Inside this variant of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Barbara Weibel, a real estate agent who manages Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel. We talk with Barbara about that which kick-started her love of travel, bold to follow her own path when it came to travel even, and blogging, now living as an expat in Thailand more. Have a look at her favourite destinations around the world and discover where she’s going next!
How did your passion for travel begin?
If I remember, it started at a young age, about 11. My uncle gave me an older Leica viewfinder camera having really good German ground glass lenses. After that, I was rarely without that camera. My dad was gifted with a subscription. He refused to throw out a single issue, so that they stacked up in our front hall. Daily after school, I would rush home, spend, also sit cross-legged on the ground of this hall hours studying the articles and perusing the pictures in these publications. From there on, the desire of my heart would be to be a travel writer and photographer.
How are you traveling in any given calendar year? What are the kinds?
It has changed over the years. I headed out on a six-month round the world trip. Upon returning, I split my time between traveling across the U.S. and staying at a rented apartment in Florida for another 2.5 years. Ultimately, in the end of 2009 I gave up my apartment and began traveling with no home base. With the exclusion of a single 15-month interval, once I returned into the U.S. to look after my dad, I traveled full time to another eight years.
You run a travel site called Hole in the Donut. Where did the inspiration behind it stems from? What causes it to stand out among the travel content on the market?
I would spend weeks at a time moving from country to country in fashion. I would stay in 1 area for a longer period whenever I needed a break. I’d fallen during my trip, some 17 years ago, and found myself being attracted to it again and time. It became my go-to location to rest and recover; each winter time was invested by me in Thailand. In the fall of 2018, I finally decided to settle in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I am living. About five moths per year still travel, however it’s wonderful to have a set of my own I can return to whenever I select.
Before you turned into a full-time traveler you suffered from a long-term disorder. What information would you need to travel and give to individuals who have health problems?
They run the gamut In terms of the sorts of places I love to see. I’m drawn to a particular history. A good illustration of this was my urge to see Vietnam. I felt the necessity to face the history of that war head on. Other times, I’m fascinated by some element of this culture of a location — music, food, festivals, etc.. When I read about places in travel stories or novels, Sometimes, I’m inspired. I never actually know what’s currently going to hit my fancy and establish my journeys.
In 2017, you became the expat living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Why is Chiang Mai such a travel destination? What should you recommend travelers do there if they visit?
I spent at occupations, but had been paralyzed by anxiety to pursue what I truly loved. It took a significant ailment to make me become true to me and realize that I needed to quit stressing about money and material possessions. By now I finally walked away from corporate life I felt like a donut — solid to the outside but empty on the inside. I had been determined to fill that gap in my donut, therefore I presumed that it was an appropriate title for my blog, as I headed off in my very first excursion.
What do you want viewers to achieve and learn from your work?
From the beginning, I refused to create the sort of content which most other bloggers were writing — top ten lists, how-to stories, etc.. I had been repeatedly told the storytelling I wished to pursue could not be successful. Pros insisted that I would need to adopt a formulaic writing style if I needed to rank well at Google. I’d spent selling my soul to corporations and I refused to do the same this time around. It has not always been easy, however I’ve remained true to some degree and to my vision, the sector has moved in my path. Top ten lists nevertheless get high rankings, but first writing greater than they did in the first days is now valued by Google.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Gosh, I don’t understand how to answer that. Each man is different and each illness is different. The 1 piece of advice I will give to anybody who has serious health issues is to be certain you purchase.
Give us a’Top 5′ list for one of your best 3 destinations. Just like a mini-guide or some to-do list of sorts. It can be anything in your favourite resort, best place to get lunch, best holiday, etc..
There’s no other area on earth that calls to me just such as Chiang Mai does. To begin with, I totally love the culture. Thai people are gentle, caring, and respectful. I began to feel invisible in Western nations. Younger individuals no longer went out of their way to engage me in conversation (until they found out I’m a travel writer and wished to understand how to do things I do). In Thailand, the older generation is highly respected for their expertise and talent. I feel valued here. Additionally, the food is incredible, prices are affordable, and the weather is good. As a practicing Buddhist, I really like that Thailand is a Buddhist country.
How many nations have you visited so far?
There is SO much to get this. It is stated that there are many temples in Chiang Mai you can observe a different one each day. Each temple is different and they are all beautiful. Shoppers will be thrilled to know that we have multiplex cinemas and five malls. Walking markets each Saturday and Friday night offer live scads of food, entertainment, and literally thousands to vendors selling everything from clothing into traditional Thai handicrafts. We’ve Got a Zoo, a Botanical Garden, a Water Park, golf courses, and museums. Each dawn, fresh produce is sold by dozens of markets . The universities offer cultural events including art showings, concerts, and dance performances. The lively expat community in Chiang Mai has developed clubs for virtually every interest: photography, sketching, writing, technology, etc.. And that is only in town proper. Venture only a brief distance and there are hot springs, caves, entire towns dedicated to a handicraft, hiking paths, and more.
What are your top 3 favourite cuisines?
When I began this life of travel, I believed that people everywhere are more similar than different and that there is no need to fear those that we see as”other.” Thirteen years of travel to over 100 nations and territories has strengthened that belief. With each story I write, I try to communicate that message. My mantra continues to be the the better we understand one another, the less likely we’ll wish to kill one another.
What’s your favourite restaurant on the planet? What dish do you recommend there?
Well, at least you did not ask me to mention one, which is the question I get the maximum. Frankly, it’s not possible to narrow it. I like various places for various reasons. For instance, I love Thailand and Nepal because of individuals and their civilizations. But, I also think everybody should see Machu Picchu in Peru — it’s without doubt the very awe-inspiring location I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, in Europe I love Bulgaria and Croatia, and I was blown off by current visits to Tibet and Ethiopia. But then there is also New Zealand, which is not just beautiful but contains a few of the most friendly folks I’ve ever met. I could go on, but I guess that is enough.
What’s your favourite travel film?
Nepal must be on each travel need list. It is a country with lovely people. My top five recommendations for sightseeing in Nepal are as follows:
What’s your beloved global airport?
To date I’ve visited eight non-sovereign Lands and 98 countries
Which city had the most friendly people?
Thai, Nepali, Lebanese
Who’s your favourite travel companion?
To is Tiesto’s Café Restaurant at Cuenca, Ecuador. “Tiestos” is named after the clay dish was used to make ironic roasts of wheat, wheat, beans, barley, wheat, or corn at the Andean culture. Each of the item on the menu are prepared and served in plates and clay pots. I highly recommend the tasting menu, which is composed of courses, starting if you are not careful. This can be followed with scrumptious soup, a entrée of this afternoon, as well as dessert.
What’s the best method to kill time?
Sorry but I don’t have one.
What’s the most exotic location you have been taken by your livelihood?
Changi Airport in Singapore.
What’s your bit of travel tips for someone who would like to, or is going to, embark on a life of travel?
Chiang Mai, Thailand
What are 4 things that you can never travel without?
I prefer to travel solo
What’s your dream destination?
Lounging around in coffee shops is one of my favorite things to do, Particularly in a city that is new, since it Constantly gives me insight to the culture
What’s your favourite travel quote?
You need me to pick 1 location — LOL. Impossible. How about 2? The Galapagos Islands and the Marquesas Island archipelago in French Polynesia
Where are you headed?
Try to stay present. Should you think about the past or worry about the future, you will miss what’s right before you.
I’m afraid this record is mainly dictated by what I do for my camera : my Macbook , my iPhone, a living, and a flashlight.
See my previous answers.
I don’t have one
I’m off to Europe soon for a Scandinavian tour
After years of working 70-80 hours per week at jobs which paid the bills nevertheless attracted no joy, a critical illness made Barbara Weibel recognize she felt as the proverbial”hole in the donut” — solid around the outside but empty on the inside. In 2007, in age 54, Weibel walked off from her career, sold or gave away all her material possessions, and began traveling across the globe accountable for her passions: travel, writing and photography. Initially, her intention was to go for six-months, but at the time that first excursion finished Weibel understood she would never return to a”normal life.” These days she divides her time between traveling at Chiang Mai, Thailand across her apartment and the planet. Read stories about her experiences on her blog In The Donut Cultural Travel.
You can Join with Barbara Weibel on Facebook, Twitter Instagram, and YouTube!