This week on Wednesday Interview, we had the opportunity to interview Steven Kreimendahl from Travel To Blank. Steven is 23 years old and currently getting his Masters in Visual and Digital Media in Madrid, Spain. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, he had lived in Colorado, Ecuador and Spain. By his 22nd birthday, he had visited all of the 50 states in the United States. He currently travels the world with his beautiful wife during his free time.
Steven, what type of traveller would you say you are?
I am a budget conscious traveller who is willing to partake in any sort of experience!
Do you remember the first trip you ever had?
I always travelled with my family growing up during the summer and over school breaks, so I do not remember the trips in great detail. However, one of the youngest memories I have is being stuck in my booster seat in the centre seat, next to my older siblings as we drove to California while passing through Mount Rushmore. You would be surprised how many traffic jams you run into on the highway in the middle of nowhere.
What is the one thing that you always carry inside your backpack?
I always have a large plastic grocery bag folded up in my backpack. It might sound odd, but it serves so many purposes! It can protect your bag in a sudden rain storm, keep sand away from your camera at the beach, or keep your muddy shoes separated; the options are endless!
Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone? Why?
I prefer to travel with my wife, of course! Not only is she the best travel partner in the world, but travelling with someone is the best. While it is great to experience the world positive moments around the world with the person you love, it has also become so valuable to have someone with you when something goes wrong. Having been robbed of all valuables once, and losing our wallet another time, having a travel partner keeps you sane.
What is the one place that you would highly recommend others to travel to?
If you were to put one place on the top of you bucket list, it has to be St. Petersburg, Russia. It is an endless source of breathtaking architectural achievements.
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
The worst accommodations I have ever stayed in was during my gap year after high school, when I went with several friends to Italy for a week. We made reservations at a small hostel downtown online. We arrived at the downtown train station late in the evening, so took a taxi. The taxi drove for nearly 20 minutes to the outskirts of town and left us in an empty residential neighborhood. Lost and confused we finally noticed that one of the doorbells had the name of the hostel and rang in. It turns out the hostel was nothing more than a guy who put beds in every room of his house and called it a hostel. Our room turned out to just have a queen bed for the three of us, but we did not sleep much as there was no lock on the door. We left quickly the next morning, without a doubt, while losing the money for the next few nights!
The best place I have stayed in is our trusty tent. Not only do I love camping and the outdoors, but when you travel by car and camp, it turns into your home rather than just another hotel bed. While the surroundings always change, the comforts remain the same.
Do you have any challenging and bad experience while travelling?
The worst experience travelling happened in Sweden. While going to the bathroom at our hostel, all our valuables were robbed, including passports, camera, tablet and student visas! In a matter of seconds, we lost thousands of dollars in items and months worth of travel photos. It turned into a rough few days of police and embassy visits, and piles of paperwork to get our visas back.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Currently, when I am not travelling, I am getting my Masters degree in Spain. My wife and I both build websites and provide social media and general marketing, with an at-home bakery on the side. We love doing so many different things!
Are you planning a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?
Due to my convenient location in Europe at the moment, every weekend is the opportunity for a quick trip. Most of the Europe is only a short bus or plane ride away. Our big trip that we are trying to figure out at the moment is to Iceland at the end of our masters program. Going back to the United States provides the perfect opportunity to visit the island stuck in the middle.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
My best advice to aspiring travellers is to go for it! There are no valid excuses to not travel. People often forego travelling as the do not have the time or money, but are missing out on the greatest life experiences. If you do not have the time or budget to travel internationally, do not forget that whatever country you live in has so much to offer.
Travel To Blank started in December 2015 because we found a big hole in the main travel websites. There are always suggestions for the top places to visit in each city, but they fail to say if the places are truly worth visiting. In Brugge, Belgium we read about the only unpaved street in the city, as it has no houses. Ever walked halfway across the city to see an empty gravel road? We did.
If you are keen to visit attractions that are worth visiting and avoid those that are terrible. Do follow Travel To Blank, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Check out last week interview, Jeff and Anne from “What Doesn’t Suck?”, a half French, half American expat couple living and working in Dubai. They run a popular video travel blog highlighting life in Dubai as well as their travels around the world.
Next week on Wednesday Interview, we would be travelling with Julia from Julia Antoinette, a lifestyle blogger from the Philippines.