The Favourites of Trevor Warman

Trevor Warman grew up just north of London, England. A former electronic technician, racing cyclist, mountain runner, waiter and postman. He started travelling relatively late at 24, but almost 29 years later, he is still at it, backpacking the world – Currently in Mexico City at the time of this article. He has visited 93 UN listed countries and 6 others that he personally include. Trevor is on Facebook and Twitter.

What are three of your favourite countries and why?

Syria – 2010, Sudan – 2015 & Pakistan – 2011. The friendliness of the people in these three countries just blew me away.

In Syria, people going out of their way to help me. In Sudan, treated like royalty and in Pakistan, loved the way they call out, “Welcome to Pakistan’, plus of course, the food and all the high mountains. I hope, in this lifetime, I can go back and explore more.

Are there any countries you don’t like visiting?

Ethiopia
I had a hard time in Ethiopia. Corrupt police and army running the convoys in the north, bed bugs, bad food, constant annoying calls of you-you (hello) with a hand thrust out for money.

South Africa
I was attacked by two guys with knives upon arrival in Cape Town, South Africa. Lucky to get away without being stabbed or losing anything. It could have been a whole lot worse.

Jordan
I didn’t get a good feeling there, not helped by stone-throwing, kicking, and flashing their dicks.

What are three of your favourite cities, and why?

Tbilisi, Georgia
This was my first former Soviet country. Tiblisi is just one cool city. It started my love affair with the region. The food, Khachapuri, washed down with chacha. Unbeatable.

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Seoul, South Korea
Spent two months in this great city. Just felt happy there, drinking way too much, exploring and hiking across the city.

Mexico City
I am currently discovering the joys of Mexico City (at the time of this article). I am with my girlfriend, and she’s taking me to many places I wouldn’t have gotten to had I been here solo: Local attractions, local bars, markets, the most dangerous barrio in town.

What are three of the worst places you’ve stayed?

As a backpacker where every penny counts, I stay in hostels and cheap hotels and in a few places, you get what you pay for. But the Hotel Solo Khan, Sikasso, Mali has to be the worst hotel I have stayed in. Gives dingy a whole new meaning. Recently the San Francisco Hotel, San Pedro, Guatemala brought home the fact that going cheap can really test one’s endurance. Plus any hotel with bed bugs, notably in Ethiopia and Malaysia. And one Couchsurfing experience, home for the night was a makeshift classroom in an office block and being told I could sleep on the table. Glad I had my sleeping bag.

Do you have any favourite hotels or restaurants?

Hostels and backstreet hotels are where I frequent. Pre covid, I lived in many a hostel dorm. And hostels which provide exactly what travellers need, all get my vote. A place to do laundry or at least a place to hang it to dry, a kitchen to cook myself healthy meals and ones that offer me a quiet stay. Party hostels are not my thing now and never were. And places that don’t charge extra for towels, sheets, lockers, and luggage storage.

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Some of my best eateries are hole in wall type establishments and markets. The strip of Indian restaurants in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands in Malaysia are a particular favourite.

What are three of your favourite travel moments, and why?

Walked Lands End to John O’ Groats
Back in 1990, I walked from Lands End to John O’ Groats. 1,071 miles of road walking completed in 58 days, including four days off. Raised money for Cystic Fibrosis.

Mount Kinabalu
I have been up Mount Kinabalu in Borneo six times. Three times as a tourist and three times as a participant in the Climbathon. 9 kilometres up and 12 kilometres down. Borneo is 4,095 metres high.

Cairo to Cape Town
Completing the iconic Cairo to Cape Town journey. 19,000 kilometres without flying, ten countries, seven months. Awesome backpacking moment.

What are three of your worst travel moments, and why?

Being attacked at knifepoint upon arrival in Cape Town
Other than the concept of being attacked, it was my last stop on my epic, Cairo to Cape Town (no flights) trip, and it killed the party.

Stuck in Northern Ethiopia
Being stuck in Northern Ethiopia due to fighting and then being forced to pay lots of dollars to leave in a military convoy.

Stuck in Kenya due to Covid
Being stuck for 103 days in Naivasha, Kenya, at the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. The borders were closed, as was the airport. Lots of uncertainty and always at the risk of getting Covid and ending up with a big hospital bill for which I had no funds.

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What are three of your best travel tips?

Common sense
On being scammed: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, don’t get involved in getting rich quick schemes, don’t play cards with newfound friends.

Pack lightly. Need I say more?

Less is more
If you tick off all the sites in every place you go, you will soon suffer from sensory overload. Be happy just being.

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