In this Celebrity Travel Addicts Q&A with Craig and Linda Martin of the Indie Travel Podcast. Learn how this couple have been traveling the world for over a decade while building their travel podcast. Meet Craig and Linda and check out her Top 5 List for the Bay of Islands in New Zealand and where they are headed to next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
Both Craig and I travelled a lot as kids, and wanted to go on the traditional New Zealand OE (Overseas Experience) when we were a little older. When we set off in 2006, we planned to travel for a couple of years, but we ended up becoming more and more addicted. Now, eleven years later, we’re still travelling full-time.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places do you like to visit?
Our plan is always to spend 18 months of any two-year period travelling, and six months in our home country of New Zealand. We haven’t actually managed that yet, though — it’s always longer or shorter!
We’ve spent a lot of time in Europe, particularly Spain, as well as a fair amount of time in South and Central America. We’re happiest somewhere there’s good wine, good food, and a bit of history.
What is it that you want audiences to gain/ learn from your work?
We started the podcast with the idea of sharing our travel mistakes, so that other people wouldn’t make the same errors we did! Now, though, we just want to share the idea that anyone can travel, that it’s not as difficult or expensive as many people think it is.
Our work with the podcast actually sparked the idea for our other business, Performance Foundry. Craig taught himself a lot about web development through solving the problems we faced with our website, then was able to help other travel bloggers who asked him for help with similar issues. From there, we realised there was a need for site optimisation — tweaking sites so that they really performed well — so we started Performance Foundry with a focus on helping people’s websites, and businesses, succeed.
Name your top three destinations you’ve traveled?
Spain, New Zealand, Cambodia
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of these destinations, like a mini-guide or to-do list of sorts
The Bay of Islands, in the north of the North Island of New Zealand is one of my favourite places to visit. For an awesome long weekend break from Auckland:
- Leave early on a Saturday and drive north to Matakana. Stop into the farmer’s markets for a breakfast of waffles or mussels wrapped in bacon, and pick up what you need for a picnic lunch.
- Visit a couple of wineries for wine tasting. We particularly like OBV (for a polished cellar-door experience) and Hyperion (for the down-to-earth, chat-with-the-owner kind of visit).
- Drive up to Paihia. Spend the night there, and in the morning hop on a dolphin-watching tour.
- Spend the afternoon soaking up some Kiwi history at Waitangi.
- On the way back south, stop in at the Kawiti glow worm caves — in my opinion, a much better alternative to the more-famous Waitomo caves.
How many countries have you visited so far?
About 70. We have a list somewhere….
Your top three favorite cuisines?
That’s a tough one! Probably Thai, Mexican, and Japanese.
Favorite restaurant in the world?
There’s a great, well-priced restaurant in Alcalá de Henares called Sexto Sentido, that does an amazing fixed menu. I’d go there every week if I could.
Your favorite travel movie?
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Favorite international airport?
I’m not the biggest fan of airports, to tell you the truth… I like them best just after I’ve flown out of them. That said, I love the public transport available from Bremen’s airport — you can hop on a tram right from the front door.
City with the friendliest people?
We had some lovely encounters with people in Sofia.
Your favorite traveling companion?
It has to be Craig! We also often travel with our friends Ange and Janine, and they’re awesome companions too.
Best way you kill time while traveling?
Listening to podcasts. Although we have our own podcast, I really only listen to them myself when we’re on the road!
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
The more I travel, the less places seem exotic… everywhere is awesome, and different in some way. One of the odder places we’ve travelled, though, is Moldova — we’d been wanting to attend their annual wine festival for years, and when we heard that they’d removed the visa requirement for New Zealanders we jumped at the chance to go. Of course, that was the year the wine festival was cancelled! Luckily the alternative activities that were put on were fantastic.
Your best bit of travel advice for someone who is about to embark on a life of travel?
Pack light. You’ll almost certainly regret taking too much, but travel with just a carry-on-sized bag and your back will thank you!
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
Passport, phone, something to read, snacks.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Colombia was at the top of my list for years, but last year we finally made it there — and it was just as awesome as I had hoped. Now, Canada is topping the list. I want to spend at least a couple of months there, so we’ll have to do some planning for that!
Your favorite travel quote?
“To travel is to live.” Hans Christian Andersen
You’re currently living back in NZ, for someone who’s thinking about traveling there how would you describe it?
Quite simply, it’s the best country in the world. I know that’s not particularly modest, but it is awesome. It’s a long, skinny country in the Pacific Ocean made up of two main islands and a whole bunch of smaller ones. You’ll find beaches, forests, lakes, rivers, glaciers, mountains, and pretty much every other geographical feature, as well as friendly people and a wide range of delicious cuisines to try. It’s not a cheap place to travel and public transport could certainly be better, but it’s a fantastic place to visit.
Where to next?
We’re heading to the South Island of New Zealand to walk the Milford Track, which is one of the country’s Great Walks. After that, we’re heading to Europe for the northern summer.
Linda Martin and her husband Craig run the award-winning Indie Travel Podcast and have been travelling full-time since 2006, taking in parts of Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. As well as the podcast, they also own and manage Performance Foundry, a WordPress development and hosting company. Connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.