Ø Who are you?
My name is Carlo Cretaro.
Ø Where are you from/Where’s home?
I’m from small town in the mid-west of Ireland called Boyle.
Ø What type of traveller are you? Backpacker, full time traveller, luxury traveller?
I’ve been a mixture of all three funnily enough. When I first started backpacking I was your typical backpacker staying in all the cheap hostels. Nowadays I would class myself as a semi-permanent traveler, and yes I try and stay in as nice of accommodation as I can.
Ø Where was the first trip you took?
The first proper trip that I took was back in 2005 to Las Vegas. I went alone because none of my friends wanted to spend two weeks there. I was just starting to play Poker back then, so it was a massive buzz for me. It was also on that trip that I discovered that travel was something that I wanted to pursue on a more permanent basis.
Ø Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Back in 2011 we headed off to S.E Asia for a 7 month backpacking trip. However, just 3 months into the trip I woke up one morning with a really bad pain in my lower back. Long story short – I went to a hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand and got an MRI Scan done which revealed I’ve a ruptured disc in my lower back.
The end result meant that I was no longer able to travel, as I could hardly get out of bed for a month. The most difficult part was making the decision to cut the trip short by 4 months, but it’s a decision that’s brought me where I am today.
Ø Do you have any funny or crazy travel stories?
Just recently back in February of this year, I bought a motorbike in Hanoi, Vietnam and travelled down the length of the country over the course of a month. I knew that this was a little dangerous beforehand, as the roads and traffic in Vietnam is crazy.
About half way through the trip I had an accident which wasn’t my fault but resulting in me being thrown off the bike at around 40kph at the foot of the Hai Van Pass. This all happened in a split second and was caused by loose chippings on the road. I had some bad bruising but no broken bones thankfully.
It was easily the scariest trip I’ve been on. Every day was a nightmare on the roads, and I came across multiple accidents and even a dead body in the middle (scooter crash) of nowhere. In hindsight, I should have taken the back roads instead of taking the highways – but you live and learn I guess!
Ø What is the worst place you’ve travelled to and why?
There haven’t been too many places that I can say I didn’t like (country wise). However, Kigali in Rwanda was a city that I didn’t feel at all comfortable in. I was there to do some volunteering independently in schools and orphanages, but left after 3 days instead of staying for the intended couple of weeks.
Ø Where is your favourite place in the world?
Hands down Las Vegas. I’ve been there on 4 different occasions.
Ø How do you fund your travels?
I’ve a couple of online businesses that brings in a steady stream of income from a few different sources. The main one is a freelance content writing business.
Ø What is your most fond memory from your travels?
There are loads of them. When I left home in 2013 on a one way flight to Bangkok with the realisation that I was able to travel and make money online at the same time is just one of them – it was a pretty awesome feeling as I dreamed of that scenario for a long time.
Ø What would you be doing if you weren’t travelling?
I really don’t have any idea, but if I was to guess, it would be doing something productive online.
Ø Have you ever experiences any cultural faux pas?
Not that I can think of off the top of my head, but I’m sure there have been 1 or 2 instances along the way.
Ø What is your Favourite airline?
Qatar Airlines! I flew with them from Tanzania to France back in 2009 and they were amazing. Economy was like first-class in other airlines. After 3 months in Africa, stepping into that plane was an unreal feeling.
Ø Where are you off to next?
I’m currently in Paraguay on a 7 month trip of South America. After Paraguay it’s off to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.
Ø What is the name of your travel blog and why did you choose this name?
NextStopWhoKnows.com is the name of the blog and the came about after a long think about what direction I wanted it to take. Luckily the name can mean a lot of things – Next Stop as in travels or Next Stop as in life! So it leaves the door open for a radical change down the line, if that’s something that I want.
Ø When did you start blogging?
I started back in 2009.
Ø Where did you start blogging?
I started just before I went to Africa on a volunteer trip in ‘09.
Ø Why did you start a Travel blog?
I wanted to have a digital memory of my trip to Africa.
Ø Do you wish you did differently when you started out?
I wish that I got set up on WordPress instead of a free blogger.com account. I didn’t migrate over to wordpress until 2011. Also, I wish I structured my articles better back in the early days.
Ø What are you tips for new Travel Bloggers?
Keep yourself motivated to create the best content that you can for your readers. Put your own voice into the stories you tell and don’t worry about trying to “rank” for certain SEO keywords. Travel blogging is a saturated market so you need to stand out as much as possible. I need to implement that advice more myself.
Ø What has been your most successful blog post and what was it about?
Haha…this is a funny one. Of all the posts I’ve written and worked hard on, the most successful post by far (in terms of traffic coming to it) is “What you need to know about ping pong in patong.” I wrote it in 2011 and it still manages to get a decent number of daily hits.
Ø What do you do to help make your articles successful?
I try and provide readers with a mixture of photos and videos in my articles whenever possible. The way things are going, video is going to become more and more prevalent on the blogging scene, so I think adding a few nicely edited videos helps keep people engaged.
Ø What social media platform is the most helpful for you and why?
Facebook for me. I’ve more interaction there than on Twitter, Google+ or Instagram. Everyone is on Facebook, but not everyone is on Twitter and the other social platforms. Pinterest is a massive traffic source for some bloggers, so maybe one day I’ll dip into that, but for now I’ll stick with the ones I have.
Ø Which travel bloggers do you admire?
WanderingEarl was the first travel blogger that I started to really follow. He gave me the initial motivation to find a way to work online and travel the world.
Ø Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Go to the places and do the things that you want to do. Don’t worry about what other people think you should do. Everyone has their own agenda when it comes to travel, so just follow your own internal compass and enjoy the whole experience.
Ø What is your Travel Motto:
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Website url: www.nextstopwhoknows.com
Google+ profile: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CarloCretaro/posts