I’ve been lucky enough to interview some really fascinating and fantastic people since I started this Bite with a Blogger concept late last year. The Mellyboo Project, Wayward Traveler, Bitten by the Travel Bug, and Hola Chica Travels have all sat down for a bite to eat and a chat with me, and each time we’ve tried out a different restaurant and I felt like I came away from the interview having made a new friend.
Gerard and Kieu of GQ Trippin’ were no different. My first truly international (the others were all based in Sydney or Australian) Bite, these two American adventurers were kind enough to take some time out of their very busy travel schedule to sit down for a wee bit of Korean food with me.
I was just a little star-struck to chat with the people behind a blog that I believe to be one of the best ones out there. But Gerard and Kieu were so down to earth that soon we were shooting the shit and posing for silly photos as if we’d known one another for more than a few hours on a rainy Thursday evening.
After Nicole from Bitten by the Travel Bug and I hit up the very good BBQ City for the very first Bite with a Blogger, I decided that Korean was again on the agenda as the three of us ducked into Min Sok Chon – which just so happens to be directly underneath BBQ City.
I’d eaten there a time or two before during busy work-days. While BBQ City does the best galbi, I was a big fan of Min Seok Chun’s ddok galbi (spicy chicken) and kimchi bokkeumbap (spicy fried rice).
Min Sok Chon runs a little expensive even by Sydney standards, but that seems to be the norm when it comes to Korean cuisine in Sydney. I guess I’ve been spoiled by eating it in South Korea. $30 a head is a far cry from 4000 won ($3.50) a head.
While the cheap food may not have made it across from the land of the morning calm, the same level of service certainly had. Soon we were surrounded by side dishes and being asked to squash together to allow our waitress a better angle to snap a few photos of us for posterity’s sake.
With some spicy chicken, a heaping helping of bibimbap, and some tofu soup – we were off and ready to chat.
How long have you two been travel blogging?
We’re newbies on the block. We’ve been journaling our travel experiences together for over five years now. However, we’ve officially been travel blogging as GQ Trippin’ since August 2011.
What made you start a travel blog? Why did you choose the GQ Trippin’ name?
Originally, we started a blog to keep our friends and family updated with our adventures across the globe. It still is the main reason only now, we’re hoping to inspire a few to take part in something we enjoy most about life – travel.
GQ is short for Gerard and Kieu (pronounced like the letter “Q”). I once saw a series on MTV with Cameron Diaz called Trippin’ and thought it was a cool word for travel so I borrowed it.
Where have you been so far?
Oh boy, let’s see. In the past we’ve backpacked Western Europe; cruised the Mediterranean; indulged in bizarre foods in Vietnam and Thailand; and celebrated one kick-ass New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil just to name a few.
Currently on our way around the half-world, we’ve spent one month in New Zealand and another in Australia. We had a short stopover in Singapore and we’re now in Malaysia.
And where are you headed next?
We’re headed to India in a few days just in time to celebrate Holi!
Tell me about the couple blogging dynamic. Who does what in your team?
Gerard’s the mechanics behind the blogging machine. He’s IT, Help Desk, and Tech Support. In addition, he does the marketing. Someone has to keep up with Facebook and Twitter. It’s his expertise.
Me (Q), I’m just the voice behind the blog.
What has been your most memorable travel experience?
We have had so many, it’s hard to choose. Our most memorable recent travel experience would be celebrating Reveillon (New Year’s Eve) in Rio de Janeiro with a few of our close friends on Copacabana beach.. and another 2 million or so strangers. But who’s counting?
What’s been the worst travel experience you’ve had?
We haven’t had too many bad ones, thank goodness for that. Not any lost luggage nor have we been pick-pocketed yet which I’m hoping I did not just jinx us by sharing.
But we did get hurricane’d out once during a trip to the Bahamas. Spent months confirming hostel booking for Ilha Grande, Brazil only to arrive from a long day of rainy transit with no rooms under our name. We had to squeeze six people into a tiny three person room. Not the best way to kick-start your trip in Brazil if you ask me.
What’s the scariest/most exciting thing you’ve done while traveling?
Bungee jumping in New Zealand was equally the scariest and most exciting thing we’ve done recently. And we jumped on my (Q’s) birthday no less. ANDDDDDDDD.. about a week after that video of the Aussie girl’s bungy cord snapped over Victoria Falls went viral on the web. Scared this shit out of me. Almost backed out. Twice.
In case you missed it…
You’re obviously in one big travel romance at the moment. What has been the hardest thing about traveling with your partner? And what is the best thing?
The hard thing about traveling long-term with your partner is equally the best thing as well.
The being with one another 24/7 has its highs and lows. We’ve had our fair share of temper tantrums, tests of patience, and lack of communication that we’re still struggling to work out. But ask us again and again, despite the lows, we would never have it any other way. The best part about all this is that we’re doing it together.
What is one travel tip you’d like to pass on?
Love is patient, love is kind… lol!
As cheesy and Nicholas Sparks-y as it sounds, we’ve often mumbled this to one another somewhere along the trip. Usually after we have had a dispute whether it’s over directions or food, etc. Beats having to constantly apologize. We’re just reminding ourselves to be patient and kind with one another in the unusual circumstances.
That is the last time I’ll allow that bastard Nicholas Sparks to be mentioned on this site. I loathe that man with every fibre of my being…
Which country has the best food in the world?
Vietnam for sure, and no we’re not being biased.
What would be your ultimate travel dream?
I think we’re living it as we speak. 😉
Yeah, yeah; rub it in!
And finally, who is your favorite ginger bearded Australian travel blogger?
Just some guy who goes by the name of Aussie on the Road.
Aw shucks! I’m honored and flattered.
Fancy a bite?
Want to have a bite to eat and get some free promotion for your site? I’m in Sydney for another ten days and then I’ll be based out of Nanjing, China. Let me know if you’re in my area and fancy trying out some new food and having a chat.