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Travis Ball

Travel Blogger and Photographer at Flashpacker HQ
Helping to define what it is to be a Flashpacker, travel for me is the evolution of backpacker travel – Free answers for a limited time.

Expertise

Photography

I first picked my father's old manual camera in 1997 and was instantly hooked. I have a degree in visual arts (photography) and have worked professionally for WireImage and The Guardian. I prefer travel, music and event photography over studio or landscape work. I am fluent in a digital workflow and can assist with your taking of the images and/or the back end post-production editing.

Working overseas

I worked as a club photographer in Ibiza, Spain (electronic music capitol of the world), taught english in Japan, tended bar in Australia and have done digital work everywhere along the way. I have done a lot of research in this area and feel confident I'll be able to help.

Budget travel

I am a Flashpacker – basically a backpacker mentality with a bit more money and/or more gear. While budget plays a constant role in my travels, I also want to eat local food and experience local culture and adventure. Budgeted comfort, local street food over hostel-cooked pasta, and experiencing things like glacier hiking, swimming with whale sharks and the like are all part of my travel game plan.

Adventure activities

#1 on my bucket list is the Sardine Run in South Africa (check it out on youtube). I have swam with whale sharks, hiked mountains and sung karaoke with co-workers in Japan. Okay, so I'm not at the forefront of the adventure scene but I have stepped out of perfectly good airplanes, jumped off bridges, and gone scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. I'm up for almost any adventure but won't go overboard.

Long-term travel

My longest stint away from the US lasted 30 months and took me through 16 countries. I lived and worked in Spain (Ibiza), Japan, Thailand and Australia, and traveled extensively through New Zealand and Central China.

Japan

I lived in central Japan for a year teaching English and exploring the country as much as possible during my free time. I'd estimate I spent a good 8 weeks traveling before, after and during my stay there. I spent time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagano, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Beppu (hot springs), Mt. Fuji and Nikko (day trip out of Tokyo)

Australia/New Zealand

I was able to spend about 5 months in total in Australia, and 1 month in New Zealand. I lived and tended bar in Sydney, and traveled extensively up the west and east coasts including Perth, 12-day west-coast road-trip, Train to Adelaide, Melbourne, Darwin, Uluru, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, and Byorn Bay. I spent a total of 9 days on the reef with three different scuba operators. I saw "all" of New Zealand during a month-long hop-on hop-off bus trip through the country. Amazing!

Thailand

I lived in Chiang Mai for about 4 months broken up by little trips down south and more extensive trips to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I've spent about 6 weeks in Bangkok off and on as well. I can also provide information about diving in Koh Tao, partying in Koh Phan Gan, doing both in Koh Pi Pi, as well as Karabi and Phuket.

Spain

Most of my time (4 months) in Spain was spent living in and shooting the clubs of Ibiza. If you have any questions about the club capital of the world, please don't hesitate to ask. Great music, beautiful people and gorgeous beaches await!

United States

Born and bread in Los Angeles, I know the city like the back of my hand. I also lived in San Diego for 6 years and Austin for 2. If you're seeking information about the west coast, odds are I'll be able to help – or at least know someone who will.

Recognitions

Secretary and Board Member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association

http://travelbloggersassociation.com/

Feedback

Travis is the epitome of what a Plansify advisor should be. He answered each of my questions in thorough detail, much more information than I could ever expect, especially from a free session! Thank you so much for your help and advice, Travis. I am now even more excited for my trip to Japan!!

Chelsea Weaver • July 24, 2014