Ever considered travelling for a living? If that isn’t the ultimate dream job, what is? Well we manged to catch up with pro-traveler Drew Binsky and it was worth the challenge!
With 85+ countries visited since 2012, and work as a full-time Travel Blogger, Snapchatter and Social Media Darling, Drew has more than 500K monthly followers/readers. What? You read that right. Let’s find out a little more about this guy with a chronic case of wanderlust.
Ok Drew, background scoop: where did you grow up, and when did this travel bug bite you?
DB: I grew up in sunny Phoenix, Arizona and graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a double-major in economics and entrepreneurship. I am obsessed with my college, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I went to any other school.
The travel bug first hit me when I studied abroad in Prague during my Junior year of college (2012). After having an incredible semester of living and traveling to 20+ countries in Europe, I knew I was going to make a career out of traveling the world.
Just 2 months after I graduated (Aug 2013), I moved to South Korea to become an English teacher. When I was accepted for the job, I knew absolutely nothing about teaching (90% of my college classes were business related), but I saw teaching overseas as a great opportunity to live and work abroad. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Seoul, I was instantly hooked. It was my first time in Asia, and I was already in love with the foreign sights, smells and feels.
How did the idea of traveling for a living come about?
DB: During my 18 months living in Korea, I started my first travel blog – The Hungry Partier – which was a place for me to share my crazy travel experiences and party stories around the world. I was determined to grow a global audience from day 1, and I’d spend 40+ hours per week writing blog posts, networking with other bloggers and growing my social media channels from the ground up.
After 3 years of hard work and patience, I grew The Hungry Partier to 150K+ monthly readers and 200K+ social media followers, coming from 180+ countries around the world. When I left Korea in February 2015, I set off to travel the world full-time, using my new blog, DrewBinsky.com and social media following to attract sponsors, which helped reduce my travel costs.
What kind of adventures have you been on so far? Best? Worst?
DB: Over the last 18 months, I’ve gone on a 3 month solo backpacking trip in India, visited every country in Central/Eastern Europe, traveled all over the Southeast Asia & the Pacific islands and now I’m currently on a 3-month trip across South America. There is no end in sight. I am going to keep living my dream, and it feels like I’m just getting started.
As far as experiences go, Brunei (in Southeast Asia) was not at all what I was expecting. It is a country with VERY strict laws, and nothing to do. I was there on a Friday night and the streets were so dead that you could hear a pin drop from a mile away. I got in a bus crash in India where 2 people died. That’s the worst experience I’ve ever had. Best has been the Tomorrowland Festival in Belgium, the most fun and memorable experience by far.
You use social media to drive your travel career. How does that work?
DB: Snapchat has emerged as my #1 social media to connect & engage with my audience. I do feel like I have some pressure on my shoulders to always deliver content. If I don’t snap for one day, I get messages from people asking if I am alright. However, I always do things that I am interested in doing, and don’t let others dictate my travels. As far as the blog goes, I am always honest and give people information that is “real” and not “commercialized.” In other words, I tell it how it is. If I have a bad experience in a country, then I will write exactly why I didn’t like it.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
DB: Probably my Nightlife Guide to South Korea. That post gets viewed about 10K per month. It has all the best tips and bars/clubs to visit in Seoul! For another publication it was My 25 Best Travel Tips.
Last but not least, if only for now, do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travelers? And what is the greatest lesson travel has taught you so far?
DB: Don’t get too caught up in planning. Most of the best experiences I’ve had were spontaneous. And always ALWAYS make local friends. It makes the experiences 10X better when you have someone showing you around who can speak the local language and knows where to go. This experience has taught me that almost everyone I know, including myself, is beyond spoiled. The number one lesson that I’ve taken away from travel is to appreciate what I have in life.