South East Asia Backpacker began life in 2008 as a free printed magazine that was distributed in hostels, cafés and bars along the Banana Pancake Trail in Southeast Asia. Today, that humble idea has developed into a flourishing small business called The Backpacker Network which covers the world of backpacking on three continents; Southeast Asia, South America and Europe.
Meet the people behind the websites… (in the order that they joined the team.)
Nikki Scott – Founder / Bossy Boots 🥾
- Travel Strength – Completely failing to plan for the sake of having a good story to tell at the end of it when everything goes to $hit.
- Travel Weakness – Fear of flying. “I know it’s meant to be the safest form of transport but I still don’t get how that metal box stays in the air!”
- Special Interests – Fruit, muesli, yoghurt, making lists, etymology, getting pleasantly lost, siestas.
- Favourite Street Food – Goyteow (Thai noodle soup).
- Couldn’t Travel Without – My baby backpacking daughter, Evie!
- About – Nikki left the UK on a one-way ticket to Kathmandu in her early 20s and never returned. She started a print magazine for backpackers which was the foundation for the website you are currently perusing! After backpacking Asia and South America, in 2014, Nikki decided it was time to return to her home continent and plopped herself in the beautiful city of Barcelona where she got herself on OkCupid. Thanks to this dating app (other dating apps are available), she’s now happily married (almost) and living in the South of Spain with her family. She runs The Backpacker Network with her partner, Dave 👇.
Dave Noakes: Director / Head of all Things Boring 👨🏻💻
- Travel Strength – Sickening enthusiasm for destinations that everyone else thinks are shit-holes.
- Travel Weakness – Border-crossing anxiety, an unwitting magnet for drug dealers.
- Special Interests – Eating ALL the food, drinking ALL the beer, abandoned buildings, hunting for snakes, sharing dangerous animal facts.
- Favourite Street Food – Bun Cha (Vietnam)
- Couldn’t Travel Without – An inexplicable bulk of items, many of which will not once be used on the road, yet he insists they are essential.
- About – Dave officially joined the backpacker scene later than most. He lived the first decade of his adult life in Barcelona, a city he explored inside out. In Jan 2015, he met and fell in love with backpacking legend, Nikki Scott 👆. 20 months later, the two set off for Asia. During their adventures, Dave started working with Nikki on her websites. What started as learning the ropes soon turned into filling the gaps, and Dave honed in on all things Nikki wasn’t so suited to/interested in doing. Today, Dave is in charge of setting the overall direction and strategy, coordinating the team, crunching numbers and making sure the websites work correctly. Outside of work, he and Nikki are bringing up the backpacker of the future, their wonderful daughter Evie.
Sheree Hooker: Editor / Chief of the Grammar Police 👮
- Travel Strength – Being terrified of EVERYTHING and choosing to get stuck in regardless.
- Travel Weakness – See above.
- Special Interests – Yoga, hiking, cheese, reading ridiculous quantities of books and searching for typos. She is also a big advocate of afternoon naps.
- Favourite Street Food – Cheesy empanadas.
- Couldn’t Travel Without – A Kindle and a budgeting app so that she doesn’t get too carried away at European food markets.
- About – Blundering around the world at every opportunity, Sheree has hiked the Camino de Santiago (fuelled mostly by wine), swam away from gummy sharks in the Galapagos and developed an amazingly impressive ability to self-diagnose a whole range of exotic insect bites. She first discovered The Backpacker Network when she was doing what she does best… reading. Finding her community in the pages of SEA Backpacker Magazine, she vowed never to return to normal life. Combining her love of travel with meticulous word worshipping, she now manages a team of kickass writers located all over the globe.
Tim Ashdown: Writer / Gear Geek 🤓
- Travel Strength – An iron-clad stomach and the ability to eat anything, no matter how disgusting.
- Travel Weakness – The inability to get poorly from eating dodgy food without saying, “but I never get ill. I hate being ill,” in a particularly pathetic manner.
- Special Interests – Hiking, adrenaline, backpacks and anything ‘sciencey’.
- Favourite Street Food – Pad Thai (because he’s basic AF).
- Couldn’t Travel Without – Access to MotoGP and Formula 1 races, a VPN and a bloody good backpack.
- About – Tim arrived on the backpacking scene in his mid-twenties after a life-changing injury and subsequently extended hospital stint. During this time he realised life was passing him by – and that bed baths aren’t as exciting as in the movies… Getting lucky and recovering better than anyone expected, Tim is determined not to let life pass him by. He’s developed a keen interest in all things travel gear and has been known to get lost for hours in REI – we tend to find him neck deep in backpack specs trying to find answers to life’s most important question: “How much stuff can you fit in a 40-litre backpack?”
Louis Wilhelm: Editorial Assistant / Fact-Checking Fanatic 📝
- Travel Strength – Being able to fluently speak the local language… a.k.a. knowing how to say “hello”, “thank you” and “no spicy!”
- Travel Weakness – The fear of swimming in the middle of the sea. If the ground cannot be seen and the water isn’t at least light blue, the ‘heebie jeebies’ take over! Surprisingly though, he loved diving in Koh Tao! Just don’t ask how much sleep he got the night before…
- Special Interests – Languages. Apart from his mother tongue German, he also learnt English and French and taught himself Japanese! He loves nature, wildlife and football (a.k.a. soccer!).
- Favourite Street Food – Mango sticky rice and bun cha for the win!
- Couldn’t Travel Without – Phone. Not because he’s glued to it 24/7 but because it has his favorite music, a camera to capture amazing memories and as much as we all like getting lost once in a while, GPS is kinda nice!
- About – After sacrificing blood and sweat for corporate companies, Louis decided to end his torture by quitting his job and taking off to Southeast Asia with his girlfriend. Ironically, the Southeast Asia Backpacker website was his go-to guide for trip planning and 10 months into the journey, Dave came knocking in search of a helping hand. Never has it been so easy to say “Yes!”.
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