Ben Zabulis

Born in Nottingham, UK and graduated from Trent University with a degree in Civil Engineering. Ended up working up and down the country before heading off to Nigeria, India, Japan and Hong Kong where I met my partner and earned the right of abode.

We love travelling around to all sort of places, doesn’t matter where; as I often say, a trip to Norwich can be as exciting as a trip to Phnom Penh, it’s not the destination that matters but the way you do it. Gave up full-time work a few years back to enjoy a life of ‘dolce far niente’ (pleasant idleness) as the Italians might say.

Wrote a travel book in that time hoping to inspire young (and older!) folk to explore the world and I continue to study Mandarin, focusing nowadays on the written form – immeasurably useful in Chinese restaurants around the globe! Back in England at the moment but will be returning to Hong Kong on a more permanent footing very soon.

What was your first travel experience?

My first major travel experience was a camping trip around western Europe with a work pal. We managed to do France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Holland.

Had a great time, memorable moments include walking the Monaco Grand Prix circuit, camping outside Florence and a brief stay on the island of Capri. The tent survived the journey though sadly was not used again, it ended up in a charity shop so is hopefully still providing shelter to another keen enthusiast!!

Where in you opinion is the best place to spend a summer holiday?

That's quite a question as it all depends on available time and budget. If both of those are good then I would definitely head as far east as possible to some of the amazing places in Asia.

Hong Kong offers and ideal east meets west destination for those venturing thus far for the first time, similarly Thailand and Malaysia. For someone with less time and money, Spain offers great choices with plenty of good food, culture and scenery at a more reasonable cost.

Describe a travel experience that changed your life

It would have to be my first job abroad. It took me directly south to Nigeria and the city of Lagos. I never quite knew what to expect by working there, other than that life would never quite be the same again!

And I was right, after the chaos, colour and smells of West Africa I could never have returned fully to England, though I gave it a few attempts. So Nigeria indeed broadened my mind, a sort of travelling baptism of fire, setting me free upon a lifetime of gadding about and cultural immersion!!

What country's stamp do you most want to add to your passport?

Perhaps continuing along my Far Eastern odyssey Mongolia would make a worthy addition. Will get there one day!

What was your best meal while traveling?

I really got a taste for chilli-cheese when high up in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, a bit powerful at first but with each passing dish (and gleaming red chilli) acclimatisation is readily achieved! Delicious!

Tagged as: United Kingdom

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