We went for a summer vacation to Croatia in August this year. As we planned our trip, we browsed the net, wow-ed looking at postcard perfect pictures from the country and got a real feel of things by watching a few videos on YouTube. Our favourite videos were those shot by Evan Trout from Burris Film. Here is the link to one of the videos….and there are many more! We wanted to know more about Evan, his travels and his adventures; there were plenty – the sophisticated Mediterranean, the pristine Tropical islands, the dusty Atlas mountains….the list goes on!Read on to know more about Evan – the cinematographer and traveller!
When did you start travelling? What was your inspiration?
I started consistently travelling 3 years go when I was 18. I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and always had it in my head that I would go to a college in Indiana. I stumbled into a scholarship to a film school in the Philippines and a month after graduating high school I moved out there for 12 months. I knew absolutely nothing about the Philippines prior to this. I had always loved adventuring and it sounded like something I couldn’t pass up.
Once I got there I was constantly taking trips and exploring every part of the country. I wanted to share all these crazy adventures with my friends and family back home so I started filming them and uploading the videos onto YouTube. Those videos slowly grew into a travel orientated channel called The Burris Film Life. Now the inspiration not only comes from wanting to explore new places for myself but wanting to film and share the entire experience with other people interested in travelling.
I love seeing and experiencing things that I was completely unaware of before. I find it difficult to revisit a country, regardless of how amazing it was, because I know that there is so much more out there to experience. I also feel like I have a deeper understanding of a region of the world after I’ve spent time there. It’s something that you just can’t read about.
Of all the countries that you have visited so far, which has been your favourite destination?
The Philippines. There is so much freedom and the people are fantastic. There’s an island on the west side of the Philippines called Palawan. The further up you go on the island, the more incredible it gets. I ended up in a town called El Nido, which still stands as my favorite destination in the whole world.
I witnessed some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen at a northern town called El Nido. The islands along the coast are formed from sharp rocks that shoot straight up into the sky. We spent our time cruising the waters and exploring hidden beaches only accessible through underwater tunnels. It’s an unbelievable place. Click here for the Island Hopping video.
Hotels/hostels/B&B – what’s your choice?
Hostels all the way! You get a chance to meet other travellers from all around the world. You start chatting about what’s good to see and do in that city and get tips on other places that they’ve travelled to. I really enjoy meeting someone from somewhere that Ive never heard about before. I’m still a student, so every penny counts. I would much rather crash in some barn and save that money to do something fun the next day.
Which destination is on your bucketlist, but somehow seems elusive and difficult to get to?
I’m going to go with Madagascar. One of my buddies, Lance, is really into wildlife and got a chance to go there on an exploration with an entomologist (studies insects). The pictures he brought back of the plants and animals there were unreal. He also made a short documentary about the wildlife while he was there. It’s on my bucket list, but I just don’t see myself having a good enough excuse to fly there anytime soon.
If you had asked me that a few months ago I would have probably said Japan. But I recently booked a flight to Tokyo for this coming Christmas, so there goes that answer!
What is the most unusual food that you have eaten?
El Nido is famous for a dish called Birds Nest Soup, which is pretty self explanatory as to its contents. The birds construct their nests not out of leaves and twigs, but their own dried saliva. People climb the sides of cliffs to collect these specific birds nests and then boil them into a soup. A single kilo of this nest is worth around 1,000 USD. It tasted really good, almost exactly like chicken noodle soup!
A truly memorable travel experience….
One of the more recent truly memorable experiences was mountain biking down the Atlas mountains in Morocco. A few friends and I got picked up by a biking tour company in Marrakech and driven to the top of the Atlas Mountains.
From there the driver dropped the tour guide and us off to ride our way down for about five hours. We rode through these tiny mountain villages and stopped along the way to drink tea at a local market where all the locals hang out. It was probably the best way to see what the real Moroccan mountain life was really about without being stuck inside a car. Plus mountain biking is a blast.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Tip 1: Travel light!
Try to pack the bare minimum you think you can survive on. Most of the time you’ll be able to buy whatever you didn’t bring.
Tip 2: Don’t schedule your trip too tight.
It’s usually easy to gauge how long a place will entertain you by researching online during your planning. However, there are certain times when you get to your destination and find yourself ready to move on after a day but can’t because you’ve already booked your hostel or hotel for two additional days. I like having the freedom to move around so I usually book hostels the day before arriving. If the place is super interesting, I can always book a few more days there.
Tip 2: Be open about your next destination.
My trips to Croatia and Morocco were decided because they happened to be some of the cheapest flights available during my travel time period. I just scroll through the list and then google where the destinations are. Both of those flights were around $100 return from London. That’s absolutely incredible. Maybe I have super low expectations, but I think Ryan Air and Easy Jet are amazing for what they provide. Most people complain about the customer service being horrible but I’ve flown with them a few times now and it’s been pretty positive so far.
Tip 3: Eat everything! But be a bit cautious of street food.
Trying new food is one of the best things about travelling. But good judgement is needed sometimes. I got some stomach parasite thing in the Philippines and I’m 70% sure it was from some dodgy street cart fish balls. Before travelling to Marrakech, Morocco, I read everywhere that we should stay away from the center square street food. We went for it anyway and none of us got sick. Take a chance sometimes but don’t push your luck!
Tip 4: Rent a motorcycle on an island.
The last time I rode a motorcycle was on an island in Croatia called Korčula. I’m not a big fan of riding in cities because there’s too much close contact with other vehicles, but theres not much more free feeling than cruising on those open roads along the coast. Highly recommend.
Want to know more about Evan? Check out www.burrisfilm.com and explore the world with his video logs!
Copyright for all pictures in this post is with Evan Trout @ Burris Film.