Meet Jason Hussong, the travel and writer behind Jason’s Travels, which tells about Jason’s travels around Colorado and the world (he’s even been to Antarctica!). Find out where he’s been, what he’s learned, and what to do when you’re in Antarctica and your bags accidentally get sent to Mexico.
What are some of the destinations you’ve visited?
I have been fortunate to travel all over the world – China, Egypt, Australia, Antarctica, and so forth visiting all seven continents in the process.
What inspired you to begin traveling?
My parents took us on annual family vacations when I was a child, so I guess it has always just been a part of me. We never left the country, except to go to Canada one night, but the desire to get out and explore has always been there. Now it feels like a part of me is missing if I’m not out exploring on a regular basis.
What is it about traveling that you’re so passionate about?
I love exploring and learning new things, meeting new people, and experiencing something different. I feel it helps me grow as a person and the world as a community the more people get out and learn how similar we truly are by appreciating our differences.
What is your travel style and why?
I hate putting labels on travel, since it is such a personal adventure, but I would say I tend to be more of the tourist. I like getting out and seeing the sites and learning the history of a place and its people. Many people wouldn’t consider this to be travel at all, to do that you need to be an ex-pat or do something crazy – like go to a dangerous or war-torn region – but I think you can be a traveler right in your own backyard; I love getting out and exploring Colorado and learning more about where I live.
What made you decide to start travel blogging?
My first international trip was to Greece in high school. Shortly before I left, my dad handed me a notebook and told me he wanted to write about my trip. I think I wrote on parts of three pages, but it gave me the idea to do it only subsequent international travels. And now something just feels out of place if I don’t write about where I go and what I experience. I still do it for me, like I did with the notebooks, but I like sharing my travels through a blog in case it helps or inspires anyone else to get out and explore – the more people who travel, the better the world will be.
You’ve traveled to Antarctica, which is something most travelers have not gotten to experience. What was that like?
Antarctica was absolutely incredible. I have never experienced anything like it and doubt I ever will again; after all, as Robert Louis Stevenson said, the first experience can never be repeated. Seeing such sites – giant icebergs dwarfed by massive glaciers, amazing wildlife, and such rare, brutal beauty – is something I have found sparingly elsewhere in the world. Most other locations just can’t compare to Antarctica. It is simply my favorite destination for all it has to offer, including the comraderie on the ship. It was great to get to know so many people from around the world, yet in a small enough envrionment where people could quickly be on a first name basis and consider each other friends.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?
I had a layover in Buenos Aires on my way to Antarctica. While I was waiting for my driver to pick me up at my hotel to take me to the airport for my flight to Ushuaia, my bags were mistakenly loaded onto a bus bound for Mexico. Everything I had, with the exception of a few items in a small carryon, was in those two suitcases – my clothing, cold weather gear for Antarctica, everything. I was freaking out, since I ddn’t think they’d ever find the bus, let alone get the bags to the airport in time for my flight. Instead, I had visions of some guy in Mexico City wearing my giant parka and showing it off to his friends as a joke. But, with a couple of deep breaths and some patience, I kept it together and my driver and the hotel concierge were able to get in contact with the bus driver and locate my bags. Disappointingly, though, it was not in time for my flight. I boarded anyway, assuming I could buy any replacement gear in Ushuaia, with the hopes that the bags would be placed on the next flight. My driver waited for it at the airport to make sure this happened, and thankfully it did! He was certainly the hero of my Antarctic trip the maker of magic. Without him, that trip would have been a total disaster. Now I just laugh about it.
Has there ever been a time when traveling when you felt truly culturally immersed?
I’ve felt immersed everywhere I’ve traveled, because I really am immersed when I’m in another country. It’s not like a documentary I’m watching on television that allows me to get up. I’m there wherever I go – stuck if I don’t like the food, freaked out if something doesn’t feel right and I need a doctor, and amongst millions of people with who I only share a few words in common since I’m not fluent in any other languages.
Best Meal Abroad?
Without a doubt, hands down, unequivocally, the full Irish breakfast. There are so many fantastic bed and breakfast destinations in Ireland and they all serve amazing breakfasts.
Favorite Travel Books?
I’m a HUGE Bill Bryson fan and love every single one of his books, but when it comes to a single favorite I’d have to say John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. In my mind, he is simply the best American writer. Ever.
I don’t have a general travel playlist, just one for Las Vegas. I love traveling there on occasion with friends and family to blow off some steam. It has practically become an annual tradition. Within our first couple of trips, one of us burned a CD to play in the hotel room while we relaxed and had a couple of drinks away from all of the craziness. Now it has become a tradition to have a playlist together that we can listen to instead. And really any song dealing with gambling, drinking, or general craziness is on mine – from Kenny Rogers to Snoop Dogg to Motorhead to Frank Sinatra, it’s all there.
Is there anything you absolutely can’t travel without?
I honestly can’t go anywhere in the world without chapstick or a finger nail clippers. It’s odd and embarrassing, I know, but I just can’t do it and I’m not quite sure why.
Ever fallen in love abroad?
Yes, twice. I fell hard both times. Really hard. Nothing has worked out from it, but I’ve learned and am growing as a result of the experience.
Most embarrassing travel moment?
I was on a business trip to Germany and was supposed to be part of a meeting with former chancellor Helmut Kohl – the man who reunited Germany. I was so tired from jetlag that I fell asleep in the afternoon for a quick nap, setting my alarm to wake me in time for the meeting. It never went off. Thankfully I woke up just in time to throw on some clothes and get out the door – tying my tie in the hotel elevator as I went down to the conference room. I arrived just in time for the meeting, just as Kohl was taking his chair, but didn’t have time to take care of one thing – shaving. And embarrassingly enough, my American razor had burned out two days prior in the wall socket despite a converter. I didn’t have any straight edge razors with me, so I had to find a store that would sell me something I could use. I got it, but just didn’t have the time to use it before the meeting with Chancellor Kohl. And so, with no time to spare, I arrived with a half shaven face from where my old electric razor left off – right down the middle of my face.
One thing you wish you knew about traveling before you started?
Absolutely nothing. I loved going in with a totally clean and open mind and I think that’s the best way to do it – otherwise, expectations can influence what we experience.
How has traveling enriched your life thus far?
I think it has made me a more well-rounded person. I try to look at things form a different angle, from other perspectives, and understand that we’re all essentially striving for the same thing – to be happy – but we just have slightly different ways of going about it.
Any upcoming trips planned?
Oh yes, always, but you’ll just have to stay tuned to see where. 😉
Check out his blog at www.jasons-travels.com.