Celebrity Travel Addicts: Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

Within this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we and Barbara Weibel speak. We chat with Barbara about that which kick-started her love of travel, bold to follow her own path when it came to travel blogging, living as an expat in Thailand, and a lot more. Have a look at her favorite destinations around the globe where she’s going 16, and discover!

Celebrity Travel Addicts: Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

How did your passion for travel get started?

It started roughly 11, at a young age, when I remember. My uncle gave me an older Leica viewfinder camera having very good glass lenses that were ground. From then on, I was with no camera. Around exactly the identical period, my father was gifted with a subscription. He refused to throw out a single problem, so they piled up in our front hall. Daily after school, I’d rush home, spend, and also sit cross-legged on the floor of this hall hours reading the articles and perusing the photographs in these publications. From there on, the desire of my heart was to be a travel writer and photographer.

Celebrity Travel Addicts: Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

How are you traveling in any given calendar year? Which are the kinds?

It has changed through the years. I headed out in 2007 on a yearlong round the world trip. Upon returning, I split my time between traveling around the U.S. and staying at a rented flat in Florida for another 2.5 decades. At the end of 2009 I began traveling with no home base and gave up my apartment. With the exception of a single 15-month interval, once I returned to the U.S. to take care of my father, I traveled total time for another eight decades.

You run a popular travel site called Hole in the Donut. Where did the inspiration behind it come out? What makes it stand out from the travel content out there?

I would spend months at one time moving from country to country in rapid fashion. I’d stay in one place for a longer period whenever I had a rest. Ifound myself being attracted to it time and again, and’d fallen in love with Thailand during my trip, some 17 decades ago. It soon became my place to rest and recuperate; each winter, I invested time in Thailand. In the autumn of 2018, where I am now living I finally chose to settle in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It’s wonderful to have a set of my own that I can return to whenever I select, although around five moths each year travel.

Until you turned into a traveler you endured from a long-term illness. What advice would you would like to travel and give to folks who have health issues?

They run the gamut, as for the sorts of areas I like to see. I’m drawn to a particular history. A fantastic illustration of that was my strong urge to visit Vietnam. Growing up during the Vietnam War, I felt that the need. Other times, I’m fascinated by some element of this culture of a place — food, music, festivals, etc.,. I’m inspired when I read about places in travel stories or books. I never actually know what is going to strike my fancy and establish my future journeys.

In 2017, you eventually become an expat living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. What makes Chiang Mai such a terrific travel destination? What should you recommend when they see, travellers do there?

I spent 36 years at jobs, but had been paralyzed by fear to pursue what I truly loved. It took a significant ailment to make me understand that I had to stop fretting about money and material possessions and become true to myself. By now I finally walked away from life I felt like a donut — strong to the outside but empty on the inside. I had been determined to fill this hole in my donut, so I thought it was an suitable title for my fledgling blog as I headed off on my very initial round-the-world trip.

What do you want audiences to obtain and learn from the job?

From the beginning, I refused to produce the sort of content which many other writers were composing — top ten lists, how-to stories, etc.. I had been repeatedly told that could not be prosperous. Experts insisted that I would have to embrace a rigorous writing style if I needed to rank well at Google. I had spent 36 years selling my soul and I refused to do the exact same this time round. It has not always been easy, however I have stayed true to my vision and to a level, the industry has moved in my direction. Top ten lists nevertheless get high positions, but first, literary writing more than they did in the first days is now valued by Google.

Which are the top three destinations you have visited?

Gosh, I truly don’t understand how to answer this. Every man differs and each illness differs. The one piece of advice I’ll give to anyone who has serious health issues is to be certain you buy.

Give us a’Top 5′ record for a few of the top 3 destinations. Just like some to-do listing of sorts or a mini-guide. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best spot to have lunch, finest holiday, etc..

There’s no other area such as Chiang Mai really does on the planet that calls to me. To begin with, I adore the culture. Thai people are caring, tender, and respectful. A couple of years ago I began to feel undetectable. Younger people no longer went out of the way to engage me in conversation (before they found out I’m a travel writer and wished to understand how to do exactly things I really do ). In Thailand, the old generation is highly respected because of their wisdom and talent. I feel valued here. In addition, the food has been amazing, prices are really affordable, and the weather is terrific. As a practicing Buddhist, I really like that Thailand is a Buddhist country.

How many nations have you visited so far?

There is SO much to do this. It’s stated that there are so many temples in Chiang Mai which you can observe another one each day for an entire calendar year. Each temple differs and they are all amazing. Shoppers will be thrilled to know that we’ve got multiplex cinemas that are many and five huge malls. Enormous markets each Friday and Saturday night offer live scads of food entertainment, and literally thousands selling everything from clothes to traditional Thai handicrafts. We have a Botanical Garden, a Zoo, a Water Park, golf courses, and museums. Every dawn, fresh produce is sold by dozens of markets ; a number of the exact markets turn into food courts at night. The universities offer cultural events including concerts, art showings, and dance performances. The lively expat community from Chiang Mai has developed clubs for nearly every interest: photography, drawing, composing, technology, etc.. And that’s just from the city proper. Venture just a brief distance from town and you will find entire towns dedicated to a single handicraft, hiking paths, caves, hot springs, and more.

Which are the top 3 favorite cuisines?

When I began that life of travel, I thought that people everywhere are far more similar than different and that there is no need to fear those that we view as”other.” Thirteen decades of traveling to over 100 nations and territories has strengthened this belief. I write, I try to express this message. My mantra continues to be that the better we understand one another, the less inclined we will want to kill one yet.

Celebrity Travel Addicts: Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

What’s your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?

Well you didn’t ask me to name just one, that’s the question. It’s impossible to narrow it. I enjoy different areas for different reasons. For example, I love Thailand and Nepal because of peoples and their cultures. But, I think everyone should visit Machu Picchu in Peru — it is undoubtedly the very place I have ever seen. In Europe, on the other hand I love Bulgaria and Croatia, and I was blown off by recent visits to Ethiopia along with Tibet. But there is also New Zealand, which isn’t just amazing but contains a few of the friendliest folks I have ever met. I can go on, but I suspect that’s enough.

What’s your favorite travel film?

Nepal needs to be on each travel wish list. It’s a country with people. My top five suggestions for sightseeing in Nepal are as follows:

Celebrity Travel Addicts: Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

What’s your preferred airport?

To date I Have visited with eight territories and 98 countries

Which city had the friendliest people?

Thai, Nepali, Lebanese

Who’s your favorite travel companion?

To is Tiesto’s Café Restaurant at Cuenca, Ecuador. “Tiestos” is named for the clay platter was used to create dry roasts of coffee, wheat, beans, barley, or corn at the Andean culture. Of the item in the menu are prepared and served in plates and clay pots. If you’re not careful, I highly recommend the tasting menu, which is composed of several courses, beginning with an appetizer menu which can fill you up. This is followed with scrumptious soup, an entrée of this afternoon, and dessert.

What’s the ideal method to kill time when traveling?

Sorry but I don’t have one.

What’s the most exotic place you have been taken by your career?

Changi Airport in Singapore.

What’s your piece of travel advice for somebody who wants to, or is going to, embark on a life of travel?

Chiang Mai, Thailand

What are 4 things that you may never travel without?

I prefer to travel solo

What’s your dream destination?

Lounging around in coffee shops is one of my favorite things to do in a Town that is new, as it Constantly gives me insight to the Civilization

What’s your favorite travel quotation?

You want me to choose one place — LOL. Impossible. How about two? The Galapagos Islands and the Marquesas Island archipelago in French Polynesia

Where are you headed?

Try to stay completely present. If you obsess about the past or worry about the future, you will miss what is right in front of you.


I’m afraid this listing is mainly dictated by what I do for my iPhone : my Macbook , a living, my camera, and also a flashlight.

See my previous answers.

I don’t have one

I’m off to Europe soon for a Scandinavian tour

Following years of working 70-80 hours each week at jobs which paid the bills but brought no pleasure, a critical illness made Barbara Weibel realize she felt as the proverbial”hole in the donut” — strong on the outside but empty on the inside. In 2007, in the age of 54, Weibel walked off from her career, sold or gave away all her material possessions, and began traveling around the globe in pursuit of her true passions: writing, photography and travel. Initially, her aim was to go for six-months, but by the time that initial trip finished Weibel realized she would never return to some”normal life.” She divides her time between traveling around the globe and her flat at Chiang Mai, 19, Nowadays. Read reports about her experiences on her blog In The Donut Cultural Travel.

You can connect with Barbara Weibel on YouTube, along with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram!


Celebrity Travel Addicts: Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel