This Former Racing Cyclist/Mountain Runner Has Spent The Past 30 Years As A Budget Traveler Exploring 105 Different Countries
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GAFFL
21st May | 9 min read

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    At GAFFL, we love to publish inspiring travel stories from adventurers around the world. You can connect with travelers from 190+ countries on GAFFL, meet up, and explore destinations together.

    Trevor Warman is a former racing cyclist and mountain runner, now a long-term, low-budget traveler from just north of London, England. He has worked as an electronics engineer, a waiter, and a postman to fund his travels. Trevor has visited 105 countries out of 195 and he always wanted to watch the Tour De France with Robert Millar. 

    Trevor was introduced to blogging in Slovenia and since then he has been posting detailed tips and advice on Nomadic Backpacker.


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    Why I Started Traveling

    I was a racing cyclist as a young man and my hero was Nick Sanders who was a professional turned adventure cyclist back in the 80s. In the early 90s, I bought a Round the World Ticket and thus began my life as a minimalist backpacker. Traveling light both physically and mentally in the footsteps of my hero, albeit with a backpack rather than 2 wheels.

    And 30 years later, I am still at it. It brings me great joy. Always new horizons and new places to discover.

    Worth reading: Solo Traveling Since The 80s: Shane Shows You How You Can Leave Your Traditional Life For One As A Nomad


    How I Choose Where To Go Next 

    I have always been a big fan of long overland trips. I have backpacked from Cairo to Cape Town, 10 countries, 19,000 km in 7 months. From London to South Korea, all the time overland, or sea, no flying, across Russia. Hong Kong to the Aral Sea, Singapore to Islamabad. London to Monrovia in West Africa. I am currently traveling relatively fast from Panama City to Mexico City having meandered my way south from El Salvador. Overland journeys are the appeal. So I decide on a place to start and finish and work out a route based on what appeals to me.

    Read more: This Intrepid Traveler Discovered His Love Of Globetrotting In 2015 And Hasn't Looked Back Since


    Duration Of My Trips

    My first trip was for 5 months. The second was 8 months, then 10, then 18, then 1423 days, that's 3 years, 11 months, and 23 days on a single trip. And when I was back in the UK or Switzerland, replenishing funds, I took much shorter trips but still in the same style. Low-budget backpacker travel. It is impossible and fruitless to prepare for trips of such lengths.

    If I am setting off in the colder months as it was when I crossed Russia in the depths of Winter, sure I will be dressed appropriately from the outset and if I were heading to Nepal for a month of trekking, I would have a good level of fitness before I left but if I was on a long haul trip and I ended up in Nepal I would just buy cheap stuff once I got there and ditch it (give it to locals) when done with it.

    Visas can be picked up along the way so there is absolutely no prior planning needed in that department. For a trip of 4 weeks in a hot climate, my packing list would be the same if I was going for 4 days or 4 months. When I start a trip such as Cairo to Cape Town, which I undertook having already been on the road for nearly 2 years, I will have a vague plan of where the trip is going to take me. But I just make it up as I go along. So when I was nearing the end of my time in Egypt, I started reading up on Sudan.

    Read more: Here’s How Arimo Spent 777 Days Around The World


    Countries I Have Visited So Far

    I have traveled extensively in 105, and 98 UN-listed countries. I am not chasing countries but am fully aware of how many I have been to. Had I devoted time and money to that end, I could have traveled to 150 countries. But that's not what it's about. I'd rather explore in depth than just rush through, just to tick off another country as quickly as possible.

    Yeah, maybe I am ticking off countries, albeit at a slower pace. Traveling overland down through Africa was the ultimate dream, realized and checked it off my bucket list. It's like the most iconic overland trail there is. It gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay would be a cool trip. As would the Everest Base Camp Trek.

    Read more: Gwen Has Over 26 Years Of Solo Travel Experience & Inspires Other 50+ Adventurers To Travel The World Alone


    My Favorite Memory Of Meeting New People

    I have so many great memories of meeting up with other travelers from across the planetI met my present girlfriend, in Mexico. She lives in and comes from CDMX. We are together for almost 2 years. She has introduced me to a side of Mexico I would never have seen otherwise.

    Worth reading: 10 Expert Travel Tips For Mexico You Should Know Before Visiting


    How I Got Into Blogging

    I met a Dutch guy in a hostel in Ljubljana in 2011.  He introduced me to the world of blogging and Weebly, which I am still with today. At first, it was just a substitute for posting photos on Facebook but then became much more. A place to share my stories and experiences.

    I blog as I go and my niche is that I only blog about places I have been to, I don't use stock photos, I post plenty of selfies to prove credibility and I date my posts. I don't use earlier posts and quote "Updated for 2022" and change nothing. So much has changed, especially since Covid. I do occasionally post back-dated stuff but I am upfront about it from the word go. My blog posts are packed full of logistics. I aim to provide all the facts that are relevant to the post and what other travelers need. I give bus terminal locations, costs, duration of the journey, etc.

    I don't use GringoShuttles or these bus companies like TicaBus and NicaBus. I travel using what locals use. Chicken buses or combi vans. So the blog is targeting low-budget backpackers though travelers of all budgets can gain something from what I blog about.

    Worth reading: For Over A Decade Jessie Has Been Blogging About Her Travels While Also Starting Several New Businesses Along The Way


    How I Manage My Work & Travel

    I worked for years before quitting to travel. I also worked seasons in Switzerland so I regularly got 8 weeks off twice a year. Now my circumstances have changed. I now travel perpetually.

    Read more: Ella Is A Travel Blogger Who Does 12 Trips Per Year While Also Juggling A Full-Time Job


    Thoughts I Have On Traveling 

    30 years of travel have given me so many wonderful memories. I have met so many wonderful people, traveled to so many crazy countries (Pakistan, Sudan, Honduras for example), and been lucky enough to have seen so many places/things.

    Read more: Following His Retirement From 35 Years Of Teaching Howard Launched A New Career As A Full-Time Adventurer & Travel Blogger


    Budgeting Strategies I Use

    I spend as little as possible on things like accommodation and transport. I have always stayed in hostels or cheap hotels, even a brothel or 2 when needed. I don't take shuttles designed for those who have more money than time. I don't frequent bars. My favorite place to drink a beer is on the rooftop or balcony of my hotel, eat at market stalls or if the hostel has a kitchen, I will rustle up a meal. I travel with a portable water heater and mug so no need to drink expensive coffee at the local café.

    Read more: This Urban Adventurer Has The Best Tips For Saving Money And Making The Most Of Your City Vacations


    Why Travelers Should Download GAFFL App

    I think that GAFFL can be the way if you are not so confident to travel alone or think that as a solo traveler, you won't meet anyone. It can be overwhelming sometimes so having a buddy there is a great thing. Being a 'couple' can get you good deals on private rooms.

    And many experiences are well worth sharing!


    How To Be A Full-Time Traveler

    It's just a question of making that commitment and learning to live with what you can carry. It may seem ideal but it ain't for everyone. Go for a year and see how you feel. Most travelers who say they are full-time do in fact maintain a home address but you are led to believe that the road is their home.

    Having experienced first-hand how problematic it can be without a home address, I do not recommend cutting ties no matter how romantic it may seem to be footloose and fancy-free. You do need a network of friends, preferably in your home country. For those who can work remotely, you have the perfect set-up. But remember, you still have to pay tax, to someone at least!

    Read more: After A 15 Year Legal Practice Michelle Quit Her Job To Pursue Her Dream Of Traveling Around The World


    Some Words Of Caution

    Do not expect to play the tourist as a full-time traveler. You will get burnt out. Go someplace, find a month-long rental. Enjoy life. Have a hobby away from traveling. My blog is also a creative outlet. Learn a new language, learn to play the guitar, and take up meditation. And if you live on the road permanently, you will still have to deal with stuff as you would back home and you will still have bad days.

    Read more: From The Foot Of Mount Everest To North Korea On Christmas, Steve Is An Adventure Traveler Who Is Making His Dreams Come True


    Things I Wish I'd Known When I First Started

    To be honest, there haven't been things I wish I'd known when I started traveling. Life has been good and I still travel in the same style as I did back in 1992. I travel with what I can carry and walk comfortably with for an hour across town. Traveling is really simple now compared to when I first started, but it has also introduced new challenges. For example, you must make reservations in advance to avoid being left without a place to sleep. I have recently lost my bed as bookings have come in whilst I slept. I do prefer the old style where you had priority over any new arrivals.


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