COTF December Traveler Of The Month: Sebastian "Baz" Kath
After last month's fantastic Traveler Of The Month interview with Johnny Garvey, I knew it was going to be a hard showcase to top. Luckily, he told me about a friend/absolute legend he had met in Brazil named Baz. The name alone intrigued me. Turned out Baz was everything COTF stands for. He is a "teacher, writer, traveler, model & anything else you suggest-literally!" according to his personal Facebook page. On top of that, Baz is a great guy and awesome explorer. I'll let the Founder and Owner of "What Should Baz Do" explain the rest. Without further ado, take it away, Baz:
1. I am sure you get this all of the time, but please explain your project a bit. How did you come up with the idea of becoming the first “Yes Man”?
I just finished writing a story about this for a magazine back home. The story was supposed to pinpoint “the day that changed my life” so I single out a day in 2012 when my housemate made fun of me for being indecisive and suggested, “maybe you should just let other people make ALL your choices!” ha-di-ha. But there was a little more to it than that.
I was brought up hearing “you can do and be anything that you want – so long as you’re willing to make the sacrifices and put in the effort.”
With age, though, I noticed that a lot of us “choose our paths out of fear disguised as practicality” (Jim Carrey)
I decided to create What Should Baz Do? as a social experiment attempting to test the “anything is possible” theory - by trying absolutely anything and seeing if I can find a way to make it happen.
I let anyone who comes to the site suggest a country to live in, what I need to achieve there, and how I can support a cause or charity along the way.
Then, people vote on the best ideas, and I set out to try to achieve the winner.
WSBD “Why/How” Vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vhvs9v7fsc
WSBD Tell Baz What To Do Page: www.whatshouldbazdo.com/tell-baz-what-to-do
For those that prefer watching a video, this sums up Baz and his amazing project:
2. The project is certainly unique! Where are you right now, Baz? How did you end up there?
For the past year (and some) I’ve been in Brazil. I am here because Brazil won the voting. So far, a bit of a mixed bag, and I’m finding a few kinks that I need to iron out of the project.
At this minute, I’m in Ponta Negra, Manaus.
I came here by boat up the Amazon River from Belem, via Santarem. I felt a certain duty to experience some of the Amazon in person. The largest, richest, most diverse, ecosystem on the planet, and the “lungs of the Earth.”
There is so much to explore, see, learn, and write about here, but my bank balance isn’t really allowing me to take full advantage of it all, which is a shame. I’ll have to come back another year – when I’m richer.
To see where I’m at, anytime: www.whatshouldbazdo.com/#WhereNow
3. What’s your normal fitness routine?
For the past two months, I’ve been living in relative luxury: with a gym, sauna, sandy river-beach, and pool. So I’m doing a 4-day split of 1-Pull, 2-Push, 3-Legs, 4-Play day (which could be swimming, jog, play on the monkey bars, etc.) But this hasn’t been the norm.
For the past year, I’ve usually been on the move a lot, so haven’t been able to enjoy the stability of a kitchen, gym membership, my own room, etc. So I’ve relied a lot more on bodyweight exercises, and getting active with sports or bike rides.
The first thing I look for in a new location is a park playground with a set of monkey bars.
People send me physical challenges on the reg as well, so I often have some goal that I need to achieve. A couple of examples that kept me busy for a month at a time were:
- The 1000 Reps/Day Challenge. Here’s a video to explain.
(PS – YES. Please join me. Tag me if you do it!)
1000 Rep Challenge VID: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YianbQlipn4
- The 4 Week Pullup challenge.
Week 1: 50 pullups/day
Week 2: 100 pullups/day
Week 3: 150 pullups/day
Week 4: 200 pullups/day
The 1000rep/day challenge was full body and I think it’s important to listen to your body and substitute a different exercise if something starts to get aggravated, but the beauty of smaller challenges like the pullup challenge is that it gets you started every day (or 6 of 7 days)… And for me, generally, if I start, I figure I might as well do some abs or pushups or dips while I’m there.
Got a physical challenge? Throw it down on the FB: www.facebook.com/whatshouldbazdo
4. How are you staying fit while traveling?
I’m not much of a drinker or party animal these days, so that goes a long way toward staying fit and healthy, for sure. It helps the wallet as well.
And while travelling, I’ll usually be able to find a set of monkey-bars and a bench seat within jogging distance almost anywhere. Seeking those out to do some bodyweight workouts is part of my travelling life.
“Travel Fit” playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdGBpfBLueU&list=PLyZ_YmWfx6faz8syGzPur0h0jc5OZoKsE
5. What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Why?
I don’t think I have a favourite place, but my favourite travelling experience (so far) happened on a little island called Sint Maarten in the Caribbean.
Sint Maarten is a tiny little island - only 14 kilometres long - but it has two sides. One side is French, the other side is Dutch, it’s a beautiful little island, and has an interesting airport runway that starts right on top of a beach.
I’d been travelling for three months through Mexico and the US and was running pretty low on funds by this time. By chance, I met a ship captain while drinking in a bar one night and consequently gained a job as a deckhand.
For the next two weeks, I lived and worked on a 70ft sailboat and then the captain and I sailed to the US Virgin Islands through the Caribbean, taking it in turns to keep watch while the other slept. But, to be fair, I was enjoying it too much to sleep: the boat rolling and swaying in the swell a good 45 degrees, causing the gunwale to dip into the sea, eecite the plankton filled seas, and causing them iridescent flashes of fluorescent blue to light up all the side of our vessel and in her wake. I loved it. The freedom of being under the power of the wind filled me with awe and inspired me to buy and live on a boat someday.
6. How do you balance healthy eating while sampling the local cuisine?
Well, thankfully, I’m not really much of a foodie. Plus, I’m a vegetarian, which rules out quite a bit of Brazil food. I don’t have a super sweet tooth, and I don’t think I’m a very picky eater.
With a background in health science, I like to eat mostly with nutrition in mind mostly: My body is a temple haha. In saying that, I have found a soft spot for these little chocolate balls here called brigadeira, and goiaba on coco biscuits...
The spot is located at the bottom of my belly, covering my bottom abdominals.
I love veges, though, and healthy food can still be delicious food.
7. 3 words that describe your fitness regime. GO!
Varied. Challenging. Focused.
8. What is your motto when you travel?
My travel motto, “Always talk to strangers”. (Though I haven’t been following this well, lately)
My LIFE motto is:
There is nothing I’d rather be doing,
and no place I would prefer to be,
than doing something I’ve never done,
in a place I haven’t yet been.”
9. What is your most embarrassing travel story?
While in England, I ran in a 20-mile obstacle course race in Burghley near Stamford, England. It was a full weekend. By myself. In early Spring. And didn’t bother (read: couldn’t afford) to bring a tent, a proper sleeping bag, or have money to pay for a campsite hahaha.
I just turned up on the train with my running gear, a thin airline blanket, and a change of clothes, chattering my teeth, and thinking, “Ohhh, fook!”
BUT, it all worked out for the best. I met a group of guys who were also there to camp and run the race. They welcomed me into their site, gave me a spare nook in one of their tents to sleep, and didn’t even make that much fun of me for being so unprepared. They were like new brothers in no time.
Then, when I was leaving - attempting to hitchhike back to London - a girl picked me up, took me home to meet her parents for afternoon tea, and then took me home to her place in London on the train. Winning. :D
Link to the blog about it: https://www.whatshouldbazdo.com/a-dirty-weekend-away/
10. Solo Travel or Partner/ Group Travel?
I generally enjoy the freedom of Solo - but sometimes wish that I had someone with me. Someone to bounce ideas off, to encourage each other to do wild shit, and to have a training partner. Because solo travelling can become really tiring, stressful, and a little lonely, at times.
However – choosing a travelling companion is not something to take lightly.
It can make or break friendships.
11. With all that being said...Any last words of wisdom for someone that wants to stay in shape while they travel?
Different countries need slightly different advice, but…
- Firstly, find healthy food. Eat it. Drink bulk water.
- Substitute bonding over beers for bonding over activities like climbing mountains, playing sports, swimming, hiking, etc.
- AND get into callisthenics. There is ALWAYS a set of bars, a park bench, or a tree branch to swing off somewhere.
Thanks so much, Baz! Want to follow Baz along on his journey? Maybe he wants to check out these South American fitness habits! Be sure to check out his social media links below:
My social links:
YouTube – www.whatshouldbazdo.com/youtube
Website – www.whatshouldbazdo.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/whatshouldbazdo
Instagram – www.instagram.com/whatshouldbazdo
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