Bloggers Uncensored: with Bemused Backpacker
Welcome to this weeks Bloggers Uncensored! If this is your first time reading a BU interview, this is my longest running blog series, and definitely my favourite. This series is a perfect opportunity to read your favourite bloggers' honest and uncensored opinions on real life topics, and to discover new bloggers to follow! This weeks blogger is Bemused Backpacker.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Mike, I am a former specialist nurse, a published author and the founder of Bemused Backpacker, a travel website that aims to empower and inspire people to travel the world independently and on their own terms. I have spent the last twenty years travelling the world and have turned my website into a full time career and business helping people do the same.
Why do you write?
I have always loved writing, even as a kid, and always found it to be an outlet for my creative side that few people ever saw and also just very therapeutic and fun. I write now because it is my career, my business, but I have never lost that sense of enjoyment and cathartic-ism from it either.
Why did you start blogging?
I actually started out as an author. I published my novel first and then a series of travel books based on my (then) ten plus years of backpacking around the world, and I wanted to inspire people to do the same. I started the blog initially as a business, as a way and means to promote and sell those books, but in hindsight blogging was also a natural evolution of all the writing I had always done, it just has a specific focus on one of my passions. I still write other things outside of my blog too.
What do you love about the blogging world/community?
Blogging has provided me the means to be financially independent, to have a career that I am truly passionate about and enjoy, and I love it for that.
What do you hate about the blogging world/community?
I hate the small minded cliques and the bullying that can take place in them, and I hate the fact that the blogging world is so limiting of itself. In digital marketing bloggers are the owners o the single most powerful marketing platforms to come along in a generation. We are in control of those platforms, command audiences as big as large corporations and brands and are the 'new media', the platforms people come to for their news and entertainment, yet so many bloggers squander that and work for free or act as unpaid shills just to get a free product.
In your opinion, who are the most underrated bloggers?
All bloggers of all niches, the blogging world itself, is underrated.
What are some hard truths you have learnt about life?
You can only ever rely on yourself. No one will look out for you the way you can.
What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom is having the financial means to concentrate on what is really important in life, your family, your health and doing work that you are truly passionate about. That is what building my blog into a business has done for me and I am truly happy for it.
What are your thoughts on mental health and how it's portrayed in today's society?
Mental health is just as important, if not more so, than physical health, and I say that as a former nurse with a clinical background. Your mind effects your body and vice versa. If one is not right it will have negative effects on the other, that is just a simply fact. The big problem is that the medical/health world still concentrates predominantly on physical health and the medical treatments for it and to a large part - through ignorance or lack of funding - ignores mental health. Mental health issues and treatments have come more to the forefront in recent years but it is still lagging far behind the physical focus, especially for men.
What are your thoughts on feminism and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I can't stand modern feminism and hate the identity politics it has become a part of, it is now nothing more than a hateful misandry extremist group that have won the battle for equality and now wants superiority. 1st and 2nd wave feminism were a completely different animal altogether. These were necessary movements that fought for (and largely gained) full equality between men and women. They understood men and women were different, but equal. They celebrated the difference between femininity and masculinity, knew they were different but complimentary and simply (and quite rightly) wanted equality of access and opportunity. That is basic individual equity feminism, nothing that I think any right minded individual can disagree with. They have that now. They won. If that was all feminism was then I would happily call myself a feminist. 3rd and now 4th wave feminism however - and this is the feminism that is the norm in academia and therefore the media - is nothing more than a vindictive hate movement that still hides behind that veil of wanting 'equality' with an extreme agenda that paints men as evil personified and women as eternal victims who want equality of outcome, not access, and that is not equality. This eternal victim mentality actually does more harm to women than anything and is the antithesis to what 1st and 2nd wave feminism fought for. This gets even worse when intersectionality and the SJW mentality gets involved, and what I really hate is the mob mentality of feminists, the Gods help anyone who doesn't agree exactly with their ideology and has 'wrong thinking'.
What are your thoughts on 'Love is Love' and how it's portrayed in today's society?
Love and happiness are rare, so if you find someone that gives you those things then you should hold on to them. All the little things like gender, age and all of that makes no difference and is no ones business but your own. Just be happy. I like to think the absolute majority of people in Western society feel the same, that it simply does not matter who people sleep with or fall in love with as long as they are happy.
What advice would you give to someone who is fighting a mental illness?
Give yourself time to heal. If a situation, a person or a place is having a negative affect on you then remove yourself from it and take as long as you need to recover. And don't worry about anyone else's judgement on you for doing so.
What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied or harassed?
Give as good as you get and go toe to toe with anyone foolish enough to get in the ring with you. Show them you are not a pushover and will not allow yourself to be treated like that. The online world can be particularly nasty for bullying and harassment, but once it crosses that line where it is continuous even after you have stood up for yourself it does have the virtue of being able to block those trolls and bullies too, so never be afraid of doing that. You only have so much time in your life to be dealing with that level of stupid, so block them and go and read a good book.
If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
Stupidity. And mosquitoes, I hate those little...
What else do you feel strongly about?
So many things. I have a range of passions from martial arts and all things geek culture to of course travel, but I am quite political too so I can get quite passionate about that.
Let's end this with some fun 'This or That' questions:
Love or money?
Work hard or play hard?
Cups in the cupboard: right side up or upside down?
Right side up of course! What monster puts them upside down?
Chocolate or sex?
Plan everything or wing it?
Happiness or money?
. . .
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