Another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust.

Totally Travel Talk with Morgan

Today I am talking to Morgan from Miles with Morgan. Morgan is a twenty something year old from Hampshire who started his travel adventure in Sri Lanka, September 2016 . Morgan is all about the great outdoors, come rain or shine! He’s a self confessed foodie, running addict and culture vulture, and he likes to incorporate these passions in to both his wanderlust and his writing. Let’s find out Morgan’s views on travel…


What made you discover your passion for Travel?

I have to credit my upbringing. Growing up I was fortunate to enjoy family holidays to America and Europe which undoubtedly gave me a taste of travel and introduced me to how fun, exciting and rich an experience it can be – even if I didn’t realise it so much at the time. The older I’ve gotten, I’ve been able to better understand, appreciate and love what travelling gives, shows and teaches you.

I’ve also spent a lot of time among people who have travelled a lot – family members, friends, colleagues. Between them, they’ve excited, encouraged and inspired me with their travelling tales which has spurred me on to travel more.

Where do you call home and where are you based at the moment?

Home-home is the small London commuter town of Fleet in leafy Hampshire, south England. It’s there I’ve spent the vast majority of my 26 years and found myself all the home comforts I need and want.

As I write this, I’m in Pai, north Thailand.

 

Where is your most favourite place in the world and why? (that you have been to so far)

Country-wise I lean toward Wales. I spent four on-and-off years studying and working in Cardiff.

I love it for a few reasons, but the main reason is its natural beauty. The beaches in the west and mountain landscapes in the north and south take your breath away. The latter are wonderful for exploring, wandering and getting lost. I have fond memories of doing that, particularly in the north where I’ve cycled through dramatic mountain passes lined with centuries-old dry stone walls and trickling streams, and around bleak country roads that wind passed vast farmlands, old rustic cottages and glowing, rolling hilltops that kiss clouds.

Then there’s the people, who are supremely proud (which I find very endearing), hospitable (even to Englishmen!) and community-driven. There’s also a thriving creative scene throughout the country which engrossed me and the traditional food and drink is hearty and cosy. Homemade cawl and bara brith washed down with a pint of ale in a wood fire warmed local pub with the rugby on the TV after a day exploring the hills takes some beating.

(That’s a very hard question and I could say America instead, although I feel I need to see a little more of it first to pip Wales!).

 


What 5 things could you not 
travel without?

Sparing the obvious essentials of passport and money…

1) Smartphone

2) Headphones

3) A long, varied music and podcast playlist

4) Notebook

5) Pen

Are you a daredevil? What is the craziest thing you have done while travelling?

I like to think there’s a daredevil in me. I’ve never done anything wild like sky dive (yet) but I’ve enjoyed the buzz from a few heart-in-mouth moments in my day-to-day to suggest I’d see the fun side when the nerves and adrenaline kick in.

So far, the craziest thing I’ve done isn’t an activity per se and is perhaps my biggest act of spontaneity yet that. Back in November, I took a short detour from my travels around Southeast Asia and went to Germany for a long weekend. Booking the flights was a rush-of-blood-to-the-head moment fuelled by missing and wanting to see somebody. I bought my flights on the Tuesday in Singapore, travelled up to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia on the Wednesday as that’s where I was flying from on the Thursday and found myself back there the next Tuesday.


What are the next 3 things you want tick off on your bucket list? 

I don’t really have a bucket list, partly because there’s an infinite number of things to do in the world and the choices overwhelm me! I also think having one risks disappointment because you might never get the chance to see, do or experience something(s) you had your heart set on and that could overshadow the things you have done. I’d rather do things if circumstance allows and remember the enjoyment they gave me, instead of regretting not doing something else.

All that said, I’m going to contradict myself because some things do spring to mind each time I get asked this. I’d love to coast-to-coast road trip across America, run across the Sahara Desert as part of the Marathon Des Sables and learn another language (travelling has made me feel totally useless and lazy on this front, as everyone I meet – no matter how remote the location – can speak English as well as their native language, at least).


Tell us about your current trip… Where have you been so far? What have you loved and what would you do differently next time?

I’ve been to Sri Lanka, Indonesia (Indo), Singapore, Germany, Malaysia and Thailand.

I loved my time in Sri Lanka. The country has a lot to offer, from the friendliest people and very tasty food to beautiful landscapes and honest towns untainted by tourism. It’s also the only place, so far, I’ve enjoyed a decent chunk of time travelling with fun, like-minded people and have had very humbling insights into local life, having volunteered for a children’s charity. I also really enjoyed parts of my time in Indo, as I did some memorable activities such as a four day boat trip and volcano hiking.

I would do Germany and the start of my time in Indo differently. I sigh when I look back on my first couple of weeks in Indo. Having such fun in Sri Lanka, I didn’t entertain the idea of visiting the country (I tried to change my flight to Bali, but STA’s Multiflex Pass failed me big time – but that’s a different story!) and so I failed to do any prior research. Then, I endured a hard comedown when I got to Ubud, Bali because I heavily missed the people I travelled with in Sri Lanka and struggled to accept things had changed. I simply didn’t want to be where I was, do anything or speak to anybody. That meant I ended up moping around feeling sorry for myself and unproductively wasting my time in places that weren’t my bag, like the Gili Islands, when I could’ve been experiencing and researching things that were more my cup of tea. I did learn from it though, which is partly what travelling is all about!

You’ve recently completed a half marathon in Thailand, tell us about that! How did you train while backpacking? Would you like to incorporate your passion for running with your passion for travel?

Ha, yes. I ran in the Chiang Mai Half Marathon. It was one of three runs taking place one very early Sunday morning while I was in the city; a full marathon started at 4am, my half marathon at 5am and a 10KM at 6am. Over 12,000 people from 53 countries took part (while many travellers staggered back to their beds!).

I didn’t really train for it… I only secured a spot four days prior when I found out about the race! It was sold out but I managed to take the place of a local who was unable to run. Fortunately running is my biggest hobby and passion (I race for a club back home) so I’m lucky to have a good base level of fitness and know what it takes to run 13.1 miles – although the early start (including a force-fed 2:30am breakfast), energy sapping heat, tuk tuk and street food hawker fumes, traveller’s diet and next-to-no meaningful exercise for three months certainly made it a slog.

I’d intended to run everywhere I visited on my travels but laziness, logistics, tiredness, climate, pollution and whatever else seemed to stop me for the first 10 weeks of my travels. But, one morning in Malaysia after a torrid day of travelling, admin mishaps and slight homesickness, I put my running kit on and tore around a local park. It reminded me how good it made me feel, particularly in clearing my head (which can get muddled when you travel solo!) and what a great way running is to see places. Since then, I’ve had the running bug and plan to take part in other races, arrange runs with local clubs and just run for the reasons I do back home. 

I’m heading back to Chiang Mai today where, on a run funnily enough, I stumbled upon a free-to-use running track so I’m very excited to use that again!

 


If you could give another traveller three important words of advice, what would they be?

Talk to people. Whether in a hostel dorm, at a cafe or on a bus, be brave, break the ice and talk to those around you. You will meet some brilliant and interesting people from all backgrounds who will be full of advice, stories and opportunities.


Do you have any new travel plans currently in the pipeline?

It’s not strictly new as it was always the plan, but I’m going to head to Australia a couple of months earlier than I’d intended. I need a break from “same same” Southeast Asia. 

Bar that flight to Melbourne, I’ve nothing else set in stone. I’ve pencilled in plans that are all but ready to be erased and replaced by other things on the ever-growing pile of ideas. One of those is to cycle the entire east coast of Taiwan, another is to walk part (maybe all?) of the Bibbulmun Track between Australia’s Perth and Albany. I’d also love to spend a decent amount of time in New Zealand and Canada. For nearly three months I’ve been carrying around a New Zealand travel book that somebody gave me so I’ve got to make sure I utilise that at least!

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

It would be nice if I was self-employed and living in a place where mountains, woodland trails and fresh water lakes are on my doorstep. The country is up for grabs!

 


Quick Fire Faves

City – Copenhagen
Beach – Dutch Bay, Sri Lanka
Airline – Etihad
Accent – Welsh
Food – Pizza
Cocktail – White Russian
Movie – Forrest Gump
Travel Quote – Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Thank you for taking part in Totally Travel Talk on Totally Sam’s World, safe and happy travels!

Don’t forget to follow Morgan’s adventures on Twitter and Instagram!

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