In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Will Tang, the blogger and world traveler behind the popular travel blog Going Awesome Places. We chat with him about how his passion for travel got started, what he learned on his first big trip, his advice for novice bloggers, and much more! Find out what his favorite destinations around the globe are and where he’s headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
My passion for travel started at a young age when I used to go on road trips with my parents all the time. I’d like to think that this really planted the seed of travel and why it matters. As I grew up, it wasn’t until I decided to go on exchange to Sweden during university that I got my serious first taste of travel and it’s then that my obsession for it grew and grew.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
I think a common misconception of travel bloggers is that all of us are traveling ALL the time but the truth is that for those that aren’t nomadic, we travel a number times a year and the rest of time is spent at our home base. If I were to give a number, I’d say that I’m on the road about at least once a month or less. Some trips could be a few days and some could last for 2-3 weeks.
In terms of the places I like to visit, I love my adventure and outdoors but I also seek places that can also provide a balance of comfort, some luxury, and local experiences. The thing that most people don’t realize is that you can find this in almost anywhere in the world, you just need to know where to look and know how to plan your trip.
You launched your blog, Going Awesome Places, on a whim in 2012 during a transitional period in your life. It has since grown into a successful travel blog. What makes Going Awesome Places such a unique resource for travelers and travel enthusiasts?
If I boil it down, the reason why I’ve been successful is because I create in-depth content that truly help people plan their trips. I put myself in the shoes of someone in the middle of trip planning and put together everything that someone would need to know.
Just days after you launched your blog, you set out on a 3-month trip to Asia. What did you learn during that trip that you still carry with you today?
That is the trip that really started it all. My biggest learning from my time in Asia was just to appreciate life for the moments big or small. You grow up thinking that having a corporate job is the be-all and end-all of life but once you take that leap to pursue your dreams, you realize that there’s so much more out there.
You share a lot of your adventure travel experiences, destination guides, and travel gear reviews on your YouTube channel. What advice would you give to others who want to start travel vlogging?
It’s hard! I kickstarted my YouTube channel 2 years ago and I had to do it pretty much from scratch. It’s a completely different skillset to blogging so there was a lot that I needed to learn. I think the most important thing about travel vlogging is to just figure out what types of videos work for you as a brand by trying different things. I’ve never been shy about going all sorts of directions and through that experimentation, I’ve figured out what brings in views and subscribers. Once you figure out what works, you double down on it.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
It’s about inspiring others to travel and to empower my audience to feel confident about going to many of the places that I’ve been to through my detailed content.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
- New Zealand
- South Africa
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.
New Zealand is fresh so why don’t we go with that.
- Hobbiton – I’m a big LOTR nerd
- Tongariro Crossing
- Milford Sound – An incredible experience especially kayaking the waters
- Shotover Jet – The most ridiculous boat ride you’ve ever been on. Kiwis are crazy!
How many countries have you visited so far?
50 countries so far!
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
- Tim Ho Wan is one of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world and I love dim sum so it’s a match made in heaven. The best item there is the baked BBQ pork buns. It’s unbelievably good.
What is your favorite international airport?
There’s a reason why Singapore is rated the best airport in the world and I have to agree!
Which city had the friendliest people?
I’m not biased or anything but I have to say that my hometown of Toronto is top on the list!
Who is your favorite travel companion?
My wife of course! I couldn’t do what I do today without her.
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Queuing up Instagram stories jk not jk.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Ethiopia is by far the most exotic place I never thought I’d ever go to.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Just go! Travel is for everyone and it’s something that’ll truly open your eyes and your mind. The crazy thing is that you don’t need to go that far to put yourself out there. You can travel a couple hundred or a couple thousands of kilometers (or miles) and still have amazing experiences.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
- Apple iPhone
- Olympus mirrorless camera
- Exofficio underwear
- Anker power bank to keep that smartphone charged
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Antarctica is one of the big dreams I still have!
What is your favorite travel quote?
“We are meant to live for so much more” – Switchfoot
Where are you headed next?
I’m trying to do more work locally and that’s why I’ll be headed to the Niagara Region next for a new project.
Going Awesome Places is a travel brand that focuses on outdoor adventure and experiential travel and has a strong presence on the blog, YouTube, and through social media with audiences that span from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore. The brand’s specialty is in creating high-quality evergreen content that revolves around inspiring others to travel, incredibly detailed itineraries, and creative storytelling through video.