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Karl Watson (Travel Documentaries)

On today’s Podcast, we have Karl Watson. Karl Watson is an Adventurer and Youtuber.

Having had a passion for exploring the world from a young age, it wasn’t until Karl went backpacking for the first time in 2006 that the travel bug truly bit him. He went on a 6-month journey through Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA.

He began making films of his trips to capture the experiences and share them with my friends. The key was always to try and make a fun and engaging film; they can watch it and enjoy it from start to finish.

We talk about his early travels and some of the difficult moments he has had along the way on the podcast.

Karl’s Website

Karl’s Youtube

Karl’s Instagram

Video Podcast

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Transcript of our Conversation

Karl Watson

[00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the modern adventurer podcast where explorers and adventurers tell their stories coming up. The first day of hi Kane, it was like a 1400 meter climb is like a 12 mile hike. And I was just going up here. I was just getting more and more tired and And then as I started to go downhill, like, cause when you going up, you can sort of power through.

But when I went started to go downhill, my legs were so tired. I nearly fell over and buckled under the weight because my legs were so weak. And I was like, right, this ain’t working. And I started getting really angry myself and annoyed and upset going are, you know, it’s your first trip away in 18 months and you’ve fucked it up.

Like, you know, I’m John Horsfall. And on this weekly podcast, we talk to adventurers and explorers from around the world who have made remarkable and daring journeys in recent years from Everest climbers to polar explorers, world record holders, [00:01:00] and many more. I hope this podcast, sparks ideas and inspires you to explore and go on your own.

Granted. My next guest is a travel YouTube with a huge array of stories to tell he has covered all sorts of places from his big trip, from Hong Kong to New York. We talk about some of those incredible experiences he’s had and how that sort of transformed his YouTube into where it is now. Today, he gets to travel all over the world with some incredible companies and telling the most fantastic stories through his filmmaking.

So I am delighted to answer. Carl Watson to the podcast. Cheers, John, thanks for having me on absolutely pleasure. I mean, you’ve done some remarkable stuff over the last sort of 10 years, recording your adventures wherever, wherever you go in the world. Yeah. What I absolutely love about your story is the sort of beginnings of it and that sort of leap of faith that you did [00:02:00] from your Hong Kong to New York trip for everyone listening.

Probably the best place to start is at the beginning. Yeah. So this Hong Kong New York trip didn’t 2013. I’d been backpacking before. When I was 22, but I didn’t film it cause I didn’t have a camera or anything like that. But then I started making videos of my trips. Just little trips away, just for fun.

Cause I’ve worked in video as a video editor in London and all the stuff I was doing professionally was unbelievably dull. So I was like, well my film of trips, I was like more fun and creative to edit. And so I started doing more and more of those. And then I had this idea. It’s like, I want to go traveling again, but I want it to be the biggest trip possible.

I don’t want to work a single day. Like I’ve done the work holiday visa before, and I want to film it all and just cut it as if we’ve been commissioned to do a TV series, even though we hadn’t or just film it and, you know, see what happens with them. I didn’t have. High ambitions for how many people would watch it or anything like that.

I just thought it’d be a [00:03:00] fun souvenir. And hopefully the people we met in the trip would enjoy it. But it was just, just an idea, just a creative experiment. And so, yeah, me and my buddy, James spent three years saving up to go do this trip from Hong Kong to New York. As the title suggests. It doesn’t even suggest it tells exactly what it is, but he got, we went through 20 countries and four continents in nine months.

And yeah, James, who I went with my best friend and he never been traveling before. And and he was like, what do I need to do? I said, I’ll plan it all. I’ll organize everything. Just in exchange. You have to put up with me filming for nine months and he’s like, all right. Deal. And then in the buildup sort of saving up for the trip I sort of put the trip, we’re going to do it 2012.

And then I got a new job that kind of completely sort of my life and career out, which has been a bit of a Rocky ride. And I said, look, I need to do two years of this job. So we have to do the trip 2013 and he went, that’s fine. The only thing will stop me. As if I get a girlfriend and fall in love, [00:04:00] guess what happened?

So, so when I actually booked the ticket for the trip, it was going to be a solo trip. It’s just gonna be me by myself. And then, and that would’ve been May, 2012. I was going to set off in February, 2013 and then August, 2012. Day after James’s birthday, Ramey ups going, Hey, Carl, how are you? And I was like, oh, God what’s happened.

Cause he only asks how I am. If something bad has happened to him and his girlfriend had broken up, he was like, oh, is it still too late to come on the trip? And I was like, no, if you’ve got the money and basically all the money you save from the trip, he was then saving for a house with his girlfriend.

So he had all the money saved up. And when like the space of two days got booked on the trip super easy and he came on a trip that kind of changed both our lives. It changed his life. Okay. I used to traveling. He’s done tons of traveling since then. And it changed my life because it was just more eye-opening like on top of the traveling I’ve done before, but also this experiment of a video.

Once we eventually cut it, it went online and it didn’t just take off straight away, but gradually just sort of snowballed. And it’s now got like [00:05:00] two and a half million views or something. Can we pull the episodes together? So it’s sort of, and it’s led to me the YouTube taken off doing travel films professionally.

Like personally, still for YouTube and yeah, turn it all right. Basically, I suppose, back in what, 20 12, 20 13, that was sort of the early days of YouTube really. And people uploading. More personal stuff. Yeah. Yeah. And it was very, I often get people ask me sort of going on. Nowadays they’ll ask me what made you decide to do documentaries instead of blogs?

I was like, well, you got the chronology the wrong way round. I was making the documentaries before blogs really existed. I was inspired by TV, documentaries, like the long way, round, a long way down with you and McGregor and Charlie Baldwin, but he’s motorbikes around the world. And I loved their films because they were very honest about the experience.

Pitt playing. You felt like you’re on the trip with them. So I was just copying that. I didn’t even know what blogs were and if they get didn’t really know what a YouTube channel was either. I just, it was just YouTube as just a website could upload the [00:06:00] video onto so I could share the link to people. So when I first got notification saying, oh, someone subscribed to your channel, I was like, right.

Two questions, what’s a subscriber. And what’s a channel, you know, I had no idea and it’s just. But it just grabs you took off. And yeah, there was no other content out there really like it at the time. Yeah. So most videos of people backpacking would just be a GoPro montage or something. And so to have a, a video, which was kind of hopefully honest about the experience and kind of wore TV style, even though Sean, a home video camera, but certainly in terms of editing style that wasn’t, it wasn’t a crowded field for that.

So just, yeah, I think that’s one of the reasons it took off. Yeah. I think we all sort of discussing earlier about how, because you ha had your friend, what was his name? James going along with you, you could almost banter back and forth. You also had the experience. So they’ll was sort of a lot of elements to the sort of documentary filmmaking.

Whereas [00:07:00] as we sort of said, when it comes to blogs has to be like quite an interesting sort of story, otherwise to sort of captivate people throughout the whole experience. Really? Yeah. And if you’re traveling with someone, it just, you’ve got two people’s perspectives on a situation. And if one day.

Feeling a bit tired then maybe the other person can lift the video up by being excited and vice versa. Whilst if you, you know, I’ve done, I’ve filmed solo trips since then. And you know, if you’re tired, it’s like, well, the video is going to be shut for that day because you’re just going to be like, Hey, I’m here.

And you know people think you’re on grateful to be there. I say, no, I’m just tired and possibly hung over or something. But and it was great people. I think people who watched the Hong Kong to New York city. Really identified with James story a lot. Cause he was the first time traveler was I’d done traveling before.

So you saw a much bigger change in him across 11 episodes than you did necessarily with me. Cause I’d, you know, I’d sort of already found myself if you’d like to use the cliche kind of thing. I [00:08:00] was like, you know, he looks so different at the end that he doesn’t. And he was a different person in some ways by the end.

So, yeah. And it was a nine month trip, nine months trip. Yes. A nine months of filming and became 11 episodes sort of passing out of 45 minutes long each. And I took about, it took about year to edit, but I was doing it around a full-time job. So it wasn’t like I was editing 24 7. That was going to say that’s a lot of content to a.

Dissect really? Yeah. And you have to just be organized with your footage, especially once you get it in the editing program. Cause I get off people often ask me, well, how the hell do you edit nine months of footage? And it’s not like you put it all in one long timeline and just start trying to sort it out.

You sort of use folders and metadata to organize it by like country location activity. Just break it all down to these small little moments and then just start building it back up again and just, you know, get that first place work and then the next place. [00:09:00] And he just started building up. So you don’t still think, right.

I have to edit a nine month film. You sort of think is gonna edit that day and then you go from there. Nice. And so when when you came back from that trip, because for people listening, it was near Hong Kong to New York, but it was a very long winded way round. Wasn’t just like, oh, that doesn’t take any time a tool.

So for people listening who are unfamiliar with that, What was the sort of route that you were taking? So we went from Hong Kong, popped into China, and then we went down through sort of the classic Southeast Asia countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand into Malaysia, Singapore, and Bali. They went to Australia for a few weeks, went to the Outback in east coast then went to New Zealand.

And then London had chili went through south America to Argentina, Brazil. Stopped in Peru for a couple of weeks, then central [00:10:00] America went to Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and then we flew to LA and hired a car and drove to New York for the last leg. So yeah. Wow. And what were the sort of highlights from that sort of, I mean, how can you really sort of give nine months down to, yeah, it is, there’s so many different highlights.

It’s sort of an enjoy different places for different reasons as well. Yeah. Once we like Hong Kong just felt like an easy way into the trip. Cause you know, it’s quite a westernized place. But when we landed in China, it was like the big culture shock of like, oh God, what we actually do. And like for like property jumped in the deep end.

So that was scary and intimidating. But then you look back here to going out. It was great. Cause it was just like right. We’re in the adventure now. And then there’s. Other stuff where it’s like we’re in the Outback in Australia and doing this tool and the Outback could very, very easily be dull. Cause there’s a whole lot of nothing.

You’ve got to drive for Titan, but we had an amazing guide, an amazing group, and he knew all the cool spots to [00:11:00] go to and stuff. And so Elma stretches in between the cold places, whether there’s a waterfall or a national park or whatever. He would make the trip fun. He would teach you stuff, get you playing games and things like that.

So things like that, the Inca trail in Peru you know, our guide was again incredible for that and really made everyone, you know, at the start, the track, you said, oh, I’m going to make you all. I’m not going to call you a gringos or friends or tourists. I’m going to call you a family. Cause we’re going to be a family.

And at the start of it, you kind of the cynical side views go to Acacia, but then by the end, you’ve got the whole group so tight and on the penalty at night, we got to Machu Picchu. Like everyone was sharing all these like personal stories from the life and people were crying and I was like, oh shit, he did it.

So, so, so many great moments. But that’s, that’s the great thing when you go away for nine months, when you go for any period of time, It feels a lot longer than nine months or even two weeks, we go over that or even a weekend. It feels longer than if you just stayed at home doing [00:12:00] nothing because you’re filling it up with so many different experiences that it just, you know, rather than when you’re at home working nine to five and it all blurs into one, it sort of, it feels way longer.

So it felt like we always spend away for nine years rather than nine months when we got back. And so when you got back, did that sort of, but travel bug was always a sort of realities. Dave they live sort of set in and then, or was it the idea always to sort of set up a sort of travel documentary channel and it was, no, it was never, there was never a grand scheme.

I knew I was going to get back and work full time free. Just to land on my feet. And then I was going to move to being a freelance video editor rather than having a full-time job as a video editor, because working freelance you get paid more, have more flexibility work for more variety of clients.

And also if the work’s coming in, I can take any time off of one and then travel more. And, and the idea for that was just, ah, I can do more traveling [00:13:00] just to have more experiences and then also make some cool videos. But. I wasn’t thinking of being an audience for it yet. Cause I was still, even when I had this plan, I hadn’t actually released the Hong Kong New York series yet.

So I didn’t know that was even an audience there. It was just a sort of go free dance, have a better career and also get to do more traveling. And then fortunately the audience just grew for the trips and and so gradually sort of my professional and hobbies sort of starting to emerge in the middle.

And I suppose after that, you, as I say, you sort of had the travel bug. You’re sort of documentaries have taken you all sorts of places where you filmed it and such an amazing way that sort of captivates the audience. What’s the sort of trips that sort of stand out for you. Yeah. And they all stand out in different ways.

It’s almost like the cliche parent going, I can’t pick my favorite child or something like that, but it’s always the youngest. It’s true. Cause I’m the youngest. So it’s definitely, it’s definitely true. [00:14:00] Japan with Japan was one, always sticks out. Cause that place. So much fun, like so much to do.

The people are so friendly. The food is incredible, but it was just, it’s just fun. And everyone’s so happy. And it’s like probably out of violin them ahead when I was leaving that one, I had to go home. And then at deeds, another one in 2019 in September, I did my first sort of hosted my first tour.

Must have been working with Intrepid travel to create these bespoke. Where I basically look at their itineraries. Customize it for how I want it, then put it on sale to people who follow my channel and then we all go have an adventure together and we still have a local guide for the country. And I know I just made the video as always and the Morocco tour, it was the first one.

We’d done some, a lot of the people who sign up for it, where people are already knew, like there’s a few people who had never met before, just follow the channel. But I had a whole mixture of like, people I’ve known since I was a kids. James was that. [00:15:00] Other friends I met on other trips, people have met off the back of the YouTube channel have also have YouTube channels.

And so it was the whole thing felt like, you know, when you have like a it’s your birthday and you got all different groups of friends hanging together and it’s kind of surreal going, oh, that person’s chatting to that. It was like that, but for two weeks in Morocco, so it was just very, very surreal, but we all had an amazing time.

We had an incredible guide Hamad, so it was just. It was quite, quite overwhelming. Actually. I was just some moments I was sitting there going, I can’t believe, you know, we’re sitting there watching the sunset and Sahara and I’ve got all these people around me. And this little happened off the back of the YouTube channels.

Just like, how did this happen? It was quite, yeah, quite a while. And with that in what’s it called Intrepid travel that sort of Morocco. And you’ve got another big one coming up at the end of this year. Yeah, we’ve got a few coming up, so I’ve actually got Iceland coming up. [00:16:00] Friday. Yeah, so I was going to be great.

I think I was fortunate enough to go away this summer, but I think for most people it can be their first trip away since before the pandemic. So I think everyone’s gonna be bursting with excitement. What mind, the fact that they’re gonna have to pay probably 10 pounds for a beer, because it’s be excited to be away.

We’ve got that one. And then we’ve got a whole bunch lined up for next year. Just hopefully they can all happen. But we got Thailand, January Borneo in April, which was supposed to happen in 2020 has been put back two years, then Turkey in June, and then we’re going to Pakistan in September 22. Incredible because ever I’ve never been there, but most of these countries I’ve never been to apart from Thailand, but everyone I know who’s been to Pakistan says one of their favorite places in the world.

Like the scenery’s insane, it’s the nicest people you’ll ever meet. So I really, really can’t wait to experience it, not just for like the natural beauty, but also it’s a country that has like a [00:17:00] negative reputation. And so it’d be fun. Just sort of showing like, no, no, See, this is fine, you know? So so that one’s gonna be really cool.

Yeah. We had Ava Zubek on recently or. Not that recent. We will also have the time right now, and we spoke in depth about Pakistan and the sort of amazing, as you say, with an slightly negative press that comes its way, just the amazing people and the amazing scenery that that’s there. And just how incredibly a hospital.

The people of Pakistan. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I first heard about it when I was in, not obviously first out of the country, but how great it was. I was backpacking in India in 2016 and I was at one hostel and it was like an older couple of chatting to, and they said, oh, they went to Pakistan like 10 years ago.

And because we were talking about how in [00:18:00] India, like there’s a mixture of like some of the friendliest people you ever meet, but it’s also people, especially at the touristy places, just constantly hustling. You’re trying to sell your stuff, which gets very tiresome. And they went well, if you’ve got to Pakistan, You don’t get any of that.

They sort of treat you more like you write your guests, that our country, we’re going to treat you as a guest. And so almost rolled out the red carpet for you kind of thing. So yeah, I can’t wait to see what it’s like and yeah, I have to admit, I am yet to go on a plane since the start of the pandemics.

I imagine for everyone who’s going traveling in the next couple of months, or this year are absolutely buzzing to go. Yeah. And it’s kind of surreal. I was away the summer. I went to Switzerland at lean Croatia and just, it took like a couple of days as to like actually sink in. And I was actually there.

You sort of sit in there looking at the mountains, going like, am I actually here? Like, you know just been stuck in my own living room for so long. There’s so much, he finally. No. I took a, took a few days, [00:19:00] probably sort of settle in and sort of, rather than just sort of be in a state of disbelief. And that trip to Switzerland cause you had a little bit of a hiccup there.

Yeah. Basically my plan was to hike from , which is like about a hundred miles over 10 days. And Switzerland’s a place of sort of. Ever since I was a kid, like we used to go all the time as a family and I’ve still got a lot as an adult. So it was hot enough height there ever since I was a kid. So I thought, all right, I’m gonna have to carry a bit more weight.

But I know these mountains inside out, this is going to be fine, but then. Actually once. And I even tried practicing a backpack and going on hikes near where I live with all my laptop and equipment then, and just some clothes, but I didn’t sort of do the proper calculation of like actually when you get all the rest of your clothes and you actually pack them in, it ends up being a few kilograms more and.

And it was just the first day of hiking, it was like a 1400 meter climb. It was like a 12 mile hike. [00:20:00] And as I was going up, I was just getting more and more tired. And and then as I started to go downhill, because when you going up, you can sort of pass through. But when I went, started to go downhill, my legs were so tired.

I nearly fell over and buckled under the weight because my legs were so weak. And I was like, right, this ain’t working. And I started getting really. Angry myself and annoyed and upset going on. It’s your first trip away in 18 months. And you’ve fucked it up. Like, you know, and I was like, oh, but, and luckily my mum was there at the start because she was in this whole lane on holiday in Switzerland at the same time, she wasn’t gonna do the whole Trek.

But she was doing that day with me or part of that day with me. And as she could sort of just talk some sense into me, it was like, oh, well I have to do this. And she went, why you don’t have to do anything. You can miss a train right there. You can turn around. And right now, I was like, well, I want to do this.

And then she’s like, well, what do you actually want out of the trip? And I, all I wanted was just sort of just to get away from everything and just relax in the mountains and just go on enjoyable [00:21:00] hikes and not have to worry about anyone, not to worry about myself. Cause I know the place so well. And, and that first day I realized I wasn’t doing that.

I was actually freaking out. I was like, well, I don’t want to be freaking out. And also at the end of the day, I got to this town bank. Which I know very well. And God’s like my favorite viewpoint for some. And I was so exhausted rather than the sitting there going like, wow, I’ll sit in there going man.

Cause I was just, I was just so tired. I was like, well, this is wrong. You shouldn’t be, you know, I want to be sitting here in awe and I want to be enjoying every moment. And so then I thought that. Why don’t I just so get the train to the main towns of the Trek and just do day hikes and still cover most of the same grounds.

Still see everything I want to see, but not have to carry all my stuff during the day. So it won’t be as tired and I’ll be able to enjoy it more. And as soon as I sort of made that decision, like, right, that’s what I’m gonna do. It felt, I mean, I guess it was literally a weight off my shoulders, but [00:22:00] figuratively just suddenly was like, oh yeah.

That’s, you know, you know, you’ve made the right decision. Cause it feels like the right decision. And from then on in, I just loved every second of the trips. It was a hundred percent the right choice. I mean, the weather helped me make the choice as well because of like a big, I had coming up two days of like the highest, most remote passes of the Trek and it was scheduled for thunderstorms and it was just like, you know, hiking by yourself.

Over mountains and thunderstorms. It’s not brave. It’s just stupid. And so I said him when I was filming the trip, which I’m meditating right now. And I’ll sort of explain to camera and my decision-making. I was like, I was like, yeah, don’t want to just, I want it to be a challenge, but a fun challenge, not low, not like let’s go die in the mountains, you know?

And I, I don’t want to be remembered as the dumb YouTube who died on the mountain is just trying to make a video. I was like this way, I’ll just be remembered as a dumb YouTuber and that’s fine because I’ll still be alive. Yeah, I think, I think that’s important, especially when people, people listening and sort of taking on [00:23:00] these trips is the why of your, of what you’re doing.

And sometimes people sort of feel like they need to really suffer or really pushed themselves in order to get something out of it. But sometimes if your, why is that? You just want to switch off. Yeah. Going, and as you say, taking the train so that you have those moments to really appreciate, you know, the beauty of the Swiss mountains.

Whereas if you, as you say, you are too tired to even appreciate just those, those small moments, then you’re definitely making the rounds. You know, decision and your thinking. Yeah. And I’ve done trips before that have been physical challenges or mental challenges, but that’s what I signed up for. So I was happy to take, but actually what I wanted from this trip was just cause I know the country so well.

I just like, you know, I want it to be a relaxing trip, even if for some people hiking, isn’t relaxing. They think of that as sit on the beach, but for me, it’s [00:24:00] relaxing because you just haven’t got care in the world. And suddenly, and I wasn’t relaxed. And so I was just so it’s just, if you’re ever doing a trip and you’re not enjoying it, you just have to take a moment to sort of first take a deep breath, chill, and then sort of think, right.

What do I actually want out of this trip? And then is what I’m currently doing. Let me achieve that. Or do I just need to adjust the plan slightly and it’s fight you. Don’t. You don’t owe anything to anyone other than yourself. So if you want to change the plans, it’s fine. And then as soon as you do it, you’ll probably feel a little better as well.

Yeah. I remember I was having Julie Stewart on and he cycled around the world and we were talking about how, like you had you build it up in your head that everyone back home will be like so disappointed or something. But at the end of the day, when doing these trips, unless you’re breaking a world record or, you know, pacing yourself or yeah.

No one really cares. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It’s true. And [00:25:00] it’s like I think by having a YouTube channel and stuff like that, you almost feel like a responsibility to do it. I think I was putting pressure on myself cause I noticed, Hey everyone, I’m in Switzerland, I’m going to do this huge hike. And then two days later I was like, yeah, no, I’m not, you know, but, but in between that I was sort of thinking, well, I’ve said I was going to do this huge thing and now I’m not doing it.

And then. And then I was just like, well fuck him. So what, and, and the nice thing was when I posted it and sort of you know, cause sometimes align, you get like trolls and idiots and stuff like that. I mean, most of it’s positive, but when I actually posted saying I’ve changed our plan. Everyone committed.

Just saying, yeah, it sounds like you made the perfect decision and well done for listening to your gut. And so it was actually, it was actually nice that everyone got your reasoning and people shared similar stories going, oh yeah, I was doing this Trek once and realized to take it on too much and stuff like that.

So that was actually really encouraging that everyone, everyone got it and understood. The only thing now is, is editing the video. Cause it’s going to [00:26:00] be a completely different video than originally planned. Like I can’t put a video on line. A hundred mile Trek for Greenbelt, desert mat and give up after day one because people just press stop, go.

This is rubbish. So the videos is going to be granted messed up. It’s going to be just like Greenbelt as a map. I’m just going to say it, the star I Reggie, upon the Trek it, but I ended up just doing this so they know you’re going to change your mind. And then all I’m doing now is just when I do change a mind, explain the reasoning, but not dwell on it too long.

Like you don’t need the violins out and stuff like that. Cause it’s just. A fun travel video rather than like one man’s personal struggle. And if they already know you’re going to change their mind, that don’t need to hear you moaning about it. Cause they just want to see a fun video rather than you just feeling sorry for yourself.

So so it’s going to be at, it’s just not been right now and getting the tone just right. To sort of explain your reasoning, but not to dwell it too long because people, especially like your subscribers might be want to hear everything you’ve got to say. Most people have watched the video. Won’t subscribe to your channel.

It might be the first video they’ve ever seen, and they just want to [00:27:00] see you enjoying Switzerland. They don’t want to hear you sit down in a hotel banger balcony. I go through this mental struggle, like, oh, just shut up, Mona man. Go enjoy Switzerland. So so it’s gonna be a fun challenge to what it. But I, I think also it’s interesting for people to sort of see that because, you know, as you say, when you sort of just go up and go, Hey, I’m doing this big trip, everyone probably in their heads just say, oh, well, it’s probably quite easy.

You know, simple to do. And then suddenly to be like, after two days, be like, ah, damn, I didn’t quite get this. Right. This is why things didn’t work out. So if you plan on doing this trip, then maybe think about doing that or this, but for me, it’s about the enjoyment and I’m not getting any, so I need to move on.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s for me, it’s always about. Just enjoying it. And whether, if you are doing a trip that’s physically challenging or, or culturally challenging, whatever, but if you’ve gone there to do that, then you’ll enjoy the [00:28:00] challenge. But I wasn’t doing that trip for a challenge. I just thought it would be easy and it would be, you know, it didn’t take into consideration the sort of the accumulated exhaustion from carrying that weight, you know, it’s sort of all right for half an hour, but.

Going up a mountain and then going higher and higher and you get more and more tired. And then sort of just, it was just a miscalculation, but then you have to go like, oh right. I messed up, switch suppliers, then get on with it and enjoy yourself. Have you taken any on more the sort of challenges before?

I mean, I’ve done other plenty of other treks before like done the Everest base camp Trek. We tried to Raymond mountain and Venezuela. We’re lucky to get that just before Venezuela. Really went downhill. And for those, yeah, I mean, they were, they were, but for that, we’d signed up for an adventure, like, especially the arraignment Trek is like six days of tracking.

Three of the days you’re on top of the mountain exploring rounds, but, you know, we’re just sort of sleeping in [00:29:00] tents. You know, you’re carrying all your camping equipment and sleeping in tents and your mattress was like, as thin as a bit of paper and you’re sleeping on dried at mud, just like sleep on concrete.

And so he couldn’t get any sleep. They didn’t have much food for us to eat because this country has gone through supply problems, which has gone way worse since then. And so it was a bit of a struggle. But then you get on top of the road, ranger mountain, they call it the lost world because it’s just like such a unique landscape up there and plants and wildlife, you don’t get anywhere else in the world.

If you’ve seen the Pixar film up, it’s basically they based where they go to, and that was based on that mountain. And it was just, it was, it was incredible. It was like one of those best travelers travel experiences. Right. But it was a challenge. It was a struggle. It was part of, you’ve watched your honor going, oh, I can’t wait to get back and just, you know, have some comfort and stuff, but then you have to go like, no, no, enjoy it.

Wash your hair. You’ll be back before, you know I had another one. We did the, on the same trip early in the trip. We were attracted the last city in [00:30:00] Columbia which is kind of like that similar to Machu Picchu. But the only way to get there as a track, you can’t get a bus up to. And the track they had was amazing through the jungle, but then just as we got there, we sort of did the tour of the city in the morning.

And by the time we finished the tour food poisoning kicked in for me. And so basically, and the track up was like two days through this hot sweaty jungle jungle. You’re like a human fountain of sweat. It was just so hot and so tiring. And it’s like, right, that really hard training you’ve done now do it with food poisoning where you’ve got no energy and stuff.

And so that. The longest two days ever when he was just like, you know what? You have to just get yourself in a frame of mind going put one foot in front of the other. And then before you know it, before, you know, it you’ll be on a podcast chatting about it in a few years’ time. So, yeah. Yeah. I trained to sort of do anything with food poisoning is a massive struggle.

And yeah, I remember having to sort of [00:31:00] try and get sort of 20 odd miles with food poisoning day after day. It’s just awful. And as you say, all you want to do is literally cut up in a ball and hide away. Whereas when you pretty much have to force yourself, this is what I find very interesting, especially on the sort of mental, the mental side is that if today or tomorrow we got food poisoning, we’d probably stay in bed, chill out, you know, rest up.

Whereas, but when you’re on these sort of track, do you literally have to force yourself to sort of walk. A ridiculous amount, whether it’s 20, 15, 10 miles and you can easily do it. But if, as you say tomorrow, you just sort of woke up and said, ah, no way, I can’t even get out of bed. I can’t even get to my front door I’m out.

But the sort of mental side of it is just sort of pushing through. Yeah. And I’ve had. One of the time I had to really push through and to experience this wasn’t luckily had enough food [00:32:00] poisoning for this. But I was doing this press trip in Catalonia, in Spain, and the idea was they were going to keep everything a surprise to me.

So it didn’t know what I was doing each day, which sounds great on paper, but it’s very counterproductive when you’re filming the whole trip yourself. Cause you don’t know what kit to bring for each thing. And then, so they took me to like some wineries for lunch. And then the afternoon and went right.

You’re doing a via ferrata. So I was like, what? And then and then the guide we had, it was like a two hours climbing up. Rock face mountain and via fraud is look easy. Cause it’s like, oh, it’s just a ladder. But when you get close to it, that kind of each bit is quite far apart and you’re pulling yourself up and you have to even use handhold and other stuff and you clipped home, but you’re, you got two clips on, but you sometimes have a bit where you might, if you fell off, you wouldn’t dive, you might still fall like two meters.

And I was just, I was terrified the whole time. It was just pure Tara and like our guide. It was from Catalonia. So he [00:33:00] couldn’t speak English and he couldn’t even speak Catalan. Sorry. He couldn’t speak. He could barely speak Spanish. You’re speaking in Catlin. And like our, I had the tourism agency guide with me.

She was trying to translate, but it was when you’re doing something that’s scary. Like communication’s such a big port and part of it, like not just clear instructions, but also encouraging you and sort of comforting you. And he would, we get to one bit, we’re going to climb and he’d explain it for 10 minutes and cars.

To the tourism agency guide. And then he looked at me and go Le left leg. I was like, is that it, like, you talked for 10 minutes before, is that there’s gotta be more to it than just, you know, and so I’ll let you have to sort of think back to anytime I’ve done some, anything scary before my trips you know, thinking about what they always say, like take deeper.

You know, and then you think, oh, every sports cliche goes through your mind, like right. Take a one step at a time, you know, like you can go out, you can get on to that one. All right. Do that. And then just do the next one. Stop trying to think about [00:34:00] how far you’ve got to go. But it was, it was like two hours of pure Terex.

There’s no way you could go back down either. And so you just, I was just stuck in it and had to get through it. And then we got to the top and there was the most perfect sunset. The guide was like, see, wasn’t it worth it. I was like, it could have hiked up here and had the same sunset, you know? But we got back to the hostel afterwards, which the the climbing guide ran and he was like, do you want a beer?

And I was like, yeah, big one. And they just said it to me. I was like, right. Another, cause I was just, I was shaking. God. Wow. what your plan now. Just to sort of continue this on doing the Intrepid travel. Yeah. Sort of five, five or six a year. Yeah, so probably more like four year. But that sort of, that a main trips I’ll do that.

I’ll film for the channel. Other bits and pieces will come up. But also One of the other trips that got planned, which was supposed to happen August, [00:35:00] 2020, but we put by a couple of years, is that we’re going to do it August 22. Mean to friends are gonna do a Eastern European road trip. So we’re going, gonna go from talent in Estonia all the way down to Athens in Greece, but going through like, you know, Ukraine and just, just so many places like 1200 countries and we’re gonna.

So each you won’t have that long in each country. Cause we gonna have like six weeks to do it, but we’re hoping to have like a, you know, a couple of days in the capital city, then a couple of days out in the countryside, sort of see two different sides of each place. And when we’re in the big cities, we’re going to do couch surfing so we can meet the locals and get like rather than just showing up and just doing a walking tour of a city where they explain what a statue is and stuff like that, rather than just sort of meet some local.

Cause we don’t know anything about this countries at all. And so And I don’t think the audience might not know that much about it. So there’s not too much expectation of like, oh, you have to see this or do that. They’ll just be happy to see what you show them. So we’ll just show if we shot these places where we’re couch surfing and they’ll just show us some cool stuff and we’ll just go along [00:36:00] with it.

I think for people listening and sort of trying to sort of, yeah. Couch surfing is such a sort of good way of getting around. And another one was warm showers, which I used as a site, which is sort of dedicated towards cyclists. Turing. I’ve heard of that one now, have you? No, no, no. Say sort of sake. It’s geared towards cycle touring and say you, wherever you cycle, people are like hosts all over the UK, Europe, America, wherever it was.

Yeah. You put people up and when you go put. And it’s a sort of receptacle. Yeah, exactly the same, but just sort of geared towards cyclists. So there’s always these places which you can always meet the locals, as you say, we’ve couch surfing. Yeah. And then the more of them the better. Really? Yeah. I know.

It’s something I haven’t done before. Not for any particular reason. Why not? Mainly do hostels nowadays I [00:37:00] do private rooms or hostels. So you get the best of both worlds, like get the atmosphere, but get a good night’s sleep, you know, rather than being in a dorm rooms full of some, you might end up with some teenagers in your room or something like, which you just no, 37 hours that’d be a bit creepy.

But yeah, so I’ve always had people recommend couch surfing to me, just haven’t got round to it yet. So I think this be. Perfect time to do it. And these, these countries were literally no nothing, you know, you know, all of them, but couldn’t tell you anything about them. And so it’d be very exciting. I think it’s the snoring in the hostels that gets me.

Yeah. Yeah. And it’s just, oh, just beat Luke. Just don’t know the hostel etiquette yet. And coming to lights on talking late or just, you know, it’s just, this, there’s all the hostile cliches. Like I’m now for me, it’s like, I’ve earned my stripes. I can stay in a private room now. Well, Carla, it’s been absolutely awesome.

Listening to your stories and about all your sort of adventures. There’s a part of the show where we [00:38:00] ask the same five questions to each guest each week. Okay. With the first being on your trips, what’s the one gadget that you always bring with you and you cannot say a camera. Well it used to be my iPod.

But now it’s my iPhone’s got everything on because before Brian NYPA. When I used to go away I would have a Disman and have like three massive CD watt sort of CDs so that I have an iPod, which I got for 2006 and my first backpacking trip saved me so much room. So, and then now with the iPhone, you can put like, you know, your movies on books, whatever.

Cause it’s like you know, when you go on these big adventures, you do have a lot of long journeys. And so, you know, you won’t have something to entertain you, you know, you know, people sort of sometimes go, well, I’m not going away to listen to my music or watch movies. I’m going to wait to experience a new culture.

It’s like, yeah. But in order to get there, you’ve got to get a 12 hour [00:39:00] bus. So you have to bring some entertainment, you know, and you might be waiting for a five-hour train. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So. That all my battery pack as well. Like this one here, which a lot of work for people watching the video rather than listen to the audio.

But yeah, it’s just, it charged like. 20 times off that which can be a lifesaver. Cause you never know when you’re not going to have a plugin, you’ll need it. So yeah. Nah, those battery packs are awesome. I have quite a few. What what about your favorite adventure or travel book? I have to go with the real cliche one, but it is the beach.

Of course I remember. I read it the first time I read it was at the start, my first backpacking trip in 2006. I went to Singapore then a few weeks in Australia, then a few months in New Zealand and a working holiday visa. And then I went to Fiji and American way home. But like my brother bought it for me for Christmas, sort of before I went off on my trip.

[00:40:00] And then you know, even I was seeing the film tons and it’s the one, never, it gets overused and over reference, but. Got you in the adventurous mood sort of cause it’s it, you start reading it and say, right, I’m not just going to try and coast my way through this trip. I want to go and explore and get into mischief and just see, do some fun stuff.

So yeah, it’s a cliche answer, but someone on golfer, very nice. Why, why adventures important to you? For me, it’s like, It’s making the most of, you know, it’s going to sound all philosophical here, but making the most of the time you got on this planet, you know, for me, there’s so much to experience in this world.

And so many fun adventures to have. If you’re sort of privileged enough to be able to actually for, to go experience them, that it’s for me, it’s a word. Of time, not, you know, I mean, I know what traveling is, not for everyone and stuff and each their own, all that kind of stuff. But for me, it’s just, it’s [00:41:00] like, that’s the ultimate way for me to live.

My life has just gone have as many as me film my life with as many amazing experiences as possible. Again, Robin just coasting through it and just, you know, I’ll be one day immersion to another. Yeah. It’s very true. Yeah. I, I, I suppose it’s always about making sure that maybe when, when you get to your old age, you don’t look back.

Yeah. I always say I always, anything in life just apply the old man and retirement home test, you know, like I mean, I don’t have a family or kids yet, but I would like it someday because even though if suddenly I had kids appear out of thin air tomorrow, I’d be like, oh no, I’m going away. To Iceland soon, I’ve got all this stuff planned should be a massive inconvenience, but eventually, you know, the old man in the home we’d like to look back on.

Yeah. I did have a family one day, you know, so but just not yet. What about your favorite Quate? I can do another one from the beach, actually. I can do, I’ll give [00:42:00] you a couple there’s one from the end of the. Which I love so much. It’s like, I still believe in paradise, but now I know it’s not somewhere that you go.

It’s how you feel from home and your life. If you find that moment last forever which is so true about traveling, it’s like you can be in a place that, like, while I was saying earlier about the Australia Outback, you know, we, in some of the places you went to, when that interesting summit was amazing But we had an amazing group.

So it was just one of the best times. And so you can’t, you could go to what people can tell you is paradise might be like, you know, a tropical island somewhere, but you could be bored or miserable, you know, it’s, it’s up to you and the people you’re with to make it paradise. And the other one I’ll do is get even more geeky.

I’ll use the Gandalf. One of all you have to do is decide what to do with the time that it’s given to you. Which I think is a fantastic, fantastic. And stuff and I don’t have any tattoos, but if I did, it might be of that. [00:43:00] Well, you say the cliche it’s the first time we’ve heard them on the podcast.

Oh, cool. All right. Yeah, we’ll just cut out a bit rested as cliche. I said, I’m going to pull one out from a really rare quote from unheard of film called the beach and the Lord of the rings in order the ring to pad as the favorite book. They many times. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it is an adventure book. I mean, I love one of the, I mean, it’s a bit of a segue, but I love adventure films.

And so that’s one of the things that made me want to make travel films is like, well, if you want to make an adventure movie, you need a, a cast to crew with scripts, all these other bits. So I was like, well, why not just go on an adventure and film that, and that sort of pod reason why I make longer films and have sort of more.

Music than just tropical houses or it’s my adventure movie, you know? Yeah. And definitely something to look back. As you say in your old age, I’ll just click it and watch it. No, quail on the VHR. VHS is yeah, luckily they are digitized. So [00:44:00] people listening are always keen to travel and go on these sort of grand adventures.

What would you recommend for people wanting to get stuff? I think there’s a lot of people for the first time backpacking adventure, the popular places like Southeast Asia, like Thailand, Vietnam, and because it’s such a well-oiled machine for backpack and it’s so easy to travel around and it’s cheap, or people often do Australia and or New Zealand and do a work only visa because things like Australia, New Zealand, again, it’s so easy to travel around, but you can.

Learn the ropes of traveling, like staying in hostels, getting from a, to B doing new activities, making new friends, but there’s no culture cultural barrier to go over, you know, and they speak the same language and things like that. So it sort of, you know, learn that bit of traveling first and then, you know, chucking the other challenges as well.

So that’s, that’s one reason why it’s a popular one, but also if you’re really [00:45:00] unsure What to do, then you can book yourself on a tour, whether it be with Intrepid or geo ventures or Contiki or bus about cause they just saw everything for you. And it’s sort of, it can be a good way. I mean, tours are for all people of all ages and stuff, but they are a good way for a first time traveler as well, just to ease themselves into the experience.

And then, you know, often, you know, I, I backpacked around India for like six weeks by myself in 2016, but I met some people who were on it. And then they had a tool for two weeks and then they kept traveling for a few more. So these use the tool to get used to India and traveling around. And then literally with friends, they made the tour then carried on traveling with them.

So that’s another, another nice way to ease yourself into it, because if you dive right into depends, I mean, some people like to do that, but you might end up just getting freaked out and then you’ll just go home. Wash it, ease yourself into it. Then it’s yeah. It’s not such a big shock to the.

Very good. There you go. We’ll stopping you. [00:46:00] Finally, what are you doing now? And how can people find you and follow you on your future adventures? So the next series love on my YouTube channel YouTube channels, just called car wasn’t travel documentary. Tell it like it is. So just search call Watson call with a K and it will come up.

And it’s called Watson docs on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. The next film that would be out would be the trip. I did this summer through Switzerland at the increase year. That probably won’t be out to late October because busy editing it right now in between doing freelance jobs. And then.

My next tour coming up in Iceland which starts on I fly on the 1st of October. So that’ll probably be out by, out by Christmas, but I’m about to get myself in like a. Problem that I haven’t had for a while, which is something like a backlog of trips to edit which is sort of after 18 months of scrounging around trying to find something to edit for the YouTube challenge.

It’s a nice problem to have again, let’s hope it all continues. Yeah. Yeah. Hope so. [00:47:00] Yeah. I mean, you know, we’re not fully out in the woods yet, so I don’t want to celebrate too early, but it’s starting to look up anyway there. Well, Carl, thank you so much for coming on the sheet. Cheers, John. That has been good.

Fun. Thanks for inviting me. It’s been great listening to your adventures and I look forward to seeing these Croatia Switzerland come out in the future. Yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing how the video turns out as well. Well, thank you. Cheers buddy. Thanks for listening. You can watch the podcast on YouTube now and don’t forget to subscribe and sign up to the monthly newsletter, which is in the description, but.

I hope you enjoyed the show. And if you did tag me on Instagram, I, John Horseville, I’m always keen to connect with other adventurers and I look forward to next week for another fascinating telephone adventure, but until then have a great day and happy adventures.

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