I'm Pete R., Running 2 startups, 2 blogs, freelancing, and creating travel videos, all on the road. AMA

Hey everyone,

I’m Pete Rojwongsuriya, a UI/UX specialized entrepreneur, currently running 2 startups, Travelistly and BucketListly, and working on client’s work at The Pete Design all from the road.

I’ve been traveling solo for a year and a half now and I often express my opinion about travel over at BucketListly Blog. I am also an amateur photographer (Photo Blog) and love creating travel videos. I recently came back from New Zealand and you can watch what I have experienced there on Vimeo.

AMA.

1 Like

Hi Pete! Thanks for doing this AMA :smile:

How do you feel being in different places than your home country directly influence what you make? Do you get inspiration from
places that turns into ideas and then features for your products?

Oh totally! I make it so traveling is a big part of my work routine. It is what gets my creative juice running. The whole process of traveling actually contributes a lot of what I do. I try my best to get at least one thing out of it from each of my trip. Most of the time though, the inspiration didn’t come directly from a place but from the people I spent my time with. Traveling solo allows me to meet so many different people from all walks of life, and that dynamic is what made it so valuable for me as a creative.

For example, the lesson I learned from planning several trips contributes directly to what feature I add on Travelistly. The categorization of content by location came when I was planning my trip to China and I was unable to find any english blog posts about the place I wanted to go.

Mingling with other travelers also helped me understand how people travel, how they share their experience and how they interact with technology which contributes a lot to the user experience decision I made for BucketListly. It’s like observing your future customers.

The tremendous knowledge I learned from traveling, I also channel that into my blog sharing my experience, my observation and my opinion. It is always hard to come up with an idea for a blog post when I’m always at home not experiencing anything new, but when I’m traveling, I never have to force that. The idea just comes to me naturally.

Hi Pete :slight_smile: Love your travel photography!

What type of camera and equipment do you have and carry on your travels? What photo processing apps/tools do you use?
Oh and since I’m in dire need of a new travel backpack, how and what do you travel with?

Hi Pete,

I visited your photo blog and dig your video on Vimeo. All your photos and videos are stunning!
Recently I am working on a documentary about digital nomads, and I would love to hear some tips on it.

  • How you deal with carrying on all of your filming equipment while you travel?
  • Any tips on choosing proper equipment for a journey?
  • Any tips on filming travelling?

Thanks Amy! Glad you like the photos. :slight_smile:

I only have one camera, a Sony RX100 M1. Very compact yet extremely durable (I dropped like 10 times now), and surprisingly handled weather pretty well (I shot a few footages in a snowstorm once and it all came out ok). The quality is beyond my expectation for a pocket-sized camera and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I also carry around a cheap, light tripod for when I wanna shoot the milky way. :blush: One caveat is you can not change lens so it could be quite limiting for professional photographer. I just despise carrying all the lens, bodies and tripods up mountains and realize I barely used it.

I post-process all my photos using Lightroom.

For a backpack, I carry 2. A big 65L Karrimor backpack for all my clothes, sleeping bag, shoes etc. For a day pack, I had to choose carefully because it will be with me most of the time so I decided to go with the Herschel Little America backpack. Very durable, yet extremely stylish . It has a laptop compartment, a phone holder and enough space to put all my snacks, 2 jackets, a book, a tripod, a laptop and everything I need in a day.

Thank you Youjin! Glad you like the video and the photos! :slight_smile:

To answer your questions:

How you deal with carrying on all of your filming equipment while you travel?
I am a light traveler so anything unnecessary, I would just leave it at home. :wink: That’s why I only have one pocket-sized camera, a Sony RX100 M1, in my pocket all the time. I also carry a small tripod around in my backpack just in case, but that’s all I have in terms for filming equipments. I have one extra battery, one extra SD card, a power bank, and that’s about it.

Any tips on choosing proper equipment for a journey?
I guess it depends on what kind of video you want to shoot and what is the purpose of it. For me, I would rather have a camera available at my disposal all the time, so that I can snap several little footages (usually from 5 to 10 seconds) for my video. I want to make a travel film for the purpose of helping myself memorize the whole experience a little better but I also want to live in the moment and enjoy the limited time I have with people I met, so the less equipments I have, the better.

Any tips on filming travelling?
First, I would watch several travel videos I found on Vimeo, asked myself what I like about them, what angles they shot on, what transition effect did they use, and why did it work etc. I simply observe and learn from the best.

Right before I embark on a journey that I like to film, I would pick a few songs that I think might go well with what I want to produce from either Free Music Archive or from The Music Bed, prepare a playlist and listen to them constantly throughout the trip. Think of it as a soundtrack of your travel. This helped me filter out songs that don’t match well with the aesthetics of that country and leave me with the good ones.

I then continue to capture little moments that I think might go well with what I have in mind, in different angles and varying durations (usually 5 - 10 seconds).

I hope this helps! :smile:

Hey Pete! Just watched some of your videos and really enjoyed them, great work! :smile:

It seems like you’re traveling a lot, how difficult do you find it juggling the work/life balance whilst on the road often?

@peachananr Thank you so much for doing this AMA.

How looks your typical day?

Thank you Paul. Glad you like them. :slight_smile: When I started freelancing, I was clueless as to how I would work while I’m traveling, but I wanted to continue to travel anyway so I decided to go to Japan for a couple of weeks just to see how I would handle it. As I was moving from one place to another, I started to work out a routine through trial and error that would allow me to work effectively and leave rooms for exploration. I ended up finding the sweet spot which was to work in the morning and evening, 3 hours each and I would go explore the city in the afternoon.

I would also work during downtimes (which happens a lot when you travel) and subtract the time out from my normal routine. One of the problem I anticipated was the access of Internet connection. I solved this by investing in a hotspot so that I can access Internet anywhere in Japan (well, except atop Mt Fuji, which I tried. :slight_smile: ) but that gives me the ability to be online all the time, which I found essential.

Other than time management and Internet connection, I had no difficulty working on the road. :smile:

For further reading, I’ve written a post on my work routine when traveling here.

I hope this helps. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hey Arthur,

No problem man. Glad I could help. :smile:

When I’m on the road, I usually begin working in the early morning with a nice cup of coffee and a breakfast somewhere near my hostel. I would work for a maximum 3 hours and I would go out in the afternoon and explore the town a little bit. At around 6, after dinner, I would come back to a hostel and work for a maximum 3 hours again. That way, I get a solid 6 hours of work each day.

I am always connected when I"m on the road so whenever my client wanted to chat, I would always be available where ever I am. I also work on Saturday and Sunday (to tell you the truth, I no longer keep track of days when I’m traveling) if I have no specific plan to compensate on days that I might need to be disconnected for a few days (climbing mountains or camping).

When it comes to those blocks of work time, I would switch between my client work and my startups depending on the priority. By switching between them, it allows me to step back from one project, go work on another and come back later with a fresh mind. Works every time when I’m out of ideas. :smile:

Hi Pete

Nice pics, vids, startups and blogs!
You’re fully creative!

Which kind of hotspot did you invested in?

Internet connectivity is one of my major issue while being on the road, specifically here in Brazil.

Raphael

Thanks man! Glad you like the things I do. :slight_smile:

I didn’t buy any dedicated hotspot. I usually figure out the best option by country. For example, I purposely chose Japan to be a test run for my work routine because the infrastructure there is more developed than most places in Asia and the competition is high so the price is low. If I remember correctly I could get an unlimited 3G for 3 USD a day (including the hotspot device) for Japan right here from Bangkok.

For places with bad connections, (New Zealand, surprisingly), I usually buy a sim card with the most coverage and with at least 3 GB of data (50 NZD!!) and then I used my phone as a hotspot instead. That way, I will have at least a connection to check on work wherever there is a phone signal.

I hope these helps.

Thanks for these info !

This AMA is now closed! Thanks Pete for answering the questions.