Most of you know him as The Broke Backpacker. You might have seen him clinging to a mountainside or haphazardly hacking his way through a jungle. He’s kind of got the whole ‘adventurer’ thing going on. He’s famed for heading into risky countries and getting out in one piece and with plenty of jaw-dropping stories to boot. He’s known for being held at gunpoint, for nearly dying in Nepal and for travelling the world on an extreme budget. But, I know him simply as 'Will'.
Before he was The Broke Backpacker he was just another random guy who wandered up to me in a pub, bought me a drink and made it known that I was to be his best friend for the next few months. Will was still all the things he is today; namely totally nuts and in love with adventures but he hadn’t gotten round to starting his blog and sharing his adventures and advice yet, and thank goodness he has right?
Other than thinking 'where on earth could this guys from’, (Will talks kind of funny when he is excited if you haven't watched any of his videos), my first thought about Will? This is a really genuinely kind guy. Now please, don't take my description of kind like you would with nice. Nice is an awful word and means nothing, what I mean is that he was really interested in talking to me, getting to know me, showing an interest; he didn’t just want to try and get me straight back to his place in 0.5 seconds. He was, and still is, a true gentleman when it comes to women. He laughed at my shit jokes (and still does), was good enough not to point out that I blush like a tomato and has a way to make you feel completely at ease around him to share your story. But guess how much of an idiot I felt after I'd talk about the few places I'd travelled to when I was young after he opened his mouth and hinted at a couple of his recent destinations!
For me, Will was that guy that every girl has to have once in her life. It was that ‘just for fun’ relationship, the first time you date without feeling like you have to label it or feel you need to whack up ‘it’s complicated’ on facebook. The older ‘guy’, who is a few years more mature than you, who was living away from home in accommodation that wasn’t university halls (oh so grown up). It was just two people hanging out, having a laugh, with no strings attached. Looking back to my first adventure, it was Will who inspired me to pack my bag and throw myself head first into the world of backpacking. It was also him that helped me to lie to my parents about how I met my Travel Buddy, we decided it would be better if they thought Will had put me in touch with someone he knew instead and she wasn't just a complete stranger from the Internet... Now, Will is the person who I go to for advise as I throw myself into the world of travel blogging!
For those who want to know, the way to his heart (or to his bed at least) is with cake. My famed chocolate and baileys cake was always a hit with him and his housemates, earning me the right to crash whenever I saw fit / had drunk too much. Will is also a fan of glitter. If there’s an event happening within a few hours journey from him that involves glitter, it’s a safe bet that he would race you to the door, where he would instantly cut the line. Will also enjoys being naked. His chest is forever bared (as those of you who use periscope will know), and when appropriate, Will can be found happily striding around the place in his boxers. He’s also a great guy to have around in a sticky situation, as he has a knack of talking his way out of pretty much anything. His version of breakfast in bed was 8 pieces of bacon in between some bread, with ketchup. His room was covered wall to wall with incredible reminders of his adventures, from pictures to souvenirs and quite a few travel books! The first gift he ever gave me was one of his original business cards and I remember him running over to his computer a few mornings to excitedly show me the most recent comments on his first blog site.
I better leave him with some secrets* but I think I can quite safely say Will is one of the most interesting, genuine and kind people you will ever meet. He throws himself into every situation with a positive attitude and a ‘why not’ smile making him a bundle of laughs whenever you need it. If you get the chance, hunt him down on the road; he’s bound to make you laugh and to hurl you knee-deep into some hilarious adventure which somehow he gets you out of without a scratch... Even today, he still likes to check up on me and despite being crazy busy is one of the few people in my life who would stop everything and help if I truly needed it because that's just the kind of person he is. But on a more serious note - ladies, if you haven’t already you may want to form an orderly queue outside his bedroom door - trust me ;)
Will and I have yet to do some travelling together, but I'm planning to find him at some point during his two years of adventure from UK - PNG to meet up for a pint or two! While time has moved on and many of those feelings have dissipated, I think it's safe to say I have a massive blogger crush on him because, well - who doesn't?!
*Will also has a full collection of Star Wars actions figures in his room...If you're reading this Will - I'm sorry! I've kept it in for two years and now need to let it out. Perhaps this ruins the 'cool' persona, but I just think it makes him more adorable!