Meet the Travel Bloggers: Travelling King

This week’s Meet the Travel Bloggers interview is with travel bloggers Sam and Pete of Travelling King.

When, why and how did you start your blog Travelling King?
I (Sam) have been jotting down our travel stores for years. After a trip to Thailand in October 2012 we decided to start writing a blog. We thought if we could help give one person some information about an area they are travelling to, that would be enough to make it worth it. Corny I know… but as we have both worked in customer service for all of our working lives, helping someone gives us that strange warm fuzzy feeling. We really enjoy getting emails or comments with questions.

yellow footed rock wallaby

Yellow footed rock wallaby Sam & Pete hung out with while having lunch, photo/courtesy Travelling King

How did you get the name, Travelling King?
Well… we spent hours trying to think of different names. We wanted to be a little different and have a name that meant something to us and incorporated travelling. So we decided on Travelling King because (1) It’s about travelling and (2) King was Sam’s maiden name and seemed to fit!

How did you meet?
We met through a group of friends at Tafe (similar to college) in Australia. We were friends a long time before we started going out.

How long have you been together?
We have been together for approximately seven years and have been married for two years.

How long have you been together?
We have been together for approx. seven years and have been married for two years.

What are the best and worst things about traveling as a couple?
The best thing is being able to travel as a couple is the fact that we both enjoy different things. Sam enjoys touristy things: tours, shopping, scenic locations, etc. Pete enjoys more “extreme” things like ATV riding, dune buggies, shooting, Jetlev, etc. Because we are together we do things that each of us likes and this gives us the chance to experience things that we would not usually do. For example Pete would never have gone in a hot air balloon unless Sam organised it, and Sam would have never gone ATV riding. It does seem to be quite a classic example of opposites attracting.

Pete jetleving in Thailand

Jetleving at Koh Samui, Thailand, photo/courtesy Travelling King

The worst thing about blogging is that it’s very time consuming and is sometimes not very good for a healthy relationship. I (Sam) set myself targets and things to do each night which means that most nights I’m more involved in blogging than my dear Pete. But we make sure to put aside weekends and have a date night each fortnight. Travelling can be hard because Pete is very adventurous and likes to do things like rock climbing, wakeboarding and jetleving (a type of water sport where a “water powered jetpack” is strapped to your back and up you go. It something you would imagine James Bond would use). Sam likes more of the touristy stuff: tours, museums etc. It’s good because we do things the other person wants and  (most of the time) we both enjoy it more than we expected.

What keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?
(Sam) Tourism is in my blood. My mum worked in hotels when I was a small child and my first job was in hotels. I have travelled since I was little so it is a passion of mine. Being able to write about it and be able to help someone book their holiday or give them an idea of something they wouldn’t normally think of doing is awesome.

(Pete) I have travelled with my family, uni and with Sam. I really enjoy seeing and doing different things, I love extreme sports like snowboarding and jetleving! I enjoy being able to write about my extreme sports and do things that I normally would not be able do. I have always wanted to go jetleving so being able to hire it in Thailand was awesome.

Sam, you’re from Australia by way of Zimbabwe. When and how did your family get to Africa and then Australia?
Well that is a very long story but ill try to give the condensed version. My mum was born in England and moved to Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time) when she was young. She met my father and they had me. She was later divorced and met my stepfather who I grew up with. As Zimbabwe grew more and more violent, verging on the brink of civil unrest, my mum and stepfather decided to leave the country to have a better, safer life. They decided on Australia and then narrowed it down to South Australia as SA needed more heavy machinery mechanics (which my stepfather was).  We moved here in 2000 and have been in Australia since! I would love to go back one day as Zimbabwe has one of the move beautiful waterfalls – Victoria Falls.

View of Bophut in Koh Samui from Mantra

View of Bophut in Koh Samui from Mantra, photo/courtesy Travelling King

Did that inspire a love of travel in you?
(Sam) As I said, my mum worked in hotels when I was a small child, I used to run around with housekeeping and talk to lots of different people from around the world. My first job was in hotels, in reservations. I worked in several well known hotels and got to meet all types of travellers. I have travelled since I was little, travelling from Bulawayo to Harare (in Zimbabwe) every school holiday to see my grandparents as well as travelling to South Africa to see family and my Dad and then moving to Australia. Since living in Australia we have travelled all over the place. Travel and tourism is in my blood!

Pete , where are you from?
I was born and raised in little old Adelaide in South Australia, nothing as exotic as Sam! Adelaide is a beautiful place to live; it’s peaceful and easy to get around. The other cities in Australia have their good points: art, fashion, tourism, theme parks, but I think SA is the best place to live. Although I have lived in Australia all my life I keep getting told that I have an accent, ranging from South African and English to German.

Where do you live?
We currently live in Adelaide, South Australia.

How often do you travel?
Not as often as we would like!! (The story of our lives – right?). We are a little different from most bloggers as we work full time, but we make sure to take full advantage of our annual leave! We try to travel every few months and in-between travelling to other states or countries we explore South Australia. This year we have been to the Flinders Ranges and Victor Harbor and will be heading to Melbourne, Mt. Buller, the great ocean road, the gold coast and Sydney.

Coco Tams on Bophut beach in Koh Samui

Coco Tams on Bophut beach in Koh Samui, photo/courtesy Travelling King

What do you do when not traveling?
We both work full time. Sam is working in finance and Pete is an arborist, aka a “tree surgeon”.

Where have you been most recently?
We have recently travelled up to the Flinders Ranges which is approximately four hours from Adelaide City. It’s an amazing formation of 500 million year old ranges. They just pop out of no where and go on for approx. 400km. You see all sorts of Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, yellow footed rock wallabies, emus (not our favourite animals due to a little incident we had while in the Flinders) and so on. You can camp or stay in cabins, go bush walking or take in a scenic flight. It’s a relaxing area, full of beautiful scenery.

What kind of travelers are you? Backpackers, budget, luxury or a combination?
We are a little bit of everything, though we have never tried backpacking. We are hoping to give this a go in Europe in a few years. We always look for a good deal (budget) and really enjoy a bit of luxury. Who doesn’t? When travelling to a destination we always look for budget and luxury accommodations so as to touch both bases.

What’t the most important things for you each of you when you travel?
(Sam) I love to see everything, I love to plan and do things every minute of everyday. I am more interested in history, food, shopping (of course!), different tours and weird things most tourists wouldn’t think to do or see.

(Pete) I like to relax on my holidays, not planning every minute, but as I’m stuck with Sam (haha), I go along with it. The things Sam plans are usually pretty fun and I enjoy things like scuba diving, snorkeling, “extreme sports” and things that are little different, ie looking for and exploring abandoned buildings, although we have not got to do a lot of that in the places we have been to so far.

Nai Yang Beach

Sunset from Nai Yang beach, photo/courtesy Travelling King

What excites you the most about travel?
Not having to work! Whoot! In all seriousness, the thought of doing and seeing something different and new is exciting. I think as we work full time, we appreciate the opportunity to travel more so than someone who is able to travel more often (not saying they don’t appreciate it).

It’s clear Pete has a broad comfort zone. Do you push the boundaries of your comfort zone, Sam?
Pete is a lot more adventurous than I am. He will usually have to talk me into things that might scare me but in the end I usually really enjoy it! Such as hot air ballooning. I planned it and thought it would be an amazing experience, Pete thought it would be boring, on the day I freaked out a little as I’m petrified of heights but Pete talked me through it and I loved it! So I think its best to move out of your comfort zone and try new things: it can be surprisingly fun.

What’s your most memorable travel experience or favorite trip ever and why?
(Sam) All of our trips are my favourite because I’m getting to do something I love.. travel! If I had to choose one I guess it would be the recent trip to the Flinders Ranges and being able to “conquer” my fear of heights by going on the hot air balloon flight or coming face to face with a kangaroo or having lunch with wild yellow footed rock wallabies!

(Pete) The trip to the Flinders Ranges is also most memorable for me. We had a little incident with an emu. We were driving along the highway and came up to two emus. I slowed right down as Australian animals are unpredictable and tend to run in front of cars. The emus turned around to run off in the other direction so I sped up and the next minute one of them smacked into the side of the car. It was pretty horrific!

We cannot forget the Thailand trip last year where we booked the cheapest room at a resort and got a free upgrade to the biggest most expensive pool villa that they had. Talk about being treated like royalty.

Indigo Pearl swimming pool

Incredible pool from pool villa at the Indigo Pearl, where we were upgraded! courtesy Travelling King

What is your favorite place on earth?
(Sam) That’s a really hard one: there are so many things I love about all the places I have travelled. In this moment I would say Coco Tams bar on Bophut beach in Koh Samui, Thailand. It is relaxing and worry-free!

(Pete) The whole of Thailand is an amazing place, there is such a vast range of scenery and things to do and the history of the country is amazing. The people are so friendly and easy going, and who cannot love nice white sandy, crystal clear water and a icy cold drink?

Where are you off to next?
Soon we will be off to Victoria for a week for snowboarding, a luxury helicopter tour and some wine tasting. We’ll also spend a day ziplining through the Otway rainforest and then driving along the famous Great Ocean Road. Then in September we will be off to Sydney for a few days, no plans just yet! In December we are off to the very bright and sunny Gold Coast for some jet skiing and R&R! We always look to bring value to our readers!

Sam and Pete Duffield are a traveling couple blogging about their adventures at Travelling King. They enjoy travelling to Thailand and around Australia where they live. They love to share tips and tricks on Travelling in Thailand and Australia for everyday guys and girls to make travel easy. You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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