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.
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.