Who is….Brandon Elijah Scott?
Travel writer, photographer and film maker Brandon Elijah Scott of travel blog Eye&Pen is our guest this week. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Brandon prides himself on being a citizen of the world travelling where he wants on a whim and sharing his experiences with over 40,000 monthly readers. His dream is to continue traveling the world and live his life to the fullest away from the soul destroying corporate world. He urges you to join him on his travels and promises you won’t be disappointed.
Friendly Rentals:Where are you at the moment and what are you doing?
Brandon: I’m based in Venice, Italy at the moment. I coach bloggers and businesses in various internet media and marketing techniques – I’m in Venice working with a hostel company that needs some assistance. However, I will be relocating to southern Ireland soon!
F.R: Describe your travel style? Backpacker, Flashpacker, Explorer, Luxury….
Brandon: I’m a backpacker, I suppose, but not only. I mix between a couple others listed above as well. I like to wander and experience, and travel forward on little more than a whim.
F.R: What can’t you travel without?
Brandon: My laptop, as I continuously run Eye&Pen, which is my travel blog website. It requires a few hours of work a day, typically. However, part of me always yearns for a complete severing of the connection to the outside world, as well as all electronics from time to time.
F.R:Who or what inspires you to travel?
Brandon: The drive within me to experience everything the world has to offer is one of the largest forces that inspires me to travel so much. I also fear the final moments of my life, lying on my deathbed, with the possibility of being filled with regret for having lived a life unlived.
F.R: What is the best travel advice you have ever received?
Brandon: To follow my heart. To stop and breathe. And to take the time to look around and truly see the place that I was visiting.
F.R: What has been your stupidest travel moment?
Brandon: Trusting my things in a locked car, in the rain forest of Puerto Rico, while I hiked one of the trails. I was only in Puerto Rico for a couple of days and everyone I met and every place I visited was fantastic, and even though I heard there can be some trouble there, I was giving the place a fresh view, but I was unfortunate enough to return after hiking to find a smashed window and an empty rental car.
F.R:Have you ever eaten what you would consider a pet?
Brandon: Only if you consider alligators, pigs or fish as pets... :)
F.R:What’s your favourite travel app?
Brandon: Well, I usually travel on my own accord, meaning that I plan everything myself, each move and every step. So, I typically don’t use any apps for routing or anything of the sorts. But there are two apps that I don’t believe I can travel without. 1. Currency – this little app keeps me in the black as best I can, as far as my budgeting is concerned. 2. SkyCode 7-1 Offline Translator – perfect fix for the little misunderstandings while traveling abroad, when language becomes an issue. It works well offline, translating words and some photos in several languages.
F.R:Of all the places you been so far, what’s your favourite?
Brandon: I loved Ireland the most thus far. There’s just something about the countryside of Ireland. It’s relatively unspoiled, when referring to the effect tourism can have on a destination. Ireland is raw and wild, yet mysterious and powerful. If one opens their heart, mind and soul, strong emotions and powerful feels can overwhelm and inspire – it may sound strange, but it’s happened to me, and I’ve heard similar stories from others as well.
F.R:Is there anywhere you wouldn’t go and why?
Brandon: No. It sounds dangerous and possibly completely foolish, but I want to experience everything the world has to offer. If I had the chance, with enough resources and connections to ensure a safe-ish trip, I would head to Iraq, North Korea, or even the Congo.
F.R: A favourite place in your hometown?
Brandon: I’m from Columbus, Ohio. My favorite place is actually a collection of districts. They range one after another, on either side of the main city street of High Street. It ranges from the German Village > Brewery District > Downtown > Short North > Victorian Village > Campus > Clintonville... Each district is unique and each offers plenty of fun options, like parks, nightlife, history, shopping, bars, restaurants, and other social hangouts.
F.R:With or without a guidebook?
Brandon: Without. As I stated before, I plan all of my own travel. Google is as good as guidebook as any – but of course, it’s much better if you know what to look for.
F.R: If you could choose a travel companion who would it be? Real or Fictional.
Brandon: Oh dear. Hm. Mine would all be real, but they’re all deceased. Perhaps, considered as an influence are all of my literary icons, who inspire me in my writing, as well as, my travels – in part. I would choose Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain or James Joyce. Probably Hemingway, he was quite the interesting fellow.
F.R: Tell us about a journey that changed your life:
Brandon: The first time I traveled outside the U.S.A. (my childhood trip to Canada doesn’t count), where I was with a girlfriend at the time. We backpacked on a whim, finding out that we had enough flight miles to pay for our tickets to France and Italy. We left two weeks after winding that out, and read no help guides or anything – we just left and winged it. To be honest, the trip was an overall failure, because it was stressful and we were very unprepared, but being in those places changed something within me. It was like my soul connected with the place and my destiny aligned with the path that I was supposed to follow.