a lot of travelling before but never anything like this – my plan is to travel from the UK to Papua New Guinea, over two, well, four now, years without the use of any flights. I’ll make my way through Iran and Pakistan to India, Nepal, Tibet, China and Bhutan before buying a tuk tuk, painting it brightly and driving it across Myanmar and South East Asia for a year. I shall then build a boat and attempt to tackle the Indonesian ocean before finally crossing PNG by kayak…
Why am I doing this? Because it will be hard.
I like to challenge myself. The bigger the challenge, the more I evolve.
How are you focusing this trip?
I’m writing about interesting things that happen to me whilst on the road, I also take a lot of, not particularly great, photos. For folks who want to follow along on a day-to-day basis, the best bet is to check me out on Snapchat @wthatton.
I have been taking a LOT of GoPro footage and hope to make some videos over there course of the trip. I am, however, totally aware that you can spend way too much time trying to record a trip and end up actually missing the real adventure – it’s important to be in the now and not to constantly try to capture the moment.
Where are you sleeping? Are you hitchhiking?
I couchsurf or camp when I can, the rest of the time, I tend to crash in hostel dorms; HostelWorld sponsor me to stay in some places. I have been crossing Europe by thumb and public transport, when I hit Iran, I hope to hitch the entire length of the country.
Your highlight, so far, during this trip?
Well, to be honest, I’m only two months into what I expect to be a three or even four year trip – Papua New Guinea is a long way away! I suppose, really, getting over a shitty breakup and getting back into the swing of travelling solo has been the highlight so far. It took me about a month to get used to the fact that, heck, I would be spending the next however many years on a solo trip when I had expected it to be a couple-venture.
Once I got away from the UK, I gained some perspective, met some cool new people and started to feel more confident in my own abilities to pull something like this off – that has been the highlight, revitalizing my confidence.
You are traveling alone. Do you think that traveling alone is the best way of traveling?
I’ve travelled alone a lot, I’ve also travelled with friends, girlfriends and family. Recently, my brother came and joined me in Cappadocia for a stint of hiking and that was truly awesome. Hands down, my brother is the only person I could travel indefinitely with. I like travelling solo as it is, in general, a lot quicker and simpler; I make a lot of impulsive decisions, being a one man band certainly has it’s advantages.
What’s your plan after you reach Papa New Guinea? Going back in the same direction?
Hell no! Haha, that wouldn’t be much of an adventure – just turning around… Instead, if I can afford it, I might go check out Australia and New Zealand. I’ll then chill somewhere cheap for a few months to catch up on work and plan the next stage of my life – opening a hostel in Colombia.
Can you tell us about your longest trip?
When I was 19, I nearly died on a 26 day trek across Costa Rica. I ended up in hospital, desperately sick, with doctors wanting to amputate my leg. I made it back to the UK and found out that the marines, which had always been the plan, was no longer an option. I went a bit nuts.
I booked a one way flight to India and vowed never to return…
I spent nearly four years bumming around Asia, picking up odd-jobs on farms, bars, hostels and construction sites to help pay my way.
In all the trips you’ve done, what has been your favorite so far?
Everybody I met told me not to go to Venezuela – they insisted it was too dangerous but heck, it was so worth it, Venezuela is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?
Thai food, simply the best.
Has there been any challenging and bad moments?
I touched on my leg injury earlier. I’ve also been robbed a couple of times and hospitalized here and there. I’ve crashed motorbikes. I’ve been scammed. Shit happens. Panic is pointless and at the end of the day it’s situations like these which show us who we really are, and who we can be, if we push ourselves to remain positive and work out a solution.
What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done?
Nepal is hands down the most beautiful country in the world, for real exploring; I choose Myanmar or Venezuela every time. For sheer variety and insanely friendly people; The Philippines takes the cake.
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
In India, I slept rough a lot. It was often very uncomfortable but heck, you get used to it and it’s good for you – probably. I’ve also lucked out and stayed in some incredible places; often when someone choose to take me in.
Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveller should I interview next?
Lucy Smiles Away, Nomadasaurus, Adventure in You.
Amazing story, thanks for your time Will Hatton.
A life full of travel, Will Hatton is definitely one of the pillars of travel and adventure blogging and storytelling. All the travel experiences he already had – from South America, Europe, Asia…everywhere! Again, another truth came out. You don´t need so much money to travel the world and to live a continuous adventure. Keep following Will’s trips by watching his Snapchats — watch his daily adventure! Also check him out on his other channels -Facebook and of course, all his stories and tips on the very popular, The Broke Backpacker, his blog.
Want to read more stories of adventure? Read our interview with Tomislav Perko.
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