The Plan and The Man
Those who read regularly probably know that Aussie on the Road tends more towards the romantic and idyllistic than the wild and uninhibited sexcapades of many of my travel brethren. While Will and the lads at TravelSexLife horde tales of debauchery from around the world, my own tales tend to be more heart-breaking than booty shaking.
But when Neil from Around the World in 80 Girls and I spoke about me interviewing him about his travels, his pick-up artistry, and his new book – I couldn’t resist. Here was a chance for a hopelessly romantic and criminally awkward Aussie guy to speak with something of a travel Casanova. What tricks could I learn to help me achieve the more red light of my bucket list items?
So it was that I sat down at my laptop and Neil sat down at his and we did an interview. I won’t waffle on any further. Here’s my interview with Neil, the backpacking Casanova and scourge of women’s chastity around the world.
How long have you been on the road now?
Well, I’m back home in the Netherlands now but I made a round the world trip of nearly 3 continuous years through 40 something countries. People always say “Home sweet home” but give me a pile of cash and I’ll be sitting on a plane two hours later.
What took you on the road originally?
I was really bored with both my life and my crappy love life. I was in need of some adventure and some personal improvement since I was always a bit shy and introverted. Not that I was a total social retard but it was definitely something I wanted to improve on. My world was pretty small and when the company I worked for went bankrupt I immediately sold most of my stuff and took of a month later. It was time to see something of the world.
What draws you to the travelling lifestyle? Is it just the girls?
The first 7 or 8 months were all about sight seeing and the traveling lifestyle. Of course I tried to get laid also but I wasn’t really making a serious effort with it until I reached South East Asia and things changed rapidly. Girls are one factor that is always exciting no matter where you go. I mean, how many Buddha statues, waterfalls and churches can a man see before it’s all one big blur?
The first temple you see is impressive but once you’ve seen a few hundred in a very short time it gets old soon. Girls never seem to bore me. I almost saw it as a sport picking them up. It felt like a job sometimes.
Girls not being a factor, what would you say has been your favorite country to spend time in?
Honestly, I can’t choose one. Every continent is so different from another that I have to choose at least 3 of them. I’d say Russia, Indonesia and Argentina. Russia for the genuine friendliness of the people. They may not smile much but they sure are friendly and hospitable people. I might be a bit biased since I’ve been with a couple of Russian girls and was quite serious with one of them. Indonesia just has all natural wonders you can wish for and the people
and the girls are just great. Argentina has a great vibe, it was the first country I visited in South America and I loved everything there, especially the music.
More importantly, which country has the best women in your experience? What makes them stand out?
Kind of similar to the last question. I can’t just name one. I’d say Russia for its beautiful girls, the Philippines for its easy and crazy girls, and Brazilian girls for overall raw sexy vibe.
You say you started off as a shy guy. What happened to turn you into such a successful pick-up artist?
I actually had a few “aha” moments while traveling which made me think differently about the mindset that had paralyzed me for so many years. Becoming a popular guy and learning about Pick Up made me change my mind on a whole lot of things. Especially the discovery of books on learning how to pick up girls was astonishing. I had never even heard of things like that before the end of 2009. I soon found out that a lot was bullshit and learned to develop my own style. The shy guy has never completely left me but I know how to suppress him better. I love going out but I still don’t like those party places like Vang Vieng or Kho Phi Phi.
You’ve recently published your book ‘Around the World in 80 Girls’. Do you still remember the girl who got you started on your adventures? Or has her face been lost in the mists of time?
I remember each and every girl I have been with on my trip. Most of them are still on my personal Facebook and I keep in touch with them every once and a while. I remember almost everything about them but the sex part is becoming a blur at times. A bit fragmented so to say.
You’re one of several ‘travel pick up artists’ out there. Do you guys have a secret fraternity where you exchange tips and tales of your conquests?
There really aren’t that many of us around. You can count the “big names” on one hand (and still have a few fingers left). Sure, some websites touch the subject more than others but I can’t say it’s very mainstream. Will Peach of TravelSexLIfe is doing a pretty good job building up his websites. Others try but fail. There are no secret fraternities but there are of course public forums on this subject.
I know Roosh has drawn some ire in his time, have you been the target of much hate mail? How do you deal with negative feedback?
I had my share of death threats from a bunch of expats in Cambodia. Most of the hate I received from them stopped after a few weeks but some were very persistent. I guess they were angry that was banging “their” girls without having to resort to paying girls with gifts/expensive dinners or just plain money. I’m a backpacker, I’m not going to drop money on that.
Since I upgraded and changed my website the hate mail has gone down a lot but there’s still some hate mail every week. Funny thing is that I almost never receive hate mail from girls. I did receive fan mail from them though. It’s 99% white-knighting keyboard jockeys who can’t get a (foreign) girl themselves. One even reported me to Lonely Planet for using the subtitle: The not so Lonely planet. I stopped using that tagline after Lonely Planet threatened to sue me. The hate mail used to bother me but now I just delete it.
Without giving away too much from the book, what is one tip you’d give to any aspiring lothario?
I have 50 bonus pages of tips and tricks in my book so it’s hard to choose one but one thing I have always been successful with is learning some words of the local language. I don’t mean speaking fluently (which would be 10 times better) but just learn 30 to 50 words that are practical for picking up girls even if the local girl speaks fluent or good English. There’s a list on my website here. The most important thing you need is just sheer persistence to keep
on going even when you don’t feel like it.
As I’m sure many travel bloggers also aspire to publish in book form, what have you learned from the self publishing experience? What advice would you give to other bloggers looking to make the leap?
I’m sure it’s different for native English speakers with a decent education but I went through hell and back to get this book finished. I’m born and raised in Holland and barely finished high school which was still in the no internet/mobile phone era. I struggled a lot with editing and formatting the book. Let alone the website and promotion. I had to learn everything myself by reading and experimenting with MS word to Photoshop and website building. I could have easily written a 1000 page book but had to edit so many things out just to keep the book readable. The book still has 468 jam-packed pages and I would have hated it if I wrote a book you can just quickly read in two days.
One advice is to make sure you have the time to write, edit, format, design and publish it. A couple of hours a day won’t cut it. Think more like 12 to 14 hours a day for months. I have put in so many hours that I could have earned me a half a year on the road again but instead I choose to write this book and help others having fun abroad.
Aussie on the Road tends toward the romantic side, so it needs to be asked – What kind of woman would it take to make you settle down?
Hey, I’m one romantic dude too, why do you think I’m successful in what I do? It’s hard to describe the kind of woman that would make me settle down but one thing is sure: She has to be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. She has to be smart but not a brainiac. I don’t like lazy of masculine girls either. Flip flops? Really? In Brazil girls do their groceries in a dress and on high heels.
Only three girls have made me think about giving it all up and settling down. My Russian girlfriend the most but I would always opt to live in their country instead of my own. The big problem would be making money to live there. I don’t think I’m quite ready yet to settle down. I already tried the whole girlfriend/house/car and good job back home many times and was never really satisfied with it. In a couple of years from now I can see it happen but I’m not just wiling to give up a great lifestyle yet. If I don’t make a zillion dollars from this book I’ll have to stay and settle down eventually but not as long I still have my fighting spirit.
With your book out and the world seemingly conquered, what’s the next challenge for you?
Oh, there are so many new countries and cultures I want to experience and so many people worldwide I would like to visit again that I don’t think this is quite over yet. Only thing is that the clock is ticking and I’m not getting younger. My next challenge would be making some money and to hit the road again despite my family and friends wanting to keep me grounded this time.
Go Look at the Book!
Neil’s book, Around the World in 80 Girls, is available now in both eBook and paperback versions. Packed full of stories of debauchery and love from the road, the book also has fifty bonus tips for those shy guys wanting to wet their wick in international waters.