If you don’t know who he is yet, you will soon. Will Peach, the editor of TravelSexLife.com, tells us about his own sex life and how he plans to build a travel industry empire.
When it comes to the world of travel media, there are very few writers who break the mold like Will Peach. Instead of the typical G-rated travel topics, Will Peach prefers posting articles that you might not find when your safe-search is enabled. Travel Sex Life covers every sexually related travel theme imaginable; from the top ten places to get laid to pregnancy on the road.
While many people find TSL to be “STD” in the travel blogosphere, Will just keeps creating more and more travel websites. He has a language learning blog, called My Spanish Adventure, a new global music blog Groovetraveller.com, and a new website, Travel Site Links, that highlights the experiences of travelers around the world.
So we decided to interview the man who is putting sex and travel in the same sentence.
Describe yourself using only three adjectives
Bitter. Sweet. Well-endowed.
Give us a little bit about your background – where you grew up, what you studied, how you became interested in traveling, etc.
Hey Nomadik guys! Well isn’t this an interesting interview? It’s not everyday I get to speak to the travel blogging universe’s most mysterious, “are they/aren’t they lesbians?” You’ve kept us all guessing for far too long. How about setting the record – er, if you’ll excuse the pun – straight?
We are straight. Thanks for asking, lol!
Anyway, less about you. It’s my interview after all.
So I’m a 26-year-old man-child from the UK and I grew up in the south (so I sound a bit posh if you ask any northerners). I’ve lived in Miami, Ho Chi Minh City, London and have now spent the past seven months travelling around Spain. I’m an agnostic and have two puppy dogs called Sonny and Gracie (they live with my mum and step-dad). I’m a vegetarian.
I got interested in travelling while I was young and the blogging side of things came during my time working for gap year network Gap Daemon in London (where you’ll now find The Travel Hack). Make no bones about it though, I was the most charismatic, wittiest, sexiest employee they ever had. It was a sad day when I left for full time travel blogging stardom. They still hold a candle in the hope of my return.
With all your travel sites, how in the hell do you actually have time to enjoy your travels?
Well the being everywhere thing, that’s kind of true, and I’m glad you see it as a positive thing. Ask other bloggers and they’ll probably tell you I’m like some sort of resilient, low-grade, travel blogging STD!
As for how I enjoy my travels? Well I’m lucky that on most of my blogs I work as part of a team. It’s great that I work alongside other pretty talented bloggers that I can really depend on to help put out great content. Thanks to them I can be a little more hands off than other bloggers. It also makes it much, much, more fun.
Your sites bring a sort of freshness, edginess and, frankly speaking, youth to the world of travel blogging. Besides stories about one-night stands on the road, penis size by country and being naked in Lisbon (complete with photos), what is it that you bring to the travel media roundtable that no other blogger does right now?
Well thanks very much for the compliment, when I started out I got so sick of bland, non-edgy blogs that I always knew I was going to go down this route. But what do I bring? I’d say playfulness most of all, and also the recognition that people don’t really give a shit about half the things people usually write about (like the things you saw and ate in X destination – which actually don’t take any amount of risk or skill to convey).
Basically my rule of thumb is this: publish what I would read/find interesting and hopefully laugh my ass at off. I’ve got pretty high expectations, so why shouldn’t the people who read my blogs?
On your personal site, WillPeach.com, you write that the reigning ‘King of Travel Blogging’ Nomadic Matt had better pass the torch and you describe your plan to take over the traveling world utilizing an 8-step plan. In other words you want to be to the travel media what Donald Trump is to real estate, why such lofty ambitions?
Ha! Well that’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek and is kind of a cheap way to get attention on my part I guess. The ambitions, while I throw a lot of weight behind them (in that piece at least), are actually to have more than just kick-ass travel blogs. I want to be an estabilished writer and author in my own right, as well as branching into things like tours, hostels and print publishing arms.
I don’t really see it as ambition to be fair – more just following my passions to write and deliver really great (and different) content that people can hopefully get something out of. Light relief is probably the most important thing I hope people get from engaging with my work.
How do you think (or do you think) your projects inspire non-travelers to become globetrotters?
You know, I wouldn’t feel right saying they do necessarily. I think more personal bloggers who deliver practical tips do that a lot better than any of my platforms, except for maybe MySpanishAdventure.com.
I think I get people to think about more than just travelling to here, there or wherever. I get people questioning the why, or rather help to show them what others are doing on their travels (whether repulsive, morally repugnant or admirable) in order to broaden their own perspectives. Anyone can go read Lonely Planet but not everyone can read about the time you soiled the hostel bed. That’s just as interesting in my opinion!
You throw some nasty shots at the “celebrity travel bloggers” (i.e., Rick Steves and Gary Arndt) of today. What the hell are you thinking?
Cheap publicity mainly. And using the age old technique of mud-slinging to try and get people to pay attention (yes, I’m a whore).
In reality I respect Gary, Rick, or whoever else I’m calling out, massively – without them I wouldn’t have the opportunity to make money doing what I love. Simple.
But at the same time I’m not too happy that other, better, writers don’t get the attention they deserve. When someone sees himself or herself as the stand-alone master of an industry or an art, that’s never a good thing. We should constantly be challenging, jostling and competing to make sure we improve and give people quality travel stories and sites. If I have to kill Gary Arndt or engage in cunnilingus with Nerdy Nomad to do that, so be it.
Where did the concept for TSL originate?
I first thought up the idea of TSL late last year when I was browsing travel blogs specifically for sex-related stories (for a guest post over on Aussie on the Road and also because I’m a pervert). What I found was kind of shocking, that 90% of blogs sidestepped the issue altogether.
I always thought that travel blogging was a personal medium, designed to show the inflections and inner-workers of a travellers mind. As sex is part of human nature – and massively explored while travelling – it was worrying how little attention people paid to it.
When I hit upon the concept of a site that would give people a platform to talk about their sexual adventures abroad – as sex being conducive to travel – I thought it carried a lot of weight. Luckily I found the exact kind of people I needed to help me shape the site into what it is now, a fantastic sex-positive resource for people interesting in how travellers are pushing their sexual boundaries abroad.
A recent post in TSL, titled “6 reasons to hate travel sex life”, you reveal that TSL was banned from Lonely Planet and there are fellow travelers who describe you guys as ‘sleazeballs’, so you definitely have some ‘haters’ out there. Why do you think that there are people out there who find your topics so repulsive?
I think principally it’s a jealousy thing. When people see a site or a project that really challenges them it’s intimidating as people begin to fear for the survival of their own boring blog.
When we first started the site, it’s true, we struggled to find a balance and a “proper” voice. We ran the risk of being seen as 3 douchey guys getting their sad kicks from writing about sex on the Internet by putting our names and faces to it from the get-go.
Yet we remained firm with our vision and staunch about it being a great idea. Now the site is on the right path as to how we imagined it. Our readers and contributors are mainly women, our articles a delicate mix of rawness and real emotion and our traffic number’s huge. It’s all coming together.
We don’t want to leave any sexual stone unturned with this site. As we’ve said from the start, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. You know what to expect when you see the domain name. But don’t be quick to bark at something with “sex” in it, either. Be an adult. Be sexual. Be human.
Are there certain types of people in the traveling world who absolutely ‘grind your gears’?
People who take themselves too seriously, pretend to know everything and don’t help the little guy. Oh and the girls at Nomadik Nation. The little heathens.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not building your travel media empire?
Ha. Do you really want to know? I spend countless hours gazing in the mirror and rubbing ice cubes over my hairless nipples. Oh and throwing darts at a little poster of Gary Arndt’s face that I hang on hostel walls.
Yeah and I also learn Spanish, read a heck of a lot and try and meet as many new people as I can!
Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know.
I’m not Jewish or American, yet I’m circumcised.
So you always post about other people’s sexual experiences on the road, have you had an encounter, of the sexual kind, that you would like to share with us?
Contrary to popular belief I’m actually very vanilla and unexciting in this regard. I occasionally let people defecate on me but never the other way around.
Tell us some destinations you loved and some that you hated and why.
I absolutely hate Kuta, Bali – you can check out my write up on The World Or Bust about that one. It’s hell on Earth. Full of cock-sucking Aussie girls and brainless be-shirted half-wits. Kind of like your average night out in an English town but deceptive because of the amazing weather and lovely locals.
Great destinations? Where I am right now in Valencia, it’s pretty nice. I also really love Cambodia. That country has something special.
Assuming you are single, if you could hook up with any female travel blogger today, who would it be?
How presumptuous you are! Haven’t you seen my list of travel bloggers I’d go gay for? Females bloggers are going to have do something pretty special to get me knocking on their doors. It’s not as if they’re queuing up anyway.
I’m actually running GrooveTraveler.com with my dear old girl at the moment. Check it out, this chica’s got style!
Name 3 travel items you always have to have with you when you are on the road.
Not sure if they’re necessarily “travel” items but a razor to slit my wrists while I read another dull travel blog. A certificate for a restraining order to keep my gay stalker/blogger Robert Schrader away. And a framed yet strangely torn and tattered photograph of the girls from Nomadik Nation for those long lonely nights.
What else are you working on?
Being a generally more respectable human being. That one is going to take some time.
What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened to you in your travels?
Probably the time when I thought I killed a man in a road accident in Vietnam. Or when I got put in a decompression chamber after a scuba diving incident. Or the time I got sunburned in Turkey so that it looked like I’d been struck in the face by an iron. There are a few, all a bit strange.
What is your dream destination and why?
A paradise island with the girls from Nomadik Nation.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Heading up an awesome travel sex website at the age of 36 (still younger than Gary Arndt) and seizing upon my own experiences with young men/women for material.
Or the posthumous author of several travel memoirs and books that occupy the New York Times Best Sellers List just beneath the ubiquitous title of “Nomadik Nation: Gay, Bi and Blogging”.
Name a few people/causes who/that inspire you, inside and outside of the traveling world?
Inside the traveling world: Simon Reeve, ace documentary maker at the BBC, Anthony Middleton, my first proper travel blogging mentor, Brendan van Son, the most dedicated full-time traveler I know, Stephen Wright, partner at TravelSexLife and massively talented guy.
Outside the traveling world: England and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer, The Pixies, Jack Kerouac, all the dogs I’ve ever owned, Svala Ragnars.
Hopefully you have read our ‘about us’ Nomadik Nation, what makes you Nomadik?
Indeed I have and at first I thought I was getting roped into some kind of cult! I’m with you on “filling yourselves with something worldly”, that sounds like just the kind of filth I approve of.
Yet in all seriousness, you hit the nail on the head in your first sentence.
“To be nomadik isn’t something you become, it’s something you discover later”.
Whether you travel the world or stay at home, never stop exploring the options in your life and the thousands of possibilities that exist. Keep an open mind about everything.
Thanks for having me.