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Meet the Team

These legends are the legends that keep our site… LEGENDARY.

The whole damn Broke Backpacker tribe! What started out as a one-man travel blog has grown into an epic adventure family!

Some of these peeps met on the road. Others share Bali as a home base. A few, well, we’re not even sure where they came from… But they’re here now, and they’re here to stay!

We’re a diverse bunch – premium adventurers, veteran vagrants, hippies, musicians, nerds, gym junkies, psy-explorers, linguists, alumni, high school dropouts, sea-farers, mountainfolk, and everything in between – all collected from the various corners of the globe. But what we do share is a passion for travel.

Well… that and a little spark of madness. 😉

Our team strives endlessly to bring you the BEST backpacking content on the web. They work on and off assignment, exploring the globe, updating our destination guides, reviewing the top adventure gear, and keeping our content toasty-tight.

So let’s learn a little about the people of The Broke Backpacker and how they KICK ASS!

The OG Broke Backpacker

The man of the hour.

Will Hatton

Founder & Chief Adventurer

The first-generation Broke Backpacker, the head honcho, the legend himself: Will Hatton.

Will started travelling more than a decade ago as a headstrong and penniless youth, but his years on the road quickly turned him into an expert of the budget backpacking trade. He grew, he learnt; he loved, he lost. He travelled, he made mistakes, and through it all, he found his calling – to explore, to share, to learn. Will is passionate about the power of budget travel as a personal development tool, and about teaching others to ditch their desks, embrace adventure and to build an online income.

Both cursed and blessed with a pathological inability to sit still, you can usually find Will either high up on a mountain or deep down in a new project. A natural ideas man, self-taught SEO ninja, and a system building guru, Will has exceeded his original scope as a decorated adventurer and now finds himself on the journey of online entrepreneurship.

Will is currently based in Bali with Chimmigi and Kiki, his beloved doggos, where he just opened Tribal Hostel, the island’s sexiest and first dedicated digital nomad coworking hostel. Come visit and give him a wicked round of pool!

The Broke Backpacker Tribe

Our team of epic adventurers, wonderful writers and globetrotting fact-finders… 

Aiden Freeborn

Gear Manager & Senior Editor

Aiden began working with The Broke Backpacker in 2016. When not DJing Psytrance, Aiden is an explorer of uncharted countries, under-rated museums, and unsanitary dive bars in need of a good deep clean. If he’s not doing that, you’ll likely find him attending to his hair maintenance routine – he never hits the road without a hairdryer.

As well as freelancing as manager of The Broke Backpacker’s library of epic gear content, Aiden heads the development of new series and and is always keen for a think tank sesh. Aiden is the founder of SEO Consultancy firm Go Realise Digital and also moonlights as a guest writer for the Huffington Post and Matador.

One of his life highlights is push-starting a truly fucked tuk tuk on a very precarious slope amidst the Himalayan foothills – which he maintains is perhaps his greatest accomplishment to date!

Tomás Monteiro

Brand Specialist & Whizz-Kid

Part mindless, part mindful, and all goofball, Tomás believes he has mastered the Art of Chilling. You’ll likely find him in a sunny park, guitar in hand, and boiling hot tea by his side.

You’ll see his words all across the site. Tomás handles brand communication & works The Broke Backpacker voice, runs our sexy newsletter, slaps together some graphics when needed, covers a lot of bases. Tomás knows his wheelhouse and is always coming up with slick new ideas…

Tomás is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal, his big beautiful birthplace. You can find him there, or wandering around the globe looking for trouble. The good kind, that is!

Meet the Team

Laura Pox

Senior Editor & Chill Goddess

Laura, aka Laurita if you want to add some spice, has been a part of the Broke Backpacker team for quite a while now. She didn’t shy away from the opportunity to join The Broke Backpacker, even after having to endure Ziggy’s 6am Ukulele Solo Sessions in Nepal. Fast forward, Laura has become one of the very important travel editors and writers.

Today, she’s is our active editor. She’s preening the site to make sure the content is looking all nice and lovely. She has a nack for letting a few too many swear words slip in there too.

Some fun facts about Laura:

She wants to win that chess game even if she says she doesn’t care
You can’t convince her Reggaeton is good.

Samantha Shea

Travel Writer & Adventure Expert

A travel blogger and writer-for-hire, Samantha has been on the road in one way or another since 2017. Hailing from the USA, you’ll most likely find her gobbling up the delights of Asia, particularly South Asia, and PARTICULARLY Pakistan. Her expertise of Pakistan is unrivalled.

Samantha is a fan of slow travel, overland travel, and adventure travel: the three travels of The Broke Backpackers’s golden ratio. As such, we’ve put her to good work expanding our ever-growing library of illustrious adventure locales. She also plays a hand in optimising our existing content and, particularly, tightening the screws of our Pakistan and USA content.

An ice-cream addict and documentary lover, her infatuation for hippopotamuses cannot be understated. When she’s not travelling or writing about travelling, you can usually find Samantha enjoying a tropical ocean or getting lost in the mountains. Or eating… Street eats are her other homeboy.

Clair Cathryn

Superstar PA

Endlessly patient, Clair is a limitless font of wisdom and humour as we try to deduce just how the hell we’re going to make this work. A logistics superstar and an admin goddess, Clair consistenly moves the parts behind the scenes of the blog that keep it running so damn smooth.

Communications, emails, affilates, the best shampoos for Will’s fluffy doo: this is Clair’s wheelhouse. Of all the Wizards of the Court, there can be only one Hermione, and that is Clair. It’s hard to imagine The Broke Backpacker without her.

A bit of renegade around Southeast Asia and a proverbial master of long-stay travel, Clair finds herself caught between her many, many homes. Currently marooned in her hometown in Australia, Clair hopes to be losing her purse, drinking wine, and seeking out her favourite street food vendors in a land far away, soon, once more.

Rhenzy Caguioa

Empress of the Virtual Assistants

When she’s not tirelessly poring over The Broke Backpacker’s content with her all-seeing critical eye, you might see Renz at one of her favourite cafes plotting just how she’d make this cheesecake ten times damn better!

Living in ever-bustling Manila, Renz is tempted out of the house for quieter activities such as concerts, cinema, and downtown people-watching. Renz plans world domination through a chain of stores showcasing her boutique baked cheesecakes and other goodies. Her love for Korean TV dramas (and Naruto – heaps yeah!) cannot be understated.

Renz leads our team of star VAs; the ever-present force behind the scenes that keeps The Broke Backpacker RUNNING. It’s safe to say that without Rhenzy and her team of vibrant VAs, there’d be no Broke Backpacker.

photo of Nic Hilditch-Short, member of The Broke Backpacker team

Nic Hilditch-Short

Editor & Roaming Renegade

Nic has probably been to more countries than any of the other team members! Nic and their partner – together known as the Roaming Renegades – have been to over 65 countries so far, and the list is still growing.

With so much travel experience, the one place that really stood out to Nic was Southeast Asia. And where else could you just casually buy a manual bike (with no riding experience) and then just head off for a 5000km trip around remote villages, off-the-beathen path tracks and some epic places than in Southeast Asia?

They’ve also got the best collection of hilarious dog memes!

Rose Wilson

Editor & Bali Travel Expert

A born and raised Bristolian, Rose’s love for travel started from childhood with her family trips around the world. Her parents celebrated imparting rich cultural experiences on their children and such a blessed upbringing led to Rose’s adoration with travel. Yearly visits to Bali to meet family-friends led to an early onset dream of one day living on the Island of the Gods – flash forward 20 years, and here she is.

A lover of dogs, pasta, rewatching the same TV shows on repeat, and espresso martinis, her travel days are mostly behind her now, content to her life in Bali with her fur-babies.

Joe Middlehurst

Junior Editor & Serial Side Quester

A relatively new addition to the team, Joe’s a biophiliac above all else. Joe’s love for the natural world led him to gain a bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science with the long-term goal of doing his best to protect all life on Earth.

In the meantime, he is on a mission to travel, explore and learn as much as possible about the natural world, life and himself.

Joe has a passion for sharing his vision of a better world through writing and photography, with the aim of inspiring others to make the most out of their one and only shot at life. Joe is currently developing an unhealthy iced coffee addiction in SE Asia as he embarks on an ambitious surfing campaign.

If he’s not editing travel articles, catch Joe fishing, hiking, surfing or watching Manchester United lose in his hostel dorm bed.

Amanda Draper

Junior Editor & Senior Dreamer

Meet Amanda! An explorer at heart with a wild spirit. An advocate for slow travel, Amanda is pretty much a globe-trotting tortoise.Her favourite book is “The Alchemist” and Like Santiago, she’s forever questing, turning every stone in search of life’s hidden treasure.

But Amanda’s journey isn’t all about the adrenaline. She loves to dives headfirst into the soul of each place she visits. if you meet her somewhere around the world, she would be thrilled to sit down for a cup of coffee and share travel stories, she never misses an opportunity for storytelling, her favourite pastime.

And her journal? This bad boy has seen its share of ink and tear stains, and if you’re lucky enough to get a peek, you’d swear you could smell the salt from the beaches and hear the whispers of ancient forests. Forever a dreamer, she travels with a deep love for the world and everyone around her.

Audy Scala

Junior Editor & Hitchiking Hero

Audy, a mermaid and free-spirited adventurer, can be found atop a mountain of pineapples in a pickup truck, basking naked on secluded beaches and frolicking through the burning man desert.

Leaving home at 17, she fearlessly hitchhiked across Mexico and Central America where she drove a hot-wired car through Baja California, busked on the streets of Costa Rica and took magic mushrooms with shamans in the mountains. The challenges she faced and the boundaries she pushed shaped her into the person she is today, constantly evolving on the edge of her comfort zone.

Now on a path to becoming a scuba instructor in Bali, she finds solace in the depths of the ocean, often alongside graceful manta rays. Audy’s dreams take her on thrilling journeys, envisioning driving a bus across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, sailing across the globe, and diving alongside great white sharks.

meet the team bio pic oumaima haded

Oumaima Haded

Junior Editor & Lifetime Learner

Meet Oumaima, a curious wanderer with a backpack full of questions and a knack for turning pennies into gold.

With a specialization in Trade Law, she got deep into the intricate systems of business operators, which kinda worked in the opposite direction – because now she wants to become one herself. Her entrepreneurial spirit emerged early on when, at a young age, she tried to sell water bottles to her neighbors (although her bike’s lack of balance brought that venture to a close).

Oumaima is based in Cape Bon, Tunisia, where she grew up and built a master plan to travel the world and expand her business reach.

When not editing spicy TBB content, you’ll likely find her mapping out her next business venture or observing the Mediterranean, making its best impression of an ocean (it fails each time though).

bio pic for Danielle Wyatt

Danielle Wyatt

Junior Editor & Oceanic Explorer

Our resident kiwi, Dani, has a burning passion for hunting down the best sunrise spots and soaking in the views from the tops of mountains. With New Zealand as her backyard, she’s got some legendary stories from the get-go, sharing her hidden gems from off-the-beaten-track.

Dani is a lover of slow travel and marvelling at life under the sea. She’s lived in Spain and Thailand over the last few years, calling both her second (and third) home. She knows their underwater worlds almost as well as she knows the land.

Equipped with her bachelor’s degree in marketing and passion for creative writing, it makes perfect sense that she’s sharing her travel adventures with fellow globetrotters. When she’s not scribbling down travel wisdom for The Broke Backpacker; you can find her spilling her heart out to her well-loved journal over a cup of coffee.

Broke Backpacker Hall of Fame

The Broke Backpacker team is a transient group of wanderers and sometimes folks head off into the sunset.
This is the hall of fame where they live on forever….

Art Patterson

We found this SEO and content scaling guru wandering and confused in the hills of South America. Former admiral of admin at The Broke Backpacker, Art is the reason the site looks like it does today. His hard work and endless slogging have landed him a spot in the elusive Broke Backpacker Hall of Fame.

Who knows where Art can be found now? We’ve heard rumours that say he’s back in the South American hills, the word on the street is that he’s in Estonia, but he’s most likely somewhere else where the woods are vast and the mountains high.

If you do spot Art in a cafe, ordering round after round of V60 pour-overs, fear not. This highly caffeinated animal doesn’t bite.

Ralph Cope

Ralph is a wild child. He has a desire to experience all things unconventional and often gravitates to the lesser-known landscapes of the world, landing him in some pretty strange and sensational places. Only God knows where he is right now.

During his time at The Broke Backpacker, Ralph adventured to Africa and the Middle East and transversed the steppes of Eurasia. He generally did his best to maximise his time in the wilderness and avoid anywhere the crowds go. His photography and writing will live on in The Broke Backpacker’s history.

The Master of the Negroni, Ralph bases himself in Italy these days from where he ducks out for quick jaunts across the globe. He also leads adventure tours in Kyrgyzstan. You can follow his adventures at Roaming Ralph.

Ziggy Samuels

Zig, Zigz, Zigglez, Zigzag, Zigalig, and even just plain old boring Sam, Ziggy is a man of many names. And many lives. Once, he even milked a goat!

A published expert on all things budget backpacking, Ziggy really embraces the spirit of a true broke backpacker. He was our connoisseur of the art of dirtbaggery: busking, dumpster diving, hitchhiking, vanlife, illicit substances, sleeping in cemeteries (don’t ask), etcetera.

A native to the notorious Byron Bay Shire, perhaps Zigz was always destined for vagrancy. Although it’s been a long time since he held a fixed address, Ziggy still always finds himself begrudgingly dragging his ass back to his found-family in Australia for a boogie and keenly-rolled doobie.

Elina Mattila

Translator, writer, digital nomad, nerd, and the most extroverted Finnish person you’ll ever meet. Elina loves hiking solo (mostly because she’s really bad at it), petting cute animals, and travelling to weird places. As well as her personal blog, she’s published on Indie Traveller and even has a Masters in English.

A while back, this hardened vagabond committed the cardinal sin of backpacking – she fell in love. Not with a beautiful boy but with life in Bali, her friends there, and a grumpy black cat called Gizmo that she accidentally adopted. So for the foreseeable future, she can be found based in Bali which she – begrudgingly – must admit she likes quite a bit.

Indigo Blue

Indigo left home to join a sailboat and gallivant about the ocean, and she hasn’t really stopped since. Her time is divided between the shore, the sea, and the shoestring adventures of rum and Sunday siestas. As always, there are plenty of frivolities, rum, and near-death experiences to keep her humble!

A rising star since birth, Indigo won the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers in 2016 and holds an ADAS Part 3 diving certificate which means she can, quote, “Use cool shit like chainsaws underwater.” She will pay good money to experience the world’s best taco before she’s indi-go, indi-going, indi-gone…

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