Darren Rowse: Interview With a Pro Blogger and Traveler

DarrenRowseIn 2002 Darren Rowse first heard about blogs, and he instantly started his own. In the years since he’s helped build the Problogger network not only as a writer but also as an expert in how to make money with these sites. He’s now one of the best known players in his field, so if you are a blogger and you aren’t aware of him, this is a good time to see what he’s about.

Darren is also Australian, based in Melbourne, and like so many other Australians he really loves to travel when he can. We asked him some questions about what he likes and his style of getting around.

Who: Darren Rowse, Melbourne-based blogger

Blog: ProBlogger, a daily blog that helps bloggers add income streams.

What is your favorite packing trick?

I’m not the most sophisticated packer in the world and fear my ‘tricks’ may be a little basic – but I find the insides of shoes to be a great place to put things. It’s empty space that you can utilize if you’re in need of a little more. The other thing I’ve been known to do is pre-order stuff on Amazon (I occasionally get vouchers to there) and have it delivered to my destination for me to pick up and use on the trip.

Do you have a luxury item that you don’t leave home without?

I rarely leave home without copious amounts of electronics — my laptop, my DSLR and an array of chargers and travel adapters. I’m toying with the idea of leaving the DSLR at home in the future though and just taking a compact as I usually am traveling for business and for the weight I’m carrying I’m not using the DSLR enough!

Do you have a repeat offender destination?

Sadly, business seems to keep taking me back to Las Vegas. While I don’t mind it, I do wish business would take me to Paris a little more often — the weekend I spent there a few years back was one of the best experiences I’ve had abroad. Other destinations that I’ve loved include Turkey, Morocco and Thailand.

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve eaten while on the road?

I did eat a cockroach once while traveling in Thailand (or perhaps I should say I ate half a cockroach…. shudder) – but that wasn’t on purpose. I did also eat bulls testicles once – didn’t realize what it was until the local I was with filled me in (he found it very amusing).

Backpack or wheelie?

Wheelie for my big bag, but I always try to have a backback for day trips.

Where would you go if you were given a one-week 5-star vacation anywhere in the world?

At the moment I think I’d go anywhere where I could curl up beside a pool with a good book – probably somewhere like the Maldives.

What is your favorite airline and why?

I always fly Qantas where I can – mainly because I’m with their frequent flier program and lounge program.

What is the cheapest hotel or hostel room you’ve ever stayed in?

I actually used to travel with a band doing youth work in high schools around Australia. We would be billeted out by families along the road. One week our billets got mixed up and I ended up spending the week sleeping the week on the living room floor of an elderly gentleman with no mattress and a bean bag as a pillow. I woke up one night to find that the bean bag had exploded and I was swimming in a sea of polystyrene balls.

What’s the nicest hotel you’ve ever stayed in?

I don’t remember names but some of the nicest I’ve stayed in were in Morocco. I think because we were traveling at a time where there was a little unrest our tour company recommended staying in the more secure (and as a result higher rated) hotels.

Have you ever visited a well-known attraction and regretted it later?

Probably the Mona Lisa at the Louvre – while interesting to see the crowds of people all raising their camera phones up to this little painting behind bullet proof glass left me feeling a little underwhelmed.

What is your favorite museum in the world and why?

In Paris I also enjoyed the Musee National Picasso – I found it fascinating to track through much of his art from start to finish through his life. It’s not too big and can be viewed in a couple of hours (unlike the Louvre which takes a couple of hours to see just a section).