Today I have Peter Parkorr here to talk about his travels, work and passions. I first met Peter at a travel conference in Girona, Spain. I have to call him out here for his shenanigans using photoshop to gently poke fun at situations and life. He takes that same approach on his travel blog, Travel Unmasked. He’s a lot of fun on Twitter, and I now am happy to call him a friend.
1) What do you do?
I’m a New Media Marketer, a Freelance Content Creator, and an Inventor of Obscure Impressive Titles. Sorry, I’m joking, but it’s tricky to give one name to the things I do, like many bloggers find. I think my answers below illustrate things better, but basically I blog, photograph, and make video for the web at Travel Unmasked while I travel too. And increasingly I also help people devise ways to use content and social media for their businesses.
2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?
That was my own attitude and outlook. Specifically, not trusting what I really wanted. I’ve always traveled a lot since I was born, thanks to having family dotted across the globe, and so in my adult life I wasn’t interested in traveling as much as living in strange and wonderful places. Before I went to university I knew that I wanted to live abroad, learn languages, and experience other cultures. The obstacle was that I didn’t really know how to achieve that. I spent a long time trying to construct a career that would give me those things. But that never worked out, because it was too indirect an aim for me. If I knew then what I do now, I would advise myself to just go to the place I want to start first, and work out the details later. That might sound flippant, but I should have trusted that I could find work, a place to stay, people to be friends with, and all the other things it would entail. It’s entirely doable, but I was trying to engineer it remotely, and got stuck in the mindset that I needed to travel with my career or I might never achieve anything. It’s a problem I’ve recognized many people have; that because the end of the path I really wanted to take wasn’t visible from the outset, I couldn’t bring myself to take it. It’s normal to find your way along a path even if you can’t see the finish though. You have to trust yourself, and head in the right direction.
3) What are you most excited about right now?
Making progress down my current path! I started to really try and understand how I could find self-employment on the internet in mid-summer 2011. In the autumn of that year I started my first blog to document what I learn along the way, and to share other things I’ve learnt in my time. I wasn’t early to the social media or blogging parties, but I’m early enough and have devoted enough time to it (whilst also traveling a fair bit) that I’m able to use my knowledge and skills to earn my way now. My experimental lifestyle is becoming the business I always wanted to run, which is exciting. I best not dwell on it too much or I’m liable to flip out and celebrate before the finish line
4) What’s next for you?
Loadsa stuff thankfully! My diary is filling up, and my head is swimming, in the best way possible. I’m seeing some of the bloggers I call friends at the TBEX and WTM London events in the next month, and working on two different blogging projects; one close to home and the other quite literally on the other side of the world. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to go to a tropical island to make a promotional video for an online film festival. None of the last three items is finalized, but fingers-crossed and nose to the grindstone at Parkorr HQ! I also have lots of travel videos to catch up on and publish to my Youtube channel which will be a focus for my future trips.
5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I like to support various charities when I can afford to, and particularly large well-established charities that work across borders. In the past I’ve donated to appeals from the Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK which they tend to open with a target sum in mind to achieve specific humanitarian goals. Recently, I’ve been following the work of Avaaz who are more of a political organisation, working to highlight issues and defend human rights in many different situations. The best thing about Avaaz is that often all their campaign wants from me is to add my support to a petition and they’re very smart about giving their supporters tools to spread the message and increase impact. For instance, they have a campaign to support women and girls in Afghanistan from domestic abuse, by raising awareness of a controversial changing of the law there – and I used information from their campaign to send an email to Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, asking him to reconsider. Well worth having a look at.
A big thanks to Peter for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Peter’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.
We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).