Olly Is A Professional Travel Blogger & Photographer Who Has Been Adventuring Full Time For Almost 4 Years
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Olly is a full-time professional travel blogger and photographer at We Seek Travel.
19th Jul | 8 min read

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    At GAFFL, we love to publish inspiring travel stories from adventurers around the world. You can connect with adventurers from 170+ countries on GAFFL, meet up, and explore destinations together. In this article, we are featuring Olly, an inspiring traveler & photographer from Australia.

    Olly is a full-time professional travel blogger and photographer at We Seek Travel. He has been traveling full-time for nearly four years now with his partner Haylea. Together they have sailed the east coast of Australia, backpacked and trekked through South East Asia and Europe, and most recently, road-tripped around Tasmania in their self-converted van. Make sure to check him out on Instagram @ollygaspar to follow along on all of his adventures. You can also connect with Olly on GAFFL

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    Why I Started Traveling

    Travel is who I am. Before I was ten years old I’d already lived in eight different homes across two continents. As a result, I’ve never felt an attachment to a place. Instead, I feel truly alive and myself when I’m immersed in a location or culture that is unfamiliar and new.

    This is why I am addicted to travel and the nomadic lifestyle. I believe that forcing yourself to be adaptable is the best way to grow and to develop a real understanding of the world and your role in it.

    I Travel Full Time

    Everything I own fits into my two backpacks. Although the pandemic has slowed the pace a little, Haylea and I are still on the move.

    Over the past few years, we’ve slowly gravitated away from cities and into nature. We spend most of our days hiking, trekking, waterfall chasing, and island hopping. Photography is a big part of my life and I’ve almost always got a camera strapped to me no matter what I’m doing.

    How I Choose Where To Travel Next

    At the moment the current health crisis and the inevitable politics of it plays a big role in where we travel. We’ve been fortunate enough to escape most of the lockdowns here in Australia until more recently. 

    But, what we look for in a destination is mostly the opportunity for outdoor adventure and epic hiking/trekking. We like to spend at least a month or more in each destination to make the most of it and to cover as much as we can on We Seek Travel. 

    Preparation is pretty minimal for us. Besides the obvious visa entry requirements, we like to leave the big plans until we are on the ground. Take it week by week is the idea.

    How I Pack For My Trips

    As I mentioned above, everything I own fits into my backpacks. I carry one 70L pack which fits all of my clothes, outdoor gear, and personal day-to-day belongings as well as a 50L camera backpack that holds all my camera gear. 

    After living out of a backpack for so many years I’ve learned to carry and own just the things I need, so I’d consider everything in my bag “must-haves”. However, if I had to name a few items that I simply couldn’t travel without, it’d have to be my camera (currently a Canon R5), my drone (Mavic Pro 2), my laptop, and my hardshell jacket.

    I Love Meeting People

    Living nomadically means you are constantly meeting new people and creating awesome new memories.

    One really fond memory that springs to mind are when Haylea and I took over the community English class in a village in Senggigi, Lombok. We saw how these children, ranging from ages three to sixteen, soaked up the information we were offering with a permanent smile. These kids wanted more than anything to learn what we had to teach them. They sang with us, laughed, asked questions, and competed amongst themselves to see who could impress us the most with the funniest Hollywood movie quotes. It was one of my happiest moments traveling and it opened up my eyes to the stark difference between western schools and community-run programs in poorer nations.

    How I Manage To Work And Travel

    Getting started with online work was actually very easy for me. Previously, I’d only ever worked multiple jobs to save up enough money for short, temporary trips. I applied for an online teaching job and was offered a contract within a week that would provide me with enough money to travel on a backpacker’s budget full-time (around $30 USD a day).

    However, I quickly realized that I wanted to create something for myself. I wanted to build something that would allow me to contribute to the travel and backpacking community. That is why I started We Seek Travel. I didn’t monetize my blog for two years, I did it because I simply loved that it gave a purpose to my travel and photography passions. 

    Fast forward to today and my blog completely funds my lifestyle. Travel is fundamental to my work as a travel blogger and travel photographer. It kind of goes hand in hand. 

    In terms of a work-life balance though, I usually adventure pretty hard in the day and then spend most evenings on my laptop. Of course, there are some weeks where we have to dedicate a few days to work but this just means long days in the cafe or hostel common-area.

    The pandemic has been challenging and it’s true that I am constantly working for far less than if I would just settle for a desk job. The great thing is though, that for the first time in my life, it doesn’t feel like work.

    How I Manage My Travel Costs

    We’ve always traveled on a pretty tight budget. We usually manage at around $40 USD per day for both of us in South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. This budget used to be a necessity but recently it’s more so just that we prefer it.

    We feel more at home at budget backpacker places or minimalist guest houses. We’re not big drinkers and we prefer local street vendors to fancy restaurants. Most of our hobbies don’t cost much if anything at all. 

    In saying that, we don’t really hold back on experiences or charitable opportunities just because we’re on a budget. In fact, living on budget day-to-day is what allows us to fork out more money on these things. 

    Some Of My Coolest Solo Travel Experiences 

    I usually travel with Haylea but there have been some brief stints of solo travel in the past few years. 

    My good friend Ryan worked as a Bungy instructor in Queenstown New Zealand and offered to have me stay at his house for a while. So, with no cycle-touring experience, I packed a road bike in a cardboard TV box and flew to Christchurch and spent a week solo-cycling 600 kilometers to get there, camping in a tent in the scrub along the way.

    I also spent a month living in Bangkok in a Muay Thai camp with eight other Thai fighters. We slept in dorms together, ate together, and trained together for two three-hour sessions, morning and evening. 

    But, perhaps my favorite solo stint was a month of backpacking and hitchhiking in Myanmar in the middle of the off-season (smoldering summer). This was a special trip for me as I’d never felt so out of place, yet such a feeling of acceptance and belonging at the same time.

    Some Of My Favourite Travel Apps & Websites

    I like to support other bloggers so I often check what other people have written about a place or activity. I also use Wikiloc and Alltrails to find hiking trails and Klook, Viator, and GetYourGuide for booking activities. Booking.com is my go-to for accommodation. 

    I’ve been a traveler and a photographer for much longer than I have been a travel blogger. Those two passions kind of merged when I discovered travel blogging and it’s given a bigger purpose to my day-to-day life ever since. 

    I aspire to help other travelers and backpackers discover something awesome on their trips. My goal is to create the most captivating content I can so that when people see my work, they are inspired to go out and adventure or to discover something new.

    My Advice To Anyone Who Wants To Travel Full Time

    The best advice I can give anyone looking to pursue a nomadic lifestyle is that the barriers are more often than not self-built out of doubt, and not really as big as you think. 

    Put it into this perspective. Most people in the west think that what they truly want is a comfortable job, a sizable house, and a flashy new car. 

    Since this seems to be the agreed, collective aim of our society, the path to achieving this is easy. The steps are there, the debt is waiting to be signed and our peers cheer us on in the pursuit. What’s harder is going against the grain and questioning whether this is what will bring us purpose.

    Ask yourself if it’s something that you really want to do. If it’s a resounding yes, then there is nothing in the world that can stop you if you believe in it with everything you have.

    That doesn’t mean that it is always easy, but anything worth doing rarely is. Believing means doing– make your own luck.

    The Best Lesson I’ve Learned From Travel

    The greatest lesson that travel has taught me so far is that happiness often means less, not more. That the world is not a big scary place full of people that want to kill us, it’s the opposite. That beauty is diversity– we are all different but a smile is universal.

    Other cool stories you might enjoy! 

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