Category Archives: Inspiring Travelers

Agness at the rice terraces in Banaue, the Philippines

Travel Inspiration: Thoughts from Agness Walewinder

Agness at the rice terraces in Banaue, the PhilippinesToday’s interview features Agness, a long-term traveler committed to showing travelers that sticking to a tight budget is possible in most regions of the world. She’s a unique voice in the space as a Polish travel blogger, and she shares her travels and the blog with her best friend Cez. I am pleased to have her here this week to answer our five questions!

1) What do you do?

We travel the world for less than $25 a day while sharing some budget tips on eTramping – our travel website. We wake up in different countries each month, try new things every day, teach English on the road and keep digging into local delicacies.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

The fear of not having enough money. We both always thought that travelling was a luxury only rich people could afford. As it turned out, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although we were never supported financially by none of our family members and we did not have possessions either, we decided to go travelling and started working on the road. During the past 3 years we were English teachers in China which allowed us to save up to $18.000 a year still travelling around China and Asia, web designers in Cambodia and Social Media advisors in Thailand.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

At this moment, we are excited about spending summer with our friends and family members in Europe. It’s been over one year since we saw them. We are also planning on visiting Portugal, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands and writing budget guides to some of the most interesting European cities.

Manila, Philippines

4) What’s next for you?

At the moment, we are thinking of writing our next e-Book in which we will share our knowledge and experience on how to be a successful blogger and travel the world for less than $25. We will start working on it next month and we hope it will be published at the end of this year (fingers crossed).

We have already published one e-Book titled Add Your Brick to the Great Wall: Experience-based Advice for China from Expats. It is addressed to anyone who is interested in teaching English and travelling across China and contains valuable tips and in-depth information on how to apply for a job and your working visa, how to adapt to a new environment after your arrival and where to travel.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

We are passionate about helping others discover China and follow our footsteps. There are many people out there who would love to teach English , travel and live like locals in the Land of Dragons, but they still face many obstacles they need to overcome before deciding to leave their comfort zone and start new (adventurous) life they always dreamed about. We love to give people first-hand and recent experiences and tips on Chinese education system, working conditions and  living standards, so they can see it’s much easier than they think.

A big thanks to Agness for sharing her successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about her recent travels, you can find her:

On Twitter
eTramping travel blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, ALittleAdrift.com.

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Travel Inspiration: Thoughts from Anna Lysakowska

Today I have Anna Lysakowska here to talk about his travels, work and passions. Anna started traveling and blogging in 2010 and shares her journey on her site, Anna Everywhere, about traveling the world as well as living as an expat.

1) What do you do?

Good question. I’m working at a marketing company as a content manager and I’m also a freelance translator. In my free time, I do pole fitness, dance, and of course, I travel. I’d call myself a working traveler with a base because I always make time to travel. You can find out more about my way of traveling in this section: http://annaeverywhere.com/why-the-blog.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

I suppose my fear is that I’ll never be able to stop. A few years ago my old friends started buying houses, getting engaged, and having kids. I knew I couldn’t do it because I might want to live somewhere else. I somehow felt addicted to traveling and although my parents gave up on the idea of me ever settling down, at the moment I live with my boyfriend in the Netherlands.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m going to revisit California in May, this time with my boyfriend. It’s been 3 years since the last time I visited the West Coast so it’ll definitely be nice to meet my old friends and eat awesome seafood again.

4) What’s next for you?

Since as mentioned before I’ve decided to work full-time at Flipit, I cannot plan my trips immediately. However, I’m already organizing the logistics for my big trip at the end of the year: certain parts of Asia and further exploration of the Middle East. I chose these destinations, because it’s not very touristic and I loved the places I’ve already visited – Israel, Qatar and Turkey.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

After my trip to Zimbabwe as a volunteer, I became passionate about volunteering in general, especially when it involves wildlife conservation. It’s a great way to meet interesting people and help support worthy causes you are interested in. I can see how the idea of volunteering often scares people, due to the fee they usually have to pay in order to participate. It seems ridiculous to them that apart from working they also need to pay. However, if you research and find honest and accredited volunteering agencies and programs, this fee goes a long way towards helping the cause you are interested in supporting.

A big thanks to Anna for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about her recent travels, you can find her via her OHW profile.

Anna on Twitter
Anna Everywhere travel blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, ALittleAdrift.com.

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Travel Inspiration: Thoughts from Andrea Nicholas

Today I have Andrea Nicholas here to talk about her travels, work and passions. Andrea has been one of our earliest globetrotters utilizing Oh Hey World, and I’m as excited as you to learn a bit more about her…and hope to meet her in person at some on the travel trail.

1) What do you do?

andrea nicholasCurrently, I’m buying one way tickets around Europe and just living moment by moment! For the past two and a half months, I’ve been living in Switzerland and nannying for a lovely family here. I intend to keep traveling around, doing exchange work, teaching English, and nannying.

2) Why do you do what you do?

The summer before last, I realized that I was living “in” the future. Essentially, I had this idea built up in my head that whenever I hit a certain point, my life would really begin. A lot of inner-work and great conversations helped me realize that the Present moment is the place to be! The thing is, we’ll never be satisfied with reaching _____, because there will always be something else in the future that we crave.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Each and every moment! Especially with the traveling that I’m doing, it’s really easy to build future experiences up. Sometimes, I find myself getting more excited about a upcoming event than whatever I’m doing in the moment. Whenever this happens, I just have to center myself and find contentment in the Now.

4) What’s next for you?

I haven’t officially announced it yet, but now is as good of a time as any – I’m going to Cyprus! For three months, I’ll be living at Green Rays of Light Garden. GROL garden is an organic garden with a strong emphasis on permaculture and is in the midst of developing a holistic community. People there enjoy meditation, yoga, and living at a high-vibrational state. I am incredibly excited spend time there and know I will learn so much about both mother earth and myself. (Also, living in the Mediterranean doesn’t exactly sound bad!)

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

A cause I’m very passionate about is the promotion of sustainable living. This is one of the reasons I’m so looking forward to my time in Cyprus. While I’ve had small gardens in the past, I’m going to be learning a lot about creating and maintaining sustainable food sources. If we all do our part to reduce our “footprints,” we can do so much to help our planet get back to its natural state.

A big thanks to Andrea for sharing her successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Andrea’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Andrea on Twitter
Adventurous Andrea


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Where, Oh Where are the Top 50 Applicants for Jauntaroo’s Chief World Explorer?

World Map

I mentioned Jauntaroo’s Jaunt Around the World competition last month. It’s still going (they’ve narrowed it down to 50), and I’m stoked that my friend Annie Cheng made  the cut(VOTE for her HERE).

Since I’m inherently curious, I got to wondering where all these various applicants are? Annie and Cassidy are in Seattle (have to be logged in to OHW to view those links) – are any of the others? How many different countries are accounted for? Is there anyone in Thailand? China? Brazil? Kenya?

If you applied to be their Chief World Explorer – please, join the community page and express your love for Jauntaroo!

Note: To use the community page, you’ll have to sign into Oh Hey World, check-in to a city, and THEN visit the Jauntaroo community page. We’re currently working through the UI/UX/Design – we’ll end up with an intuitive flow focused on communities and not the check-in…but we’re not there yet.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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An Interview with Adventure Traveler Richard Bangs

Today I have Richard Bangs here to talk about his travels, work and lifelong passion for adventure travel. When you talk about lifelong travelers, there are few more seasoned than Richard….

Below is a bit more about him, from his own mouth.

1) You have been called the father of modern adventure travel. How would you identify contemporary adventure travel?

richard bangsIt really should be the “bastard child of adventure travel.” The real fathers are the mythopoetics a generation before me. Once a province of the improbable, “adventure travel” was something seen in the pages of National Geographic, not available to the average Jane or Joe. The only adventure travel on Main Street was when a well-planned vacation went wrong. Then the likes of Edmund Hillary, Tensing Norgay, Jacques Cousteau, Thor Heyerdahl and others of that ilk changed it all by showing it was possible, accessible, and with enough passion, practice and will, it could be undertaken, and relished. I was a beneficiary of these pioneers, and enjoyed the confluence of airline deregulation, political borders smoking away, and a period of relative affluence which allowed a new generation to seek and delight in adventure travel. I started Sobek at this magical intersection, and, with alacrity, began to chronicle our explorations. What a magnificent ride it has been.

What, then, is contemporary adventure travel? It has a broad sweep, as it really includes any experience that stretches the legs, the arms, the spirit, the mind in the course of a journey. Rather than horizontal tourism, in which the traveller often returns burned and spent, this is dynamic, interactive travel, with forward momentum, returning the traveller fitter and with a deeper understanding of the world and ourselves. So, that means anything from an extreme climb to a safari to a Himalayan trek to a cruise to the Galapagos to a hike down the local creek, to, dare I say, a stimulating travel read on a website or in a book.

2) What was your first adventure you experienced?

Here’s a story of my first adventure: My father never really cared much for the outdoors. He preferred a cozy chair and a fat book, a night at the movies, maybe a ball game on TV, certainly restaurant food. But one weekend when I was a small boy he took me camping. I don’t remember where he took me, but it was by a river, a swift-flowing stream, clear and crisp. I have a faint memory now that my dad had a difficult time setting up the tent, but somehow worked it out and he was proud of the task. With some soda pop and our fishing poles, we went down to the river to have one of those seminal father-son bonding experiences.

The air told me first that we were someplace special. It whooshed, delivering the cool message of a fast river on a hot summer day. Then a muffled sound came from behind, back at camp, and we turned around and could see through the trees that the tent had collapsed. My dad said something under his breath and started up the hill, then turned back to me and said, “Don’t go in the river!”

They were the wrong words.

At first I put my hand in the water to swish it around and was fascinated by the vitality, the power that coursed through my arm, into my chest, and up into my brain. I looked in the middle of the stream, where tiny waves burst into a million gems and then disappeared. It was magic, pure magic. I stepped into the river to my waist and felt the water wrap around and hug me and then tug at me like a dog pulling a blanket. Another step and the water reached my chest and pulled me down wholly into its vigorous embrace. I was being washed downstream.

Effortlessly, the current was carrying me away from confinement, toward new and unknown adventures. I looked down and watched as a color wheel of pebbles passed beneath me like a cascade of hard candy. After a few seconds I kicked my way to shore perhaps a hundred yards downstream. When I crawled back to land I had changed. My little trip down the river had been the most exhilarating experience of my life. I felt charged with energy, giddy, cleansed, and fresh, more alive than I could remember. I practically skipped back to the fishing poles and sat down with a whole new attitude, and secret.

When my father came back, he never noticed anything different. And I didn’t volunteer anything. The August sun had dried my shorts and hair, and I was holding my pole as though it had grown as an extension of my arm since he left. Only my smile was different—larger, knowing. I grew in that little trip, like corn in the night.

3) Which adventure has marked you the most?

It was the attempt to make the first descent of the Baro River in Ethiopia. A young man drowned, and it haunted me to the degree I almost left the field. But then I recognized a hard truth…that it is better to go forward and be in the ring and perhaps suffer the consequences than to never step at all and die on the inside.

In Edmund Burke’s 1757 essay, “Of the Sublime and Beautiful,” he posits that terror

is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.

If there is a common element to the code of adventure it is the frisson that comes from touching the maw. At the moment of plunge into a giant rapid we are febrile but also unlocked in a way that never happens in the comfort zone, so that the slightest tap makes us shiver to the bottom of our beings.

In Hemingway’s classic story, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, a milquetoast of a man finds an instant of bliss as he fearlessly (and fatally) faces a charging buffalo. I would like to believe that the day of the drowning there allowed a lifetime deep and rich and connected, if only for a flash, and that it was better than a dull and deadly senectitude.

4) How many hours do you sleep per night? And how many hours are you thinking about a new adventure? What drives you?

Sleep? I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

I’d rather do adventure than think about it; but then again, there is adventure in the conceiving and planning, so perhaps the answer is 25 hours.

What drives me? A Land Rover or a Prius, depending on the destination.

5) You have written over 19 books, which one has been the most challenging one to complete and why?

Books aren’t really challenging; rather they are chances to explore beyond the physical experience, hopefully unearthing some measure of meaning. I find great joy in these flights of examination…perhaps a kind of therapy. Having said that, I would guess my favorite tome is The Lost River, as it is the most personal, and a tribute to family, friends and the merits of terror.

6) Tell us about how you founded the first multi-national river running company and leading first descents of 35 rivers across the world. Which river did you like the most?

I started my career in my late teens as a river guide on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Then, I decided to take what I learned to Ethiopia, to make the first descents of a number of rivers that fall off the Abyssinian Plateau, including the Omo and the Blue Nile. We called our little adventure Sobek Expeditions, after the ancient crocodile god worshiped along the Nile, hoping he might look kindly upon us and grant us safe passage. For the most part, it worked, and we went on to explore wild rivers around the world, from the Yangtze to the Zambezi to the Euphrates to many others. Which is a favourite? That’s like asking a Dad his favourite child….they are all different, and all wonderful and talented.

7) You have proactively been promoting adventure travel on the Internet, how do you see the future of communicating travel online?

With its power to break the tyranny of geography, to allow people anywhere in the world to virtually travel to wild places through the portals of their screens, and its capacity for information exchange and communications, the Internet can be a more effective tool than anything yet devised to preserve the wilderness. The ledger is long of wilderness areas gone down because there wasn’t a constituency to do battle. Arizona’s and Utah’s Glen Canyon, entombed beneath one of the largest artificial lakes in the world, is the poster child. A basic problem is that wilderness areas are hard to get to, and the numbers who see them, experience them, fall in love with them, are too often too small to make a difference. That’s where the Net could be the instrument of awareness, appreciation and activism that no oversized nature book ever could. For the first time we can showcase the beauty and magic of a wild place to a global audience, and millions can participate in a journey through it, without ever breaking a branch or stepping on cryptobiotic soil. To a degree National Geographic has done this for over a century; and Discovery and others have done this on television and video. But those were passive receiver experiences, where a publisher, editor or producer added his or her own vision to the primary experience, passing it along to a quiescent audience. Now, for the first time, a worldwide audience can receive the data unfiltered from the primary reporter, in all its raw and brutal honesty. And members of that same audience can become players, become active on some levels, participating in the experience by asking questions, suggesting ideas, and sharing information.

It is the most powerful intercommunications tool yet, one that tears down the media power towers, erases the information filters of middlemen, and allows anyone to jump into the thick of things and asseverate a voice and opinion. I’m convinced that when the time comes for a call to action to stop the compromising of sacred and magic places, the patronage for preservation will be that much greater for the Web. A few years ago we lost a fight to save Chile’s crown jewel of a wild river, the Bio-Bio, from the concrete slug of a private big dam; but then only a few thousand had ever seen the river. Now more people than visit all the parks in the world, regardless of wallet size, physical abilities, age or weight, can be introduced to a far-away wilderness in a more immediate way, and that means that many more who can fall in love with a wild place, grasp its issues, and perhaps lend a hand when it needs many.

8) Which social media platform do you think will be the most influential long term?

Life is larger than 140.

www.ohheyworld.com

and

www.youtube.com/richardbangs

9) What is your next adventure?

The country that doesn’t exist: Somaliland

Come join me!

10) Is there a place you haven’t been yet and can’t wait to go?

Everywhere, and then some.

A big thanks to Richard for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Richard’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Richard on Twitter and RichardBangs.com


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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malacca malaysia

Travel Inspiration: Thoughts from Peter Parkorr

malacca malaysiaToday I have Peter Parkorr here to talk about his travels, work and passions. I first met Peter at a travel conference in Girona, Spain. I have to call him out here for his shenanigans using photoshop to gently poke fun at situations and life. He takes that same approach on his travel blog, Travel Unmasked. He’s a lot of fun on Twitter, and I now am happy to call him a friend.  

1) What do you do?

I’m a New Media Marketer, a Freelance Content Creator, and an Inventor of Obscure Impressive Titles. Sorry, I’m joking, but it’s tricky to give one name to the things I do, like many bloggers find. I think my answers below illustrate things better, but basically I blog, photograph, and make video for the web at Travel Unmasked while I travel too. And increasingly I also help people devise ways to use content and social media for their businesses.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

That was my own attitude and outlook. Specifically, not trusting what I really wanted. I’ve always traveled a lot since I was born, thanks to having family dotted across the globe, and so in my adult life I wasn’t interested in traveling as much as living in strange and wonderful places. Before I went to university I knew that I wanted to live abroad, learn languages, and experience other cultures. The obstacle was that I didn’t really know how to achieve that. I spent a long time trying to construct a career that would give me those things. But that never worked out, because it was too indirect an aim for me. If I knew then what I do now, I would advise myself to just go to the place I want to start first, and work out the details later. That might sound flippant, but I should have trusted that I could find work, a place to stay, people to be friends with, and all the other things it would entail. It’s entirely doable, but I was trying to engineer it remotely, and got stuck in the mindset that I needed to travel with my career or I might never achieve anything. It’s a problem I’ve recognized many people have; that because the end of the path I really wanted to take wasn’t visible from the outset, I couldn’t bring myself to take it. It’s normal to find your way along a path even if you can’t see the finish though. You have to trust yourself, and head in the right direction.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Making progress down my current path! I started to really try and understand how I could find self-employment on the internet in mid-summer 2011. In the autumn of that year I started my first blog to document what I learn along the way, and to share other things I’ve learnt in my time. I wasn’t early to the social media or blogging parties, but I’m early enough and have devoted enough time to it (whilst also traveling a fair bit) that I’m able to use my knowledge and skills to earn my way now. My experimental lifestyle is becoming the business I always wanted to run, which is exciting. I best not dwell on it too much or I’m liable to flip out and celebrate before the finish line :)

4) What’s next for you?

Loadsa stuff thankfully! My diary is filling up, and my head is swimming, in the best way possible. I’m seeing some of the bloggers I call friends at the TBEX and WTM London events in the next month, and working on two different blogging projects; one close to home and the other quite literally on the other side of the world. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to go to a tropical island to make a promotional video for an online film festival. None of the last three items is finalized, but fingers-crossed and nose to the grindstone at Parkorr HQ! I also have lots of travel videos to catch up on and publish to my Youtube channel which will be a focus for my future trips.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I like to support various charities when I can afford to, and particularly large well-established charities that work across borders. In the past I’ve donated to appeals from the Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK which they tend to open with a target sum in mind to achieve specific humanitarian goals. Recently, I’ve been following the work of Avaaz who are more of a political organisation, working to highlight issues and defend human rights in many different situations. The best thing about Avaaz is that often all their campaign wants from me is to add my support to a petition and they’re very smart about giving their supporters tools to spread the message and increase impact. For instance, they have a campaign to support women and girls in Afghanistan from domestic abuse, by raising awareness of a controversial changing of the law there – and I used information from their campaign to send an email to Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, asking him to reconsider. Well worth having a look at.

A big thanks to Peter for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Peter’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Peter on Twitter
Travel Unmasked travel blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

 

Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, ALittleAdrift.com.

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Travel Inspiration: Thoughts from Lauren Juliff

Lauren has mastered something the vast majority of the world has mastered too — how NOT to travel. Whereas most people master it by literally NOT traveling…anywhere. Lauren has mastered how not to travel for another reason entirely — somehow, someway, crazy things happen to her at every turn. I first met Lauren while I was in Chiang Mai early last year. While I didn’t get to know her that well in Thailand, partly because she is shy around people she doesn’t know well (as am I), I’ve had the good fortune to talk in more depth over drinks with both Dave (we did an interview with him, too) and Lauren in Seattle, and again in Portland over the past few months – and got to know her a bit better. Her curiosity for the world is fully apparent through her writing and talking to her about her journeys.

lauren juliff

Read on to hear more straight from her own voice…

1) What do you do?

I’m a physicist turned full-time traveller, blogger, freelance writer and editor.
In 2011, I left England on a one-way ticket with the intention of spending a year travelling around the world. It took just a couple of months for me to realise that I wanted to pursue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. It’s been just over two years and I’ve never been happier.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

For much of my teenage-to-adult life I’ve suffered from anxiety in one form or another. It was at its most debilitating around seven years ago where, for an entire year, I was unable to leave my apartment, couldn’t keep a job or go to lectures, destroyed a relationship, lived on one apple a day and had panic attacks on an hourly basis. I was out of control, dangerously thin, and my life was a mess.
Turning it around was one of the hardest things I’ve done and I still can’t believe I’ve somehow managed to morph from the girl who couldn’t step outside without having a panic attack to someone who can now travel around the world — occasionally even fearlessly!
Travel has actually been fantastic for my anxiety, and I’ve had fewer than ten panic attacks during the two years I’ve been on the road. Being completely in control of every aspect of my life has definitely had a calming effect.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m writing a book! Over the past two years I’ve had some of the most ridiculous travel experiences:
In Bali, I was attacked by monkeys and fell off a bicycle into a rice paddy.
In Cambodia, I fell over, spraining my knee and infecting my leg, was attacked by jellyfish, had an allergic reaction to some sandfly bites, had a fish swim into my bikini bottoms and poured a margarita over my laptop — all within the space of a week.
In Laos, I had a woman die on the boat I was on, and accidentally ate cockroaches.
In Thailand, I was, erm, violated during a massage, abandoned at the Burmese border by my bus, had the brakes on my scooter fail as I was riding down a mountain and ended up on a sinking boat in the middle of the ocean.
The list goes on…
I’ve recently decided to compile all of these incidents into one big guide to how not to travel the world.

4) What’s next for you?

I’ve just moved to Sayultia, in Mexico, where my only plan is to live cheaply on the beach with good food, sunsets and lots of writing. This is my first time in Latin America and I’m aiming to spend just over a year working my way down towards the bottom of South America.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Educating and helping others who are struggling with anxiety. I gained control of my anxiety without the help of medication or therapy and so I now actively participate in online communities and on health blogs to share my techniques and success story. So many people think that the only way out is to throw money at pills and therapists so I love to share the alternative route that can often be just as successful.

A big thanks to Lauren for sharing her successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Lauren’s recent travels, you can find her on her OHW profile.

Lauren on Twitter
Never Ending Footsteps travel blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Jonny Blair

Jonny Blair at Whalers Bay - AntarcticaJonny has mastered a travel feat that even experienced travelers cannot always boast, he has stepped foot on all seven continents. His story begins in Northern Ireland but he has spent the past several years traveling around the world, blogging, and sharing ways others can travel more. 

1) What do you do?

I travel the world! I class myself as a perpetual traveller these days. By leaving my hometown (Bangor, Northern Ireland) 10 years ago I ended up on a journey round the globe. I have now visited almost 500 towns and cities, within 75 countries, across all seven continents, you can see my “Where I’ve Been” page for more information. Along the way I have worked in about 50 different jobs, mostly related to bars, hotels and farms, my working career page gives a good insight into the jobs I’ve had down the years. However these days I’m doing a lot of online work. As well as my own travel blog, I also write for about 5 or 6 other sites and work as an itinerary provider and travel expert. However when asked “what do you do?” I normally just say “I travel the world!”

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

I haven’t really had any obstacles or hurdles, we are in control of our own lives so if we want something enough, we will get it. I believe in that. The hardest part was making the first step – my decision to move away from my hometown. After that, travelling has become routine and rather easy to organise. It’s a case of getting a job, earning money and then choosing where to go next.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Going backpacking properly with my girlfriend around the Middle East. I’ve covered all 7 continents but the Middle East is a big gap on my travel map. I’ve only ever had a day in Doha so far so I’m off to put things right. Aside from that I’ve started on a lot of new online projects all through the strength of my travel blog. So work-wise, I’m pretty excited about all that and I’m not getting a moment’s rest at all trying to fit it in!

4) What’s next for you?

I’m heading to North Korea for a short trip then straight to the Middle East. I’ve started writing for a UK travel site (Essential Travel) and also for Asia Rooms so work-wise it’s been pretty cool. It’s the first time I’ll be relying on the internet when I travel as well as my blog has built momentum in the last year and I get daily e-mails from other bloggers, advertisers, travel companies and backpackers so I need to be constantly on the ball. I’ve started compiling itineraries for an online travel site (soon to be Smart Phone App) so that’s pretty fun. My second travel site, Crossing World Borders is up and running now and I will be running that along with some fellow travel buddies.

Aside from this I was recently in Africa visiting an orphanage and a primary school and have been invited back next year to work and help out, so I’ve a lot of projects in mind, just a case of organising my travel and work lifestyle around them!

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

To be honest, away from travel it’s football. I grew up playing and watching football. It’s all I did. As a kid I wanted to be a professional footballer. That was never going to happen though. These days I love going to football stadiums on my travels. Back in my home country of Northern Ireland we have had some sectarian problems in football down the years and for a few years I ran a supporters club and a football fanzine in attempts to eradicate the hatred. If I ever find time away from my travels, I’d love to get back into helping out with football in the community. More passionately I support three football teams and I’d love to see them get success. Northern Ireland in a World Cup would be nice to see as would either of my club teams, Glentoran or Bournemouth doing well on the bigger stage. Be it European football for Glentoran or an FA Cup scalp/flirt with the Premier League for AFC Bournemouth. I still write for the matchday magazine in Belfast for Glentoran. However most of my passion these days goes into Don’t Stop Living.

A big thanks to Jonny for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Jonny’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Jonny on Twitter and Facebook
Don’t Stop Living travel blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, ALittleAdrift.com.

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Kristin Henning in the Warsaw Caves

Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Kristin Henning

Kristin Henning in the Warsaw CavesKristin Henning is with us this week, and she is an enthusiastic supporter of OHW’s beta platform and I have loved watching her check in all over the world these past few months.

Kristin set off three years ago with her husband to show that travel after 50 is possible, and she and her husband are on a long-term journey to interesting places with a focus on outdoors adventures and nature. Let’s take a look at what she has been up to and what has helped her travel these past years.

1) What do you do?

These days I’m a full-time traveler and writer. Before this, I was involved in publishing in Minneapolis and St. Paul, including a weekly alternative newspaper, a monthly parenting magazine, a monthly arts and culture magazine, and several web sites. My job was mostly marketing and advertising sales to support the publications.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

Agreeing with my husband, Tom Bartel, when the time was right was the biggest hurdle. He wanted to take off in the ‘90s when we sold the weekly paper, but I was reluctant to go freewheeling with two kids in middle school. We finally got on the same page three years ago when we sold our house.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m continually amazed at how much more I want to travel and how much more I want to see. We’re not tired of this. And I love that it brings physical activity into our lives.

4) What’s next for you?

We are working on a couple of ‘firsts.’ This fall we will visit Hawaii and Japan, both for the first time. And we are putting together ideas with G Adventures for our first Travel Past 50 led trip.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

The Nature Conservancy and reforestation programs. We’re just not making a lot of new undeveloped land these days, so I love to see land of any kind protected or restored to its natural state. My favorite apps help me identify birds and plants.

A thank you to Kristin for taking the time to share her current projects and causes. If you’d like to connect or find out more about Kristin’s recent travels, you can find her on her OHW profile.

Kristin on Twitter and Facebook
Travel Past 50
HMS Henning travel blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot me an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, ALittleAdrift.com.

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John Bardos

Travel Inspiration: An Interview with John Bardos

Today, I’m chatting with John Bardos — someone I met while in Chiang Mai early last year. In addition to travel, he’s big on social impact and leaving this world a better place, so we share a lot of common ground in that regard. Here’s a bit more about him, from his own mouth…

1) What do you do?

John BardosI blog at JetSetCitizen.com and run a teach English abroad portal at YouCanTeachEnglish.com, but I also work on non-profit projects like the UnconferenceforSocialGood.com and ABCfrog.org. Basically, I run several websites and volunteer for various projects around the world.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

I think the developed world has a responsibility to share our good fortune and abundant wealth with the entire planet. There are still almost 2 billion people that live on less than $2 per day. I think it’s an abomination that developed countries have gotten so rich, while so many go without basic food and water. We have the resources to eradicate abject poverty, we just need the will.

I think a big part of that will be to increase global awareness. While air travel is incredibly polluting, I also think it’s important for more people to live in other countries, particularly the poorest regions of the world.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m pretty excited about the Unconference for Social Good. I’ve been organizing meetups to try to get people to discuss ways to make the world better. I would love these unconferences to spread to more cities around the world.

4) What’s next for you?

My last unconference was postponed due to the state of emergency in Calgary from the recent flooding, it is now rescheduled for September 28th.

I’m also working on a social enterprise that I think has the potential to raise a lot of money for charities around the world and improve global awareness. I’m working to make that a reality now.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I really like CharityWater.org. Providing clean drinking water to everyone on the planet is such a basic and inexpensive intervention that it’s hard to top in terms of improving the wellbeing of the poorest people in the world.

I don’t think there is any organization that is run more effectively than CharityWater.org. Everything they do is absolutely brilliant, from branding to fund raising to accountability. This is a great cause to help.

A big thanks to John for sharing his successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about John’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

John on Twitter and Facebook
The JetSetCitizen.com blog


We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot Shannon an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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