Featured Traveler: Ian Ord of WhereSidewalksEnd.com

Ian Ord of WhereSidewalksEnd.com has been an adventurer since birth. If you are subscribed to one of his social media accounts, you will always find him off exploring new areas, trying new foods, and discovering new cultures.

Hanging out in ancient temples high atop Lion’s Head Mountain, Taiwan
Hanging out in ancient temples high atop Lion’s Head Mountain, Taiwan

Travel continues to change his life for the better, and he wishes to inspire people to able to break free from their comfort zones. Learn more about Ian by reading his interesting responses to our travel questionnaire below.

When did you start traveling, inspirations?

Somewhere along my path in life I got an infection… it’s the kind that you just can’t get rid of. I’m not sure of the scientific name, but I’ve heard it referred to as ‘the travel bug’ and I’m afraid that there is no known cure, other than to continue travelling just to quench it’s thirst. Luckily it’s only real symptoms are itchy feet.

Ian Enjoying Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor
Ian Enjoying Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor

I actually started travelling solo for the first time when I was 16 years old. I was trying to find a deeper meaning to the world around me, and the only thing that made sense was to try and put different things around me. So I ended up hitch hiking across Canada for a 2.5 month period. That was more than half my life ago now, and I feel that it embodies so much of what it means to truly ‘be alive’ now! The world is my inspiration, as with all the incredible people found herein.

Destinations on your Bucket List?

My bucket list is constantly getting out dated. If someone reads this in a year, I’ll have probably already crossed off these items and have a brand new set. Let’s just say that anything you dream up to do, as in a bucket list, once you make it a priority in life, you can realize those dreams! A bucket list should be treated like a grocery list. You just have to take those first steps to being able to cross off the items!

Beach or Mountain?

What about a beach next to a mountain? I’m an outdoor lover through and through, so put me in the ocean, on a mountain, in a jungle… let me loose in a field somewhere, and chances are I’ll be happy.

How often do you travel by air / land?

As often as possible! I would prefer to travel less by air, due to the massive carbon footprint it makes, though sometimes it’s just not convenient. I’d say I aim to take a trip, even if it’s somewhere nearby, at least once a month.

What’s your favorite airport?

Hmm – so many airports were designed simply for the act of getting on to your airplane. I love small airports for that purpose so you can just walk in, and out onto the runway to get on your plane… larger airports are starting to evolve, however, to make them a more enjoyable place to spend your few hours before your flight or while on a connection. I’d say Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the nicest I’ve stayed in… so much I slept there overnight before heading into the city (free night stay!!).

What is your favorite Hotel?

Oh boy – I’ve stayed at some nice places. Do bungalows count? There’s a place called Bamboo Nest up in northern Thailand which is fantastic. It’s situated in an Akha Hilltribe village, on the side of a mountain. There’s no electricity (other than some solar powered lights in your rooms), no internet, no phone… and probably the nicest hosts you’ll ever meet! It’s my ideal situation when you just want to disconnect and unwind.

What is your preferred Airline?

I’ve flown a number. I wouldn’t say i have a favourite. I like large carriers for long hauls, since you normally have your own movie console, decent leg room, and ok food. The few that stand out in recent long journeys have been EVA (great Hindu vegetarian meals!), Korean Air, and Thai Airways. Outside of Korean, I do try to stick with Star Alliance… it’s better for collecting points that way.

Foam Party Madness @ Songkran Festival 2012
Foam Party Madness @ Songkran Festival 2012

How do you beat jet lag / Motion sickness?

Good questions. I’m still trying to work that out. I’ve only felt motion sickness once, and it was terrible. Motion sickness pills are good for that, though you need to take them before you get sick… which does no good if you don’t know you’re going to get sick. For jet lag, I normally just try to change my sleep pattern before I go somewhere and then time it to be asleep at the right times on the flight over. It doesn’t always work though.

What are your favorite travel gadgets?

My camera. I don’t travel anywhere without it. I recently got a GoPro as well, so I have a feeling we’re going to be best friends soon enough!

Any Tips on how to travel light?

I actually have been travelling with Carry-On only luggage for the past couple of years. This means no check-in bags. It wasn’t easy at first, as I always packed to try and accommodate EVERY situation I could think of that might happen while away. I think the solution was to accept that most of the time you never use half the stuff you pack, realize what is an absolute necessity to your trip, and then pick up some things on the way that you might need (such as toothpaste, etc). You’d be surprised how little you really do need… and that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice being clean or comfortable either, contrary to popular belief.

Ian at Fung Daeng Beach in Thailand
Ian at Fung Daeng Beach in Thailand

Best Backpack Brand?

I was a long time user of Deuter, due to their lifetime warranty, when I used large backpacks. Since I’ve gone down to Carry-On, I’m a little less brand specific. I like LowPro, because they’re made for cameras, laptops and a few extras, though I’m currently using a random chinese brand Winer just because it was a bit bigger while still qualifying for carry-on only.

Top 3 Philippine Destinations?

Hmmm… there’s 7,107 islands (during low tide) and I can only choose 3 favourites??? Ok, my first experience there I completely fell in love with Siquijor. I know it’s not overly popular with Filipinos because it’s said to be haunted, but I actually loved that there is that different cultural element to it. It added to the excitement. I really enjoyed island hopping over in El Nido, Palawan. It was some of the most breath taking scenery imaginable. I had a fantastic time in northern Luzon last time I was there – from Baguio to Sagada, to Zambales and Banaue – every place we went was gorgeous, and the people, as with all of the Philippines, were amongst the friendliest in the world.

Things you love about the Philippines?

The history, the culture, the food (mmmm Tocino!), the landscapes, the smiles, the feeling of community and family, the inner strength, the language(s). Mahal na mahal ko ang Philippines!

Things you hate about the Philippines?

Hate’s a very strong word I don’t like to use. Maybe just that there’s 7000+ islands, and each of them are so beautiful, it would take almost a lifetime to see them all! Transportation can be a little slow sometimes too, which doesn’t help that case! hahaha

What made you decide to visit the Philippines?

I had only heard good things about the Philippines from friends who have visited. Sadly not many I had known had actually been there. I think this is because there’s a good 6 months out of the year where weather makes people think to look elsewhere. There was a lot of appeal in discovering this beautiful country full of so much beauty, that still seemed to not have the same publicity as many of the other countries have nearby! I wanted to experience the beauty of the Philippines and share it with the world.

Top 3 International Destinations?

I love nature, so I’d have to say the Galapagos Islands are one of the most unique natural destinations in the world, Tanzania for it’s abundance of African wildlife, and Antarctica – because no one else lives there except for the wildlife… you are their guests!

Favorite Travel Quote :

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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