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When a passionate traveller talks

When some of us still peed in dippers, when we didn’t know the word “internet” jet, and when writing letters was still normal thing to do while travelling because the phone calls were too expensive, he was already discovering the world. He is one of the first, who started writing for web magazine Globetrotter, a blogger, a fairy-tale writer and a real globetrotter that decided to live non-conventional life. Meet Igor Fabjan. He resigned his job and made a big change in life. Can you make a living with writing? What other advices has Igor for travellers? What has in all years, since he travels, changed? What are the benefits of HI Card? To travel solo, in pair, with family? Igor confided in us all this and more.


You're one of the first travellers, who began to write for the online magazine Globetrotter and remained loyal. When did the story with HI Slovenia start? How did you discover Globetrotter that was at that time still in infancy? 

“Actually, I don't remember exactly when I discovered Globetrotter. But when I found it on the internet, it attracted my attention because I always liked to share my feelings and happenings on the trips. I wrote an article, the editor liked it, and so it all began.” 

The first lines of your description and the number of written contributions tell much about your passion for travelling. You’ve managed what many only dream of: Make a living with writing about travel. How? Is there a recipe? 

“Right now, to be honest, it's hard to earn with writing in Slovenia. If you start from scratch, almost impossible. The international market is a different story. This is, of course, much easier with a financial background. I had a job and travelled now and then. I loved to write something about it afterwards and after fifteen years of going to work every morning, I decided to try to live just by writing about my travels. A few years ago it was a lot easier to make that decision, now most save on article fees.”

You also write a blog about your experiences on travels, in addition, you are also writing fairy tales for children. I've seen you were in South America with your daughter, when she was only 6 months old!

"Before my wife and I had a baby, we knew that this will not be an obstacle to travel. We both like to travel together and we decided to go on a journey as soon as our daughter got all the mandatory vaccinations. We chose relatively developed countries of South America like Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay where there is no dangerous diseases or malaria. I must say that everything went without problems. It's definitely a little more strenuous; you have to adjust a little bit more in terms of choice of means of transport and accommodation. Otherwise, I would say that travelling with a child gives you more that you would expect. It's amazing how locals start speaking to you when they see a foreigner with a child. The locals themselves make contact; literally every day we met a few new people on the street. They accept you much faster, in some cases you become part of the family.” 

How long do you write your blog? Was it difficult at the beginning? What would you recommend for beginners? 

“The first condition is the desire to share your feelings, events and useful tips. You don't even have to be a computer master to start. Of course it's good if you are only just literate. Besides, at least in my case, most of the visitors are foreigners, so it's good to write in English.” 

Can you earn something with the blog or you write it just because it's your passion? Plus, you also lecture about your adventures on trips and write articles. With the combination of all this, is it possible to make a living? 

Blog's my pleasure. I don't have the profit because I don’t have enough visitors. I have travel lectures mostly in Slovenian libraries and clubs. I am writing articles for the same reason: To reliving the trips. Everything is like an extension of my travels.” 

You must be a master in search of cheap flights and trips. Do you know any tricks that every traveller should know about? 

“Hard to say, I’m the master of finding inexpensive tickets. There are people, who master a search for affordable ticket much better. But it depends on what is more important to you. Is your goal to spend as little as possible on the trip? I think that basically doesn't make sense, although we are, of course, always financially limited. With a little effort it is possible to find bargain airline tickets, especially if there is no time limit. Budget also depends on where you’ll sleep, what kind of transport you will choose and so on.” 

You're also one of the few who is well aware of the advantages of HI card. What's the biggest advantage of a membership card? Why should every traveller have it? And for those, who have it, it would certainly be wise to inform more about all the discounts and benefits that it offers. 

The Hosteling International is the most famous association of hostels, where you can expect a particular standard of accommodation in any part of the world. This was the main reason, why I chose them and also stay loyal. Hostels are intended for everyone, not just for young people, but also for families and the elderly. With my family I’ve spent very nice holydays in hostels in Germany; it was a very pleasant experience. There are also other discounts for museums, services etc. When you come to the hostel, ask what kind of discounts you can get with the card. In any event, the membership is worth it.”

Where do you sleep when you travel? What would you say about HI Hostel when comparing them to others?

“Now there are many various hotels, which advertise themselves as hostels. HI Hostels are certainly known by its standards as you always know what to expect. In addition, the guests in HI hostels mostly have similar views, so they are also a lot more connected.” 

You travel alone. What are the pros and cons of solo trips? 

“From the beginning I travelled together with my wife, then with my family, but last years I travel mostly by myself. The advantages and disadvantages? Yes, there are quite few of both of them. If you're more of a solitary soul, you will not miss company. But if you miss it, it's a lot easier to find someone if you're alone. The disadvantage is that traveling alone may cost you a bit more as you pay for accommodation the same if you sleep alone or with another person. If you're traveling in tandem, it is definitely also a greater sense of security in case something happens. Otherwise, you are independent, there's no need to adapt. You can change your mind and change your plan during the night. It is also hard to argue with someone, if you're alone.”

You have been traveling for a number of years. What would you say has the most drastically changed in all these years? And are the changes good or bad?

“The Internet is the one thing that has changed travelling a lot. Now you can get to know the world through the internet, in almost any country of the world you can find acquaintances or Web-friends for starters, accommodation, contacts, advice, and information. It is much simpler than ever before. Also contact with home. On my first trips phone calls were very expensive, so I didn't phone home much. We wrote the post that today can't be written anymore, I think. A lot has changed, for the better. But it's true, that's why people travel more. The result is that primal pieces of the world, which could be explored without the presence of other tourists, are gone.” 

If you could go back in time, when it became clear that you are going to travel and write for a living, what would you change? 

“I wouldn't change a thing. Maybe I would decide for this road a couple of years earlier. But at that time I somehow didn’t have the courage. If anyone has dreams and aspirations in that direction, they are certainly subject to pursue. Couse at one point can be too late and if you don't decide, it will never happen. Yes, easier said than done. If you don't have the financial background and residence, is much more difficult.”

After so many years of travelling, after so many travelled miles, and hours and hours on airports, what makes travelling still so attractive for you? 

“There's still a lot of the world I haven’t seen and a lot of the world I never will. On the one hand this is a sort of disconnection from the everyday life; on the other hand, you are heading towards new adventures and experience, meeting new people. Every once in a while I need a change. Especially in the winter I want to go somewhere in the tropics for a month or so because I am not a fan of winter and cold.” 

What does travelling mean to you?

“I'm sure journeys gave me a different view of the world. You see that our tiny Slovenia, which is like a small pond where everybody knows each other, is not the whole world. Quite simply, you have to go to taste the other flavours, get to know other cultures, languages, etc. You get a different perspective of the whole world, as well as on your own problems, which are, in comparison with the other that you can see on your travels, not that big. You start appreciate what you have at home.

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