For the latest instalment of my Travel Bloggers Who Rock! series I caught up with Ian from Borderless Travels, aka @borderlessyak. Teaching in Tokyo, mountaineering the Himalayas, surfing in Indonesia or traveling the Trans-Siberian Ian is always looking for adventure. He has been to over 30 countries around the world to work, study, volunteer, and travel. Join him on Borderless Travels, then follow Twitter and Facebook so you can share his experiences, get inspired, and learn how to start your own borderless travels.
Ian, your mascot is a Yak, tell us about that!
Since I can remember my friends have always called me yak, because my last name is Yacobucci. Last year, while traveling on the Trans-Siberian, my friends and I were discussing logo ideas for Borderless Travels, and we came up with traveling yak logo because my nickname is Yak and I love to travel. I told my sister the idea and she hired a friend to design it for me as a birthday present. It’s great because the designer created a fun comedic character, just like me.
I love working, traveling and experiencing new places. It’s the freedom, the experiential learning, new people, food, cultures, and environments. There’s no better way to learn about the world in such a holistic way, and when you live there you learn so much more!
When I first started university I got in for history, but seeing that teaching English as a second language was an area of study I quickly switched my program. My logic was simple; I knew that English was a language of international demand and that if I became an ESL teacher I’d be able to travel the world.
This led me to my first overseas teaching contract. When I was 19 I joined a snowboarding club at my university and met Steph. I had a little crush on her so naturally we got to talking; she was older than me so that’s all it was. One night I mentioned that I was studying ESL and she told me about a summer teaching program she did in Switzerland. Four months later I found myself at the Zurich airport and I haven’t stopped since.
It’s hard to pick just one but there are two experience that encompass what traveling means to me. The first was my basic mountaineering training course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It was in Darjeeling, India that I spent a month training with mountaineering experts working for the Indian Department of Defense, and some of the best mountaineers in the world.
From there I headed to China to start a Trans-Siberian journey with two good friends. It was an incredible experience that took us across China, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, and finally to the Arctic Circle in Finland for a visit with Santa Clause. Riding third class the entire time was an incredible experience that let us connect with the people, culture, and country in a truly unique way.
You have worked in countries all over the world, what jobs have you done?
Most of my jobs are tour guide or teaching related. Teaching has taken me to South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and my native country Canada. As a tour guide with Keating and trip facilitator for Me to We I’ve traveled throughout Canada and to Ghana where I’ve worked with youth.
What tips do you have for anyone wishing to work overseas?
Working overseas is a great opportunity for people to get out of their comfort zones, learn about themselves and the world around them, but it takes some risk. My best advice would be to commit, stop saying I’ll do it tomorrow, and see what its all about.
I’d also recommend that you call and/or Skype with the company you’re going to work for. Ask for past employee information so you can inquire about their experiences and then, when all is said and done, go for it!
What inspired you to set up a travel blog?
I’ve always wanted an outlet to share my experiences in order to help people do the same and inform others about the wonderful world we live in. For many years I tried to put together a travel television show that hasn’t come together as of yet. Instead I met fellow blogger and good friend Johnny Ward who said, “You’ve done lots of traveling and have great things to share, why don’t you start a blog?” Now I’m here!
What are your hopes for your blog in the future?
I’m still trying to figure that out. From my experience developing Borderless Travels, travel blogging and website design are fluid. Things are always changing and developing while I continue to learn. It’s my hope that Borderless Travels will lead to new opportunities, and as I learn I hope the website will continue to grow so that readers can learn and be inspired to start their own Borderless Travels.
Right now I’m in Canada working as a supply teacher as well as doing EF tours as a tour guide, and working for Me to We as a trip facilitator. I’m looking for summer work opportunities abroad and continuing to develop and work on Borderless Travels. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll be in three months but I’m excited to find out when I get there. I remember reading a quote from a newspaper article that my dad gave a few years ago. It read, “where you are is where you’re supposed to be.” And so here I am working away and looking forward to the future!