Simon is the creator of LADventurers, a male perception on travel. He has travelled to 30 countries over the past 8 years, wrestled chimps, been smuggled across borders and made up a couple of lies.
Your blog is named LADventurers. Why LAD?
Haha, actually I began the website with some friends who were all lads from England. We were a group of Lads on an adventure so I put two and two together…quite literally. It’s turned out to be 95% my input however which works just fine. I’m a Lad on an adventure.
You are currently teaching in South Korea. What has been your most rewarding experience whilst travelling so far?
Well, I wouldn’t say teaching in Korea is particularly rewarding to be honest. Most kids don’t remember much that they learn. Perhaps the most rewarding thing is when the students repeat something in my Yorkshire accent. Then I know it must have been me they learnt it from.
Why South Korea?
I came here 3 years ago with one friend. We googled teaching abroad as a way of travelling and came across Korea and China. China looked pretty crap to be honest and besides Seoul looking like a neon jungle, Korea was offering free housing, a free return flight as well as a job with decent money and vacation. Now nearly all my friends from home are here!
You’ve stuck out jobs like call centres and selling porn subscriptions. What has been the hardest thing you’ve done to save for a trip?
They were terrible jobs! The hardest thing is turning down plans that you want to do. I’m here right now in Korea and am saving for my next trip so have to keep myself from partaking in things that would end up with me blowing all my money. Usually nights out with friends. I’m more of a hermit in Korea than an expat at the moment…
You have a post on the top 10 weirdest things in Korea. What’s the oddest thing you’ve come across on your travels?
There’s been a ton of weird stuff happen actually. I love weird and awkward situations, I think they’re hilarious. I think the weirdest stuff is definitely in Asia. When I wrote the top 10 weirdest things in Korea, I ended up with a list of about 25-30 things. But being on Fraser Island in Australia was weird for me and my friend actually.
Most people rent cars in groups of people their own age where you can see some of the most dangerous animals in the world, drive off road and have a pretty wild time. We were trying to save money and ended up agreeing to go with an older man who had his own vehicle as he offered to take us for a bit of petrol money. During the trip we realised we was an eccentric character whom was obsessed with the macro photography of underwater plants and was never wrong. Yeah we saved money on the trip but the embarrassment of going to every lake with a shirtless overweight man, wearing lime green shorts and a whopping big camera hanging around his neck was enough to clear the area out pretty quickly. So yeah…we didn’t meet any people there…
Pork Pies!!! However, if the supermarkets are out of them then I’ll bring my mates. Although travelling alone is great fun and you meet people along the way, I still love sharing the experiences with my mates by my side.
Kuta was a disappointment to you as it had totally sold out to tourism and become an Australian Spring Break haven. What has been your most disappointing travel experience?
That holiday to Bali was full of disappointment actually now I think about it. The end of that trip was a stressful, expensive disaster. We had to pay for another boat off of the island due to a storm cancelling the direct one. The bus got stuck in mud and then the slow ferry got cancelled because two of them sunk. We ended up outside the airport at 1am, which was now shut, negotiating an inflated plane ticket from a security man acting as a tout. It meant we lost the final 2 days of travel and spent triple as much.
What has been your best travel experience?
The whole experience of living in Jönköping, Sweden for 6 months was amazing. We travelled every other weekend through various cities in Europe and lived in an old converted mental hospital along with 80 other foreigners from all over the world. It was a pretty wild time where something was always going on…! I love Scandinavia, especially Stockholm and Copenhagen and can’t wait to go back!
What’s your favourite travel anecdote?
“If you don’t know where you’re going, then any path will get you there” I can relate to this as I’ve done a lot of wandering but never felt lost.
You’re living in Korea right now and have spent six months in Sweden. What advice would you give to someone moving away to another country for the first time?
Enjoy yourself and chill out. There can be a lot of stress moving from country to country, even more so if you are going to live there. However, other people are in the same boat and you can get a lot of help from those people once you are there.
It’s probably not going to be easy for the first couple of months. But if you chill out and roll with it you’ll find yourself settling in much quicker.