Aside from having the most interesting name in the travel blogging world, Ant Stone has one of the more interesting blogs itself. He’s been blogging since 2007 and has had more than his fair shares of adventure in that time.
Recently, he’s moved back to the U.K. to take a job with STA Travel as their Online Community Manager, has moved into a “new (ramshackle) house,” and has been dealing with some other issues that he’s been open and movingly forthright about. He is a fascinating guy, at least from the many things I have read of his, and I can’t wait to meet him in person and hoist a pint with him as I attempt to converse in my best, fake British accent.
1. Most embarrassing thing on your iPod?
The Weavers Classics. Quite honestly, there’s no better start to a day of writing, than to hear such upbeat squealing.
2. What are you parents most proud of you for, so far in your life?
Continually raising the bar. I try and do what I say, and they admire me for it. The only problem comes when I try to lower it back down, and then they start questioning it. For example, when I leave a job to go travelling, they clap and cheer, but when I run out of money and return to work, they sulk a bit.
3. What event in your life do you wish you had a do-over button for?
One of my first independent travel experiences was InterRailing (interviewer insert: sponsor of The Ultimate Train Challenge) around Europe. It introduced me to such a wide variety of people and places, and the thrill has never left me. I’d push that do-over button hard, to revisit those innocent days of rolling on and off Europe’s trains.
4. What’s your favourite beach town?
Old Hunstanton, England. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen some amazing beaches around the world, but nothing is as cherished as my local beach. My youth was spent knee-deep in sand and seagulls; my teens were spent camping under beach huts with a bottle of cider; my early twenties were spent clinging to a power kite and being hurled around the beach.
5. Worst food you had in your life?
In Mongolia. Definitely. They love to chew the fat, literally. Everything was mutton, with globules of fat thrown in. The Mongolians really like it, too! It was usually washed down with airag, fermented horse milk. If the former didn’t get your gut belching, the latter made doubly sure! That’s the worst food I’ve had; but it might surprise people to know I’ve chowed down on everything from pigs’ penis, to black bee larvae.
6. Who is the most annoying person in the world?
The person who stole my plump passport three years ago, during a flight in Indonesia. They still annoy me to this day, and I’ve never officially met them.
7. If you had to live in one, and only one, country for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
India. It’s the place I feel the most alive. It’s electric peace; and solemn chaos. Quite honestly, I don’t know why I ever left.
8. What is your single most treasured personal possession?
It’s very sad; but I can’t lie — it’s my MacBook. I’d love to tell you it was a handwritten diary, or rusty childhood trophy. But it’s not. My MacBook is an extension of me; it contains my darkest secrets, and many of my life’s most cherished highlights.
9. Give us a really good, embarrassing pet peeve of yours.
I can’t stand it when non-English people discover I’m English, and then try and mimic the English accent. It usually begins with “Would you like a cup of tea” And I just look at them, and think all sorts of uncouth things. Like, “Poppycock”.
10. What is the title of your future biography?
Rolling Stone. My surname is Stone, so I think it’s quite suitable. I considered fighting a small music magazine for the writes to the dot com; but luckily for them I opted for “Trail of Ants”.
11. The world would be a much better place without _________ (and why).
Money. It saddens me to see people spending their lives chasing the dollar, while the next person takes it off them. I’d like to live in a simple world, where we reverted to trading goods.
12. What travel blog do you look forward to seeing in your RSS?
Such a tricky one! I’d have to say, Uncornered Market. Audrey and Dan’s posts continue to inspire me. They travel beyond the groove, and deliver considered, well-written, and vibrant posts. I don’t read as many travel blogs as I used to; but whenever I come across theirs, I stay a while and bathe in brilliance.
13. What question do you fear most from St. Peter at the Pearly Gates?
Why are you early?