No Time to Waste: An Interview with Justin Troupe


Traveler's Toolbox  


After writing a high school paper about what he would do if he had just six months to live, Justin Troupe decided there was no more time to waste. After graduating, he moved to the Caribbean with $275 in his pocket and the rest is history. Justin soon became a world traveler, photographer, and blogger — and now, he’s also an author, as I found out in our interview.

Justin has spent the last two years perfecting his travel hacking guide “The Art of World Travel” to be released on Dec. 1, 2013. In this 155 page eBook, Justin inspires his readers to get off the couch and onto the airplane, but even more than inspiration, he provides all the details needed to turn travel dreams into reality. If you’d like a free copy of the book, all you have to do is subscribe to his email list, and you’ll receive a copy  in your inbox on Dec. 1st.

I decided I wanted a copy after learning about Justin Troupe’s fulfilling life and his inspiring personality during our interview.

LR: What song title best describes you?

JT: Leaving on a Jet Plane. For years, my brothers and I have played that song on the way to airports to either travel or move someplace new.

LR: What’s the last book you finished reading?

JT: Why did you have to say finished? How about started. I think it was probably Aleph by Paulo Coelho. I don’t know if you have ever read any of his books (such as the Alchemist), but I highly recommend them. They changed the way I looked at life, god and love which is pretty amazing.

LR: What book do wish you could tell people you’ve read?

JT: I wished I had finished Stephen Hawking’s book, “A Brief History of Time,” but I never made it.


LR: What do you tell people who say they can’t afford their travel dreams?

JT: The first time I moved to the Caribbean I had $275. I did not have a job or a place to live, and I did not know anybody. It was two weeks after I graduated high school. I just moved to St. Thomas, and I lived on the beach for three weeks. And now that I know better, I would have taken a tent or a hammock with mosquito screens instead of just a sleeping bag, but now I know that. Even with a sleeping bag it wasn’t that bad.

LR: Where are you dying to go that you haven’t been?

JT: Patagonia, Nepal, Angel Falls in Argentina, base camp at Everest.

LR: Dream travel companion? (Living or dead.)

JT: I have to just pick one? Hands down: the Dalai Lama. I saw him speak once, and he would make a great travel partner.

Second choices would be Paulo Coelho, Mark Twain, Marilyn Monroe, Rumi ,or Ansel Adams. So many interesting ways to go on this one even though I am doubting Marilyn Monroe could survive a youth hostel. Probably would have to go four-star with her, or all hell would break loose.

LR: What do you think is holding people back from their travel dreams?

JT: Your ability in life to experience the most joy and happiness and fun and adventure and excitement and passion is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can deal with. Your tolerance for uncertainty determines how good your life is going to be.

If you want to be totally certain, stay in a room and have food delivered to you. You’re going to be pretty much safe – depending on the type of food you’re ordering. But at the end of the day, you’ll miss out on everything you’re put on this planet to do.

LR: Where would you most like to have a layover?

JT: Istanbul, San Francisco, Paris, Puerto Rico.

LR: Have you ever been arrested in a foreign country?

JT: Fortunately no, but my younger brother did get to see the business end of a machine gun in Egypt when we were visiting. I guess they take the no tripod rules rather seriously there.

LR: Which destination ended up being better than expected?

JT: Istanbul blew me away. The architecture was incredible, the food and the people are amazing, and it was teaming with color and culture.

LR: Where was the most beautiful sunset you’ve seen?

JT: I helped deliver a 65-foot Carbon Fiber Sailboat from the Virgin Islands to Florida. It took us seven days, and the sunsets were amazing out there. Even more amazing was seeing the stars at night when there was zero light pollution.

LR: How do you convince your readers to actually get off the couch and go travel?

JT: I try to clearly show people, the only thing that is stopping you from getting what you want is this bullshit story that you’ve explained to yourself about why you can’t have it. If you can just give up that story you can have it.

If I can get you a free plane ticket and a free place to stay. You can have your mail scanned and emailed to you, and you can read it wherever you want on your phone with an international SIM card that allows you decent prices on phone calls, so your family can stay in contact with you. What else do you need? There are just no excuses.

LR: Do you prefer writing or photography?

JT: Photography is my passion, but since I have learned so many things that can help other travelers, I almost felt I had to write a book.

LR: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get a photo?

JT: I have almost gotten blown off of cliffs during wind storms. For instance, I was in Iceland and there were these crazy 70 mph wind gusts and rain going sideways, and we were up there freezing our asses off. I’ve also been hoisted 130 feet up into the air on the mast of a racing sailboat.

LR: Hostel or hotel?

JT: Both. In my opinion, people who think they are better than others because they only stay in hostels or vice versa are pretty sad. I do all of the above. I have stayed in everything from the worst hostel to five-star hotels. I have rented condos and rooms and even slept on beaches right in the sand. The same person who will give you a lecture about why hostels are better will take a free weekend at a Westin in two seconds. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you go out and enjoy the world. Use whatever your budget allows you to and enjoy it all.

LR: iPhone or Droid?

JT: Iphone 5S. Really loving what they did to the camera. I am almost thinking about making my own mini version of Baraka with it, because the slow motion is so incredible.

LR: Luggage or backpack?

JT: Luggage. I have a Eagle Creek Tarmac 25. I think it’s the perfect piece of luggage. I carry way too much weight as a photographer to have that it on my back all the time.



All photos courtesy Justin Troupe

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.


  • Justin, I was really amazed at your replies. I am happy to know you that you are living life to its fullness. Love Susan

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