Travel Envy as I chat with Drake Hill

11/30/2020Jake Ryan

When you find yourself on the Instagram account of Drake Hill, you'll find yourself immersed in his photos, as you look through wishing you could experience the amazing highlights with him. Drake not only gets to travel as a job, but he shares the best bits with us. If like me, Drakes travel have inspired you to explore places you'd not yet considered you'll love this. We had a chat with Drake about his photography, life and what he has planned going forward. Read it all below. 

Hey Drake, first of all tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 29, born and raised in Houston, Texas. I grew up in a family that enjoyed traveling both domestically and internationally. So with that it was bound for me to catch the travel bug as I was traveling the world even as a child. I have a very “go with the flow” personality, so I adapt to new cultures and environments, which makes all my trips a breeze and a guaranteed memorable experience! I love the outdoors, but I’m definitely one to prefer the city life. I’d describe myself as a people person and very outgoing, so my extroverted personality has allowed me to make friends all over the world when I’m traveling. My friends introduce me sometimes as “the guy with the cool Instagram or the guy who’s been everywhere,” and with that said it’s very rare you’ll catch me saying “No” to an adventure or a new experience. 

Looking through your Instagram account, it’s obvious you love to travel. Are you currently travelling full time?

I am traveling full time because I have a career in the aviation industry. I work for a private charter airline so the contracts we have, have kept us at a normal workload unlike commercial carriers who have been financially crippled by the pandemic. 

I also have a very flexible schedule which allows me to take lots of personal trips on my own time. So once more countries borders open internationally I will plan more personal trips abroad. I have used a lot of my personal time this year to travel more domestically and see more of my beautiful backyard “America.”

How do you fund your travels?

My travels are funded through multiple channels. So with traveling frequently for work I have accrued a plethora of commercial airline miles and that allows me to book flights for free or very minimal cost. I also have a family member who has blessed me with their airline passes, so that’s one more awesome gift that I have in my back pocket. The same for accommodations I have accrued many hotel brands points and valued member status in their loyalty programs so when staying most places I am usually not paying for it. I also use credit cards that help me to accrue more airline and hotel points to continue keeping my accounts filled for future trips. So my costs are always very minimal and if hotels are not an option I’ll usually try to find an Airbnb or hostel that can accommodate me. 

What is it you love about travelling?

I sometimes feel like my life is an episode in the old TV show “The Amazing Race” but the race is never ending and I love it! Travel is an education in itself and one that you can’t put a price tag on. I want to see it, do it and experience it all. I love exploring and learning about different cultures and their way of life. It opens your mind and allows you to realize that there is no one way to live life. Meeting people from other places will show you that your world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s. You think you might understand a place, but until you visit it for yourself, you have no idea. Traveling is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself, and I am guaranteed to walk away from each trip with at least one, if not ten new friends! 

You’ve visited some amazing places, do you have a favourite?

This is a question I receive most frequently, and I answer it the same way each time. I can’t say I have a favorite as I haven’t seen everything. Every place is unique in its own way and there is something spectacular or special that is worth seeing in each destination. I just encourage people to go see that place that they’ve always dreamt of seeing, because what good is living a life if all you do is stand in the same place. 

What has been your most exciting experience so far?

One of my most incredible experiences was when I went on a trip with a few friends to India and Egypt. It was a 12 day trip that we split between the two countries with many adventures. Highlighting on different points of interest with the major ones being the “Taj Mahal” and the “Great Pyramids of Giza.” So seeing two of the most iconic wonders of the world in one short trip was pretty surreal. 

What advice do you have for someone who is considering the idea of going travelling? 

If I was to give any advice to the rookie or even veteran traveler it would be this... I sometimes see my friends posting a picture of their passport and boarding pass at the airport taking off for a new destination, and the first thing I notice is the boarding pass and if it has their rewards ID on the ticket. I can’t stress this enough as a travel tip: Take the time to enroll in all airlines and hotel rewards programs, it will pay off and it will get you FREE travel!

Also when going somewhere please do your research on what is customary for that particular place as far as religion, what you wear, how you speak, your manners, tipping, how you eat etc. because in some cultures some things can be very offensive or insulting to that particular culture that may not be in yours or others. 

If you could jump on a plane to any place in the world right now, where would you go?

My top 5 places I would like to visit right now would be Turkey, Colombia  Peru, Vietnam, and South Africa. I am a very spontaneous traveler so when I take a trip it’s usually planned less than a month in advance. So I’m hoping to visit Columbia and Turkey in the part of 2021. 

How has covid affected your year?

It has been a different year for us all but surprisingly for me it’s been somewhat normal. I only say that because my job has kept me in a pretty routine schedule throughout the year. I only hope we can walk away from this with a higher respect for the little things and our everyday freedoms. I sure do miss the things that have been taken away from us like concerts, music/culture festivals and gatherings of friends/family.

You take great photos, did you study photography or teach yourself?

I am a self taught photographer. I have developed a love for capturing beautiful images in my travels, so that through my images it allows others to see a place and the unique beauty it has to offer. I try to capture as much as I can into one image because we unfortunately live in a time where satisfaction is tough so I try to capture the viewer with just one photo.

Who are your favourite photographers? 

Top photographers/content creators for me would be Sam Kolder John Derting Kyle Vollaers  and @LukeSkyWatcher

And finally, what are your plans for the upcoming year?

My plans for this next year, I am very open to whatever opportunities the next year may hold. I plan to take many more epic trips and to ring in my 3rd decade on this spectacular planet with a bang. So only expect things to continue to grow up from here, 2020 was just a speed bump for us so keep moving forward with a positive mindset and be proud of your accomplishments. “Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

Thanks Drake for chatting with TravelFoodFilm. 

Be sure to follow Drakes travels on Instagram HERE

All photos in this post are property of Drake Hill

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