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Amateur Traveler Interview

Hello, and good day to you. I’m very pleased to welcome Chris Christensen, from the Amateur Traveler website, who has very nicely agreed to give us an interview. Enjoy.


Chris Christensen of Amateur Traveler ST: You’ve had a very distinguished career, working with some of the worlds biggest brands. What was your inspiration to start the Amateur Traveler?

CC: The Amateur Traveler podcast predates the other content on the blog. The podcast started first with a love for audio content and for podcasting back when podcasting was new in 2005. I decided I wanted to do a podcast and thought about a number of possible topics. Around that time we had some friends over for a Memorial Day picnic and as we swapped stories, all the best stories were travel stories. The idea for Amateur Traveler was born with that picnic.

ST: You must have been to some great places, but which destination stands out the best for you, and why?

CC: That’s a hard question, if I had to pick my very favorite day traveling it would probably be visiting the Ngorogoro Crater on a safari in Tanzania. The experience was the most outside of my normal experience with herds of wildebeests and zebras going onto the horizon, hippos, a black rhino. Being 3 feet away from a lioness (fortunately with a good strong car window in between us) when she growled was pretty memorable .

ST: What’s next for you? Where are you traveling too?

CC: We are talking about a trip to Ireland in October, probably just a week long trip driving around the island.

ST: I see you have a keen eye for photography, have you always been handy with a camera?

CC: I have always had a love for photography but as a child any prowess I might have had was overshadowed by my older brother who had his own darkroom. Perhaps for that reason it was years before I thought of myself as any kind of photographer.

ST: If you had to choose who went with you on your ‘dream’ trip, who would it be and why? Where would you go?

CC: The ‘who’ is easiest, I do most of my travel with my wife and when she is not there I miss having someone to talk to about what I am seeing. India is rapidly rising on my list of places to see but it remains a dream right now as it would be way outside my wife’s comfort zone.

ST: Have you ever met anyone famous on your travels?

CC: I met Rick Steves in the whispering gallery of Saint Paul’s in London. I was trying to get around this film crew as they were looking for a volunteer to demonstrate how the gallery worked. That was over 10 years ago but every once in a while they show “Royal London” again and some will ask me if they just saw me on TV.

ST: Apart from traveling, what are you other interests?

CC: I am a huge tech geek. I love computers and the internet. So I am always on the computer for work, blogging, podcasting, or whatever. I also love to learn new things. I am uncomfortable with ignorance. Before I started podcasting (and had more time) my hobby was studying the language of whatever country I was planning to travel to.

ST: God plays a big part of your life, how does he help you day to day?

CC: My faith is an important rock on which my life is built. In addition to the two travel podcasts I produce a bible study podcast that is imaginatively named The Bible Study Podcast and I volunteer each week teaching a bible study with the chaplain program in Santa Clara County’s Juvenile Hall in a lock down unit for violent youth offenders. I know more gang bangers and murderers than the average person. I hope that the most outward sign of my faith would be a patient and graceful personality.

ST: Finally, if you could pick your very own ‘Groundhog Day’ to relive everyday, what would it be and why?

CC: Wow, while that was one of my favorite movies that sounds a bit like hell to someone like me who likes to learn new things. If I had to live one day over and over I would probably pick a visit to someplace like Venice where I could wander for days getting completely lost in the back alleys and canals… or Istanbul.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. If you have any further questions about Amateur Travel please leave them in the comments box below. If you’d like to know a bit more about Chris, and what he does, feel free to visit his website.

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