Charly hard at work blogging in Mexico
You are a very popular travel video blogger on YouTube. What inspired you to start video blogging? Who are your travel blogging inspirations?
I started video blogging in order to document my language learning and travel to Korea. It turned into being more about my personal experiences around the world and less of me showing off my language skills. I realized that I had a passion for being in front of the camera and sharing my life with the world. Video blogging became my form of diary except with the thousands of subscribers, not so private. Video blogging transformed into a part of my job after so many views and subscribers. I’m just honored that people find my adventures interesting and it has motivated others to step foot on new land. I don’t really have any travel inspirations. I recognize that we all have our own paths to pave.
Don’t worry I won’t leave you empty handed. Here are some cool people to watch:
Before I traveled to Mexico, people told me to be very careful because it is such a dangerous place. What are some things that you heard about Mexico before moving there? Are there any myths that you would like to dispel?
When I decided I was going to Mexico next I heard some really interesting “predictions” about what was going to happen to me. From getting my head chopped off to being kidnapped into the sex or drug trade, I think I heard it all. A myth I would like to dispel is the idea that “your” country is the safest country to be in. I’m glad I didn’t listen to the thoughts of others and decided to experience the country for myself. Had I not, I wouldn’t have had all of the amazing experiences I have carried with me. None of the things people told me would happen, happened. I had a really positive experience in Mexico but don’t take my word for it, go experience it and carry your own stories with you.
What countries have you traveled to? What was one of your favorite places out of those countries? Have you ever had anything strange or unusual happen to you on any of those trips?
Costa Rica, Korea, Thailand, The Philippines, & Mexico. Like I said, I’m a slow traveler. I opt for learning about culture, language and collecting experiences rather than passport stamps. When I was in the Philippines I had an interesting but not tasty rice soup meal. I got a massage about 35-40 minutes later. That night I threw up all over the floor of my hostel and the ladies who worked there cleaned it up for me. (Don’t worry I made sure to tip them). I guess that story is not as much unusual as it is memorable!
What is your most memorable travel adventure so far?
My most memorable travel adventure that I can think of right now was my trip to the jungles in Mexico where I attended the Rainbow Gathering. It’s a gathering that is held in different locations around the world of people who love nature and want unity and love around the world. On the way there I traveled to different places in Mexico visiting Mayan ruins and seeing beautiful natural blue waterfalls. Upon arrival to the gathering, I was welcomed by like minded nomads who don’t believe in the country lines and divisions but that we are all children of the Earth, brothers and sisters and everywhere we go is home.
What are your upcoming travel plans?
I’m planning to go back to Korea in the next month or month and a half. I’m actually looking into living there for a longer term and just visiting surrounding countries. I’ve grown so much since Korea and this time around I’m motivated to learn more of the language, immerse myself more into the culture, and even build a better community for foreigners living there. Some of the locations I have in mind are Nepal, Japan, China, Laos, Cambodia and India. After some time I would like to move to Africa (where exactly I don’t know) in order to learn a 5th language and learn more about African spirituality and culture. I’m not a big planner. I like to go with the flow because sometimes life’s flow takes us on adventures much more enjoyable and interesting than our plans ever could. That has been my experience at least.
How many foreign languages do you speak? In your opinion, what is the best way to learn a language?
I speak 4 languages. English of course was my 1st language. Spanish was my 2nd language. From Spanish I started learning American Sign language and then Korean as my 4th. I can understand some things in other languages but I stick to those on my list. I expect to add on 2-3 more within the next 3 years.
The best way to learn a language is like a child. Be curious. Don’t jump into grammar. Did you understand grammar when you first started speaking and understanding your first language? Nope! Children learn from experience. When mom says milk and you get fed, over time you’re going to get hungry and remember the word for milk. Learn what you need to learn and potentially use first. There’s no need to learn medical terms if you’re not planning on being a doctor or working in the medical field. Learn what you need first and add on from there. For beginners, memorizing useful phrases first is always best. From there you start learning and adding on to vocabulary that you can switch out and create new sentences with the phrases you already know. Don’t waste time memorizing vocabulary lists. Learn everything in useful sentences. Make friends who speak the language and get a language exchange partner or two. Learn popular questions and answers and study the answers to them. Phrases, phrases, phrases! Over time it will all start to make sense to you and you will realize you understand sentence structures without spending hours of studying grammar. My personal motivation and best way to learn a language is being immersed in the language. This means going to the country that speaks the language and only using that language. Good luck!
Charly getting ready to go backpacking
Do you have any words of wisdom for fellow travel addicts?
Collect experiences, not passport stamps! So many people are motivated to travel in order to tell their friends the list of places they’ve visited. Many of these people travel fast and don’t take much knowledge or experience away from the country. They didn’t take time to learn the language, make close friends with the natives, learn how to make a traditional dish etc. They see the sights and move on. Don’t just look. Experience, be, learn, grow and most importantly contribute.
Compared to when you first began traveling versus now, have you noticed any big differences in relation to travel?
I’ve noticed more people who are at least curious or interested in travel. I’m not sure if this is because I have become a part of the nomad/travel movement and my eyes are more open to it now or if there has been a big surge of curiosity and passion that has sprung up in the last 3 years. Maybe a little bit of both. I’m just happy to be aware that I’m not alone on the road.
I’m Charly and I’m a full time traveler, travel blogger and English teacher. I’m 26 years old and I spend a lot of my time behind or in front of a camera filming or in front of the computer editing videos or learning languages. I’m a snail traveler. I opt to stay in a country a few months to a year at a time instead of just a few weeks as a tourist.