Travel Bug | 5 + 5 with Charlie Malmqvist

This weeks Travel Bug is the talented photographer Charlie Malmqvist! He has an unsaturated thirst for traveling the world with his backpack and experiencing new places through his camera. It all started that one day in high school when he and a friend called in sick for school and headed out for a 10-day adventure in China instead. We took the opportunity to ask him about his passion in life, so here you have him in 5 Long + 5 Short with Charlie Malmqvist! 


Charlie in Tigray, Ethiopia

5 Long

Where does your love for traveling come from?

When I was seventeen years old a friend and I decided to take the small little savings that we had and book a ticket to someplace really far away. The pin landed on China. We called in sick to high school and off we went to Shanghai for a ten-day spontaneous adventure. I remember standing by the edge of the Huangpu River, looking at the impressive glowing skyline of the city. In that moment I think I fell in love with traveling, I knew that I wanted to see and experience more of this planet and that there’s no time to waste in a world as beautiful as this. When I graduated from high school I got my backpack and bought a one-way ticket to Asia. I explored Cambodia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Tibet and ended up after almost a year as a dusty backpacker in Shanghai again, this time for the impressive world expo 2010.


Sri Lanka


Grand Canyon, USA

What triggered you to actually get out and explore the world with your camera?

After China it was time to start earning some money again and I went to Sydney, Australia and got a job as a tourist and event photographer at the Sydney Opera House. I had the time of my life running around meeting people from all over the world and taking pictures of them. I think my passion for photography really grew from that, because from that moment on, I never went anywhere without my camera. After Australia I traveled to South America, North America, Africa and back to Asia. The camera became my tool of communication and it has taken me to some epic places and helped me meet some extraordinary people.


Bylakuppe, India


Bagan, Myanmar

What is it that you love the most about traveling and capturing moments?

My favorite feeling is to wake up in the morning and have absolutely nothing planned for the future. That gives me the opportunity to enjoy everyday on the road as it comes and being a firsthand witness to the people and places I discover along the way. For me travel has never been about crossing things off a list and going to as many countries as possible. It’s been about immersing myself in the culture and getting a perspective from the local point of view. But it’s not what I expect to find there that interests me and keeps me going—it’s what I don’t expect to find, and that’s what I love to capture. My camera is a great ticket to people’s homes, feelings and life stories and I try to embrace it as much as I can, by capturing moments, spreading a bit of happiness and sometimes giving a person their first ever portrait.


Avenue of Baobabs, Morondova, Madagascar


Illakaka, Madagascar

Favorite destination in the world and why?

I get this question a lot and I tend to tell people a different place every time. It is hard to pick a certain destination that’s my absolute favorite one. But a country that is very close to my heart is Madagascar. It is a magic, undiscovered place where adventure is waiting behind every corner. In Madagascar it’s all about the journey and getting from one place to another could be a real challenge. With very few paved roads around the country, you have to rely on everything from wooden sailboats to traditional zebu-carts to get around and you’ll be spending a lot of time bouncing up and down to local music in an infamous “taxi-brousse”, the Malagasy version of public transportation. But the reward is beyond amazing, with nature and wildlife like no place else on earth, dense rainforests with playful lemurs in the green canopies, scuba diving in turquoise waters or driving a motorbike through the Avenue of Baobab trees. Madagascar is a country that will leave you amazed and hungry for more.


Belo Sur Mer, Madagascar


Anakao, Madagascar

Where are you at the moment and what does the future hold?

Right now I’m based in San Diego, California. I’m here taking a few classes in graphic design and event production while working on my photography portfolio and my travel brand East by West. I started East by West about a year ago as a celebration to the traveling lifestyle with unique accessories with my photographs from around the world printed on them. Hopefully soon I’ll be back off the beaten path with my backpack, ready to discover, learn, photograph and live.


5 Short

Adventure or Relaxing

Eating out or A home cooked meal

Sightseeing or People watching

Having plans or Being spontaneous

After beach or After ski


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Check out Charlie’s website here!

His Instagram here!

And if you’re interested in his brand East by West visit the website HERE and check out the Instagram account HERE!


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If you like these type of posts you should definitely check out our previous Travel Bugs Cilla, Malin, Christina and Terry!


Elin Ingelsten
Chooses a hot, tropical and sunny holiday over a snowy one every day. Loves to stroll around in lively big cities and dreams about experiencing the pulsating vibes of all the big cities in the world.