Exclusive Interview: Chris Stout of MANJr.com

Chris Stout runs MANjr.com, an amazing site for men who like manly things. He’s an SEO guy by day and a Newcastle drinker by night. Chris loves football, vinyl records, traveling and track jackets. 
1.  Who or what inspires you to travel? 

I traveled a lot as a kid. I have my family to thank for that. We didn’t live large growing up, but we always saved up for trips to Europe. I think experiencing different parts of the world is really important. When I spend cash on travel, it’s on a different value scale. If you save up to go big on an international trip, the memories and cultural takeaways you get in return are always worth the price. Spending on travel is never a bad investment. 

3. What are three of your favorite global bites?

1. Kotu Roti and Lion Lager in Sri Lanka

2. Meat Pies and Carlton Draught in Australia

3. Schnitzel and Stiegl in Austria 

5. Where do you travel for adventure? 

I love SCUBA and snorkel trips. Navigating through clear waters surrounded by exotic sea life and other-worldly coral formations just makes me happy. Not really high-intensity adventure, but not something you can get everywhere, either. I’ve done snorkel and diving missions in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Mexico and the Great Barrier Reef. That last spot was definitely a travel highlight for me. 

7. What are the top three things you always pack?

1. Multiple device chargers and outlet converters

2. At least one good book to read (especially during electronic-free take offs and landings)

3.  iPhone with Camera+ for quick photo capturing/doctoring

2. What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

Exploring is great, but nothing beats having a local on the ground to show you around.

4. We know traveling can sometimes be painful–what’s one of your most agonizing travel memories?

In 2003, I bought more than 50 vinyl records in Vienna, after visiting flea markets and records stores throughout the city. Instead of just doing what’s smart – paying to have them shipped back to me in the States – I schlepped the records from Vienna to Munich to Amsterdam to New Jersey and back to LA. Rail travel isn’t all that glamorous to begin with, but it’s especially annoying when you have extra pounds of vinyl in each hand. Got some great stuff though, so it was worth it.  

6. I’m sure you have tons, but what’s one of your most ecstatic travel moments?

Hard to pick just one. Diving the Great Barrier Reef. Climbing up the rock fortress of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. Walking through empty Venice at 4am. Sunests in Boracay.

8. What’s the one place you always want to go back?

Toss up. I love Vienna. It’s a beautiful city; a grand Old World imperial center that’s now the oversized capital of a country smaller than Maine. I used to visit Austria a lot as a kid, and I’ll always want to go back for the nostalgia, to see family, drink really good beer and eat proper schnitzel.

Melbourne is a city that I can see myself moving to. It’s just so laid back. The people are great, the bars are cool, Aussie Rules Football is extra-entertaining and the city itself just has a bunch of interesting pockets to experience. I always heard people say that Australia was awesome. I didn’t think it could live up to all the hype, but it exceeded my expectations big time. 

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