Tom is from Australia.  He likes beer and cheese, i like him.  Now read his interview … do it!


1.Name?  Tom Summerfield

2. Age?  24

3. Twitter Handle?  @activebackpackr

4.  URL?

5.  Home Town?  Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

6.  Current Location?  Rotterdam, The Netherlands

7.  Business or Pleasure?   Definitely pleasure!

8.  Tell us a little bit about what you’re up to at the moment.  Best bits, worst bits etc.

I currently live in Rotterdam in The Netherlands with my girlfriend, we’ve only been living here for 3 months or so but it’s a place that is really growing on us. We figured it was a great access point to Europe so we can do lots of backpacking and short trips all around from our Rotterdam base. We were both born and grew up in Australia and gave up our financial jobs in a bank to move overseas and try and find things that we love doing. Surely no-one wants to work the corporate grind until retirement, right?

I love the beer and the cheese over here, and the passion for football (or what we call Soccer in Australia due to there already being three types of ‘football’ in existence). I dislike that you cannot open a bank account without already having a job and the fact that a lot of train stations won’t accept international cards for tickets and then also won’t allow you to buy tickets from the machine with notes. Every country has its small annoyances.

tom active backpacker


9.  First travel experience?

I remember my first flight when I was little, because my ears hurt. My first international travelling experience was a trip to New Zealand with my mother and sister. However, I always put my first ‘real’ travelling experience down to my massive 10 month trip backpacking through Europe and Asia after high school when I was 18.

That trip was a lot of fun and a massive learning experience for me and it’s something that I’ll always value. It really gave me the incentive and the ultimate belief that meeting new people, seeing new places is something that I’ll always want to do in the future.

10.  Future travel plans?

Well, living in Rotterdam is a great base for us to explore Europe. There are loads of things we want to do and places to see. Back to Bavaria in Germany is on the list, I would also love to do some camping in Italy and check out Sweden.

11.  If you could go anywhere tomorrow where would it be and why?

Since its super cold here at the moment (not Canada minus 30 cold, but cold for an Aussie like me), would be great to jet off to Thailand or Laos for a week and soak up some sun then head back.

12.  If you could avoid going anywhere tomorrow where would it be and why?

Hmm, I’d avoid going back to Australia (as much as I love it), because I’m not ready to go back yet!

13.  What 5 items would you not go travelling without?

For backpacking I think the following are essential items. A decent backpack of course (duh), some concentrated travel wash soap/detergent, a journal and a decent novel, anti-fungal cream, some sort of MP3 playback device.

14.  Best bit of advice you’ve received?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” – I can’t even remember who I got this from, but I love it. It’s short and sweet and makes perfect sense to me.

15.  Worst?

Hmm, worst advice ever? That’s a hard one! I think a lot of advice given to kids and teenagers about the fact that they HAVE to go to University or HAVE to get a ‘real job’ instead of following their dreams or going travelling first is generally bad advice. I think most of us have received that sort of advice at one point or another (luckily I never got that from my parents).

16.  Best bit of advice you can give readers of this piece?

If you’re thinking of backpacking or travelling, don’t put it off just DO IT! Don’t fear the unknown; because once you get there it won’t be unknown for long!

tom active backpacker


17.  Favourite ice cream flavour?

I like a lot of the specialty small organic producers of ice cream, but in general you can’t go wrong with a full cream vanilla. I do try not to buy ice cream and chocolate too much though, because I just end up eating it all at once.

18.  Apple or Andriod?

I would have to say Apple at the moment although I’m not a diehard fan. I think Apple offer a great product but you certainly pay an arm and a leg for that product. That loyalty will change if Android produce something stellar that can do all of the little things that Apple does so well.

19.  Blogger or WordPress?

Without a doubt in my mind WordPress wins over Blogger! But it has to be a self-hosted WordPress (go to, if you have a blog on or then be aware that ultimately you don’t own that website, Google and WordPress do!

20.  Hostel or hotel?

Always hostels! No place is better for meeting other backpackers and getting your ear down to the travelling grapevine. Although if I was in Asia and had been backpacking rough for weeks and weeks and just wanted a break and some peace and quiet, then I might consider a hotel – but I would rather my own beach hut on an island somewhere.

21.  Guilty pleasure?

Watching TV series like Dexter and True Blood would have to be my guilty pleasure, and reading fantasy books. I hate watching free to air TV that’s full of advertisements though.

22.  Your chosen super-power?

It’s got to be flying! How awesome would that be?  Do away the need for those pesky planes and you could go anywhere you like in the world in one day. Although teleportation would be cool too… what a conundrum.

23.  Airplane seat – isle, centre or window?

The window seat so you can gaze over the clouds and watch the world go by. I always assumed everyone wanted the window seat?

24. What song/album are you listening to right now

Lately I’ve just been listening to loads of mix tapes on 8tracks – it’s free and easy and people put a lot of time into it so there are some great indie and electronic mixes, which I love. I also just discovered Spotify (no doubt I’m the latest guy to that party). Is it weird that I like the song “You Make My Dreams” by Darryn Hall and John Oates?


 25.  Thank you for answering my questions, as a gesture of thanks I allow you one whole paragraph to shameless plug of your website …

Shameless plug, eh? Well my site has heaps of useful and informative travel related content and articles all talking from my own backpacking and travelling experiences. So for example if you want to know how to prepare for a backpacking trip or want some tips for the best way to travel Europe then my site will help you out. I also do more personal blog posts about my adventures and expat life in Europe & The Netherlands, and I run a Travel Video of the Week and a monthly Instagram Roundup.


If you’d like to be interviewed for just drop me an email ( and we can easily arrange something. I do have a few rules though …

  • No more than 3 backlinks in your piece (not including the questions 3 and 4, you get those for free).
  • Once published on my site, the interview must then be linked somewhere on your own site.
  • Once published on my site, you should visit and ‘like’ my facebook page. (shameless i know)
  • I reserve the right remove any answers or links that I deem unsuitable for my site.