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Travel with Bender Transcript

Corey: [00:00:00] Welcome ladies and gentlemen. Small worlds podcast. My name’s choreo Flanagan. There she is. This episode is

Josh: [00:00:28] brought to you by drift

Corey: [00:00:29] car sharing.

Lianne: [00:00:30] Traveling can be hard and then flights can get the less food can get expensive. You have late nights, early mornings, you lose all your technology.

Corey: [00:00:40] Why do all the flights happen at 6:00 AM?

What’s with this?

Lianne: [00:00:45] But why at the nuisance of high airflow party press and coming back to dirty to that list, why are you, why come back and take a burst backhand because drift car sharing offers free airport parking and a free hand car wash inside. I’m up

Corey: [00:01:02] carwash inside

Lianne: [00:01:04] and out. When you share Yucca with incoming travelers while you’re away,

Corey: [00:01:09] every trip on drift is protected by a specially designed insurance product from Allstate insurance.

So you can travel with that peace of mind.

Lianne: [00:01:17] Check him out in Denver and salt Lake city and learn more at drive drifts. Dot com D R I V E D R I S T

So today we are speaking with Josh bender. Josh is from Australia and he has been traveling since 2012. He’s been all over the place and to put in this ongoing event, to, with his website on travel books, travel with vendors. So without further ado, welcome to the show.

And so Josh, how did you get your stuff? Was it something you set out to do or was it something you kind of fell into?

Josh: [00:02:03] Very good question. When I go to the idea of virtual travel, the concept first came across to me in a book that had nothing to do really about traveling. It was more about finances and things like that.

And I liked the idea and I didn’t know, a lot of other people really could do that. So that kind of idea stuck with me and it took a few years to come to fruition. But eventually I think I had a, sort of a penny dropping moment when. I realized I was on holiday in Southeast Asia and it was costing me less to live in a hotel, getting my room cleaned every day and all the rest of that, rather than living back in Perth, Australia,

Lianne: [00:02:38] infamously expensive.

Josh: [00:02:41] It was kind of the starting point of realizing that, Hey, I can travel. And at the time I was running a web design business. So architect that wherever I went and And then some traveling. And then after those couple of places, bumped into other people who are doing similar things and I realized, wow, there’s two people in the world doing this sort of thing.

I hadn’t written, I’m ready to travel blogs, done much research on it. Just crazy idea. And didn’t want to wait until I was 60 and then regret not doing when I was younger. So yeah. Yeah. Probably not doing the research beforehand. So I don’t recommend that to most people nowadays I say, as I look, I don’t know what you’re doing.

Yeah. It’s

Lianne: [00:03:23] a bit easier to get it now, I guess in 2012, there wasn’t like an awful lot of travel bloggers around. Right. That was like kind of the jumpstart

Josh: [00:03:33] there. Yeah. There’s only a handful of them that were kind of serious. Some of them part-time very few of them. Full-time. Okay.

Lianne: [00:03:42] And comparing then.

And now how is this developed over time with technology and with the fact that it’s becoming more popular? Is it more competitive? Do you notice any differences?

Josh: [00:03:54] Very much. There’s a lot of differences. Probably the best thing is that internet infrastructure on a has gone a lot better. I was started off in Indonesia and had a lot of troubles at that time.

With internet speeds. I just went fast enough to make voice calls so I could talk to clients over the internet and off often drop out. And there was one point where I’m so desperate. I basically work from a donut shop for six hours a day. Cause I had already, I was studying and so I would sit there and have to eat something just to allow them to leave me there and for the waistline.

But I was going to say, did you

Lianne: [00:04:30] pack on the pounds? Yeah,

Josh: [00:04:33] but I realized that that was probably my biggest challenge in the early years. And nowadays it’s much, much easier and it’s very rarely thrown away that there’s not a decent internet connection.

Corey: [00:04:43] Welcome to India where the decent internet connection is far.

And

Josh: [00:04:47] few between not explain why I haven’t been to India yet. But we had it back then. It was very novel. It was people raise their eyebrows, go. What the heck is a travel blogger hotels, tourism boards, or found it quite interesting. And you whereas nowadays it’s a very, very different environment, much more competitive.

I think to a degree people who’ve been selling courses about how to become a travel, a travel blogger, and, you know, live the lifestyle you want has created a environment where people feel entitled that once I got, you know, a thousand followers that they just want free hotel stays and things like that.

So for the bloggers, who’ve been doing it for a long time. They’ve got a legitimate business, they’ve got a large following. It’s harder for them to stand out of the noise, because like I tell is just getting that, not interested in. In influences and in buggers anymore. Cause you know, the beginning ones have, I wouldn’t say ruined everyone, but they certainly made it a much more challenging environment.

For sure. I’ve

Corey: [00:05:46] got a question that just popped into my head. Just kind of randomly, are your taxes just messy or are you,

Josh: [00:05:56] am I in Texas?

Corey: [00:05:58] No. Are your taxes when you pay your annual tax? That’s where I, that a messy situation. Cause you’re jumping all

Josh: [00:06:04] over it. Oh, okay. Well that’s a very good question.

Lianne: [00:06:07] I see.

Not paying any weekend.

Josh: [00:06:12] Well mean, it depends on where someone’s from in terms of how the tech structures is sufficient. In my case, I’m not an Australian resident, so only Australian residents need to worry about that sort of issue. But like, for example, if you’re from the United States, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a resident, the fact that you born there, they want to own your soul for the rest of it, paternity.

But in my case, I’m in company is not based in Australia. So therefore it’s under Australia’s jurisdiction.

Lianne: [00:06:39] What country you at resident?

Corey: [00:06:57] One of the things that we were, how we stumbled into doing the, doing the podcast in the first place was. As we started researching for this most recent trip of ours. There’s just, you know, unbelievable amounts of content out there. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now. Just kind of following it and getting different ideas on places that I’ve gone to just cause you’ve been to so many, but I was just like laying there one night, just wondering.

Is there an audible way. I’m just falling in love with podcasts over the last few years and just kind of stumbled across that. And so we kind of thought that this would be a cool medium for your following to get a different side of you and kind of get to know the man behind the pen. And so I would say, take us into a day in the life of judge bender a day in the life of a travel blogger.

Josh: [00:07:52] Very good question. There’s not a lot typical days that are just exactly the same. I guess that’s one of the benefits and the beauties of it. But it really varies. So for example, today, having a chat to you, lovely people and sitting up in an apartment in Thailand, very comfortable, very low locally very easy going and doing a lot of work on the laptop because there’s only so many day trips and things like that that you can do before a backlog starts to get credited.

So I tend to, I guess, could break things into two to today’s. One is what I’d call a Workday where a large chunk of that is spent on the laptop. Either writing, editing photos emails, communication, just running a business as, as, as that happens or travel days where to go out to do say, say I’m on a road trip or a cruise, or Maybe if I’m staying in one city for a month, perhaps, but it was still spend a large part of the day sightseeing collecting content, taking photos.

Yeah. So it’s telling me in one of two modes, I’ll call it travel mode or work mode, but really work if it comes down to it. So yeah. A typical day can vary. So it really depends on. Which those two modes, if it’s a treble day sometimes it starts with breakfast, not all the time, but and then often hit the ground running well before nine o’clock. And it could be going outside, seeing all day, go into a couple of restaurants. And then some days it might not finish until 10 o’clock at night, so it could be quiet. How long then when you do it back to back for a week, at a time or two weeks at a time certain texts a bit of a toll on the body side.

I tend to find that one, two weeks and what I call fast-paced travel needs maybe about three to four weeks. So slow paced travel or downtime. To balance it up. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get Ben to ask in this kind of field. And a lot of people do to it for a couple of years and they got her ass too hard, trying to keep up with it because they just try and run too fast.

And the world’s a big place and there’s a bit of a addiction to it almost. That’s easy to say to latch on to that. You just want to say one more thing, one more, sorry, one more, whatever it might be. And then before you know it, your energy to play mental health to plates and the body’s just not designed for go, go going all the time.

Especially when there is no nine to five work day. There’s no clock to watch. There’s no one to tell you what to do. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So I have to be kind of fairly mindful of that to ensure that I don’t develop bad habits. Yeah. I’m trying to keep on fundraising pretty bad by inserting how am I going to, can I improve?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah,

Corey: [00:10:37] no, I couldn’t really relate to that. I think that we’ve our, you know, our last week or so has just been a complete whirlwind just due to some visa and pollution issues in India. And we’ve decided to, just to kind of rearrange our, what our plan schedule was and just. Good time to go. And we’re just going to make a home based on there for a few weeks and just kind of do what you said, go into that more slower travel pace.

Cause we feel like it’s been a whirlwind.

Josh: [00:11:05] Yeah. Yeah. If it had all this trouble happened so quickly, it’s really hard to absorb it and take it in it’s like the body and mind can be a sponge so far and then it has to let go and release and, and process. So yeah, I like the downtimes to pretty poses them.

Think about what I’ve done. And then also take a closer look at some of the pictures. Cause some of the pictures I spent a second or two looking at something and then I’d come back and really sort of model on it and think about what it was. Other times I’ll read up on a much more in depth of all going there.

So it really depends. But the challenge is there’s a lot of travel back to back. It’s really hard to always stay on top of it. Getting a big, decent background of where you’re going before you get there. I’ve done it, I’ve done it. Sometimes we are terrible at not really understanding and researching the place enough and being completely taken by surprise.

Usually a pleasant surprise. But yeah, it’s not something I recommend to me, for sure.

Corey: [00:12:00] I think that kind of leads us into the next question here, which I think that this happens a lot to people in your field because travel is. Vacation for most people. So then look at somebody who does this as a career probably through a certain filter.

So I’m trying to think of if you can think of any misconceptions that people might have of you and your life, and do people just think you have a ton of money and travel or think that it’s all play and no work.

Josh: [00:12:26] Yeah. Yeah. That’s actually just happened this week again. Someone asked me how average amount, because I get to travel and I would say, no, I didn’t win a lot.

Oh no, I haven’t got money for doing this then living in Australia. And so they, their eyes kind of widened and I said, well, how much do you spend on your car and insurances and all these other things that. In your day-to-day life, in the Western countries. And when you feel some of those things back that you don’t really need, then what you actually do need to live and be healthy.

Isn’t really all that much. So more

Lianne: [00:13:03] exactly. I think, I think, I think social media is become a big thing for this as well because people see that they see the highlight reel. I call it Instagram, the highlight reel. And they didn’t see that the days that you spend stressing about work or I’ve done working holiday visas.

So they haven’t been like the couple of months where I’ve worked 70 hours a week in the highlight reel.

Josh: [00:13:28] Yeah. I think that’s an interesting point of that past society in general is that it definitely, there’s always been an element of showing your best face to keep up with the Joneses and that sort of thing.

But I think the pressure is even more so. With social media. And I very much try to resist that. I tried to avoid where possible putting myself in the center of the spotlight. I try to let the destination do the talking, let places, you know, speak for themselves rather than making it all about me and all about my ego and I want to fly him.

So it’s more so about connecting people with ideas with places, because at the end of the day, the travel to me is not the goal. It’s basically Entry entry into more meaningful way of thinking and living. It’s a gateway drug for lack of a better phrase. And for myself getting outside of the bubble, I grew up in and looking at it more objectively, I was able to see the world really what it was, not this kind of, you know, Cottonwood version of, of life.

And and so I found it in immensely important, immensely valuable personal growth. It’s not the only path, but it’s a very. Easy path by comparison because it literally forces you out of your comfort zone. It literally forces you to live out of a suitcase. So you’ve got to really think long and hard about what material objects are important.

And that it just sort of is a bit of a chain reaction, which really makes someone reevaluate themselves, reevaluate their place in the world. I wouldn’t recommend most people going for years at a time. It’s not a top of thing for the average person, but I’m just going for a few weeks at a time, get someone outside of the bubble that they live in and it helps them to.

See their place in the world to ask questions about the things they just take for granted. Why do I do certain things? Why does my culture tell me to do certain things? Why there’s social expectations there and realize that are other people with other ways of living that are just as valid, if not, maybe even more beneficial, it could be healthier.

It could be, you know, the things that we just go, Oh, that’s just the way it is, sort of starts unraveling this sort of thread. And then we keep pulling on it. Naturally out of curiosity then I think it leads us to become better people, more kind of more accepting. And that was happening really for me was that it sort of started when I went to Indonesia.

Now I watched the people there, how they worked, how they related to each other. And at the time I was working 60 to 80 hours a week running my own business. Very, you know, go, go, go. As you know, you’re encouraged to do in Western culture. And I saw the tables sitting around just chatting to each other a whole lot.

And the thought in the back of my mind was if I just worked harder, if I just put more effort in, if they, you know, do these sort of things, then they’ll have more money and then they’ll be more comfortable in life. And you know, their life will be better. But after a while, living there and watching them on a regular basis, I realized it was backwards.

I was the one who needs to learn from them, that they knew what was really valuable in life, that they knew how to spend their time and in a balanced kind of healthy way. And and that sort of inspired me to sort of keep following that line of thick and saying, what can I learn? And glean from each location in each people group that I interact with.

And I think it’s the process has made me a better person. I used to like to have it does. Yeah.

Lianne: [00:16:36] Well, I think there’s so many, there’s so many ways in in travel as you could adapt to real life and it’s like, you’re saying.

We don’t find time for the family as much as say someone does from a different culture. And it’s just different things that you learn and traveling like when you travel and something goes wrong that kind of pressure, it’s a thing that you can apply to everyday life. I want to put in quotation marks Noma less.

But back to your normal routine, you know, And is it these kinds of things? Is it those that you get the ideas via blood or, you know, is there something else that happens that gives you your ideas for the book?

Josh: [00:17:18] Yeah. Good question. I started off with a couple articles like that. But didn’t continue with them.

Then I found the content that tend to perform better. Was more tip orientated to the early, the first two years of the travel bug was mainly a hobby and it wasn’t already done from a commercial perspective. I had my web design business at the time, but after I sold that I decided what I wanted to spend most of my time on.

And I, I enjoyed the process and the photography and particularly with travel blogging. And the writing and then the explorations. So I decided to put all my time and energy and experience into that. And then from that point, but the blood already stopped growing. So I think now at the moment I tend to focus.

Still more so at that again, the level of the journey, which is like how you even get out the door, because for some people that’s a big struggle. And I can’t stand by them. They’re going to the other side of the world to a foreign country where they don’t know anyone don’t know anything. Having a really good plan is essential.

So for example, one of my most recent articles was a Scotland road trip and having a good plan of where to go, where to eat, where to stay, how long does it take to get to each place? These sort of things. It helps people get out of that comfort zone and take that first step. And rest of the steps were up to them at that point.

But it’s the first step. That’s always the hardest.

Lianne: [00:18:37] Yeah, I agree. Cause lots of people, they, I know I have a lot of friends who think I’m crazy and they’re like, Oh my God, you must be the best. And then I’m like, no, I say this.

And it’s like you said, that push out of the door is really what a lot of people need. And with your blogs, did you, so you said you ha you know, that’s where you kind of started with the ideas. Did you have this voice or the tone that you wanted to have, or is that kind of developed over time?

Josh: [00:19:10] That’s really developed over time.

I think it’s, I dare say more accidental because I didn’t really start the blog with a specific goal in mind, and it was just a hobby. Was it didn’t need to be an income stream. It didn’t need to be a primary focus. I didn’t really realize that was a journey I’ll be taking. I don’t know how long that’ll be, I’ll be traveling for.

So I’ll take him a lot of the lessons that I’ve learned over the last seven years. And I’m working at launching a new blog which will be live very soon. And that’s taking a lot of the lessons. I’ve learned both from philosophy, but also from the content and better representing who I am. And I had to kind of change.

I inspiring the world. So it’s going to be a broader range of topics, extending beyond just travel to lifestyle, philosophy, things like that. And I think that’s going to be a better reflection on not just myself, but a more practical. A tool for people who do really just want to travel, but also play their part in shaping this world for the future.

Lianne: [00:20:16] Do you have a timeframe in which you’re planning? Like when you know that it’s going to be ready or this is your chance to cook?

Josh: [00:20:23] I wanted to say three months ago, but I’m still getting some of the content cause I’m trying to launch it without, you know, just one or two articles, but with dozens actually, so.

Yeah. Part of the uniqueness of it is I’ve, I’ve learned from what other people do and what my strengths are and, you know, to make it really wow. It’s going to require a certain amount of content and you know, some of the pages are 4,000 words and longer, so that I’m really not holding back. It’s going to be a lot of meeting there.

It’s still got a lot of room to grow, but at least when I, when I hit the ground running, I wanted to. I show people that this is really the direction one should be heading without them having to visualize and pretending, you know, I can kind of picture where things are going. So yeah, some of that content takes quite a while to produce.

And also I’ve been working on the structure of the site, building the code for, for 18 months. It’s going to be quite unique as far as a travel blog. I haven’t come across anything that’s in the same sort of scale. So. I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet, but it’s just my background in almost 20 days a.

So

Lianne: [00:21:29] that makes you,

Corey: [00:21:29] I think that makes you kind of a unique blogger in the sense that you have the ability to go in and really dig into the backend code and everything and make it unique to you where, you know, us we’re, we’re on a WordPress site and doing stuff like that. It’s just more basic, but you you, you having that ability definitely, I think makes you stand out.

I mean, your website is. Hype so full of stuff, but it’s also just insanely easy to navigate. So

Josh: [00:21:53] great work. Oh, well, whatever scale I would consider travel with bender would be like a two out of 10 on the scale of excellence. And what I’m heading for is 10 out of 10. And there are some sites out there that have elements of it picked up and, you know, from using the internet and traveling and researching all the rest of that clearing what things are really important to me as a millennial.

What things do I want to know about. And then looking at other websites, how they structure things, how they lay it out and thinking bits and pieces of little breadcrumbs from around the place and putting it altogether into so best of as well as adding my own creativity to it. So I’m very excited about where it’s heading.

I think it’s going to set any benchmarks. And I, I obviously, I still love the web design element of it and the coding behind it. And so I create. I’m not using WordPress of course, but I can push the boundaries of what’s possible and far more. So I’m, I’m really sort of pushing myself to not just produce a content, but the structure, the interface, the navigation, everything that the learning ton of paying very, very close attention to all the small details.

Every single pixel on the page has to be perfect. Every element has to serve a purpose. And most importantly, out of everything, it has to be really intuitive and easy to use because. Let’s be Frank traveling in general. Isn’t the easiest thing to do. It’s not like we’re asking people to buy a bottle of milk and come back

and two is and flights and. Yeah, working out what to eat, where to eat, how to eat, how to treat people. What’s the etiquette life. What’s the background of the play slot. And then I’m trying to digest that all into one very sort of slick package that people can absorb. That looks good on a desktop that looks good on a mobile that’s fast loading and because of my passion for photography, I really want the visuals to shine through.

And and so I’ve taken extreme. Steps to make sure that it gets that, but not sort of trading off slow loading speed and things like that. So there’s a lot of different factors behind the scenes that have been taken into consideration and really quite excited by how it’s still come together. I’m already building, building a team around us to help create more of this kind of content to once the structure is in place, we can really start to populate it much quicker.

So. Yeah.

Lianne: [00:24:12] So everybody watch the space. Keep an eye out for new website in the next few months,

Corey: [00:24:24] you get the feel

Josh: [00:24:24] that you keep trying to keep.

Corey: [00:24:26] You’re probably a perfectionist. You want to keep pushing the thing back, make sure it’s right before you launch it.

Josh: [00:24:32] Exactly.

Lianne: [00:24:34] Exactly. So what have you decided to go where next, like, how did you decide, how are you going to choose the place after that?

Josh: [00:24:44] So travel plans initially in Europe, where was before but just due to personal circumstances, I’ve had to change those around.

So at the moment, just in a holding pattern waiting for some personal things to find resolution and and then. Keep on going from this point. There’s some, some plans for later on this year and early next year. But because of the, the personal situations I have to take time to until I’ve seen direction.

Yeah. I’ve got some plans made up with family members in Southeast Asia and show them around. So that should be fun. I always enjoyed being a tour guide once in a while.

Lianne: [00:25:24] Yeah. And that’s the benefit of being so close to us now, right? So

Josh: [00:25:27] yeah, absolutely. It’s easier to time zone differences and things like that.

And then next year we’ve got some loose plans, but haven’t locked anything in yet. My main focus has really been on getting this website up and running. So until then, and even when it is launched, there’s still a lot of work to do. I think over the next 12 months, the travel plans will be a lot, lot slower.

Are we prioritizing doing that over to sightseeing then? Cause at the moment I’ve got more than enough content to fill it up with. It’s just a case of getting enough time behind the computer every day to, to put that into play.

Lianne: [00:26:01] Yeah. I was half expecting you to say you you flip a coin.

Corey: [00:26:12] What is the you know, I think that there’s there’s people that think about trying to go and do something like this. Maybe they’re fed up with their nine to five or they’re just on a school and looking to take some time off. And get it into the blog. And I’m curious if you could know what some pros and cons are before you started doing it, what would you want to share with some people so that they can kind of have a

Josh: [00:26:33] heads up?

That’s it? That’s a very good question. If I really thought long and hard about it, I wouldn’t recommend someone studying blogging up. Cause I don’t need any more competition. Mainly because it’s a whole lot of work and dedication in order to do it well. And. You’ve got to ask the question why when you do it, if it’s just for a personal hobby, that’s great.

There’s easy ways of doing it. If someone wants to turn it into a business, though, they’re really to be Frank, they’re easy ways to make money. It’s not the easiest way by any measure. And that was just sort of struggle. I cannot, which, because I knew from the beginning, when I sold my web design business, if I did do travel, blogging, that it wasn’t going to be a, you know, rolling around in BMW sort of situations.

I’d done the web design agency the business had run quite successfully and that was. You know, financially very very well out of it. But yeah, at that stage in life, I realized that material possessions, isn’t the source of happiness. It wasn’t going to make anything happen. So I’d rather spend my time doing something that makes me a better person as opposed to something that just chases the dollar.

So I guess it depends on where each person is in life, why they want to do something. But if it’s just by mainly a white to pay the bills and to get food on the table, There’s really a lot of simpler less hassle lower risk. Why is it doing that? But if it’s been merely to. Great. And I let family know that you’re alive to just as a way of self exploration as a reflection tool that you can write down your feelings for the day and what you’ve seen standard, right?

Yeah. I think that’s a, that’s an ideal way of starting. But to stop,

Corey: [00:28:03] we found it found since we’ve started, this trip is it’s been, it’s been a therapeutic thing just to like sit down and do some writing a couple of days a week and whether or not it ever goes up on a website or not, it doesn’t really that’s in the back of my mind.

And. I think that’s something of substance for people is that you can just do it and it doesn’t have to be anything. It doesn’t have to go anywhere. I just have found for me, it’s just been something that I get done with it and then just kind of almost feel this cleanse afterwards. I really like,

Josh: [00:28:33] yeah, exactly.

Right. That’s a good way of approaching it. I think the danger is that there’s enough. Advertisements out there, especially on Instagram, Facebook banner ads, that claim that you can become a, you know, amazing tribal and it’s all free and you get paid to travel the world and, and selling that the gloss of it.

But the reality of it is it’s really darn hard work. There’s certainly a number of drawbacks. It’s not all glamorous, but the intention is basically to keep funding treble. And, and to be honest, if someone really wants to just pay for travel, it’s mine so easy to doing other ways, rather than asking for free hotel stays and there’s free air, airplane flights and things like that.

I just think that a common theme amongst digital nomads, anywhere in the world particularly in Japanese is that they kind of like traveling, they get a hook, they get hooked on it, and then they start thinking, well, how can I keep on going and not have to go back to where I came from? And then they stopped and grow.

Maybe I can make money doing this, this, and they might try 10 different things. Half of them get burnt out and realize that that didn’t really work out. But I think there are a lot of really useful resources, online, a lot of great communities that can help. So I would suggest someone who wants to do it longer term is that one of my kids not necessarily career out of it, a lifestyle change that they look at what their skills are, what they’re gifted at, what they enjoy.

And I’ve been trying to bring those things together. In a way that is location dependent. So if someone is an expert in contacts, cause you, you know, you like that one tax consultant and have had clients all over the world and they talk to them and start and and can do their work, not by email, things like that.

It could be not necessarily running their business, like we working for someone else. And I know people walk that through a program is when they travel, but I have a boss somewhere else in the world and they asked to them, so there isn’t already one sort of magic way of doing it. I’ve come across stripper who is chefs and they travel around and working in restaurants and then move on to the next place.

And there’s really, you know, that people teaching English is that doesn’t have a limit of how creative you can get questions that you’ve got that determination. And you want them to learn a new balloons to try things. And if it doesn’t work out, try something else. But yeah, that’s it. And, and learn from other people, but you kind of got to pick your theme and go with that.

Trying to be everything become an expert in everything is not going to work. So just find out what you’re really passionate and, and then stick to that. And my dad. Okay, cool.

Corey: [00:30:53] I like that. Yeah. What are No, just kind of, as you’ve been growing this as a did you find that because you were kind of on the forefront of it, that your following came more quickly or was that something that you were patient, did you.

Did you do marketing things like that? I’m just curious in the terms of a, more of the business sense of it, if you came from that background or did you just start putting stuff out there and it just kind of clicked with people and it just kind of grew that way.

Josh: [00:31:21] Yeah. The first two years was very much just very organic.

After about six months of running it, I ran a Facebook ads campaign that was fairly successful. And that was the I guess the starting point of growing an audience. So. Yeah, back then. It was, it was much, much easier running an ad campaign, much cheaper as well compared to now, but it’s basically, I was willing to put my money on the line before I even made a dollar out of it.

So there’s the people like that who are willing to take a risk that tend to do better. It’s absolutely impossible to do it organically for sure. But you kind of have to pick a And having you at an outlet that you specialize in because trying to do everything perfectly is just a recipe for burnout, trying to be the world’s best Instagrammer, Facebook expert, Pinterest expert, YouTube video, creating videos.

Riding the web design and the graphic design, everything. It’s very hard to do really, really well. I’ve got the advantage. I’ve got the advantage of having a lot of industry experience in web design and graphic design. And so. That’s something where our sort of work to my strengths, but over time I’ve been teaching myself, photography has become pretty proficient at it.

So that’s one passion. And I would try to bring that to it. I don’t try to become the world’s best YouTuber or videographer. There’s, there’s only so many hours died. And at the end of the day, the whole point of traveling is not just to purely correct content because I actually want to enjoy it too.

So in Thai, they. Going out, just recording stuff and looking at where the next best start was, then it completely defeats the purpose of travel to me. I’m not saying it doesn’t need to make videos, but it’s just about choosing, you know, where, what you want to specialize in. If someone wants to be the world’s best sense from it, do that and do it to the Hill.

If someone, yeah,

Lianne: [00:33:08] because it’s all about balance, right? They don’t, they can’t even,

Josh: [00:33:11] there’s some people who are wonderful, wonderful rod is a so compelling. You read their written work. And then if you hear them speak in front of a camera, it’s like looking at a dead fish. So they should play to their strengths.

Other people are great in front of the camera. They got the personality agents, excuse me, they’ve got the the boys, they’ve got the expression. So, you know, play to the strengths and be a great videographer. And don’t beat yourself over the head that you can’t write very well. So, yeah.

Lianne: [00:33:38] So for any, for any of those funds that waiting anxiously for a thunder on YouTube.

Do not hold your breath, hold your breath.

Josh: [00:33:51] Plus, closest thing that we need. Instagram video made kind of walking through the cruise cabin on celebrity pages, shit, but I’m a lot more fun, but I’m not going to try to pull me in front of the camera. It’s just, it’s not many. And I’d rather be authentic and genuine then.

A fight kind of linear of where I think people want me doing.

Lianne: [00:34:13] I agree. So with all of these followings, cause you have a, obviously you got such a big following. Have, has anyone ever recognized you out?

Josh: [00:34:24] Yes. A couple of times actually happened just watching Chinese street festival and someone ran out recognize

I was on a train in Poland and someone asked me, Oh, is such and such. And I said, yeah another time I was in a waterpark in Kentucky in America. And so it says, Hey, I know you are, I follow you on Instagram and I’ll send you pictures. I read your blog. And I was like, Oh, that’s really great. I recognize that we have to stop and take a photo with them so I can feel a special.

And hopefully I put a little bit of positivity into that last it’s kind of fun to do that. I didn’t do it for that reason. I don’t go seeking attention. But if I’m helping people, that’s great. Yeah,

Lianne: [00:35:11] and that’s pretty cool. Anyway, just to know that the people watching and reading

it, tell your mom at home, doing it over and over and over.

What’s my next question. I have a lot of places where I have like, it’s like second home. My heart is still there. Do you have any second?

Josh: [00:35:54] I would say so for sure. The easiest answer to that would have been Valley being there quite a few times, and it’s quite common for a lot of Australians, I guess it’s not the most unusual place in the world, but I feel definitely a sense. Not just familiarity, but connectedness to the culture, to the people.

It doesn’t mean that I go out making small offerings everyday in bamboo baskets, but it’s more so the way they see the world, I’ve probably met more Balinese that I get. Like, you know, when you get someone they’re not having Australians a like very different, I guess you could say, I felt like an outsider most of my life around pegging and square hole or vice versa, whichever way it goes.

And mesh them all with the felonies. I’m thinking. I just recently on the cruise ship, for example there was some Balinese stuff, pretty working on onboard and I was chatting with them and practice them with very few words and Balinese and, and behalf so that I can say, I know very rapped about that.

And one of them pointed out and looked at the, the bracelet, the string Bryce that I was wearing on my wrist and asked. You know, how come I was wearing that because that’s more of a common ritual to do for Balinese and trying to them how I got it. And and that I felt very connected to Valley. I, I, I kind joked, but it’s, it’s true that I’m half Balinese inside.

Very unusual because I told them they’re also short, but that aside, I feel more time there than most other places. And it doesn’t suddenly. They’re much kinder. They’re much more loving people on that. Okay.

Okay. And then they tend to be much more mindful of their environment and nature around them. It’s less about them and the ego than it is about the community. Community is far more important. Their families are more important. So you know, those sort of things really mesh well for me, as opposed to a common.

What I’m thinking. That’s very un-American and Brittany is until about consumerism in may and maybe you’re uncomfortable. And that just sort of rubs me the wrong way. So yeah, I’ve talked a lot about the other place Thailand is, is, is very comfortable. Malaysia is definitely a favorite spot of mine.

It’s a very easy sort of country to stay in both language and phaser wise. It’s easy to say for reference at the time. I, I guess there’s also different pockets of America I’ve felt at home as well. Would probably be, it really is. Yeah.

Corey: [00:38:19] Yeah. I can see that. I was just in Bali for the first time, at the beginning of this trip.

And it was, I’d heard obviously so much about it and I’d spent a decent amount of time in Southeast Asia, but it was really unique. I do agree that there’s definitely a community base there. And I just really felt that the that our, our trip down to Lombok I think was what really impressed me. I just found that Island to be amazing right now.

I’ve got a question in kind of regards to traveling in some of these Some of these countries. Cause I think we’ve been to some similar spots all over South and central America and places like that, but you’re, you’re a tall guy and some, sometimes some of those buses and vans and things that you get in me being an average height.

They’re tough. How do you deal with the header? Do you try and prepare for that? And just say, I just can’t do this guys.

Josh: [00:39:11] I probably should say something like I do yoga and I stretch to make me more limber, but now I don’t think there’s really a magic formula other than just holding your breath and crossing your fingers and praying that you get out same way that you get in.

It’s certainly been some tight squeezes flying is definitely one of those scenarios. There was one particular flatheads. I think it was AirAsia. Fortunately only about three hours. And I recall very vividly because I thought the leg room is either getting really smaller or my magazine bigger.

And I’m pretty sure my legs aren’t getting bigger. And when I measured it with my hand, the gap from the base of the seat to the seat in front of the back of the seat in front is less than my hand. Sideways is all that there was a leg room. And I was just lucky. I had two spare seats next to me, so I just stretched out my legs sideways.

That’s just going to pay more and then I whip it on I’m stingy.

No, I’d rather spend my money on things I actually met rather than three hours of, but yeah, chicken breast is big on those being in a little van in Guatemala that I never thought I’d see a lot of data again, getting squished into the back of that. Certainly some interesting titles, but I wouldn’t say it’s ever really waking up in the night in a cold sweat worrying about how I’m going to fit into something.

Corey: [00:40:31] Yeah. Nothing that’s deterred you from continuing on. And I agree with that. I mean, there’s just some times that it’s a tight fit and it’s just a mental battle of, you know, what I’m going to have to be in this for the next two or three hours. But I, I know I can do that. I’m not going to die.

Josh: [00:40:45] And then the reality is there’s always something much worse.

I could be stuck in a cubicle working a nine to five job, five hours, five days a week. And to me that would be much more help than three hours of a squishy plane. That gets me to someone that’s really beautiful and amazing. So. There’s always, there’s always another way of looking at official. I

Corey: [00:41:02] imagine it’s another then compared to some of the battles that you’ve had traveling around with some young ends here and there.

Josh: [00:41:09] Yeah. The

Lianne: [00:41:10] with kids tell us about it.

Josh: [00:41:13] So it definitely presents a whole new set of challenges, but I guess anyone who’s a parent would, would understand just surviving with children. Yeah, a bit of a drama, but you get people you see and particularly more and more nowadays on social media, wait that they look like the perfect parents and you kind of feel a bit jealous, but you don’t quite look that way.

But it’s just like anything else on social media, there is a very costly veneer and what actually happens behind the scenes can be, can be quite different. So

Lianne: [00:41:40] yeah. Be amazing for the kids. Anyway, I met a couple of families in Southeast Asia and one thing I noticed was that these kids, they were so confident and that is so amazing to be so socially.

Experienced, you know, these kids could just come up to you and start up a core intelligent conversation and they weren’t shy. And it was really, really nice to say.

Josh: [00:42:03] Hmm. Yeah. I think travel is good because it’s part of the best educations I can get. Like you can learn on the road that can’t be learned in a classroom by any means.

And, and the lessons that are learned tend to stick a lot more than. Something that’s abstract or something that they can’t relate to, or, you know, it’s all theory when it becomes practice and practical, then it really sticks in my mind. Yeah.

Lianne: [00:42:27] And then over the years I’ve noticed with myself as well, has your style of traveling changed?

Josh: [00:42:34] So

Lianne: [00:42:34] do you go for something more comfortable though?

Josh: [00:42:38] I don’t know the right word, but they’re definitely slowed down. Cause I want to take into location that more. It’s not about checking off the check box on the list. It’s more about the meaningfulness of it. Like I’m not going to impress anyone by going to X number of countries in X number of years.

It’s not a rice. And you know, if you’d asked me seven years ago, I might’ve started thinking that way. He does a very different way of thinking back then. But now it’s all about enjoying the everyday. And if I take the date is not. Enjoyable then what the heck am I doing at all? I could just have an easy nine to five job, get paid much better and just be very convenient and comfortable and, and mediocre and average.

But then that would, that would be a big, big trade-off for me as well. So. Yeah, I think there’s definitely a sweet spot for everyone. Not, there’s not one size fits all sort of solution, but I think so.

Lianne: [00:43:34] I think after some time you kind of experience what, like you said, like maybe five years ago, seven years ago, you’re like, okay, like, that’s going to do this.

I want to go, I’m more interested in going out and drinking and socializing. Whereas I think as well, like I, I noticed that. I like meeting locals more. And I like to, I like to see what it’s like to live somewhere as a person visit.

Josh: [00:43:55] Yeah, exactly. Right. And that’s one of my goals is always to hang out with a local hangout, eat what they eat you know, experience their life.

And then really that’s the way to get, to learn everything I want to about them. If I’m just going there seeing one of their pretty sights. And then after the same day, it’s not, it’s not immersive. It’s not getting into their culture. It’s not really gleaning. Anything other than why that was putting on.

So yeah, I try to do that. It’s obviously this depends on, on the trip and where it’s going, how long can actually spend in each place. But I prefer where possible to make it as a decent amount of time. So otherwise again, it just comes back to a combination of why am I doing? And then. Doing it too fast.

There’s going to be a recipe for burnout and disasters. So then that’s. Yeah,

Corey: [00:44:40] well, that’s the, you know, I think that that’s that’s kind of just true as you get a little bit older. My traveling 17 years ago through Southeast Asia when I was 20 is much different than it is on this trip with Lee

Lianne: [00:44:52] Hampton.

Josh: [00:44:55] Okay. But,

Corey: [00:44:56] Fortunately she’s aged gracefully. As a as a someone who’s a decade younger than me and is willing to deal with some of my old man.

Okay. We’re gonna, we’re gonna kind of just let you know that we really appreciate the time. We always try and wrap things up with any guests with some rapid fire questions. So take your time to answer them. Post editing is an amazing thing. We’ll make it as fast as we fucking can.

Lianne: [00:45:24] Mind of Zen. Cause we have

Corey: [00:45:27] some quick

Josh: [00:45:27] questions.

Lianne: [00:45:32] Okay. You ready? What’s the weirdest street food you’ve ever eaten.

Josh: [00:45:37] That was in Thailand.

Corey: [00:45:43] Fried grasshopper

Josh: [00:45:45] like eating sick, except that maybe afterwards. No, I did not cut it down. I did that on video.

Corey: [00:45:57] I think that’s like a. State fair staple at every state fair around the United States is still chocolate covered, right? Yeah.

Josh: [00:46:05] But at least makes it easier. This is just let you see its face when even it’s going down your throat.

I can add surface, slowing it down. Since that point I’ve become a vegan. So I don’t eat processed foods anymore, but you know what? A friend

Lianne: [00:46:21] low-income person that’s all right. You know, go to the garden. Right. Get some insects. You’ve got dinner.

Corey: [00:46:26] Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is one of my favorite questions I ask people because it kind of gives you an idea of what your mindset is today, because it can change day to day, but not thinking about the business, not thinking about the website or anything like that.

If you could go anywhere, right. This moment, where would that be?

Josh: [00:46:46] I would be with my wife, she’s traveling in Australia at the moment on, for health reasons. And so it would be by her side to be a support and encouragement.

Corey: [00:46:55] And we’d love to hear that

Lianne: [00:46:57] best of luck to your wife, aware everything that’s going on.

Yeah. Okay. Next one. Are you ready? Mom sends a

Josh: [00:47:06] beaches.

Lianne: [00:47:09] Yeah, good answer.

Corey: [00:47:10] I’m a bitches. I battle with that one

Lianne: [00:47:12] car carries a mountains and I’m a beach girl.

Corey: [00:47:14] I’ve been living in Denver for like the last five years. And just my, my winter is my snowboard are just two of my amazing things in my life and that I just struggle.

Oh, okay. The last one here, and this is kind of geared towards your, your photography, which made us kind of think of this deserts or lakes.

Josh: [00:47:37] Ooh, that’s a tough one. Yeah, you’re really making me think if I had to pick one, I would say deserts when I’m going to my mind, places like new Southern U-turn or the Arizona.

Yeah,

Lianne: [00:47:51] the beautiful colors. The,

Josh: [00:47:54] just the, the, the shape of the silhouette, the solitariness it’s yeah, I have to go with the desert. Sure.

Lianne: [00:48:02] There’s just something so foreboding about a desert though. Isn’t the I I’m from England. We don’t have deserts. When I went to Utah and Arizona. Wow. It was amazing.

Josh: [00:48:12] Absolutely. And there’s places there where you just feel so remote. So in touch with nature that. You realize how little is where it needs us and that we’re just this little speck of insignificance and it really helps to get things in perspective. Yeah.

Corey: [00:48:26] Anything you can do. I mean, the, the, the thing with those questions, desert mountain ocean is.

These are the things on this planet that, that humble us and bring us to you know, bring us to realize like what you just said, our insignificance and in a desert you’re like that bottle of water butter lasts me in this car. Better not break down when you’re in the ocean, you’re sitting there and you’re like, I can surf a little bit, but I had should not be in that way.

And then when you’re on a mountain side, you’re like, Oh, if I go over that cliff, that’s it. So I better not slip. So there’s just these moments. And I think traveling and getting out really brings you into these moments more often and makes you kind of what you said and to get you started on this and changing that perspective of let’s just.

How, how can this, when I go back home after this week, long trip or month long or year long, whatever it is, how can I take these experiences that I’ve had and make them relate to me and make me a better contributor to this planet?

Josh: [00:49:23] For sure. Absolutely. Yeah. That’s a great way of looking at it. I really.

There’s a lot of similarities in our way of seeing well,

Corey: [00:49:29] absolutely. Well, Josh, we thank you so much for your time. I know it’s been a long time coming and we’ve, we’ve been circling back and forth with you, but I think it’s great to talk to you and get to learn more. And hopefully the people that, that listened to this on our end, and if you put it out to the people on your end, they can get a better idea of who’s the man behind it.

The blogs.

Josh: [00:49:49] Absolutely. Thanks so much currently. I really appreciate the time.

Lianne: [00:49:52] Yeah. Did you want to drop in some of your information? So our listeners do know where to find you right now. We will put it in our show notes.

Josh: [00:50:00] You can find that blog@travelwiththebender.com bender as in the future. I’m a bender.

The Instagram is the same trouble with bender. And if on Twitter it’s traveled, which bender? No H because. Because Twitter is just one card, too many. And I couldn’t say my name. I’m sorry. I couldn’t be bendy. So travel, which bender and try and win there on Pinterest as well. But the best place to go is the blog travel with the endo.com.

Lianne: [00:50:25] Beautiful. Thank you very much, judge.

Corey: [00:50:36] You very much, Mr. Bender for your time and generosity with this interview, we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and we hope that your and our audience did as well. You can check out all of Josh’s information in our show notes. Be sure to be on the lookout for the new website. He has come in. Sounds amazing.

And of course, keep following us Instagram at small worlds podcast, www dot small worlds, podcast.com for your latest blog updates and anything else related to our travels and this podcast and have yourselves that.

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