Neil Skywalker is 35 year old traveler, born and raised in the Netherlands. A few years ago, he was fed up with his love life, job, family and friends, so he decided to take a trip around the world with the goal of improving his social skills while exploring the globe and learning a about other cultures. Fast forward a few years, and we find Neil, still traveling, and now the author of a blog, and a book called, Around the World in 80 Girls: The epic 3 year trip of a backpacking Casanova.
World Travel Buzz: Most travelers have some kind of motivation to travel, whether it’s culture, history, language, or adventure. Your new book, Around the World in 80 Girls shares your stories of traveling for sex – maybe you can tell us about sex as a motivator for travel?
Neil Skywalker: Well, I’m glad you start of with this question because that seems to be the biggest misconception about my book. I never intended to “bang” as many girls as possible when I started my trip or “capture flags” as some would say. I left home as a way of escapism like so many other travelers. I was bored and fed up with my life and myself. Angry at myself for wasting all my good years in my twenties on stupid stuff I don’t care about now anymore and for having poor social skills. I wanted to improve all that and see something of the world. Of course I wanted to be with some girls from exotic countries but that was never the main motivator. The first 8 months of my trip were more about sightseeing than about girls. It started to get crazy when I went to South East Asia and I realized that my experiences were fairly unique, and I saw potential to write a book. After 8 months of traveling I also heard of Pick up artists and “game”. Something that has been around for years but I had actually never heard of it before. It’s not that mainstream in Holland. Like many guys before me it was an eye-opener, and I started learning straight away.
WTB: So that’s when you saw the potential to turn your travel experiences into a book?
Neil: Actually, the idea for a book came to mind somewhere in Hong Kong when I told an English travel buddy about a couple of girls I had been with in Russia and China. He literally said: “It’s looks like you’re going around the world in 80 girls Hahaha” I laughed but also kept it in the back of my mind for a while. Of course at that moment I still wasn’t focused on girls that much but I liked the sound of the words “Around the world in 80 girls.” Especially because it’s funny because it says IN 80 girls and not with 80 girls or something similar. I said to myself that if I was going to write a travel book that would be the title.
And how did you decide to turn it into a blog?
I had no experience with building a website what so ever but with help from a Canadian guy I met on the road I built one. The idea behind the blog was that I would build a following while traveling. I have changed the website 4 times since then, and unfortunately, lost most of the comments in the process. There were tons of hater comments from other guys. The usual white-knighting losers and Captain Save-a-ho’s. Very rarely did I receive hate mail from girls. Most of them actually supported me. There’s still quite a lot of work to be done on the site but for now I am focusing on promoting the book.
I didn’t brag it around for one reason. People either love it or hate it. Some guys would love the idea and started buying me drinks and introduce me to their friends and others would start telling other people and mainly girls what a creep I was for having a website like this.
On one occasion I had already left the hostel and some Australian guy just heard about me and instantly started hating on me online and even started writing emails to Lonely Planet about me. I got a formal and pressing email from Lonely Planet for using this tagline “Around the world in 80 girls – The not so Lonely Planet”. They requested me to stop using this or a lawsuit would follow.
On another occasion I was mildly proud when I told someone about my site and he shouted out: “o my god! is that you? There were rumors about a this crazy Dutch guy banging his way around the world!”
But it’s not ALL about sex, is it? What else do you love about traveling?
Absolutely not, I love traveling. I have a real passion for it. The socializing with people from other countries, the struggling with the language barrier and the proud moments when you just did something you would never dreamed of a few years before. I have a great interest in Military History and visited lots of museums and places around the world concerning this subject. I would go out of my way to visit remote places of military interest. I still have the dream of visiting Volgograd formerly known as Stalingrad. The turning point in World War II. Also the genuine friendliness of people in other countries really surprised me. I was not used to that, being raised in the me, me, me culture of Holland
Although I had a great time traveling with someone from Guernsey/ UK in Indonesia, I mostly like traveling alone. You have to solve situations yourself, no matter how crazy, and I think this challenge really builds character. But my travel style is a little bit of all the above. I love to explore the local culture on my own and connect with people in the streets. A thing that is not hard to do since people will walk up to you all the time. I’m not really a party guy – In fact I don’t like big parties like the tubing thing in Laos at all. People being drunk in the afternoon and screaming woohooo! every two minutes is not my thing.
If you could hit the road with one person, alive or dead, and go anywhere in the world, who would you choose, and where would you go?
This almost sounds like one of my questions I use when going on a date with a local girl. It’s difficult to answer. I’m so used to traveling on my own. Since I have to choose some one, let’s say Elvis in his white show suit. That would be a crazy trip. If I had to choose a girl it would be Claudia Cardinale from the 1960’s. Anywhere in the world? Probably Russia, Brazil or Argentina.
Any plans on settling down and staying with one girl (or in one city) in the near future?
Not for the next few years, I already feel like I wasted my best years so I’m going to enjoy the ones I have left while I’m still young. I look quite a few years younger than my real age so I can still hang out with girls in their early twenties. On the other hand, for the right girl I’m willing to give it all up but would still love to travel. I couldn’t be with a girl who doesn’t like to travel.
Do you have a favorite place in the world for picking up girls? Where did you find the easiest action?
Let’s talk continents here. I would be prefer South America to all others despite the fact that it’s not easy scoring there. You might get lucky a few times but getting girls consistently there requires hard work and persistence. I always have to laugh when people say what I do is easy. It’s only easy when you a celebrity or when you throw around massive amounts of cash. Which I never do. I only want to be with girls who want to be with me for me not for the size of my wallet. I feel no honor in basically paying for a girl’s company by taking her out to expensive restaurants spending more on a meal than she earns in a month or buying her gifts in return for sex.
We don’t want you to give away all your secrets, but maybe you could leave our readers with one tip for picking up girls (or guys) while traveling?
Well, people would have to read the book if the want to know my secrets (you can buy it here). But the most important tip of all is not some magic pick up formula. It is the same recipe for success as in any other field whether it’s sports, business or showbiz. Persistence and willing to fail to get ahead. For me the biggest battle was with approach anxiety. An enemy that is always around the corner, mostly in countries where you don’t speak the language. Once you conquer that and I did, the world is yours.
Thanks to Neil for taking to time to talk with us about his travel experiences, and his new book. Neil is releasing the second edition of his book, and you can order it here: Around the world in 80 girls: The epic 3 year trip of a backpacking Casanova Contact Neil on Twitter at @Neil_Skywalker, or on Facebook.