What are the 3 most important things in your backpack?
The backpack itself, my camera and my remote controlled fart machine. Actually, not the last one, because the fart machine looks like a remote controlled explosive device, and I’m not game enough to try and send that through the airport detectors.
travel tart pic
What do you never travel without (excluding a passport!)
Underwear that can be worn 4 times without washing. That is, front, back, inside out front, and inside out back!

What’s the best thing about independent travel?
Letting yourself go and immersing yourself into the culture. Also, if you’re travelling by yourself independently, this allows you to grow, more so that if you’re in a group or travelling with someone else.

What’s the worst thing about independent travel?
Coming back from overseas and experiencing culture shock when arriving home, because the threat of the fluorescent prison called the office may be awaiting.

Can you sleep on overnight bus journeys?
Hell no. Not on normal buses anyway. In Argentina, you can purchase business class style seats on buses that fully recline, and they have been the only buses I have ever been able to capture some decent sleep without overdosing on sleeping tablets.

Have you ever been well and truly lost/in danger/exposed? ie you lie in bed that night and think ‘I should have been killed today’
Ever experienced the traffic in Egypt? I thought I was going to die every time I stepped inside a taxi or a minibus – the driving is pretty reckless there, and I didn’t think my cheap arse travel insurance would cover me for any transport related injuries there.

Did you get the sheep poo paper through customs?
Yes I did! Probably because I didn’t declare it! So no cavity search for me! It just would have been too hard to explain to the customs officer, and I really didn’t want to be shown on the popular TV show in Australia called Border Security, where all sorts of shady characters are exposed on national television!

How many times did you wash your hands after making sheep poo paper?
Just the once. It goes through a washing machine and has the crap boiled out of it (pardon the pun!) so there’s no odour, and it’s safe to use.

Ironically, I suggested to Lez Paylor (the guy who invented Sheep Poo Paper) that he partner with one of the Paris Perfume houses so they could use Sheep Poo Paper in their stores when the ladies spray the stuff on a piece of paper and wave it in front of their nose. Now that would be ironic!

It happens to every traveller – where is the worst place you’ve had the sh1ts?
I’ve never had food poisoning overseas! I usually eat where there’s loads of locals, because this means it must be good/tasty/health and have a high turnover, and therefor much less bacteria. Ironically, the only place where I’ve had food poisoning has been at home in Australia, where I ate a dodgy steak sandwich at the pub. That’s where I found out diarrhea is hereditary – because it runs in your jeans…

Where is the most surprising place you have ever been? ie you weren’t expecting it to be so damn cool.
Kazakhstan! I went there for work in about 2005, and because it’s not exactly a touristy place, it’s the real deal. The people there are wonderful, even though they try and punish your liver with some of their cognac and vodka drinking sessions. A real surprise package. And contrary to what Borat says, they don’t make wine out of horse urine or harvest pubic hair for international exports either!

Where, in your opinion, is the dullest place on earth?
Anywhere that’s a tourist trap. That is, lots of high rise apartments next to the beach full of drunk frat boys. Doesn’t do anything for me at all!

Do you take guide books to every place you visit or do you go ‘solo’?
Normally, I do take a guide book with me – but a guide book only provides a general overview at best. But the most interesting travel experiences come when you’re not using one, or there’s something you experience that isn’t in your guide book because one of the locals pointed it out.

Have you got any ‘I was robbed’ stories?
Yes. My bank robs me every time I take money out of the wall due to their crazy charges. Apart from that, I haven’t been held up at knife or gun point…yet..

What is favourite national cuisine? Judging by your blogging from Indonesia, I’d guess Indonesian?
I like all sorts of food. Because, it’s all different, and there’s not one favourite for me. I like the different cuisines for what they are.

First world or third world travel?
Both! I like to do either of these types of travel, as they offer different experiences. Like the standard of public toilets. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the first world toilets are better either!

If you had infinite cash resources and 3 months free time where would you go?
If I had infinite cash resources, I’d be taking a lot more than 3 months free time! I’d go everywhere I possibly could!

words and thoughts provided by The Travel Tart himself.