In the second part of our series of interviews with Big Blog Exchange 2013 winners, Jeremy Fowler tells us how the Big Blog Exchange (BBE) has taught him about the importance of community support and why hostels are a better option than staying in a truck!
Full name: Jeremy Fowler
Blog url: http://www.jeremyfowler.ca/
Where do you live: Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada
What were the biggest highlights of the exchange?
There were so many highlights and experiences from my exchange. I got to see the top of the world on my flight, feed elephants, try new foods, travel to Singapore, and find the bar where the ‘Singapore Sling’ was invented. The biggest highlight was the people I was privileged to meet and experiencing their way of life.
Has the BBE changed you?
Absolutely the BBE has changed me! I have lived all my life in places with a strong community spirit and through the BBE I learned the importance of that community support. I also now know why it’s so important to travel, especially to a place that takes you out of your comfort zone. After this, my first solo trip abroad, I feel like a more confident person and I try to bring this experience when I try something new to give me better perspective.
Did the experience change your views about travel?
Travel is possible; I always knew that and I always knew I wanted to do it. What I didn’t know was there is such a culture around youth hostels. I think travel is something best shared and by staying in hostels, you never really are travelling alone. Also, hostelling makes travel affordable. I’ll tell you a story; in 2011 my best friend and I climbed into a small truck to travel across Canada “on the cheap.” We only left the truck to use the bathroom and I think we went for a walk once; we ate in the truck, slept in the truck and went a little crazy in the truck. If I had of known what I know now, we would have stayed in hostels and still would have stayed within budget!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering?
My experience was all about commitment. I ran my blog like it was my job. You have to promote yourself and your blog and your desire to win!
Would you have done anything differently looking back?
I don’t think I would change anything; I’m proud of my efforts in the competition and I’m really grateful for the experience. I guess I would try to enjoy the trip a little more; I had some major culture shock when I first got there plus I was so jetlagged which lead to homesickness and travel nervousness.
Sum up the BBE in three words:
Go For It!
Feeling inspired? Sign up for this year’s Big Blog Exchange and watch the trailer for the Big Blog Exchange 2014 here.