This week, we’re joined by Rax from NomadsUnveiled. He shares his blogging tips and travel stories in this week’s community interview!
Hey Rax! Let’s get the ball rolling. Tell us about yourself!
I’m Rax and my home base is Singapore. Growing up, I was just a typical, quiet community kid who found entertainment in sports and dabbling in random stuff. I appreciate great aesthetics and functional design. Back home, I also help my brother run travel experiences which allows me to know my country better.
I have two contrasting souls inside me. One that likes to go out to see the world and do crazy stuff; and another that just loves staying at home and minding my own business. My friends joke that I am usually hesitant to go for activities that are too far from my neighborhood, but when I do get out, I am flying off somewhere.
When did you start traveling?
I started traveling frequently in 2010, back when I was still a student. An extended trip to Mexico really triggered the curiosity to expand my horizons and experience more of different cultures that I previously had little exposure to.
From then on, I jumped on opportunities to travel out to various parts of the world. Throughout the years, I have experienced different travel styles, from backpacking to business travel/expat life and now mainly long-term travel.
What have been some of your favorite places or activities so far?
I find that nature places and events/activities tend to be the most memorable.
One of the most unforgettable trips has been the expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia. The pristine nature surrounded by incredible icescape and majestic glaciers was a sight to behold. In South Georgia, it was really the abundance of wildlife that makes it incredibly exciting. Patagonia in general has been pretty amazing.
Skydiving in Dubai is another memorable one with the adrenaline rush, and a bird eye view of Palm Jumeriah. There are so many great adventures and it’s always hard to decide what makes it into my bucketlist experiences.
I am also a big fan of major sports events because the passion of sports fans never fails to impress. The Fifa World Cup in Russia is the biggest sports event I have been to. I’m not a die-hard soccer fan, but the atmosphere is still overwhelming, not just within the stadium but throughout the city. Fans from all over the world gather together by a single passion, albeit supporting different teams.
Apart from that, attending the US Open Grand Slam and joining the Toronto Raptors fans cheering in the rain, are all memorable moments. I guess I’m really more attracted to the crowd than the games themselves.
India is the country that I always encourage people to visit because there is so much diversity and great food. It is also a place which will likely challenge your perceptions and patience.
Have you had any misadventures?
One of the most unfortunate incidents in my travels has to be having my room broken into in Peru. That said, it was an enlightening experience in personal growth.
I also smashed my head on a piece of deadwood while hiking the Dientes del Navarino, and got like a mini Harry Potter scar on the head for a while. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this trek for experienced hikers looking for relatively raw and pristine nature.
What are 3 life-changing lessons travel has taught you?
My perspectives have changed over the years due to many different factors/events in life but travel certainly plays a significant part.
1. Travel makes us realize how small each of us is in the world, and how our perspectives are just one in billions out there. Many things that we often feel are the norm, actually aren’t so in the bigger picture. Our perceptions are often shaped by our environment. Back home, when we hang around our social circle, these views get reinforced. However, meeting people from all walks of life while traveling, we get exposed to many diverse and sometimes opposing perspectives. This curiosity about differing perspectives is one of the reasons why I host the Chat With Nomads Podcast.
2. Gratitude. We never know what anyone is facing or going through. Treat everyone with kindness and be grateful for what we have. When your life is filled with gratitude, it becomes easier to respond positively to circumstances.
3. Adapt and Flow. Traveling comes with uncertainty. Plans can change, bad things can happen. Learn to live with the flow, and make the best of the situation. Panicking or stressing out often doesn’t help practically. Staying calm allows you to adapt quickly and just make lemonade out of lemons.
What countries/activities are still on your bucket list?
There’s quite a lot of things that I would love to do, but catching the Northern Lights is definitely high up on the bucket list. I am also looking forward to visiting the Nordic countries particularly Iceland.
Do you have any favorite travel books/movies/TV shows that have inspired you?
I do watch travel shows/movies but nothing really stands out as a favorite. I don’t require a whole lot of external motivation to travel. One travel-related show that comes to mind, and I have watched quite consistently is The Amazing Race. That always helps to get the wanderlust going.
Now tell us about your blog!
I run the blog NomadsUnveiled. This is where I share about long term travel through remote work. The blog covers travel insights as well as business and lifestyle tips for remote workers & digital nomads. In extension, I host a podcast called Chat With Nomads where other world travelers share about similar topics from their perspective.
I started the blog during the pandemic since not much traveling can be done. The job market suffered a huge hit, and more people are looking into transiting to remote work/freelancing so they could have more time for traveling. I thought it would be useful to share what I know through my experiences.
I had the idea of starting a blog almost 3 years ago, particularly with the intention of hearing more about other travelers’ stories. That was actually the foundation of the podcast, albeit in a written form. However, I was moving around more frequently then and also focusing on other projects so I did not dive too deep into it.
With the quarantine, there was more time and I decided to put my knowledge into use, and share it with others who are interested in long-term travel.
What is one thing that has surprised you since you started blogging?
One of the things I like most about blogging is actually not the writing. It’s more of the whole network of things that come together because I am blogging or creating content from my perspective. I am trying out more platforms, activities and also interacting more with people both online and offline.
Although I already anticipated that there will be a lot to do; there are just so many things that one CAN do, so it’s really being able to prioritize. I find myself learning quite a bit since there are so many possibilities as a content creator today.
However, it is important to manage my curiosity well to avoid paralysis from trying to go after too many things. Sometimes I find myself getting overwhelmed, which can ultimately lead to doing nothing at all.
How do you balance blogging and travel? Is it different?
Right now, I guess they are separate. The blog really took off when quarantine started and I haven’t traveled much since then.
However, I am no stranger to balancing work and travel at the same time since I have been doing it with other projects/businesses. It is not easy but I practice productivity habits to help maximize my time.
What tips do you have for new bloggers just starting out?
Know that if you plan to blog as a career/business, the amount of work involved is likely much more than you think. I already have skills in development, design, etc. and still find that there is a lot to learn and do. While it is exciting to try out everything, it is crucial to prioritize.
It is also important to know that this takes time, and you probably won’t see a whole lot of results (metrics-wise) from the start. As such, having the right expectations will help, so you don’t give up too easily.
What are your blogging goals for 2021?
I am striving to put out articles more consistently, and provide more valuable information for readers. Apart from my own preferred topics, I am constantly taking note of what are the common questions that my audience has right now. This drives a lot of my writing, particularly if I feel my experiences can be helpful.
In this sense, I am hoping to increase my interaction with readers and potential audiences. Both the blog and podcast are more one-way information delivery, and I like to form communities where there can be more interactive two-way conversations. I am exploring platforms like Patreon and having a Nomadic Freelancing/Entrepreneur Group with different interaction dynamics. The goal is to better integrate various communication channels with the blog.
Another year of more experimenting! In a selfish way, this endeavor is just an excuse for me to dabble and try out whatever looks fun.
Time for the lightning round!
Oh these are tough, I don’t have a strong preference for most of them, but if I have to choose…
Plane or train? Train.
Aisle or window seat? Aisle.
Beach or mountains? Mountains.
Chill cafe or adrenaline activities? Chill cafe.