GT of Month Bertahan Luxing
By Nicole Brewer
Greetings globetrotters! This month we are featuring Bertahan Luxing of Australia. Read about his globetrotting adventures, what inspired him to start his site SurviveTravel.com and his advice for those looking to trot the globe as expats. Enjoy and as always happy globetrotting.
Can you tell the I Luv 2 Globe Trot community a little about yourself (where are you from, what do you do, where are you currently based, hobbies etc)?
I was born and raised in Australia. My mother is from Colombia and my father is Chinese born in Malaysia. I started traveling when I was about 20, taking advantage of working holiday programs. I began blogging as a hobby at the same time as a way to record my adventures.
In my late 20’s I was living in the UK and decided to start building an online business. I took a job teaching English in China. I only had to work 20 hours a week so I used my spare time building up my travel blog (SurviveTravel.com). I also started my other blog (SurvivalFitnessPlan.com) which is an eclectic blog focusing on my other interests (parkour, self-defense, survival, financial freedom, minimalist living, alternative medicine, etc.).
Nowadays I like to travel and live in different countries for a few months at a time (visas permitting). I continue to work on my blogs.
How many countries have you traveled to?
33, although I wish I spent more time in most of them. I traveled too fast when I was younger. Having to return to “work for the man” has that effect.
What is your dream destination and why? (think bucket list destinations).
I’ve never been to Africa. I plan to go there in 2018. Also, I have seen very little of Europe.
If you could live in any country in the world, where would you live and why?
I’ve actually spent the last few years trying to decide this. At the moment I am in Colombia as it was a big contender for me. After being here for a few months I’ve decided to return to Asia.
I like the Philippines and Indonesia. Indonesia has better food but is harder for long-term visas. Malaysia is another one since I have family there and can stay for 3 months on a tourist visa. Also, the food is good there too.
What are some challenges you have faced trotting the globe?
One that pops into my head is the language barrier. I like to learn languages but am not great at it. Luckily, body language is universal.
Where was your most recent travel destination you trotted to?
I’m currently living in Colombia. Immediately before here, I did a quick trip to Korea.
Which, if any, foreign languages do you speak?
I can speak bits and pieces of Malay/Indonesian, Mandarin, and Spanish. I wouldn’t say I can “speak” any of these though. At best I can have a basic conversation, although my Spanish is improving.
What do you have planned for yourself next? (any projects you’d like to promote, etc). Would you ever consider the expat lifestyle to assist with your globe-trotting?
I’ll stay in Colombia until December and then go to Australia for a few weeks. My friend is getting married and I like to get home once a year to see friends and family. After that, I’ll head to Asia. I don’t know exactly where yet. Sometime in 2018, I’ll go to Africa.
Projects wise, I will keep working on my blogs. I have a lot of information I want to get out, especially for SurvivalFitnessPlan.
What are some words of wisdom you would like to give to future inspiring globe-trotters and expats?
For those that want to work abroad, I recommend teaching English. You can travel the whole world doing this. Also, the company that hires you will help you get settled so it is a good option for first-time travelers.
If you can’t or don’t want to do teach, then try freelancing. Even better, build an online business to create a residual income.
In specific reference to building an online business, don’t try to do everything yourself. Only do things you either enjoy doing, are good at, and/or want to learn how to do. For everything else, pay someone else to do it. You may not want to part with the money (especially when first starting out), but weigh it up to the cost of your time.