From today onwards, I’ll be featuring an interview with special individuals from all walks of life in the ‘Inspiring Mondays’ section of the blog, in hopes to inspire all those who drops by in Over A Cuppa Tea and beat Monday’s blues in the process. 😀
Here’s featuring the FIRST individual who agreed to an interview with me. 😀
Let’s give a warm welcome to Rayyan Harries a.k.a Si Traveler Comel, a well-known travel blogger in Malaysia.
Me: Hi Rayyan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I know you’ve been busy and I really appreciate it for making time for this. I think it would be nice if we could inspire people by featuring you in my blog.
Rayyan: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. I love doin it coz I wanna inspire people too
Me: Here goes nothing. 😀 When did you start blogging and why did you start blogging? And why ‘BigSmallBoy’? Any significance on the name?
Rayyan: I started blogging in 2008 when I was so bored at work after SPM. You will find my first post to be very anti-US. It was the peak of the war between America and Iraq back then and I kinda felt really frustrated with the situation and was hoping that my little voice will do good to tell people. Why BigSmallBoy? Ermm.. I have been big-size since I was a child. But somehow I felt that there is a small-size boy trapped inside of me, hence the name.
Me:Â You are now a well-known travel writer cum backpacker. Who and what inspire you to globe-trot and travel in the first place?
Rayyan: Well-known? No lahh.. I’m glad that people actually like what I write and I love to share my experience with others too. I think when I was younger I was so into Amazing Race, TLC and NatGEO and many other kinds of traveling shows. I believe these shows played an important role in inspiring me to actually pack my bag and just hit the road!
Â Me:Â You mentioned countlessly that you’re a person who failed before, and by failing, it gives you more opportunities to explore the world. Would you care to elaborate about it?
Rayyan: A lot of realized that I always mentioned about my failure in life. I failed college a year ago and lose my scholarship. Well, I practically lost everything in my life back then. I took out whatever money I had left and when backpacking. Didn’t know that it will lead me to something this amazing. There opportunities are abundance and it is now somehow my job too!
Some felt that I shouldn’t do that but I believe that is a story that I want to tell people. I want to tell the world that it is okay to fail, it is okay to be in a shitty situation BUT you have to know how to get back and move forward. Truth to be told, everyone fail and it how you value your failure and move forward makes it a success.
Me:Â While it is a well-known fact that you’re a travel writer, it is understood that most of your trips are not funded by anyone, despite the general public misconception regarding the issue. How do you get funds for it?
Rayyan: No, not all my trips are funded! That is a huge misconception I think for most of us the travel bloggers. All my backpacking trips were funded by myself. I work hard to earn those pennies that made my trip worthwhile. I had to do advertorials, social media engagements and also write articles for magazine to make money. (I actually like doing all these) It’s true that there were trips that were funded my tourism board, tour companies and brand but it doesn’t make the large portion of my travel though. I still use my own hard-earned-cold-sweat money 😛
Me:Â On writing- how do you find time to blog? Do you blog via PC or phone? Are your updates live/ scheduled up?
Rayyan: Finding time is little tricky as I will be on the road most of the time. I do blog from my phone, IPAD and as well my laptop. Depending which is the better option that time. I do schedule post if it is important but most of it I write when I have the inspiration. To truly convey the message is not easy but doing it at your pace giving it more “omph” and value to the write ups. 🙂
Me:Â What are your future plans where your career is concerned?
Rayyan: Career? Woah..that a big word. I’ll let the journey takes it course. I’m sure there will be something for me in the future. 🙂
Me: Will you be publishing any books about your adventures and misadventures in the nearest future?
Rayyan: InshaAllah, am currently writing my first ever book. Hopefully it will be published by the end of this year. Wish me luck! 😉
Me: Last but not least, do you have any encouraging words for those who aspire to be like you? Any tips to aspiring travel/lifestyle bloggers who wants to do the same but not sure how to start, especially on the budgeting part? Any resources that they can look up to if they want to travel like you?
Â Rayyan: Do it. Let yourself go from you routine, take risk and let the uncertainty show you the journey. And if you ever fail in life, stand up, dusk away the dirt and stand up straight again. Your failure is actually a gift and a door to success. If you are ready to embark on your journey, I would say pack and just leave. In term of budgeting, you can always ask me at twitter @rayyanharies or email me at [email protected] , I would be happy to help. Till then, keep on traveling! 😀
Cleffairy: Rayyan is a blogger at http://thebigsmallboy.com.Â If you aspire to be a travel blogger or a globetrotter but not quite sure how to go about it, do hop over and give him a friendly visit, folks.
There’s plenty of things you can learn from him, and that includes on how to travel/go for backpacking trip cheaply 😀 I’m sure he’ll be happy to have all of you there.