Chris Backe is the writer and owner of one of the most interesting travel blog in the planet called One Weird Globe. I think he’s the only one I know that writes about the odd and weird travel destinations around the globe.
Chris is originally from US and moved to South Korea to teach English. After a couple of years, he moved to Thailand. When he’s not busy teaching, he usually visits various off the beaten path places and discovers the weirdest and very interesting destinations.
Get to know more about Chris and join him in discovering more unusual destinations. Visit his blot at One Weird Globe.
But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Chris.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“I actually didn’t discover it until I moved to Korea in 2008. I had read a bunch of stories about expats who just taught and drank and did little else… I resolved to do something different – make my way to a new place, event, or festival – something new every week.”
“It was in 2010 that I went from ‘traveling for the fun of it and, oh, hey, I keep a blog!’ to ‘I’m on a mission’… I began seeking out the weird, oddball, offbeat, or just plain bizarre places I could find. There were a ton around Korea, many of which had never really been written up in English. In a lot of cases, I also found that directions to a place were… lacking, to say the least. “Walk 15 minutes from exit 2 of this subway station” is not enough, sorry, and neither is “turn right where the old fire station used to be”. From then on I made it a point to visit offbeat places and provide really good directions to places I visit.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“The ‘VIP’ bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. The best case is 12 hours on a bus across Laos’ borderline-third-world roads. In reality, the bus broke down where we stopped to eat, and we were stranded there for 4 hours while they worked to fix the bus… It’s just an entire day on a fairly cramped bus – spend a few extra bucks and take the flight between these two cities – you’ll thank yourself later.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“Coming across some weird destinations we hadn’t heard about! This is actually the story behind a recent post. In essence, we were traveling between towns and came across a huge Buddha. Naturally, we stopped to take a closer look – turns out you can walk through the Buddha as you walk around the image. Pretty cool.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“On one level, how big the world is, and how limited our perspectives are until and unless you break out from behind them. It’s really easy to stereotype.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“Traveling – and being on the move – is just as a much a mindset and lifestyle as the choice to buy a house, plant a garden, or otherwise settle into a neighborhood. I don’t see one as being better than the other.”
“That said, it’s easy to get burnt out by traveling. We end up staying in a weekend every month or two just to take a veg day.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“President Obama. Political stuff notwithstanding, I’d love to pick his brain.”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“Seoul, South Korea is pretty hard to beat. A great combination of traditional and ultra-modern, pretty cheap (though not as cheap as southeast Asia!), and lots of food options. Oh, and lots of transportation options to get around the city – subway and buses all have some great English.”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
“Know where you’re going, and be suspicious of anyone coming up to your personal space. The former keeps the vultures off your tail, and the latter (even if it sounds a little cynical) ends up being an easy way to avoid becoming a mark.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“Posing with some of the NSFW statues at sex parks! Sorry, readers, but I’ll save those for myself – do see my posts about the sex parks around Korea, though!”
How do you fund your travels?
“Partially through the books and itineraries on my site, partially through freelance writing and web development, and partially through photography gigs. Always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to make money, of course!”
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“It helps to know the scams and rip-offs that are common. I tend to be very suspicious of anyone getting into my personal space, and aim to know the fair / correct prices for stuff.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I think I’m AWESOME! No, seriously… Um, think dating profile… erg… I’m extroverted… easy to get along with… can call you out on your BS if I think you can handle it… independent… less and less ‘American’ by the day…love a good conversation over beer… enjoy quiz nights until they become all about pop culture… likes having a system for things, but enjoys going off-script…”
“One Weird Globe has been kept since 2008, and was originally a blog about travel and life in Korea. Today, One Weird Globe focuses on the offbeat, the weird, and the bizarre destinations throughout the world. I also write about life as a long-term expat. Every week on my newsletter, I send out a story only for my awesome subscribers, so subscribe to see it today!” – Chris Backe of One Weird Globe
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Chris.