In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we meet Macca Sherifi, the world traveler, photographer, and presenter behind the travel blog An Adventurous World. We chat with Macca about his journey from biochemistry student to travel blogger, his best travel advice, why it was important for him to share his mistakes with his readers, and much more. Check out his favorite restaurant in the world and find out what’s next for him!
How did your passion for travel get started?
I want to say before I was born as I was conceived in Jordan! I was lucky to have very intrepid parents though, so to them a family holiday involved going to the Gambia instead of somewhere like Spain. They weren’t even put off by the fact that there was a military coup going on at the time in 1994!
I didn’t really discover the love for backpacking and travelling on my own until I was 20 when I went off to Thailand with a few friends. It was on that trip I realised I wanted to travel as much as I could and experience other people’s cultures.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
Usually I’m on the road for about 6 months of the year and it’s all travelling over the world. I always love exploring new places I’ve never been to before, but I also adore Southeast Asia and South America too. I have a particular soft spot for those two regions and am always happy going back there.
Your travel blog, An Adventurous World, was established in 2014 after many years of travel. It has since won awards and has been featured in publications around the world. To what do you attribute its success?
Good question! Honestly, it’s been a lot of hard work over the years to even get to this point, and I’m tiny compared to other bloggers/vloggers out there. But I’ve always tried to tell it the way things are and to find the positivity in everywhere I go – I think that resonates with people a lot.
You started out studying biochemistry and later worked as a journalist and then a travel journalist before becoming a full-time traveler and blogger. What was that journey like? Is there anything you wish you had known beforehand?
It’s easy to say over a decade later but I guess it would’ve been a lot more useful to study film or photography at uni rather than biochemistry!
Saying that, biochemistry gave me a really analytical mind which really helped with the journalism and travel journalism, and I’ve carried that through into blogging too. I always make sure I write in a very easy to digest way.
One of your most unique blog posts is one where you share different ways you’ve “f***ed up” while traveling, including an illness you picked up in Bangladesh, getting your camera stolen in Colombia, and more. Why was it important for you to share these moments with your readers?
I think in today’s Instagram-driven society everyone thinks life’s perfect. And if it’s not, it should be.
Life isn’t like that at all though. It’s a journey with lots of ups and downs and weird experiences along the way. I think it’s really important to share those downs with people to empathise with them. I’ve always found I’ve learned a lot more about myself when something goes wrong than just taking it easy on a beach somewhere! Life’s not perfect, I’m certainly not perfect, and I think it’s important to document that and remind people that that’s okay too.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I genuinely just want to inspire people to travel and see the world. There are so many amazing cultures and experiences out there – if I can get people do find that out for themselves then I’m happy!
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
This is always such a hard question but I’m not one to sit on the fence. I would say Greenland, India and Colombia.
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
For Greenland, I would say:
- Go on a boat tour and see icebergs for the first time (you’ll most likely see a few whales along the way too)
- Bathe in the beautiful Uunartoq hot springs
- Fly over the largest ice cap in the world
- Learn all about the food and culture from the local Greenlandics (especially if it involves kaffemik when you celebrate someone’s birthday)
- Go on the 2-day cruise along the western coast of Greenland abroad the Arctic Umiaq Line
How many countries have you visited so far?
I think I’m at the 77 mark? Around that number.
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Thai, Italian, Indian. I’m happy with any of those.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Disfrutar in Barcelona. It was recently voted as the 9th best restaurant in the world. When I was there I had a 27-course banquet and it was by far the best meal I’ve ever had. Honestly, it’s just so so so good. Worth visiting Barcelona just for this place.
What is your favorite travel movie?
Into the Wild. What a movie that is (makes me cry every time too…)
What is your favorite international airport?
Changi International Airport in Singapore is great (an obvious choice), but the tiny airport in Cornwall, UK, is brilliant too. You can get off the plane to your hire car in less than 10 minutes – not many places where you can do that!
Which city had the friendliest people?
I would probably say the people in Copenhagen. I always have an amazing time there and I love partying with the locals too.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
This is an easy one. My fiancé and fellow travel blogger Wanderlust Chloe!
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
I’d probably say reading and listening to music. I wish I wasn’t on my phone so much but that definitely comes with the job.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Maybe Raja Ampat in Indonesia? It’s one of the most beautiful and pristine places in the world, very secluded and hard to get to. That was a real “pinch me” moment.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Make sure you do it for the love of travelling. I see so many people wanting to become bloggers these days just to make money. You should want to become a blogger for the love of telling stories, not for the money.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
Always a good question! My camera, phone (mostly for the music), Kindle and laptop? When I’m travelling on my own my Kindle is my most prized possession because when I want to switch off from it all then that’s the first thing I go to.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
I would say somewhere like Ecuador which has a little bit of everything – the big cosmopolitan cities with incredible restaurants, beautiful beaches where you can go surfing, and some other incredible adventures like hiking Cotopaxi volcano. Oh, then there’s the Galapagos Islands too! I would love to do another long trip through South America though that’s for sure!
What is your favorite travel quote?
“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.” – St Augustine
Where are you headed next?
Dominica in the Caribbean
An Adventurous World is all about capturing the world one place at a time.