Joshua Nemeroff - DJ at Large

Abby from The Reaktor (Fridays 2-4 pm) had the opportunity to interview her good friend Joshua Nemeroff, former host of CJLO's Ears Wide Shut. He's been roving through Europe these past few months and took some time out of his busy backpacker's life to answer a few questions on what it feels like being a full-time traveler. They discuss everything from couch surfing, money, work-study, and the preparation required to jump from city to city in a foreign land.

Ears Wide Shut Travel soundtrack!

Abby Reaktor: Now that you've left the station and Montreal, what have you been up to these past couple of months?

Joshua Nemeroff: Just Traveling around and playing tourist! So far, I've been to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne (Germany), Glasgow, Cork and Galway (Republic of Ireland) I have done the Hostel and Couch surfing scenes and love them both!

AR: What made you decide to leave the city you were born and raised in? Was it a sudden realization, an impulse? Were you sick of Montreal and needed a change? Or have you always wanted to travel and live overseas?

JN: In the back of my Brainy mind I have always had an urge to travel and visit the world. I guess you could say I just woke up one day and realized that if I want to actually live my (these) dreams I would have to start now. Meaning: saving up for a whole year and planning out my budget. The wheres and whens; booking planes months in advance and so on…

Was I sick of Montreal? No. I love my home; it's just that I felt like I was in a very comfortable place, maybe too comfortable! I believe that one has to jump into a cold lake from time to time in order to really appreciate where they come from, and what they have.

AR: Was it a scary decision, choosing to leave everything and everyone you know? If yes, what motivated you to do it anyways? If not, how so?

JN: Scary? Yeah, just a little. Traveling always involves some form of unknown, which can be scary for some people. Back in Montreal I have a super kickass group of friends and leaving them behind was indeed challenging. But my want to explore and meet different people from other countries, learn more about places I only read about online and in the news, outweighed my fear!

AR: Tell me about couch surfing, what is it exactly?

JN: In the simplest of definitions: Couch surfing is sort of like Facebook for travelers. It is a network of people who host travelers in their own homes, or are travelling themselves and are looking to meet locals who can show them around their cities. It's a totally free organization where people simply participate in the joy of traveling and help each other out. You can end up saving a lot of money by couch surfing. Which is very handy for those on a tight budget, it helps them stretch their travel fund a lot further!

AR: Is couch surfing safe? How do you know that you won't end up sleeping on some psycho's couch? What has your couch surfing experience been like so far?

JN: My experiences so far have been nothing but positive! There is always the chance that your host may come on to you in an inappropriate way but the CS (couch surfing) website has a very good rating system. Everyone is encouraged to write a review of their host/guest. I do have a friend who did have an unfavorable encounter. That said, some people choose to surf only with members of their own sex i.e.: ladies with women hosts and guys with guy hosts. If you're careful and take the time to read the reviews, you can avoid potential problems. But in general it's a community of people who love to travel and are super nice! As much as you are going to stay at a "stranger's" house, you have to remember they too are receiving a "stranger" in their homes.

AR: Why did you choose to do a work study program in New Zealand?

JN: I'm completely Fond of Islands! Conveniently, New Zealand and Canada are both Commonwealth nations and have really good bilateral agreements for young people in regards to work-holiday visas. A work holiday visa is a work visa for young people for a given country. It allows you to stay for up to a year and work and travel freely during that period. The only restriction for the New Zealand work holiday visa is that I cannot take any permanent positions. The idea is that you can work and travel around the country, get to know the people and culture, but you can't live there indefinitely. For me New Zealand seems like a magnificent country with really cool and down to earth people. I'm looking forward to flying down there soon!

AR: What have you learned from your travels so far? Any bits of advice you can give us about packing, transportation, and food or meeting people in foreign countries...?

JN: Pack light! The less you bring the less you have to worry about and stress over. Also bring more money than you need! Unexpected things like cheap dorms being booked and you having to spend more currency on private rooms (in hostels) can happen. Traveling is no fun if you are always stressed about cash! When it comes to meeting people, it's a bit harder when traveling with a friend. I have been traveling all by myself most of the time. Back home I was more or less on the shy side of the force. But when alone in a foreign country you are faced with the reality of always being alone if you don't start saying hello and sparking up conversations with other travelers. So far I have yet to introduce myself to a complete stranger that I didn't end up hanging out or traveling with for an afternoon or a few days. It's amazing how easy it is to meet people when on the road. Travelers rock!

AR: What was the best advice you received in regards to travelling?

JN: Go with the flow! Too much planning is complete balls! The most fun I've had is on trips and destinations where I was just making up my itinerary day by day!

AR: What was the worst advice you received in regards to travelling?

JN: Take free drugs from homeless people.

AR: Are travel books helpful in any way or do they just take up luggage space?

JN: I did get a book for New Zealand but I sort of regret the purchase. They can come in handy, but most people have a smart phone and a Wi-Fi connection so it's so easier to do the research online nowadays. You can get reviews on accommodations, set up bookings etc., all with today's technology.

AR: Name a few things that you need and cannot live without during your travels.

JN:,, the Lonely Planet site.... That's pretty much all I use for my travels. However, the best way to get info on places is to ask a local where they like to go. That is how I ended up in the city of Galway, in Ireland. I was planning to only spend two nights there but ended up having so much fun I spent the majority of my Irish adventure in that crazy awesome party town! There is a population of 50k but they have just as many pubs as Montreal!!! The night scene there is off the flipping wall!

AR: Do you miss having a radio show? What do you miss about Montreal (if you miss anything at all)?

JN: At this point I do indeed miss my friends, but Montreal not so much. I'm only 1/5th through my planned travels so far and I love every minute of it! I do miss the ambiance of CJLO but I'm still producing my show on the go. Cough, cough “” Cough, cough; shameless plug It's crazy what one can do with an iPhone, basic audio mixing skills, and a laptop!

AR: What is a normal day like for you, now that you're a backpacker?

JN: Wake up, check out of a hostel, if I had a good time, check back in. Head towards the kitchen area, meet up with people from the night before, if they are still in the city. Meet new hostel travelers and get to know them a little, the person usually ends up hanging out with us for the day. Sometimes we do touristy stuff, or if I already soaked in enough of that, we just go out for some drinks. Sometimes we have dinner in a park (if the weather is good!), hobble back to my accommodations, repeat the next day!

AR: What has been your favourite travel destination so far and why?

JN: My favourite place has to be Ireland!! Hands down! So many cool and fun people live there, including lots of equally interesting travelers from around Europe and North America. Every night was drinking Olympics for me, for them it was just like any other night. How some of them got up for work the next day is beyond me! I would go back in a heartbeat! I'm actually already thinking of visiting again (after New Zealand) in a year's time!

AR: Below is the James Lipton questionnaire. Please answer the following simply and honestly!

What is your favourite word?


What is your least favourite word?


What turns you on?


What turns you off?


What sound or noise do you love?

Awkward-moment silence.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Awkward-moment silence when talking to a lady I'm interested in.

What is your favourite curse word?

Sugar tits.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Travel photographer.

What profession would you not like to do?

Anything that is a 9-5 Monday to Friday job.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Joshua, I'm retiring… Can you please take over for me?

AR: That's it Josh, thanks so much! Now for the final question, what are you ultimately hoping to get out of your travels?

JN: A better understanding of my place in the world, to better understand my world.