“Travel changed me as a person in that way that, I'm very open minded to where I go, to the people I meet and to the experience I have. I am very very flexible. I have thick skin. Like sometimes in long long travels, you have to do things like long transportation, long flights. So, I'm very very chill in that sense. I have so much experience now with people, I have seen a lot of the World, so a lot of things I can talk about right now, it made me smarter in a way.” Christian said.
Retro Kolkata : First of all, thanks a lot for accepting our invitation for an interview. it’s a great pleasure to have you as our Guest. Let’s start from the first question… Let's jump into the past. How did you get started with traveling? What inspired you to start travelling?
Christian Betzmann : Basically my mom was a flight attendant. She travelled all over the world with some of the biggest airlines in the world. So I guess I got it in my blood from her. You know, as an early age, I was always into exploring, into nature, into new things. When I was 11, I travelled with schools to different countries by myself, with different trips, when I was 15, I went to different countries with my friends and some teachers. I was always into the unknown world, into starting something new. So, I always loved exploration.
Retro Kolkata : How did you decide to become a travel Vlogger & influencer?
Christian Betzmann : I was working in events in Australia. I was living there for 3 years. I was working on this one event, where I met a lot of influencers and you know, 8 years ago it wasn't that big, so I was very fascinated how they can make so much money by just posting different products or taking a picture with products. I had always a passion for photography. So what I did is, I started to post pictures on Instagram and then when Instagram announced the Instagram Story feature, I was really interested in sharing my life through these stories and that let me into long form video, when I started my YouTube channel.
Retro Kolkata : You have visited total of 49 countries. What are some of your favourite places you’ve visited?
Christian Betzmann : My favourite country is still Australia. I lived there for 3 years, almost 10 months summer, beautiful weather, very very nice people. I really had a good experience there and I really want to go back. Australia is definitely on the list.
Retro Kolkata : How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
Christian Betzmann : So initially I had savings and I went to Australia, got a job. So, what I did, before my social media, before I did it full time, I would have a job, I would save money and I would travel. So, I would reinvest all the money that I earned and reinvested into my travels. So, with that, I could sustain myself longer and then later on, I invested some of the money when I lived in London. I invested in my gear. Bought a laptop, a camera, a drone, a GoPro Pro and then I started making videos more professionally for YouTube and stuff and if you keep doing it, then you will make money based on ads, brands that you came in and that turned my passion into a full time job.
Retro Kolkata : Have you ever travelled solo, was it what you expected?
Christian Betzmann : Yeah..I travel solo many many times. I left Germany completely alone with a one way ticket. That was a very big challenge to be so far away from family. Like, I have no friends in Australia, I don't know anyone, I could barely speak English, I could barely speak the language fluently and then I found a job, I met people . It's teaching a lot about life travelling solo and I definitely didn't expect how beneficial travelling solo is, be yourself, you do things yourselves. It teaches so much about life, now I can convert it into my travels and it's actually funny, because you are never alone when you are travelling, you always meet people and if you're open minded to do so, then you will meet people from all over the world. You become good friends. You share a passion. So it's definitely what I can recommend to anyone.
Retro Kolkata : Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Christian Betzmann : Yes..I have been to Pakistan around 2 years ago, when COVID started and you know, what you hear in media, it's very bad, it's a very bad country, terrorists.. blah blah blah... All these things you hear in the media which are actually not true. I find it to be a very peaceful country, very nice people and I had such a good experience there, so seeing that from a completely different angle, it's really shocked me how the media is manipulating different topics.
Retro Kolkata : What destination(s) would you recommend to first-time travellers?
Christian Betzmann: I would say Bali, Indonesia. it's great to connect with travellers. if super affordable, I would say Philippines and I would say Vietnam. These are my top recommendations.
Retro Kolkata : Tell us about one of your most memorable adventures, and the impact it had on you.
Christian Betzmann : My most memorable adventure was probably my time in Pakistan. When I go to new countries, I usually don't have any expectation, but if you go to a country which has a negative reputation, like where media is portraying it very negative, then obviously you would be most surprised and the outcome, that you wouldn't believe, that's so good, so much fun, people are nice. So traveling in Pakistan definitely had a big impact on me.
Retro Kolkata : How has travel changed who you are? What has travel taught you?
Christian Betzmann: It changed me as a person in that way that, I'm very open minded to where I go, to the people I meet and to the experience I have. I am very very flexible. I have thick skin. Like sometimes in long long travels, you have to do things like long transportation, long flights. So, I'm very very chill in that sense. I have so much experience now with people, I have seen a lot of the World, so a lot of things I can talk about right now, it made me smarter in a way.
Retro Kolkata : You have visited 10 states in India. Till now, how is your experience and where did you like most? Where is your favourite place in the world? Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is on it?
Christian Betzmann : My favourite place in India is Varanasi. It's probably the most adventurous and most interesting place in India. I love Kerala and Rajasthan. I am also a fan of Goa, which I currently based in. My bucket list is to travel to every state in India and every country in the world , just to be happy to love what I do and to inspire more people to leave their bubble.
Retro Kolkata : Vlogging is increasingly becoming competitive. Do you think it will be a good choice for newbies to opt for travel vlogging in 2022 and further?
Christian Betzmann : I believe personally that the internet is still just in the beginning. there's so much space for content creators. I mean, if you just look at Instagram 1.0, before Tiktok, before reels, it was so hard to grow. Only the big accounts with big followings would get a lot of likes. It was so hard to break out of this. Like, if you would get a thousand likes, you would be slowly decreasing every month and now with the Reels and short videos, it gives people a chance to be seen and to grow as a influencers and creators and if there is a better time to start Youtube and Instagram, it's literally right now. You can make money with art, with anything you love to do if you just make videos and post it.
Retro Kolkata : If you were to list top 5 reasons for your success as a travel vlogger, what would those be?
Christian Betzmann: I am very positive and optimistic.
I have a lot of energy. People love my energy.
I am very honest and true. I'm not only showing the good side of my travel, I also show the bad sides.
I am super engaging, super entertaining, super fun.
I travel to a lot of offbeat places, where most people would not go.
Retro Kolkata : Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Christian Betzmann : Don't plan too much, go with the flow, book may be one or two nights in hotels, don't be afraid to meet people, do whatever you love and just be open minded and be happy. Don't be scared of doing solo travel.
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