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Why do you travel?

I love the excitement of traveling to a new destination. Nothing beats the feeling of getting off the plane in a foreign land where nothing is familiar to back home. The challenge of arriving in a new place where I can experience something unfamiliar, push myself and leave with new skills and knowledge is so amazing. I love how travel allows people to expand their perspective and open their mind. Meeting new people from other places shows you that your world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s and that there’s no one way to live life.

Share a travel experience that really shaped who you are today.

I didn’t head overseas on my first trip until I was 21. It was a three month overland trip from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires traveling through Central and South America along the way. There was always something in the back of my mind telling me that I wanted to explore new places, but it wasn’t high on my list of priorities at the time. This trip absolutely changed my perspective on life. I caught the travel bug hard. After this trip I came back to Australia, started working full time in an office job, but found my thoughts constantly wondering and thinking about all of the other places in the world I wanted to visit. In early 2013 I decided to quit my office job and travel the world full time, over the last five years I’ve travelled to close to 80 countries across six continents.

Check a bag or carry on? 

I only ever travel with carry on luggage. The bigger your bag, the more stuff you bring.

Do you collect souvenirs when you travel? If so, what? 

When I first began traveling I was collecting shot glasses from each destination I visited. As cool as they are I definitely don’t recommend this (they’re heavy, break easily and take up a lot of space in your bag). Stick to collecting postcards if you have to bring something home, they take up a lot less space. I don’t collect any souvenirs anymore, just photos – thousands and thousands of photos.

You just won an all expenses paid trip. Where are you going? Who are you taking with you? 

Super tough choice, so many places are jumping to mind. A trip to Antarctica has been on my bucket list for so long now. I’d love to tick that one off – so that would probably be the first place I’d head to if I won a free trip. I love meeting new people so I’d probably host an Instagram contest where the winner was able to come along on the trip with me.

Where are you heading next? 

I’m currently planning a 10 day bicycle trip riding 1,200+kms from Sydney to Melbourne in June, a snowboarding campervan roadtrip at the start of July, and a 2 week desert hiking trip through the Northern Territory at the end of July. If I can find the time I’ll try and squeeze in a Bali scuba diving trip and a NZ snow trip over the next couple of months as well.

A quote you live by is… 

“Being happy is the greatest form of success.”

Ben Stanton (@benpstanton) is a full-time travel photographer from Melbourne, Australia who quit his corporate office job in 2013 to follow his dreams and explore the world. Ben’s travels have taken him to 6 continents and close to 80 different countries over the last 5 years. If you wanted to view photos of Ben’s travels, hear more about his story and follow along on his future trips please check out his instagram page – instagram.com/benpstanton.