‘Am i cool enough to be interviewed?’ she asked over an email … of course she bloody well is, she a backpacker and has recently been doing her thing and taking some amazing pictures all around the Balkans on an epic roadtrip.  She also hails from a town which might have the best name for a town I’ve ever heard of.  Ladies and gents, I present to you @Chrystalclear_


1. Name: Chrystal McKay

2. Age: 23

3. Twitter Handle: @Chrystalclear_

4. URL: http://www.chrystal-clear.com

5. Home Town: Thunder Bay, Canada

6. Current Location: Athens, Greece

7. … Business or pleasure? Pleasure

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

I’m en route home. I spent a few months working in Morocco and then found a job in Dominican Republic, so instead of flying home for the 1.5 months between my jobs I’ve been travelling through the Balkans. Started in Italy and ending in Greece. Best bits by far was seeing Hvar in Croatia and hiking through Meteora Greece – something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child (never little though). Worst bit is that its all been going by so quickly – I’ll have to come back and do it all over again – there is just SO much to do in this region 1.5 months doesn’t do it justice.

Greece, Meteora


9. First travel experience?

That I can remember – was road-tripping across Canada with my family! My dad would drive the trunk, my mom was passenger, and I laid down across them in the front seat – head on moms lap, feet across dad. And this seems like a luxury way to spend a road-trip but I had my other brother stabbing me with pens through the separations of the seats!

10. Future travel plans?

I’m heading to Dominican Republic in July working with S-Trip Tour Company as Destination Staff. And in August I’m going to Colorado State, USA to run The Color Run and travelling around a few of the National Parks that I’ve always wanted to see – Mesa Verde and Great Sand Dunes for sure!

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

I would go to Lebanon! The country looks so fascinating to this ruins lover. I would wander around from Ruin to Ruin in search of the history they never teach you in School.

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

The North Pole. As hot as it is here in Athens with temperatures of +40 Celsius at the moment, I still wouldn’t head to the freezing cold. Call me a bad Canadian but I don’t like the temperature to drop below -20. Then it is too cold (Ok – maybe I am truly Canadian thinking that -10 is perfectly acceptable weather!)

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

  • My Kindle – What a wonderful little device that is. Let’s me change between books depending on my mood and holds up to 1000+ Books. I never get bored and I NEVER have to struggle with exchanging books when I’m done with them (I like to collect books – bad habit for a traveller really!)
  • My Camera – I love taking photos, spending time taking photos, and trying to capture a stunning photo. I’m not the best photographer, and I don’t know much about it – but I love each minute I spend in pursuit of a picture that captures my feelings of a place I’ve just experienced.
  • My Sleep Mask – Hiding my eyes from all unwelcome lights mean I can sleep through plane, train, and bus rides without be woken at all hours of the night for a snack or because the driver happened to lean on the light switch! I just KEEP on snoozing!
  • My Green Pashmina – This baby is a multipurpose item if I ever did have one. It’s a pillow, scarf, blanket, skirt, towel, sling, cloths line, etc. It’s everything I could ever ask for in a pashmina. And it is green because that is my favourite colour and looks good with everything.
  • A Roll of Toilet Paper – I don’t need much, but I do appreciate toilet paper. No matter how appalling a toilet may be, I am that much more at ease knowing I have toilet paper with me.


14. Best bit of advice you’ve received?

My Bin Rye – The Thai saying for “No Worries”. They have such a great outlook on life and what is important and what not to get upset about or fuss about. You just go with the flow and have no Worries.

15. Worst?

Go Home Immediately – by my Canadian University, Canadian Government, Thai University, and my mother. Why? Because in 2010 Thailand went into “Civil War”. I didn’t take the advice – you know what I did do? I took the 2 month period of “Civil War” and travelled around South East Asia. Go Home? Worst advice ever.

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

You’ll spend more living in Canada than you would travelling full time. And which is more fun?

RANDOMItaly Venice Street Walkingg 1 768x1024 Getting Lost in Venice

17. Favourite ice cream flavour?

I don’t much like Ice-cream – but I’ll say Orange Sorbet

18. Apple or Andriod?

Neither – Blackberry! (Well, I don’t actually have a phone….but I choose Blackberry still)

19. Blogger or WordPress?


20. Hostel or hotel?

Hostel wins ALMOST every time. Except when there isn’t air conditioning and its 40 degrees outside and 30 people inside.

21. Guilty pleasure?

Starbursts. Whenever I pass an airport I buy them. They are just so fruity and scrumptious!

22. Your chosen super-power?

Teleportation. That way I wouldn’t spend the time or money getting from one place to the next – I just appear.

23. Airplane seat – isle, centre or window?

Window! I need somewhere to lean against and put my feet up. I’m THAT girl.

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

I don’t have an ipod and rarely listen to music – but if I was to open something and play it – It would be the soundtrack to Wicked. Yes, the musical. I love musicals. 14 years in choir will do that to you!

Morocco Ait Ben Haddou 24 1024x442 The Reason I came to Morocco: Ait Ben Haddou


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

What is Chrystal-Clear about? It is about me – Chrystal – a small town Canadian girl who works her way around the world entranced by culture and enthralled by history and ruins. I’ve lived in Canada, Switzerland, Thailand, Philippines, Argentina, and Morocco and explored even more. Follow my adventures as I strive to live the life I want as I travel our world.


If you’d like to be interviewed for www.backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk just drop me an email (neil@backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk) 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.