Cyril is a French online entrepreneur living in the Philippines and travelling in Asia and the world as much as he can. He is the founder of My Ladyboy Date, the number one dating site for ladyboys / trans women.
WHO IS THE PERSON AT HOME THAT YOU MISS THE MOST?
It's hard to keep friends anywhere when I travel so much, so I don't have much friends left in my home town. I miss my family a lot, good thing that I can see them at least one a year during my annual Europe trip.
WHICH COUNTRY THE MOST FRIENDLIES PEOPLE?
Philippines! A foreigner in the Philippines can make new friends every minute lol.
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET SO FAR?
My best friend Alex, he's also a digital nomad, and travels even more than me. He always behaves spontaneously and rarely thinks of the consequences of his acts, therefore he has a lot of fun even if he sometimes gets in troubles. It's a good balance when I travel with him because I'm the total opposite, I'm the cautious and reasonable type of guy.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR SCARIEST MOMENT?
It was in Indonesia during a motorbike trip, when our GPS was down and we ended up in the middle of some rice fields in the middle of the night, with not a single soul around, and no lights. By the grace of God we finally managed to get out of there and reach a decent road.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?
Coming back to the hotel with ourselves and the motorbikes totally covered with mud and dirt.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST USEFUL ITEM YOU'VE BOUGHT?
My iPhone, which I use for finding directions (with an offline map and the GPS function, it works fine most of the time as long as you're not in some remote areas, like it sometimes happens in Asia and then it's dangerous to trust the map, it's totally inaccurate and you can end up in the middle of nowhere).
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED?
Take some risk and get out of the beaten path. It's usually more rewarding to take a risky path rather than following the mass of the tourists. Sometimes I get into trouble, but it's still a good adventure and story I can tell people afterwards.
WHAT'S THE LONGEST YOU'VE BEEN AWAY FROM HOME?
Well, being a nomad, my home is where I am at each moment. If we're talking about my family's home, then I am never away from home for longer than a year. I go back to my mother's house every year for a few weeks (usually during summer time, which is July / August in Europe).
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM JOB?
I am already doing it: online entrepreneur. I am passionate with the Internet and computers, and I can do this job from anywhere.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COUNTRY SO FAR?
It's hard to say, I like many different things about many different countries... But overall I'm fond of Asia. I live in the Philippines, which I like very much, but I think I'm more attracted to Thailand because of their nice people (equals to Filipinos), amazing culture and delicious food.
WHAT PLACE IS TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Latin America! My plan for 2015 was to spend the whole year traveling around Latin America, but I got caught up with work and personal matters, so I am finally staying in Asia this year... I wish I will be able to make this plan happen in 2016!
WHAT CAN'T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT?
My laptop, obviously. I am never really 100% on holidays, I am what you call a "digital nomad". When I travel, it's usually for a month or two, and I am actually working at the same time. All I need is my laptop and decent WIFI, and you'll see me working from anywhere: a coffee shop, a beach, a co-working space... Except after work, I'll go visit the place, taste the local food, hang out with my new local friends.
WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO LIVE IN THE WORLD?
I am very happy to have my base in the Philippines. Weather is good, life is cheap, people are nice, and I can travel to anywhere in Asia easily. But I recently got interested in spending some more time in Japan. I think I'd like to live at least a year in Tokyo and see what this city has to offer.
NAME THE COUNTRIES YOU HAVE VISITED.
Most of Asia and Europe (the list is too long, I won't write it!), USA and Canada.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TRAVEL MEMORY?
Well I was not traveling much when I was a child... I come from a middle class family, we could only afford to go camping by the sea during summer in the south of France, or in Belgium (where the sea is cold, yes!). Very simple holidays, not adventurous at all. But since I've experienced that, I know how to truly appreciate the beauty of the beaches in Philippines and Thailand, and I'm happy I can also offer this beauty to my old parents.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED?
I developed good skills at being a minimalist. I don't need more than the 15 kilos of clothes and stuff in my suitcase for living. Before, I had a lot of stuff, furnitures, devices, a car... I realised I don't need all of those, that makes me save money, and that makes me more mobile and free.
IF YOU WROTE A NOVEL, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
How to free yourself from consumerism and the rat race grin emoticon
WHAT TRAVEL SCAMS HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT?
The Tuktuk drivers in Bangkok who take you to the wrong place so you buy stuff there, and they get a commission. The taxi drivers in Manila who cheat on the meter rate. The street kids in Cambodia who make you buy milk for their babies which they sell back to the shop owner... And so many more. They're very imaginative.
DO YOU CALL YOURSELF A TOURIST OR A TRAVELLER?
I'm a traveller, because I always stay longer than a regular tourist, I also work at the same time and I get a taste of the local life, make local friends. And I am doing this several times a year, I don't think tourists do that.
STRICT SCHEDULE OR GO WITH THE FLOW?
I always start with a well defined plan, prepare with enough information to make the trip safe and organized. Once the trip started, things always go off course anyways.
WHAT'S BEEN THE BEST STREET FOOD YOU'VE HAD?
I love the street food of Thailand and Vietnam. The popular Pad Thai of course. And I forgot the names for the Vietnamese dishes.
DO YOU PREFER SOLO TRAVEL OR WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
Both are good. Traveling solo is forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people. Traveling with someone is more comfortable, I can rely on somebody to help me do the planning etc.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU'VE DONE?
The most challenging was to leave my home in the first place. My family was against it, they scared me off with the potential health issues (malaria, dengue, tourist...) or security risks (kidnappings, criminality, scams...). And finally, after 5 years traveling I have never had any major issue.
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL STAY FRIENDS WITH THE PEOPLE YOU'VE MET?
I wish. But it's hard to maintain a lot of friendships, especially when we are not meeting.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING ANIMAL YOU'VE SEEN?
Whale sharks, which you can swim with in a few spots in the Philippines.
WHO IS YOUR DREAM TRAVEL COMPANION?
I already have my dream travel companion: my girlfriend! We are working together (we manage an online dating site for transgender women. (https://myladyboydate.com/a/139) so we are both free to travel and work from anywhere we see fit. Last year we travelled through Thailand during three months, while working. That was great.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM TRAVELING EXPERIENCE?
I dream that my business will be someday less demanding in terms of time and maintenance. For instance, I'd love to be able to be totally offline for several weeks, and not have to worry about my website. Until now, I can still not be offline for more than 24 hours.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS?
Harder, faster, stronger.
WHAT CAN YOU ADVICE TO PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO START TRAVELING?
Just do it. Don't try to plan it perfectly, because it will never go perfectly according to the plan. The hardest part is to get started, once you're started you will improvise, and that's the best part.
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TRAVELING brings us love, joy, it changes our beliefs and perceptions in life. It can make us better and stronger people. Through TRAVELING we learn to love, to forgive. to broaden our horizons. The best part of TRAVELING is to meet people along the way with whom we share stories, with whom we become friends, for that moment and possibly forever.
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