1. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Bram Reusen and I was born and raised in Belgium in a small city near Antwerp.
I run a travel blog now, but I wasn’t really much of a traveler until I was 24.
Besides going on yearly vacations with my parents – to France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Holland and Austria – I didn’t travel by myself. The main reason was that I was just too young to do that. Also, I lived a perfect suburbian life, had lots of friends and played in a football (soccer) team. I went out too. It wasn’t until after I finished college that I started to wonder what I was going to do with my life.
I had found a fun job, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more. So, I booked a ticket to Australia, a country that somehow had fascinated for years, got myself a Working Holiday Visa and took off. Things were never the same after that. I moved to the US earlier this year and got married to an amazing girl, whom I met in Australia more than three years ago.
2. What’s the story behind Travel-experience-live.com? What was the trigger for starting it?
Before I went to Australia I set up a simple blog on which I was going post updates and photos.
The idea was that, instead of having to email everyone, my family and friends could see where I was and read about what I was doing Down Under. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and, after arriving back in Belgium, I kept my blog going.
Eventually I purchased my own domain and got a hosting plan and travel-experience-live.com was born.
3. How important is travelling for you and what was the most amazing place that you visited?
Travelling is one of the most important things in my life. I could not imagine a life without travelling and exploring new places, seeing new landscapes and tasting new foods. If not a passion, it is definitely my favorite hobby.
The most amazing country I have ever visited, in terms of nature, is Norway. Norway has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. And within that country the Lofoten Islands stood out above the rest. No other place I have been to so far even come close.
4. Tell us a little about your hiking experiences and what gear did you use for that?
When I was in Australia, I used to visit as many national parks as I could. And I did a lot of hikes there.
I’ve hiked along beaches in Tasmania, in the Outback of South Australia and in the mountains of Victoria. In my opinion hiking (or walking) is the best way to really experience a landscape or city. On my hikes in Australia I always wore sturdy hiking boots and took a day-pack filled with water and food.
I have also hiked across England on the Hadrian’s Wall Path. That took me six days and I used a slightly bigger backpack, because I had to carry extra clothes. I live in Vermont, USA, now and my wife and I have done quite a few hikes around here as well. So far they’ve been day hikes to mountain summits and back down. Again, I wear sturdy hikes boots and take a day-pack with snacks and plenty of water. Extra gear that I always make sure to carry includes a Swiss army knife, a whistle, a camera and a garbage bag.
5. What about cycling?
I love cycling. Being from flat Belgium I have been riding a bike basically since I could walk. My parents would send me off to school on my bike and that always was my main type of transportation.
In summer I would go mountain biking and when I went out I rode my bike to the pub. In the spring of 2013 I went on what would become the greatest thing I have ever done. I set off to cycle from my home in Belgium to the North Cape in Norway and back.
It took me three months to complete the journey and I had an absolute blast. It was on that trip that I cycled through Norway and across the Lofoten Island. The journey also took me from Sweden to England on a cargo ship. It was by far the most independent thing I have ever done.
6. Do you use a multi tool and do you think it’s a good thing to have close?
Yes, I almost always carry my Swiss army knife with me.
It find that it comes in handy at the most unexpected moments and I am always glad I have it. I don’t rely on it, but it is an extremely convenient tool.
7. What adrenaline experiences do you enjoy most?
I am scared of heights, so sometimes when I am climbing a steep mountain, the adrenaline starts flowing. I love that. I am not a fan of speed though. I like to go slowly and enjoy the ride (or whatever I’m doing) and take a look around. Speeding is a waste of landscapes. I don’t look for thrills and extreme excitement; I look for peaceful villages and scenic lookouts.
That is probably one of the reasons that I like hiking, walking and cycling so much. That way you get around at your own pace, slowly, and you have the time to enjoy everything better.
8. Who is the traveller and adventurer that you admire the most?
I am a massive fan of Mark Beaumont. He broke the world record for cycling around the world several years ago. After that he also cycling the entire length of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes and climbed the two highest peaks on the Americas on the way.
There are two BBC documentaries about his journeys and he has written two nice books as well. The documentary on his round-the-world trip is what inspired me to go on a long-distance cycle trip, too.
9. A message to your readers.
Don’t settle. Keep doing what you love, whatever it is. We all know what we like to do and there is not a reason in the world why we should not do just that. Life is short. Enjoy it.
Do not take advice from people who haven’t been to a specific place or are not experienced in a particular subject. All they offer are opinions. Find things out for yourself. Explore. Read.
Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t feel obliged to do things that you don’t want to do. It’s your life. Live it your way.