Meet travel influencer Cez Krol. He ditched his 9 to 5 job to travel around the world. A fitness and healthy lifestyle enthusiast, he and his travel partner Agness started Fittraveling.com, dedicated to helping others improve their fitness wherever they exploring on the planet.
1) Where was the first place that you travelled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
You know, my travelling partner Agness says that it’s Tibet, but for me, it’s North Korea. I mean, we went there pretty recently – and I have obviously thought travel was amazing for a long, long time – but North Korea just blew my mind. It was more than just the travelling there which made it amazing. It was the fact that I felt my very perceptions of what travelling could mean were challenged.
Travel has always been known as something we should do to expand our minds and learn more about other cultures, but traveling to North Korea was more than that. It was about creating and building bridges between peoples who seemed to be so antagonistic to one another in the media. It just… No words can explain that feeling. North Korea defiantly isn’t the same as it’s portrayed in the media.
2) If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
As a budget traveller, I’ve mainly looked at this from the other direction, but you know, I’ve still thought about this a lot. The grass is always greener!
I mean, there are a lot of places out there which I think a lot of people would want to go to if they had the money and resources. How about to the bottom of the Atlantic to see the Titanic, or out into space?
To be honest though, I would probably have to say I’m much more sea level earthbound. At the moment, I’m incredibly excited about travelling to Antarctica. Agness and I are booking up a couple of tickets to start an expedition at the beginning of 2018. It’s going to be great. It’s not space, but I still haven’t finished exploring this planet yet!
3) What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
You know, I think the fears that I’ve had are the same as most digital nomads. There’s always a certain degree of uncertainty when you start out. You’re dropping the security of a 9-5 job; of guaranteed pay and a place to sleep. I think this is probably what stops a lot of people from going forward with living a life of travel. It’s scary.
But I was lucky. I had the right network of people around me to support me. My family and friends all helped to make it a reality, giving me the encouragement I needed and helping me to really understand what I wanted from my life. Even my Grandma sometimes lends a hand by receiving my post back in Gdynia, Poland!
Then there was the fear that my life would never end up with me travelling; that I would end up stuck in an office trying to make more money for the rest of it. That definitely motivated me towards overcoming my fear of doing nothing.
4) What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
There’s one app at the moment which has just been irreplaceable: The Pepo app. It’s brilliant for making sure that we’re up to date with what’s happening amongst our followers, and in the places we travel to. Anyone can join, and they can find out about the places they’re planning on visiting. Local people share information all the time, and everyone is just so helpful. More than a few times, we’ve found something to do through Pepo.
If anyone’s interested in keeping up with what we’re doing or sharing some cool new destinations and hidden spots, you know where to find us.
5) What place do you wish more people have seen?
North Korea. It’s just a shame that so many stereotypes and problems continue, despite many people never having experienced North Korea themselves. There’s a lot of differences between what you hear there, and what you’ve probably heard back home. It’s just an incredible experience.
6) Best advice you have been given and by whom?
I can’t remember who it was that gave me this advice, but it’s been an essential part of travelling for me. That advice was to smile as much as possible. It makes you happier and it opens up a lot of opportunities you otherwise just wouldn’t have access to.
Just think, if you see someone sitting in a corner scowling, you’re much less likely to go over and say hi. Remember, no matter what goes wrong whilst you’re out travelling, there’s always a way to solve it. Just keep a smile on your face and stay calm. Things will always be ok if you let them.
On top of that, travelling is all about meeting new people and understanding them. This was especially true when we visited North Korea. Smile and you’ll build bridges.
7) When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
It’s not so much a trip, as such, but when Agness and I moved to Dongguan in China, the people there were so welcoming. I taught K2 and K3 kids and they just seemed so happy to see me that first day I walked into their classroom. It felt great!
And it wasn’t just inside the classroom, the people in the city were all so helpful too, making sure that we had everything we needed and were comfortable. The lifestyle was already really relaxed and easy-going, but we made a lot of friends who helped to show us around and find new places. It was really surprising how much they wanted to help.
8) What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
I didn’t want to keep working and being in a situation where I was always saying I was going to go travelling, but I never did. The highlight of my day before, was going to the office’s coffee machine and throwing a cup of caffeine down my throat so I wouldn’t fall asleep at my desk. Almost every day was like this. Eventually, I found myself thinking why I hadn’t started travelling already. It was all because of the money. I didn’t have money. I thought, no, that’s not a good enough excuse. I organized everything I could, and I left. I guess you could say that those caffeine boosts inspired me, kinda.
9) I travel because …
It’s a way of life which has given me the freedom to find myself. Gone are the days of 9-5 office work. Now I focus on finding new and interesting places to visit, keeping fit, and staying happy!
Cez is a fitness and travel enthusiast who has been finding ways to workout around the world since 2011 with his travel partner, Agness. They also maintain three travel-oriented Web sites: fittraveling.com, Tramping.com and aTukTuk.com
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