Carlo Cretaro discovered his passion for travelling on a trip to Las Vegas in 2005. Since then he, along with his partner Florence has travelled to almost 40 countries together. They document their adventures and write about the places that they have visited on their highly popular travel blog www.nextstopwhoknows.com.
The Irish couple has been to several countries; they have travelled across Asian nations including Thailand and Vietnam as well as South American destinations such as Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Their blog informs readers about a country's culture as well as the different tourist attractions of the place. The blog is known for its extremely detailed descriptions of several top wonders of the countries they have been to. Moreover, the blog posts provide suggestions and advice to travellers who wish to make their trip a success.
We caught up with Carlo to know more about him. Here is what he had to say.
You live in Thailand where you moved a couple of years back. How have you handled the culture shock of staying in this part of the world?
We moved out here in 2013, but just for 6 months. We came back here again in March of this year as we wanted to have a base to focus on work.
Honestly, the culture shock in Thailand isn't bad at all. Yeah, things work differently, but Thailand is very modernised compared to other parts of the world. We'd been to Africa back in 2009, so that was our first taste of what culture shock was like. Thailand is a breeze in comparison.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Not for you though, you came back with a travel bug. How did the city change you?
The city itself didn't change me. It was the experinece of finally going after something I wanted to do - but was afraid to do so. It seems kind of silly looking back, but jumping on a plane and flying to Vegas on my own was a big deal for me in 2005.
When I was there, I got this huge desire to travel the world and make up for lost time. Up until that point in time, travelling did not interest me in the slightest. In fact, I would go as far to say that I hated the idea of visiting new countries. Haha - madness now when it's all I want to do!
You are travelling to India in August. What are your expectations from the ancient country?
Honestly, this will probably be our toughest stint of travel. This wil be mainly due to having to juggle an online business and try to find a WiFi connection on a daily basis.
India is a country that we both have wanted to visit for quite some time now. We know it's going to be an eye-opening experience and will probably be a lot tougher than travelling in East Africa.
We're expecting a lot of discomfort, (we have to pretty easy here in Chiang Mai for the past few months) but we're really looking forward to the adventure. That's what life is about in our eyes - having crazy adventures and no regrets.
You spent few months volunteering in Africa. Tell us about that experience.
It was a really heart wrenching 3 months for us. We visited Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda and worked in various orphanages and schools there. We got to see first hand how tough life is for people living in under developed conditions.
Many people say that volunteering in Africa changes their lives in some way, but it didn't have that impact on us. It make us more aware of how lucky we are and also how much we take simple things for granted in life.
For example, being able to just open the door of your refridgerator and pour yourself a clean glass of water.
We're so happy that we decided to volunteer independently in East Africa, because we feel that you should not have to pay an organisation in order to help someone. Anyone that wants to go out there and volunteer, then just do it yourself - it's amazing the opportunites that will open up once you're there.
You and Florence have been travelling as a couple for a long. What have been the highs and lows of travelling as a couple?
The highs are definitely getting to experience all the amazing places we've been to around the world together. It's brilliant that we both like the same things and the same places, so having each other to live in the moment with is without doubt the best thing about travelling as a couple.
The lows - hmmmm better be careful with this one! I think the only low would be spending a ridiculous amount of time togother. Not that it's a negative - but when you're on the road travelling you're literally in each other's company 24/7. This might be the reason why some couples could never travel long - term together. Thankfully we work and travel together, so we're 100% happy with that.
Last year, you took a motorbike trip through Vietnam. Is there any other place where you would like to take a motorbike tour and why?
The motorbike trip in Vietnam was crazy! It really was. Vietnam was the one country we really wanted to travel via motorbike (Thanks Top Gear)!
If we'd to pick another country I would have to be America. The huge distances between each state would provide a new adventure and keep us entertained on the route. It's no secret that we both love the States too, so maybe that's another reason!
Tell us about one destination that turned out to be completely different from what you had imagined it to be.
Chile was one country that really surprised us. It's ultra modernised overall and extremely expensive. Pre-conceptions of Chile has us thinking is was rusty and a little like the wild west. It's a stunning country and it definitely surpised us so it did.
Chiang Mai is where you are putting up right now. In what ways this Thai city is different from the rest of the country?
Chaing Mai is just a magnificent city to live in. It's different from most of Thailand in that it's geared towards the digital community - people like us who work online and want to focus on their businesses. There's plenty of tourists up here as well, but it's also cheaper to live in overall than say Bangkok.
We've lived here for a total of 6 months and we're still charmed by what it has to offer. It's the digital hotspot of South East Asia for a reason.
You enjoyed yourself at the Serengeti National Park. Which other wildlife destination would you like to visit?
Yeah, the Serengeti was awesome. Honestly, we don't have any other wildlife destinations on our must-see list. The Serengeti was the main one for us. If I had to give an answer, then maybe Krugar park in South Africa - but that's still an enclosed area. The Serengeti is open and free.
This interview with Carlo and Florence is a part of Travel Trolley's ongoing 'Best of the Travel Bloggers' series. We are interviewing popular travel bloggers who encourage and inspire people to travel. Check out all the bloggers we have interviewed and learn about their interesting experiences, adventures, travel stories as well as useful holiday tips