We are very excited to have Tosin Idowu on as our first interview guest. Make sure to listen to her interview on The Best Travel Postcast. You can follow Tosin Idowu at www.instagram.com/tosinfinityandbeyond/.
Seth Freedman: This is Seth Freedman on The Best Travel Podcast brought to you by Driftr. We’re going to be interviewing some of our favorite travel bloggers and influencers, getting the real dirt that everyone wants, and bringing you the real travelers’ side of things. Today, I have the wonderful Tosin Idowu here. Tosin is coming to you live from Thailand. Hi, Tosin. How are you doing?
Tosin Idowu: Doing pretty well. Just woke up.
How’s Thailand treating you right now?
It’s super hot all the time and….I don’t know. It’s still great.
Nice. So I’m just going to ask you a couple of questions. We just want to learn a little bit about you. You want to just tell me how you got interested in travel? What brought you to travel?
My mom brought me to travel. My mom is a diplomat and we moved around a lot growing up. So I was born in a country called Gabon, but then we lived in Nigeria, then we moved to Budapest, Hungary, then we (the kids) moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and I went to school in Chicago. I graduated from Baltimore, Maryland and then moved to Thailand. So I think from when I was little, my mom just kind of put this wonderful spirit in my heart just by having us see so many places with her.
Sounds pretty amazing. Sounds like you’ve been all over the place. So if you had to describe what kind of traveler you are, what kind of traveler would you be?
I think I’m just a free traveler. Usually when I go somewhere, it’s just because I happen to see it, and I’m like, “This thing I found looks really cool.” So I’m going to go there and then just go with the flow when I get there. I find that a lot of times when I travel somewhere, I end up meeting people that show me something I couldn’t have imagined when I thought about coming to that country. So I just go with the flow and the culture and just kind of do the things that people bring up when I get there.
Sounds great. So how long have you been in Thailand now?
I’ve been in Thailand for almost two years. In a couple of months it will be two years.
Where else have you gone outside of Thailand? Where have you traveled since you’ve been there?
Oh, to many other places.
What was the last place?
The last place I went to was Singapore. But that was my second time there.
Wow. Yeah. Do you speak any other languages?
I speak one of the languages spoken in Nigeria. Yeah.
Oh, I’m sure you probably picked up a little bit while being there. What’s your favorite thing about Thailand?
The people are extremely nice. They are so kind-hearted. I left my wallet on my motorbike one day and I was so scared that someone stole it. But when I’m in Thailand, no one there is just going to go up and steal something. They’re extremely nice and I really loved that about them.
And you’ve made a lot of friends since you’ve been there, I’m sure.
Yeah I’ve met a lot of friends. I’m into physics here so I’ve made a lot of friends through that and I’ve made a lot of friends through traveling.
And when was the last time you came back to the United States?
I was home for Christmas, actually. It was the greatest thing ever. I was so happy.
"Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy and to chase the things you love. Sometimes there is sadness in your journey, but there is also lots of beauty. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other because we never know what's waiting for us around the bend." ✨✨✨ My last week in Thailand feels.
I’m sure it’s a big culture shock for you to come back since you’re used to Thailand.
I was walking in the mall in Georgia and was like, “Why does no one have clothes on?” It’s still hot there, and I’m like, “Why?” I was shocked. Yeah, it was a big culture shock for me.
Is the weather in Thailand is similar to the weather in Atlanta right now?
It’s hotter here with all kind of mosquitoes. You can’t walk out there without spraying yourself with mosquito repellant.
Can you give me an example of one of the most amazing experiences that you’ve had and why it was so special?
Oh yeah. So last year I flew to Beijing for the weekend. I really wanted to go to Beijing because I wanted to see The Great Wall of China. So I went to a hostel. I went alone, but I met some friends at the hostel and they were like, “We’re going to go to The Great Wall tomorrow, but it’s not the touristy part…it’s a lot more quiet.” So I went there with them and we just walked so far away from the entrance that we got to a part of the wall where we were the only people there and it was so beautiful. I have a thing of playing Coldplay songs when something is just so unreal. I just, like, sat on the wall with no warning and I’m like, “Hey guys, how is this my life!?” It was incredible.
And those people that you went with…those are still friends that you travel with?
Not really with travel, but I keep up with them on social media. One of them is back in the U.K., the other one is down on a little island next to Australia…I totally blanked out on the name of that place.
Have you been there?
I have not. I’ve been to Australia, but not where she’s from. It’s like another country down there, but like, super small and in its own little island space.
"You never know the biggest days of your life are going to be the biggest. The days you think are going to be big are never really as big as you make them out to be in your head. It's the regular days, the ones that start off normal. The day you commit to something or someone, the day you meet your soul mate, or the day you realize there isn't enough time because you want to live forever. Those are the days that end up being the biggest days. The prefect days." – My favorite monologue from Grey's Anatomy
Give me a moment that you might have been scared for your life. Something horrific, potentially. It could be a moment when you really thought about your loved ones. It doesn’t have to be, like, that you thought you’re going to die, but something that just nobody wants to experience.
I have 2 worst experiences. But one of them was a result of being so far away from home and missing out on things. I was here, and one of my loved ones back home passed away and that was extremely sad. I ended up like flying back within 24 hours and it was very unreal. It was a really hard time for me. So I flew home the next day and I spent about a week or two at home because there was no point of being alone. So that was extremely hard. The other experience is a bit lighter, I guess. It was when I was in Lao. There was a really bad food bug going around and I caught it. I just remember waking up at like 2:00 AM and I was like, “Okay, this is the end.” I pretty much spent the night on the toilet. It was really bad.
Have you ever been to a place where you really felt your safety was at stake?
No…I mean, not really. When I was in Kolkata, India, I didn’t think my safety was at stake, but I think that was my first time traveling and I was a bit more reserved and like, a little bit more scared. But I didn’t actually think something would happen to me. I was just scared.
I’m going to ask you the questions that everybody really wants to hear…the romantic side of things. Have you met people on the road? If so, do you still keep in contact with them? Do you have a loved one or do you have multiple loved ones? You know, give us some of the dirt.
So here’s the thing: We’re traveling. You meet a ton of people. I was talking to one of my friends about it and we came to the same conclusion: There are just like, little flings that happen on the road and since you see so much of each other while traveling, it feels like so much more than it is. So I am single, but I’ve met some great guys that I’ve had little flings with. Only one of them has stood out from the rest. I met him while I was traveling East, and it was just really cool because we have the same birthday. So we were like, “Oh, this is magical.” And like, we tried to make it work for a couple of months but we’re just in two separate places in our lives. I’m still traveling and figuring out what’s next. He’s finishing school and about to become a science teacher. School’s really hard for him right now so we just thought it was best to see what happens if we let it go and see if there might be something there in the future.
Alright. So what is next for you?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’m tossing around a couple of options right now…maybe staying in Thailand for a couple more months and I’m moving to South America by January. I’m not sure what I’ll do after that. I’ve been looking at tickets and trying to figure out what would make me happy.
Today, I spent majority of my time in bed attempting to watch Oceans Eleven for the first time and failing miserably. I ate something the day before that is hanging around longer than I want. You may be wondering what this picture has to do with my current pain? Not much. I'm really just wishing I was back in Bali. Enjoying the breeze, feeling good and thinking about what cool spot to go for dinner. Oooo Bali.
What advice you would give somebody that’s trying to travel, someone who’s trying to get away. Not for a week, not for two weeks, not for a month, but for long-term travel.
My advice would be that they have to be serious about it because you just don’t wake up in the morning like, “I’m going to go,” and buy a one-way ticket to Vietnam. They have to be serious about it. They should save a little money so they’ll be able to take the leap. If this is what you really want to do, you should be prepared to leave and know or at least hope that it’ll all work out. You have to take a leap of faith. No regrets.
No regrets. Okay, and then for somebody that’s on the road or somebody that’s traveling, whether it’s short-term or long-term, can you give me three of your top money saving tips?
It’s so cheap in Thailand. I spend like, 50 cents on breakfast, a quarter on lunch, and a dollar on dinner. It’s it’s amazing how cheap it is in other places. I just I don’t eat out a lot when I’m trying to save up for a trip. All the money I would use to eat out I put towards my savings. Sometimes I even hide money from myself. I’m like, “I really need to be serious about this.” I’ll put money far away from me so that I can’t see it. I won’t plan a lot of trips to the islands when I know I’m going to travel out of the country the next month. I’ll just plan for it and save money.
And where do you hide your money?
I put it in an envelope and hide it in different drawers with a whole bunch of clothes or things that I don’t use often and I forget it put it there. It’s pretty cool.
I’m sure the extra couple of dollars go a long way.
Yeah it goes really far.
So let me ask you: What’s the best travel advice that somebody has given you?
I don’t remember any good travel advice, but I have a lot of people in my family that support me and my best friends are always like, “You know, if that’s what makes you happy, do it.” I found some great stuff on Pinterest that really motivates me.
That was going to be my next question. What are some good internet resources? Obviously we hope Driftr will be one, but besides that and Pinterest, what other internet resources would you recommend?
I guess Pinterest is great place for a lot of the things that I do. I also just Google things. Google is really great for when I’m looking for flights or when I’m looking for things to do in the country. Google is this thing that does like, everything. It’s a great tool.
Great. So so tell me…you must have one thing that you don’t go anywhere without when you travel.
You know I love my journal, right? I have a travel journal. I feel like if anything was to happen to me, I hope someone can find this journal and that they could read about my life and everything that I’ve done, and in a way, I could sort of be remembered. So everywhere I go, I write about how I feel or about what happened.
That sounds great. Okay, so this is a big question: What would your biggest success in life be, as of recently?
I got to travel to the last Southeast Asian country [I hadn’t been to] and I think that meant more to me that I’m willing to accept. When I came to Thailand, I hadn’t even really heard of Southeast Asia and over the course of almost two years, I’ve gotten to travel to every single country in Southeast Asia. And I think travel-wise, that is big for me. That is my first huge accomplishment. I’ll probably always hold on to it and never forget that.
That is a big accomplishment. Imagine you woke up tomorrow and you knew you only had two months to live. After spending time with your loved ones, where would you go? What would you do?
So if I hadn’t been to South America yet, I would go to South America. From there, I would go to Antarctica because those are my last two continents to cross off. That is the most important thing I need to finish: to visit all seven continents. So I would run over there and visit the penguins and the polar bears and whatever creatures live in Antarctica. I’ve never been Antarctica.
Okay, so we’re going to wrap this up now. I just want you to kind of give our audience a little piece of guidance, a little piece of you, something people don’t know about you, something that you would want to tell people that are listening.
I feel like I’m just the average 25-year-old who’s silly, and sings, and does weird dances. I just save money and I travel. A lot of people are like, “How do you do it? You must be getting help from your parents. You must have a lot of money.” I don’t have a lot of money at all. I’m so cheap. I just I love this quote: “Do the fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” And that’s what I do. If I want to go somewhere, I do what I have to do to get there. So I’m going to Vietnam in a week and I saved up all I could to get there. I’m really excited. It’s my second time going. So I’m a regular person with a regular paycheck, saving money. And if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Those are beautiful words. I really want to thank you for being our first guest on The Best Travel Podcast hosted by me, Seth Freedman. You’ve been an amazing guest with some amazing information. You lead a very exciting life and are very well-versed. You’ve been to so many places that so many people aspire to go to.
Thank you for having me.
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