In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Justin Walter, the travel content creator behind Around the World with Justin! We chat with this outdoor adventurer from Illinois about the television show that made him want to see the world, his top destinations around the world, the mini-travel series he produces on Facebook, and much more! Check out his best travel advice for those with wanderlust and find out where he’s headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
Growing up in the Midwest my family went on summer vacations to Florida, the Jersey Shore and the Wisconsin Dells. When I was 15-years-old I fell in love with the TV Show Survivor and while watching season 2 I promised myself I would live in Australia and visit the Outback. Fast forward to my junior year in college, I chose to study abroad in Sydney. When no one in my program wanted to travel to the Outback I embarked on my first ever solo backpacking trip. And the rest is history…
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
I try my best to take 2-3 international trips every year that range from 2-6 weeks in length. On top of that I love sprinkling in long weekends away in the US. I’m drawn to outdoor adventure destinations and am a sucker for tropical islands and epic trekking.
You grew up in the Midwest and now call Los Angeles home. What makes these places such great travel destinations? What do you recommend people do there when they visit?
The Midwest will always have a special place in my heart because of the people. I love being surrounded by Midwesterners who place such an importance on family and friends. When visiting Chicago, it’s a MUST to eat Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza and Portillo’s Italian beef. What I love most about Los Angeles is the amount of outdoor adventure in such close proximity. There aren’t many cities where you can go surfing and skiing in the same weekend!
You do a video series on your Facebook page called “Around The World in 80 Seconds.” Can you tell us about it and how it came about?
Bottom line is I wanted to add a greater purpose to my trips. In addition to travel blogging, I came up with the idea to create a catchy, educational, inspiring and adventurous digital series. The idea of “80 Seconds” instead of “80 Days” popped into my mind and I ran with it.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I hope others are inspired to travel through my work. A lot of my content is focused on solo travel so I hope that through my experiences my readers and followers find the courage to travel and to take that trip they’ve always wanted to, even if no one will go with them. I love when someone reaches out to me and thanks me for inspiring them.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
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, the best place to have lunch, the best sightseeing, etc.
- Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park
- Great White Cage Diving, Mossel Bay
- Bloukrans Bridge Bungy Jump, the Garden Route
- Robberg Nature Reserve, Plettenberg Bay
- Kasteelspoort, Cape Town
How many countries have you visited so far?
42 and I know that because I recently downloaded an app called “Been” that makes it easy to track.
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Italian (preferably my mom’s), Mediterranean, and Mexican
What is your favorite travel movie?
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty & Baraka
What is your favorite international airport?
Changi Airport in Singapore
Which city had the friendliest people?
Who is your favorite travel companion?
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
I love unplugging by watching movies and sleeping on long plane rides! On buses and trains, I put my headphones on, listen to music (my go-to is Mumford & Sons while traveling), stare out the window and contemplate life… as cheesy as that sounds.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Travel is a choice. If you want to travel, choose to travel. And I promise it will be the best choice of your life.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Still on my list include Iceland, Pulau, and Italy among many.
What is your favorite travel quote?
“I think that you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within happy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.” – Chris McCandless
Where are you headed next?
I’ll be on the road for the next month! Coming up is Malaysia, islands off the coast of Singapore, Santa Barbara and possibly Hawaii for the first time. There’s a possibility I may even get back to Australia and New Zealand for the first time. My travels are often spontaneous, which I love!
Justin Walter lives for outdoor adventure! Over the past 14+ years he has backpacked around the world, mostly by himself, seeking outdoor adventure. Justin is an LA-based travel content creator who shares his travel adventures and tips on his blog “Around The World with Justin.” He lives by the motto, “the adventure you’re ready for is the one you get” and is always ready for his next adventure.
Learn more about Justin Walter and his travel adventures by checking out his website and his travel series Around the World in 80 Seconds. Also, be sure to connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!