His detractors can be described as do-gooders out to defend the world against sex exploitation or just haters, either way Neil is carving out his own niche in the travel world. While Lonely Planet has locked down the world of practical travel information, Neil is showing backpackers how to hook up on the road. His book, ‘Around the World in 80 Girls‘ aims to give wander-lusters a guide to overcoming “approach anxiety” through a mix of personal travel stories and no-nonsense pick up tips.
In this NN interview, we talk to Neil about how traveling 3 years continuously turned him from a “regular, shy guy” to a traveling casanova.
If that’s not enough to inspire every awkward, pimple-faced 18 year-old to see the world, what will?
Who is the guy behind the book?
I’m Neil Skywalker, born and raised in Holland and traveled around the world for nearly 3 continuous years. From childhood on I dreamed of doing something special in life like getting rich or famous but I was still an average shy guy when I hit my thirties. Never became rich, popular or well traveled. It was time for a big change in my life and I hit the road. I wrote a book about my trip and my long struggling transition from shy guy to womanizer.
What should readers expect to get out of a book that unabashedly advocates sex and travel?
People can expect a mix of personal, travel and pick up stories with pick up being the red line throughout the book. The book also contains about 50 pages of no-nonsense pick up tips and tricks focused on local exotic girls and backpackers. I hope to inspire people to take a leap into the unknown and to travel because the grass is greener in other places.
You describe yourself as regular guy who became a traveling womanizer. Was there a particular ‘aha’ point in your life when you woke up and said ‘hey I’m going to go around the world and bang chicks’?
What most people don’t know is that I never intended to bang myself a way around the world. I left home out of boredom and in search of adventure and personal improvement of my own social behavior. Of course I thought about laying some pipe left and right but doesn’t every traveler do that? The whole flagging and pick up idea came to me when I was already traveling for several months.
Of course you can’t always hook up with supermodels, have you ever hooked up with anyone you woke up and regretted the next day?
Yes only one but for the rest, no real regrets. A few occasions I wouldn’t do it again with the same girl. I found out that beauty doesn’t guarantee a good time between the sheets. Raw passion does.
Besides with money, lol, how do you overcome the language barriers?
Ah, Money. It makes life so much easier. I have an article on my website that explains my way of conquering the language barrier with girls. In short: learn about 20 to 30 key words or phrases that makes a girl smile and know some other words/sentences for small talk. The best thing is still to find a girl who speaks at least some English but it’s not impossible to spend time with a girl without speaking any of the language. I once stayed three days with an 18 year old girl who only spoke Brazilian Portuguese. Honestly, I spoke maybe 10 words at that time. She talked all day.
Your book gives advice on how to survive on the road broke. What’s the number one piece of advice you would give to our less-than-wealthy readers?
Don’t be a push over and bargain hard when necessary especially with taxi drivers. I have slammed doors in people’s faces, pulled on the hand brake while driving or paid the taxi driver with his own money. You are a walking wallet for about half the people you meet. It’s important to find who they are and to be nice to the other half.
Let’s see, how should I phrase this? From your experiences, in which country were girls more ‘open’ to a casual encounter?
For me it was Cambodia but the Philippines are a close second. South America was surprisingly not that easy.
Who was the hottest girl you hooked up with and how did you do it?
My Russian girlfriend, extremely hot body and a very sweet girl. I met her on the train from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok just before the train rolled in to the station. It was the last train I took in Russia’s Far East. We spent two great days and nights together and she later visited me on her own costs in China, Thailand and the Philippines. She is/was madly in love with me but I can’t say I was very faithful in between our meets which were months apart.
Have you begun to get hate mail from women who think you’re a dirty dog yet?
Surprisingly, no hate mail from girls, not much disapproving mail either. I even have some female fans. Guys are a different story. I received lots of (death) threats and hate mail from jealous “nice” guys. Especially from Cambodian expats. Some were really persistent. Other guys who are typical white knighting beta males send some hate mail sometimes but most guys are really supportive and complement/ask advice. I delete hate comments or hate mail straight away.
While you were traveling, did you ever come close to falling in love?
Yes, several times. I had quite a lot of mini-relationships including dramatic ones. I was most serious with the Russian girl and with a Philippine girl too. I spend a lot of time with the both of them. They even saw each other once without knowing it. I’m not a pump and dumper. I can and I did a few times but if I generally like the girl and we seem to connect on more level than only crazy sex, I will stay longer with her. The nice guy is still in me somewhere.
Describe your strangest experience on the road
Having to fight off a Malaysian girl who wanted to stab me with a piece of mirror glass. You have to read the book for that story but I have been in many crazy or strange situations both with girls and as well as an off the beaten track backpacker.
For the regular guys out there, what’s the number one piece of advice you can give to help them hook up with a girl in their travels?
You have to be persistent and to be willing to step out of your comfort zone a lot. Picking up girls in country where you don’t speak the language isn’t easy. Sure, some guys get lucky once or twice but to consistently score with girls you have not much in common with or who don’t speak much English is hard.
If you could pick anyone in the world to travel with, who would it be and why?
Pff, difficult question. I always thought that Jason Statham would be a cool guy to hang out with. Otherwise I would choose my travelling buddy Darren whom I traveled in Indonesia with. We had so much fun traveling together. I would go to any country with him.
What kind of work did you do to support yourself on the road?
I didn’t work at all on my trip. I made some money in Holland and lived off of that. It wasn’t an extreme amount of money but you could still buy a nice car with it. The money lasted nearly 3 years. You have to limit yourself all the time if you wanted to hold on that long.
Why would girls like your book?
I think they love all the drama and romance in it but would want to kick my ass in other occasions. It would surely make them blush or even wet a few times. I think most female readers would still like it. I don’t really hate on the whole feminism thing. Sure I don’t like everything but I just don’t care so much about it and don’t like those rude women haters you see on the internet more and more. Life is too short to think about the differences between men and women all the time. It’s a never ending story. Better spend that time making love.
What was your favorite place and why? Least favorite?
The countries that I liked a lot for both the culture as the women were Russia, Indonesia and Argentina. Least favorite must be Brunei, a boring, strict, Islamic oil state. There was nothing to do for fun there.
3 travel items you couldn’t live without
Passport, ATM card and laptop.
3 must-see places you’ve traveled to
Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Standing on top of Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Doom in New Zealand and the Iguazu waterfalls in Argentina/Brazil.
Where are you going next?
If I had a choice I would go back to South America. Unfortunately, I’m broke at the moment and will be for a while. Book sales are picking up but not enough to travel on. I do have a new and cunning plan to acquire new riches.
After writing this book, do you really expect anyone to marry you?
Yes, no doubt about it. I still have my heart in the right place and have been in serious relationships before. I always say that for the right girl and situation I’m willing to give it all up. Then again, I think I will go on doing what I’m doing for five more years and then settle down.
Hopefully you have read our ‘about us’. What makes you ‘Nomadik’?
Well, Ashlea. Besides looking at your lovely picture I have also read your about me. Since I’m not an native English speaker I can’t express myself that well but let me say this: I have always been a bit of a loner which I think is an excellent quality for a traveler. If you can’t enjoy yourself or keep yourself busy while traveling you are not cut out for it. I love the sensation of arriving in a new country and wondering what adventures it will bring me. I like to experience the local culture, the friendliness that has died out in the West, the food and the girls. It’s not all about girls but having a local girlfriend sure speeds up the process of getting to know the culture from a different point of view. I have been at places that normal backpackers won’t go just because they don’t have the opportunity to go there.
You can get your copy of ’Around the World in 80 Girls’ at Amazon. And for more of Neil’s crazy adventures, check out his blog.
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