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Meet The Traveler #010

Jordan Hammond

Tell us about yourself.

Hey, my name is Jordan. I’m 23 years-old, and grew up in the small seaside town of Dover, nestled away in the southeast corner of England. Eight weeks ago I left my teaching job of one year in China to travel through Asia, and haven’t looked back since!

What motivated you to travel and what was the first overseas trip you took?

I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of incredible people from across the world who, although they had a burning desire to travel, simply didn’t have the means to do so. That, coupled with my love for exploring new places sparked my motivation to travel. My first extended overseas trip took me to, no surprise, Southeast Asia. Me and a couple of my closest friends spent nine weeks between Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia – it was such a blast!

Have you always been a globetrotter? Can you tell us where have you gone and how do you decide which place to go?

I’d like to think so! Most of my travels have taken me to Asia: Bahrain, the UAE, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar. I’m soon to visit India and Sri Lanka, with my decision to visit these countries highly influenced by social media, in particular Instagram, though I’m pretty sure that’s the case with most of us that travel nowadays, right?

 

Are you more of a spontaneous person or a well-planned person? Are you always traveling alone or with friends?

Since I’ve started using a camera on my travels, I’d have to say I’m more of a well-planned person. There are always new locations I’m keen to shoot, which often involves some pre-planning in order to connect those locations together in the most logical order. Having said that, I’m always open to spontaneity, I think it’s healthy when you’re travelling for long periods of time. As of now I’m travelling with my girlfriend, it’s incredible to share such experiences with someone so special. However, we’re excited to be meeting up with two close friends in New Delhi next month!

When did you come to Indonesia and why? Where did you go?

I visited Indonesia for a month through August and September. I had always wanted to see it in the flesh, and everybody who had travelled there that I had spoken to couldn’t have recommended it more. The trip began in the cultural centre of Yogyakarta, leading us through West Java and Bali before finishing up in Lombok. I can’t wait to revisit next year!

How do you travel around?

I tend to travel using local transport; it’s the cheapest way of getting around, thus helping to extend the travels considerably in the long run and is the easiest way of meeting and conversing with locals.

Do you think it’s necessary to adapt to local style and customs? What would you suggest if you think it does?

Adapting to local styles and customs is huge part of travelling and immersing yourself in other cultures. When visiting a foreign country, I’d strongly recommend learning some key phrases to help you get by and revising local customs. It can go a long way towards encouraging locals to interact with you, and save you a LOT of time.

When you are traveling abroad, do you think you are more exposed to imminent threat from local crime? Have you had any bad experience during your travel in Indonesia or other countries?

When traveling abroad I have more often than not felt relatively safe, even more so around locals than other travelers. Wherever I’ve been, locals seem to be about as curious as me as I am of them and usually are more than willing to help, especially in Indonesia! I haven’t yet been of victim of crime while traveling (touch wood!), but I’ve heard stories from other backpackers and know it’s important to remain aware at all times.

After coming to Indonesia, do you have any plan to come back here? 

I’ve already made plans to return to Indonesia next year. Having spent time in Java and Bali, I’m keen to spend some time in both Flores and Sulawesi – both of which look incredible. The main reasons for me wanting to return so soon are also the parts I miss the most, those being the touching hospitality of the Indonesian people and the variety of landscapes there, from the deep mystical caves of Yogyakarta to the pristine waterfalls tucked away in the lush forests of Bali, it’s got everything I’ll ever need.

How do you determine or manage your budget for your trip?

My budget is determined through thorough research using a combination of blogs, official guides and friend’s recommendations. For the first few days in each country I visit, I’ll only carry as much money as my pre-determined budget suggests in order to figure out how I may be able to further minimize my spending throughout the trip; hopefully resulting in my return flight date being extended! Nevertheless, everyone’s budget will differ and it’s important to live by your means while travelling – trust me when I say returning home to an emptied bank account is far from ideal!

How much do you usually bring with you on travels (one backpack/one check-in luggage)? Are there any must-bring items for you?

I take one backpack for clothing that often has plenty of room to spare, and another for my camera, tripod and laptop, the latter weighing considerably more. Items I’d recommend taking on a trip to Indonesia include a heard torch, hoodie, sleeping bag liner, mosquito repellent and sweets! My final piece of advice is to pack light, something I’ve sure everyone has heard before but little seem to recall when packing day arrives. 

What was your most memorable moment during your visit in Indonesia?

That’s the toughest question of the lot! There are so many moments that come to mind, sunrise over Mt. Ijen being one of them. After a mere three hour sleep before the drive to the base of the inactive volcano, we used every ounce of energy our bodies could surrender to climb to the peak, down to the stunning blue fires and back up to the eastern side of the crater to watch the day’s first light kiss the fumes and clouds hugging the nearby mountains – a truly magical experience I’ll never, ever forget.

What is the most challenging part of traveling overseas?

The most challenging part of traveling overseas for me has to be learning new phrases/languages. I’d say I’ve always taken time before visiting a country to learn a few basic phrases, but have found communication can still prove difficult, certainly in more remote areas of a country that may possess a local dialect for example.

Some people may be willing to travel but some are afraid to take the leap or worried about safety issues. What would you say to them?

Take it. They won’t be traveling to a country that’s never been visited or thoroughly written about before, so what is there to worry about? Anyway, I’ve never heard anybody say that they’ve regretted travelling, only that they’ve regretted not having travelled. 

Any constructive criticism for our tourism?

None at all, I’m afraid to say. Tickets are reasonably priced, service at national parks is brilliant and the places we visited were surprisingly clean given the number of tourists visiting the country. I’ve a few countries in mind that could definitely take a leaf out of your book!

People say traveling change one’s life. What have you learned from about yourself?

The phrase is a little cliche, but it’s true. Since traveling, I’ve learnt two things: I wasted too much time on my phone (who doesn’t?), and that it’s important to make the most of every single second of the day.

Any parting words for our reader?

– If you haven’t already, travel to Indonesia. It may well be the best decision you’ve ever made! If you’ve read this far, I sincerely appreciate it. Feel free to contact me through Instagram (@jordhammond), where I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may well have about traveling through this beautiful country and beyond!

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