In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Craig and Aimee, the Welsh couple behind Kinging-It, a travel movement that is meant to inspire others and show people what real traveling is like, including the ups and the downs. We speak with them about their close calls they’ve had with their health, an intense festival they visited while in India, their top destinations around the world, and much more! Learn more about them and find out where they’re headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
We have diced with death! haha! But seriously, we have always wanted to see the world, our first trip was to Australia together to celebrate Aimee getting the all clear from cancer after she was diagnosed at just 17. Shortly after that trip Craig went to New Zealand and broke his neck! Don’t even know how we get travel insurance! We have always craved travel and been fascinated by other cultures and seeing weird and wonderful things on the road.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
At the moment we are probably traveling for 70% of the year and the rest is spent at home with family and just rejuvenating our energy, and planning the next trip! In all honesty, travel is exhausting! We love visiting places that people don’t really see. The Mongol Rally for example took us through the Middle East to all the ‘stans’ – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Mongolia, which was just the most eye-opening and brilliant experience of our lives. We didn’t even know these countries existed in the world!
The two of you are from South Wales in the UK. What makes South Wales such a great travel destination? What should travelers do and see when they go there?
Wales as a whole is a superb travel destination, from the incredibly beautiful coastline to the epic mountains in the North, Wales is really an underrated gem of the world. West Wales is so picturesque and glorious, when the sun is out it could easily be mistaken for the Caribbean. People should definitely visit the North and see Snowdonia, take a drive down the coast and stop at some of the wicked beaches and castles en route. There is also some really unique accommodation in Wales, treehouses, a UFO, a dragon’s eye to name a few. Can you tell we love our country?
Traveling can lead to lots of unexpected moments. What has been the most unexpected thing that has happened in your travels that led to a special or memorable moment?
We recently returned from our last trip – driving a rickshaw from the top to the bottom of India. This country throws all kinds at you and one day we were driving through Mumbai and heard a lot of drums and symbols in the distance. We parked up and got dragged into the middle of a festival which we can never un-see. People were hitting themselves in the back with samurai swords, piercing their cheeks with long needles, smashing coconuts on each others heads with baseball bats and all celebrating. It turns out it was a muslim festival called Urs Festival – not to be missed! A real memorable and random moment!
Aimee, you have been cancer-free for over a decade now. First off, congratulations! How has fighting cancer and beating it impacted you in your life and travels going forward? What did you learn or take away from that battle that you carry with you today?
Thank you! Having and beating cancer has made me the person I am today. I am stronger for it and as cheesy as it sounds you never know what’s around the corner! You should never wait for life changing things to happen to you to change how you live. Having cancer has made me see the world in a different way and I can’t get across to people enough how they should be living happy instead of just settling for an average life. Follow your passions and chase your dreams lads! You’re only got one life to live.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
We always say ‘We go do it wrong, so you don’t have to!’ We want people to learn that other countries and people really aren’t scary. If people say bad things about a country, it doesn’t put us off going. We will always go and make our own opinion of places and we’ve never come across one we didn’t like! When we told people we were going to Iran they all freaked out. The media has ruined it. Iran was the friendliest people we ever met. We want to teach people about culture and how everyone has something in common. We want to inspire people to travel and do it differently and do it well.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
(Apart from Wales of course) Iceland
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.
Many people thing Iceland is super expensive to travel, but I don’t think they realise, all the best things to do there are free! The Golden Circle is a fabulous route to see a pinch of what Iceland has to offer. And best of all you can drive it yourself! We also recommend people to do their own touring in Iceland as tours with companies can be quite pricey.
But for tours that may cost you some dollar – our favourites are:
- Whale watching – unreal! We also just recently got the chance to snorkel with whales, which was also an incredible experience!
- The Beer spa – just go and sit in a wooden tub filled with beer accompanied by your own beer tap! What’s not to love!
- Snorkelling in Silfra – the most incredible crystal clear waters we’ve ever seen. If you do this, you are also snorkelling between North America and Europe! – you can even touch both sides. Hot chocolate after to warm your bones!
For the best places to stay we would recommend:
- A stay at Mjoeryri – the cutest little wooden red scandinavian houses. There is a hot tub in a boat outside heated geothermal and it’s setting is the most incredible snowy fjord – unbelievable!
- The panorama glass lodge. Although we haven’t stayed here, it’s been on the ‘to do’ list now for a while! Alongside the ice hotel (but we think that might be a tad bit cold)
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Warung Bu Mi in Bali – a small locally owned restaurant. Cheap as you like and it’s a buffet of everything you can think of – veggie, vegan and all the local dishes. A gigantic bag full of food will set you back around $2 including a drink!
What is your favorite travel movie?
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
What is your favorite international airport?
Either Schipol or Singapore
Which city had the friendliest people?
Indian and Filipino people were high on the list but Tehran, Iran – we got offered to go to so many people houses for dinner and they were so friendly and welcoming. We met a lady who told us (through a translator) that she was so proud of us for coming to her country and experiencing what it was really like. It was a very emotional trip though Iran and we cannot recommend it to everyone enough.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
Silly question – each other of course! (Craig answered that, I do hate him sometimes and wish I’d brought my schnoodle Mollie – she’s the best.)
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Start a YouTube channel and you will never have any spare time for the rest of your life. Haha. Apart from that Aimee is champion sleeper of the world.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
A private island in the Philippines called Brother Island – it was just us, the chef and 3 dogs and you could walk around the whole island in about 15 minutes- it was so beautiful!
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Take your time, live in the moment, speak to everyone and a smile will get you so far.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
Craig: A kindle, a GoPro, a cozy pair of joggers, extension plug.
Aimee: Lipstick (don’t judge me) J-Pillow, Travel sickness tablets (ironic for a traveler) packing cubes.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Alaska – Craig
Afghanistan – Aimee
What is your favorite travel quote?
I don’t think we have one, so we’ll stick with ‘Rule your own world’
Where are you headed next?
We are Craig & Aimee AKA Kinging-It. We’re not your typical smile for the camera vloggers. We like our videos to be raw and authentic and we seize every opportunity we can to travel the world. After Aimee was diagnosed with cancer at 17, and Craig broke his neck shortly after – we felt like we needed an ‘oliday – and it just got a bit addictive really. We like to challenge ourselves around the world on the most mental missions we can think of… but things never seem to go as planned!