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Travels with my Belly Q and A

Welcome to the Travels with my Belly Q and A edition!

Welcome! Bienvenidos! Huān yíng (歡迎 / 欢迎) to the Travels with my Belly Q&A edition. Answers to 32 questions nobody asked! We got spiders on drugs, cookies, travel tips, and even the god damn future! Have a cookie! These are virtual cookies. You have to agree to them first then you can eat them. Virtual cookies are zero fat and sugar free!

Why a Q&A session? Are you out of ideas? 

Hi, I’m Martin and I’m not stuck for ideas (currently) I publish and run Travels with my Belly. This blog has been running a while now. I want to write a little about what to expect from Travels with my Belly, talk about site navigation, and what’s coming in the future.

You’re talking to yourself again…

Ummm. Maybe. Yes.

Travels with my Belly concept and ethos

In case this is your first visit (hello) this is my foodie focused travel blog. I want to share the things I love – amazing places and tasty food. I will share it all here. Let’s explore together.

This blog is a little bit of giving back. It’s a little bit of self help too. I want to inspire you to worry less, smile often, and travel more. The life you live is not the only life. Look, I’m 48. I’m not young. I’m not rich. If I can do it then you can do it.

I want this blog to be inspirational, not aspirational. 

This is an inspirational blog, not aspirational? 

Too many Instagram accounts, and even some blogs, are selling you a vision, a dream, and it’s not real. Luxury hotels and more selfies you can shake a stick at. I aim to inspire you not to show you unrealistic travel dreams. There is just so much fakery out there. You can show how beautiful and amazing the world is, life is, without the BS.

I try to keep it real. If I write about something or create content, then it’s because I am passionate about that thing. I don’t do like for like, follow for follow. All my opinions are my own, nobody pays me.

I’m an ordinary guy. I changed my life. I’m travelling the world. I can do it. I’ll show how you can do it too. I aim to be authentic & honest as I possibly can. I work really hard on each post. This is a labour of love. All the writing is by me and almost all the photography too. If I do use another’s image then I’ll give credit.

How long to write a blog post?

They normally take 1 to 2 weeks. It depends on the post and the time I have available. Right now, I have more time on my hands so I’m able to keep up a good schedule. 

I spend large chunks of my time researching, writing and editing blog posts. Since I’m using mostly my own photography, editing in Lightroom and Photoshop also take time. You might have noticed that quotes feature in my articles. You wouldn’t believe how long it takes to find the perfect quotes!

Basically, a lot of love goes into each blog post that I publish.

WOW? It takes a long time to post. Are you just really slow?

How dare I say that to myself! Errr. Okay. Yeah. I’m a bit slow. I’m slower than a snail with a sprained foot. I’ve also got ADHD. I’ve got a mind like a squirrel on acid. Additionally, I’m a perfectionist… This does not help. I find it hard to let go. There is always something…

What about these drug taking squirrels?

It’s a metaphor. Let’s forget about the damn squirrels. NUTS to them. Did you know that scientists gave spiders drugs to see what would happen? Here’s a video of spiders on drugs!

Look. Let’s move on and forget about the animals on drugs. Let’s move on to a question about my super amazing fantastic travel and food blog! It’s lovely, has zero sugar, and drug free too.

OK. So about this blog? 

Glad you… Errr. I asked. 

Travel blogs mostly tell you where you should go, what can you see, and how to get there. That’s useful. It’s something I also do. That’s fine, but how does it feel to be there? What is it like to be there or to experience a thing, a place or – since this is a food focused travel blog – eating? 

I aim to take you with my words and tell you what it feels like.. I’ll tell you how you can get there and do it too. So my main focus will be travelogue style posts. Taking you with me and sharing my experiences from the road.

The focus will be on the experience and most definitely on the food.

What’s a good example post?

My Chinese New Year in London is a good example of the kind of article I’m aiming to write. You can read about my experiences along with how to get the CNY celebrations and where to eat in London ChinaTown. 

You only have one of your featured style? What happened?

Well. Coronavirus happened. Interest in travel isn’t a high priority for most people right now. Plus I planned to write about my experiences after I’ve had them so they are fresh in my mind. That’s going to be difficult when we are in lockdown! I can only wander in my head, for now.

Anything else?

Yes. Humour. It’s not a comedy blog but there’s humour here. I want to inform but if I can make you smile too then it’s a bonus. If we all took ourselves far less seriously then the world would be a far better place. It would be pretty difficult to launch a war dressed as a clown or talking like a pirate.

What else you got?

Each post contains carefully selected quotes that are related to the subject and often inspirational although sometimes are selected because they made me laugh and hopefully make you laugh too.

Is that it?

Yes. I’ve got original honest content; motivational and inspirational quotes, travel, food, and humour. What else do you want? The moon on a stick?

Have you got the moon on a stick?

No.

Tell me more about site navigation!

OK. I will. The juicy stuff.

There are four categories. 

FOOD
Expect recipes, restaurant reviews, food reviews, food guides, articles on the history of food and food culture, and more! I’m all about the food.

TRAVEL:
Pretty obvious but for the sake of completeness… Expect travelogues, travel guides, travel how-tos, travel tips, reviews, history, thought pieces, and more as I think of it. 

RANDOM
Non-travel or food related live here. Blog updates and information will also go here. I’ll occasionally write on subjects unrelated to food and travel.. Why limit? I’ll write whatever subjects takes my fancy along with some motivational and inspirational posts.

LIFE:
Updates about me and what’s going on. Expect these posts to be fairly rare.

So what is it with you and Thai food?

If you’ve seen my Instagram account you’ll notice it’s full of Thai food! Previously I spent over a month in Thailand. I fell in love with Thai food. Hard. I’m just a bit totally obsessed with it. I will probably blog about it eventually. Since coming back from my travels almost all of my meals are Thai.

OK, why is Thai food so good?

Let me use an analogy.

You’re going on a first date. 

You’re dating Western food. She walks around the corner and spots you immediately and gives you a little wave. She is very pretty and dressed conservatively in a cotton dress and blouse. Greeting you with a small kiss on the check. She suggests going to a restaurant and you walk happily together in enjoyable conversation. You had a wonderful night. She’s delicious. You kiss on the doorstep and she disappears into the night with the promise of the second date.

You’re dating Thai food. You hear the guttural roar of the bike engine before you see it. She’s dressed in black and red leather from head to toe. The badass beauty screeches to a stop and before you can say anything she snogs your face off. She takes you dancing and drinking. You make mad passionate love on the floor. You don’t remember which floor. You still are not quite sure where your pants are.

This is Thai food. It doesn’t know what subtle is. It doesn’t care. It only knows flavour. It is the most flavourful snog your face off flavour bomb that my face has ever known. Yes, I love Thai food.

You really DO love Thai food…

Yeah, but other Asian cuisines are also my jam. That said, I love almost any food I can put in my face hole. I’m a massive foodie. There is very little I don’t like! Although… Durian. 

But really I do love any food. When I’m planning a trip it’s the food that I research first. It doesn’t matter if I am visiting around the corner or around the other side of the world – It’s always about the food. If I’m not eating food or cooking food then I am dreaming about what I will be cooking or eating next.

Expect food to be a massive part of this blog. I travel, but alway with my belly.

The FUTURE ????

Since I’m a time traveller, I’ll tell you all about the year 2369… What’s up, guys?! You’re not going to believe this trip to Saturn. Those rings, guys! Those rings! I’ll be listing the top 10 things to do on Saturn and you won’t believe number 7. 

I’m joking. Obviously. Or am I? Da. Da. Daaa. No, really I’m joking. 

Seriously though. What can I expect in the future?

I do plan to write more travelogue articles in the style of Chinese New Year in London but I’ve switched gears a little bit to focus on how you might experience “travel without leaving home” or how to prepare for travel when all this is over.

I’m considering doing a frequent or semi-frequent random subject article.

Where will you be travelling to next?

Last time I was travelling around Asia for 3 months. I fell in love with Southeast Asia just a little bit – more than a little bit, especially Thailand. So I’ve been planning to return for a while now. I was planning on going sooner rather than later but the coronavirus has obviously affected those plans. 

How long do you plan on travelling in Southeast?

I’m planning to travel between 6 months to a year!

What countries do you plan on visiting?

My Southeast Asia itinerary: The Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar, in pretty much that order. Everything is subject to change but right now those are the plans! I am really damn excited. I’m considering kicking things off in Taiwan before heading on to SE Asia but I’ll decide closer to the time.

When do you plan on leaving for this Southeast Asia adventure?

Well now… That’s the question, isn’t it? When will I be able to travel?! The short answer is I have no idea. It seems the airlines are set to resume flights fairly soon but my current feeling (subject to change) is that it really isn’t going to be worth taking a trip and travelling until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus. 

The social distancing rules and constant lockdowns are going to make travel impractical and tiresome. There’s also the increased chance of catching the virus. Then there is the chance you’re spreading covid19 too. My feelings may change (and the situation changes constantly) but right now, given what I know, I’m staying put. Staying as safe as I can be.

How is the coronavirus affecting your travel plans?

Obviously, this outbreak has massively impacted my own and everybody else’s travel plans. This pandemic is going to be affecting the world for a while. A vaccine is at the very least a year away and then you have to inoculate everybody and lift the restrictions. 

What is the travel industry going to look like? What is a post pandemic world going to be like? Will travel be cheaper or more expensive? Many experts are weighing in on the subject but I don’t think anybody really knows. These are unprecedented times for everybody – even the experts. These are uncharted waters.

A lot of factors will affect when and for how long I can travel for. What my personal financial situation is, the economic state of the world, the pandemic, the shape and expensive of travel post coronavirus. Right now it’s a game of wait and see.

Are you disappointed you can’t travel right now?

Yeah, of course, but there isn’t anything I can do about it. Life is a journey and the journey is everything. You can’t spend life wondering when the next big thing comes to make you happy. You have to be happy every day. Life is a gift. 

There are always positives to look for. I’m grateful that I and those I care about, are healthy. I have food on the table and a roof over my head. This is more than many people in the world can say. The bright side is that I have more time to save and plan. Eventually, and there will be an eventually, when all this is finished I will be able to travel for longer and travel better.

Will you be blogging your adventures in South East Asia?

YES! I’ll be blogging from the road. Follow experiences as I travel. Come on, take my hand, let me show you this amazing part of the world. I can’t wait to share it with you. Let’s go to explore Southeast Asia together!

So how do you afford to travel?

I’m not rich. How am I funding my amazing adventures? Well, there are three considerations.

  1. Firstly, travelling is more affordable than you think. You can travel very cheaply if you budget well and pick the right destinations. Travel should be affordable to almost anybody on an average wage. You don’t need to be rich. You can do it!!
  2. SAVE. I make saving for travel a priority. I spend absolutely nothing unless it’s absolutely necessary, IE: bills and food. There is very little you actually need. You’ll be surprised how much the little things add up over a year. Try it adding it up for yourself and see! At the moment I am in saving mode. Every last penny is placed into the travel fund.
  3. At some point in the future, I’ll quit my job and go long term travelling. That may seem a little scary, and it is, but life should be an adventure and security is an illusion. In the words of Jack Kerouac, “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” There’s a fantastic extensive article on how to travel cheaply. I also recommend checking out Bren on the Road.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”

-Helen Keller

What is your blog to-do list?

The site is a bit slower than I would like it to be so I need to work on the speed. Hopefully there will be improvements soon!

Eventually I want to get a new theme but that’s way down the road. I’m happy with what I am using right now but I can see myself out growing it eventually.

I aim to publish new content (approximately) once every 2 weeks. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook where you can follow my adventures and keep updated as to what is going on.

Are you going to be drugging any critters?

No. Quit it. Winner winner chicken dinners don’t do drugs, man.

Anything else?

No. I think we are done here. Oh, and ironically the title photo actually isn’t my own. It’s by qimono and you can check out his/her stuff on Pixabay. If this Q&A has made you thirsty to know even more about me then you can read my About Me page.

This page will be updated over time to keep it relevant. If you’ve got any comments, suggestions, thoughts, crazy rants, or questions then I would love to hear from you in the comments. Is there anything you would like to see? What do you like or dislike? 

Like what you see?! Subscribe and share 🙂 It really helps the site to grow.

Until next time, stay safe, Happy Travels ✈️????????

Travels with my Belly Q and A
This squirrel is in rehab now and doing fine.

2 Comments

  1. This might be the most charismatic blog post I’ve ever read! It’s clear how much energy you put into your blog and I’m super excited to read more ????

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely comment! You made my day with your encouraging words. Hopefully I’ll see you here again ????

      Stay safe and happy travels!

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