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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: 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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Dave Dean interview

Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Dave Dean

Dave Dean interview

Dave Dean is an inspiration on multiple levels because he overcame some obstacles to travel over the years, he juggled his travels with co-founding a successful travel technology site, and he’s a generally a good guy keen to give back in interesting ways. Dave is a friend and one of my earliest memories from one of my first meetings with Dave was the huge grin on his face as he stepped into the room decked out in a checkered girl’s school dress.

I’ll leave you hanging there about why exactly Dave walked around in a school dress and you’ll have to read on to find out the cause he supports and what he’s working on right now.

1) What do you do?

After trying to juggle a travel addiction and a corporate IT career for over a decade, a couple of years ago I decided that one of those things had to permanently give. Since then, I’ve been living out of a backpack and travelling full-time, building online businesses and slowly making my way around the world.

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

The first time I left to travel, back in 1998, the hardest part was money – I was straight out of university and didn’t have much of it, and the exchange rate to almost any other currency was terrible! I took various part-time jobs, sold everything I had and left for the UK with a backpack and a suitcase, hoping to stay with relatives, get a job and start earning in pounds rather than New Zealand dollars as soon as possible. I achieved that goal with under a hundred pounds left in my bank account …

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Business-wise, it’s my travel technology site,  Too Many Adapters. After 18 months of slow growth it has finally started to gain some real attention recently, resulting in more readers, involvement with some large global travel and tech brands, and even a little more money. Long may that last!

4) What’s next for you?

After finishing up three months in the US with a southern road trip, I’ll be heading to Mexico and Central America for the first time in September with the intention of staying for six months or more. Great weather, food and people … and hopefully even learning some passable Spanish. What’s not to like?

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

Do it in a Dress is a wonderful cause that I became involved with a couple of years ago. The basic idea is to raise money by doing something – the more outlandish the better – in a girl’s school uniform, with the aim of putting girls through school in Sierra Leone. So far I’ve run a half marathon, jumped off a bridge and sailed a yacht for two weeks in that sexy blue number. A quarter of a million dollars was raised last year, and the campaign has just started again for 2013. Here’s hoping for another highly successful year, and more girls back in school in west Africa.

Dave, thank you so much for sharing a bit about your current projects and you have me curious about what shenanigans you’ll come up with for fundraising this year! If you’d like to connect or find out more about Dave’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Dave on Twitter and Facebook
The Too Many Adapters blog
His personal blog, What’s Dave Doing


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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Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Monica McCarthy

McCarthy_Monica_interviewI’m chatting with one of my favorite travelers this week and her story is one that really illustrates the different paths you can take in life and still find ways to make travel a reality for you. Monica runs a successful business but also finds the time to travel through places like Asia and most recently to the Dominican Republic.

1) What do you do?

Let’s see… I’m a NYC-based actor and Los Angeles transplant. I took a hiatus for a bit during which time I renewed my passport and sense of wanderlust. Upon returning the Great White Way I founded a boutique web video production company (Show & Tell Stories Productions) for start-ups, small businesses and anyone looking to share their stories on camera.

So these days I guess you could say I direct, produce, write and speak about the importance of creative expression, while traveling as much as possible.

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

My biggest obstacle to traveling was that I was so scared of missing out on directing and acting work back home. I’m not interested in having a career built on online products and services, so this presents quite a challenge! Also, I felt I couldn’t “justify” spending the money on something that wasn’t related to furthering my career.

I guess I overcame my perceived obstacle to traveling by making it as much of a priority as my career and by putting other goals on the back-burner until I could find a way to do both. I’m working towards a travel-centric lifestyle and I have to accept that sometimes that means sacrificing availability for auditions and gigs, and sometimes that means sacrificing the ability to jump on a plane whenever I want. But the compromise is well worth it.

In terms of how I took steps towards increasing my frequency of travel, I started with quick, easy trips (like the train to Montreal or a long weekend in Madrid) before embarking on “bigger” trips like three months in Southeast Asia or spending time in one of my “bucket list” countries like India. Traveling, especially solo, can take some getting used to at first, but it quickly becomes addicting!

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Hmmm so much! I’m excited to explore the value of creative expression from a global perspective. I’m excited to marvel more and worry less. I’m excited about creating more original content. I’m excited about all the ways that technology is making it easier and easier to discover and share stories.

4) What’s next for you?

I’m in one of those intersections of life where the possibilities feel wide open! In addition to developing upcoming video projects for clients, I have some personal projects coming up like:

Writing a short film that would love to see come to life on the big screen. In some ways it’s a love letter to NYC and the wonderful melting pot of culture that it really is.

Having recently completed a daily iPhone video challenge, I’m looking forward to creating online video content of my own… just not every day!

Training for my first marathon. (Eek!)

Visiting my parents in their new home in Maui.

And of course, international travel! I’m currently looking into a shorter trip in the fall to either South America or Eastern Europe and then possibly Australia for the winter.

I’m also developing workshops for people interested in creating more video content and for those looking to ramp up their public speaking skills. If either of those topics are of interest, I invite you to join the Show & Tell community to be the first to do know when the details are announced.

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

This is actually very timely for me as I’ve been pondering more and more what cause, philanthropic or otherwise, I’d like to become more involved with. In general terms I’d say I’m passionate about learning the stories of people with circumstances and perspectives that vary greatly from my own. Freedom of expression is also something I care deeply about and I’d like to explore the impact on people and societies where those freedoms have been taken away. If you know of any organizations that fit the bill, please send them my way at monicanyla {at} gmail {dot} com.

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

Monica on Twitter and Facebook
The Show & Tell Stories 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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Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Matt Barby

Matthew BarbyThis week I welcome Matt who is one of the blogging team behind Melted Stories, a travel blog that offers up resources for backpackers – between the five authors they manage to cover a lot of the world with their quirky team. 

I asked Matt to give me just a couple of minutes of his time to tell me more about how he manages work and travel, as well as current projects and upcoming travels.

1) What do you do?

I manage online marketing for a digital marketing agency in the UK and also own the Melted Stories travel blog. I am a travel fanatic so will often work remotely and backpack across countries as I go. I love to write about all things related to backpacking and also have a big passion for marketing so I always have something to keep me busy!

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

My biggest obstacle has to be managing my career alongside travelling. I found it very hard at first and decided that it was either one or the other. Over time I realised that this really wasn’t the case and have since managed to enjoy a great balance between pursuing my career and enjoying the world!

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m really excited about my next trip that I’m planning to South America. I haven’t spent any time in the continent and it’s always been somewhere that I’ve wanted to go. Peru will definitely be the place that I’m most looking forward to – I get excited just thinking about it.

4) What’s next for you?

I’m always finding new projects to work on and new things to do – my focus at the moment is to build a good following to my travel blog and establish it as a top travel resources for backpackers over the world.

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

Aside from the charities that I’m passionate about, helping small businesses and individuals achieve their goals and get their messages heard is a big passion of mine. I love working closely with young entrepreneurs to help and advise them on various aspects of business so that they can make the most of their potential.

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

Matt on Twitter and Facebook
Melted Stories 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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Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Anna Zalazar

Anna in LondonA big welcome to Anna Zalazar this week, who has some really wonderful travel lessons to share on not only what she is doing now, but one of the bigger obstacles she faced in leaving to travel, one I shared as well, which was just buying the ticket and committing to travel.

I was fascinated to learn about some of the educational social work her family is doing in Philippines and the impact it has had on the rural communities there. Read on for a little slice of her travels and the lessons she has learned through travel (this links to one of my favorite posts on her site.

1) What do you do?

In 2011, I quit my job and went on a one woman adventure to South East Asia thinking I was going to travel only for 6 months. Somehow that 6 months turned to 1 year. On my way back to the US, I got a connecting flight to Europe and decided to stay. I spent about eight months traveling around the continent, volunteering, living and teaching English in Spain. Overall I’ve been traveling for 2+ years now.

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

I think the biggest obstacle with my decision to travel was in terms of my career. I left behind a very good and comfortable job with a company I was proud to work for in exchange of uncertainty and the unknown. But my dreams and curiosity were a lot stronger than me wanting to stay with the familiar. Though it scared me to death, I felt and knew that there was more to life than being on the ‘safe’ side.

How I overcame it was a bit funny. I stumbled upon a big seat sale with AirAsia and bought 16 flights all around the countries in South East Asia. I knew that if I didn’t do something drastic I would not pull the trigger. Making it irreversible meant that there was no turning back. So after almost half a year of delaying my travel plans, I set a date of departure and quit my job.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Nothing is more exciting to me than seeing my dreams come to life. In the past I’ve had so many plans that didn’t work out. One example was that I’ve always planned to backpack around Europe but never realized it due to having few vacation leaves. Coming to Europe wasn’t exactly on my travel plans but after going down to Switzerland on a connecting flight and deciding to travel around Europe, I knew I would be back when the three-month visa period ended. I came back to live and freelance in Madrid. Before, I never thought that was even possible. I think that’s the magic of long-term travel. It helps you remove all your mental barriers to let you realize that anything is really possible.

Other than realizing my dreams, I am very excited about getting feedback from my family, friends, blog readers and solo adventurers that are inspired with what I’m doing and have started doing it themselves.  It makes me feel that I’m a part of something bigger. It has always been my belief that if everyone marches to the beat of his/her own drums, the world will be a happier place.

4) What’s next for you?

I’m already overdue for my yearly family visit in the Philippines. I’m off to Manila in a few days. 🙂

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

I am passionate about learning and I’ve been fortunate when it comes to getting the best education both from traditional schooling and from the real world schooling with my travels. But it’s not that easy for everyone, especially in my home country.

Last year I went to visit my cousins’ rural province of Jagna Bohol. I found out why both of them had chosen to live the simple life in the province despite having doctorate degrees and amazing work opportunities even after receiving an Asian Nobel Prize award. I learned that their institution employs a dynamic learning program emphasizing independent learning over teacher lectures. The concept is simple and very much like traveling: learning by doing.

The students from my cousins’ school are people from humble backgrounds and so the school provides a low-cost quality education despite conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty. The results of their program are amazing as a majority (if not all) of the students have passed national exams and university admissions test. Moreover, scientists and Nobel laureates visit them in their small town province in Jagna to learn more about their program. I’ve been lucky to include this small town in my adventures when I have been invited to talk and share with them what I’ve learned in my travels. I fully support and am very passionate about this cause not only because it’s a unique program that woke up the nation but also because of the generosity of my cousins’ hearts. They both serve an inspiration to me on how I want to live my life.

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

Anna on Twitter and Facebook
Annzventures 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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Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Sara Rodriguez

Sara rodriguez interviewToday I am so happy to welcome Sara Rodriguez to our travel inspiration series because she has a style of travel that very closely aligns with the core mission behind OHW — the idea of mindful travel. 

Sara is from Spain, and her travel blog is unique in that she offers hand translated content in both Spanish and English — a very nifty feature that allows her to share her message and mindful travel tips more widely.  Let’s check in with her and see what she’s up to lately:

1) What do you do?

I have a daily job in a bank, but I’m a travel blogger too, which is my real passion. I always loved planning trips, not just for me but for other people. I have what I call a “Mindful Travel philosophy”: I enjoy every step of traveling, from choosing the destination, organization of the itinerary, traveling, and then the moments back home remembering those special days.

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

I think my biggest concern when I travel is that I love so much every country I discover and I really like meeting other people, knowing how they live, and learning their social problems, and I involve myself so much that I think then I don’t want to go back to daily life.

But regarding the rest of the usual obstacles as money, language, cultural differences…I really enjoy every part these things, and always learn about every scary moment or every problem I may have in my travels. That changes me and makes me grow as a person.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m truly excited about my travel blog. It motivates me every day and encourages me to keep alive two of my passions: traveling and photography. Also allows me to meet amazing people from all over the world and share my desires and concerns.

4) What’s next for you?

Travel, travel and more travel! I don’t perceive my life without my family and my trips. And if I can travel with my family, be with them and discover new places, I’m the happiest person in the world!

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

When I travel, I always want to be social and respectful with everything surrounding me. I love to meet locals, how they live and their problems, I try to learn about NGOs or social projects in the area and be involved however I can. I think people from developed countries have a duty to try to make a better world and that’s something I always have in mind. Sustainable and Humanitarian travel is possible!

A big thanks to Sara for sharing ways she is able to integrate a social mindset and a humanitarian approach to her travels; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Sara’s recent travels, you can find her on her OHW profile.

Sara on Twitter and Facebook
Mindful Travel by Sara in Spanish and English


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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talon windwalker

Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Talon Windwalker

talon windwalkerToday I’m talking with Talon Windwalker, the founder and dad of 1Dad1Kid.com, a travel blog sharing stories and advice about travel, food, and world-schooling.

We’ve mentioned before our goal to inspire every person in the world to get a stamp in their passport, and one of the ways to overcome any of your own perceived hurdles is to look to the people, projects, and stories of those on the road. Talon and his son represent a unique duo who have faced their own challenges to make their own world-schooling adventure a reality and I am so happy to share with you a bit more about this family duo.

1) What do you do?

If we’re talking about for income, my main source of income is my blog right now. I also receive a tiny bit of money from two ebooks I’ve written. When we’re in an area with good diving, I also sometimes work as a scuba instructor. I’m working on some other income streams at the moment as well.

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

I’ve never really believed I had an obstacle to traveling. At first I thought I needed much more money than it actually requires to travel. We’ve been traveling full-time as nomads since May 2011, and we live off less than 1/4th the income I had previously. And I’d say our quality of life is 3000 times better.

Traveling with my son was more of a concern because he had some special needs, and I wasn’t sure if travel would work out for him. Instead he’s completely thrived beyond my wildest expectations.

I just don’t believe in obstacles existing in my path. Instead, I see them as things encouraging me to think differently to get around them.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

It will sound completely corny but life. I suffered with chronic depression for most of my life, and since I began this nomadic lifestyle I’m joyous and love my life. I’m excited every day because there’s always something new to experience.

4) What’s next for you?

I’m focusing more on my passion for doing art (drawing and painting), and I need to work on the 2nd book in my fantasy novel series. I also began a travel food-related blog, and I’m working on getting that growing and moving.

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

I have so many! I would have to say world schooling (aka unschooling) and free-range parenting. They’re such different concepts from what I grew up with, and they’re just amazing at what they accomplish.

A big thanks to Talon for sharing his approach to facing obstacles, as well as his current passions and projects, if you’d like to connect or find out more about Talon, you can find him on his OHW profile.

Talon on Twitter or Facebook
1 Dad 1 Kid
Travels 4 Yum


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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Seriously, the Easiest Way to Connect with Other Travel Bloggers Nearby

Oh Hey World enables you to instantly see other travel bloggers nearby, and receive notifications when others show up nearby in the future. If you’re interested in meeting up with other travel bloggers in person, here’s the short version of how to get setup:

  1. Sign up using THIS LINK (it auto tags your profile correctly with “travel bloggers”).
  2. Check in to your current city.
  3. Fill in a few details in your profile, including a link to your blog.
  4. Click the “travel bloggers” link on the interests section of your profile. You’ll see a list of other travel bloggers here (the nearest ones at the top of the list).
  5. Navigate to “settings”, and then click the “manage notifications” button to turn on either SMS or email alerts.

Pretty simple, right?

PS #1: If you need the raw registration code, it is as follows: cbf7ea57-7607-44b2-9fe1-156d8b22dafc

PS #2: Remember, Oh Hey World instantly updates your WordPress.org blog when you check in.

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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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How Travel Bloggers Can Get the Most Out of Oh Hey World

For travel bloggers in particular, there’s a lot of functionality packed into the Oh Hey World platform that makes our lives a bit easier, particularly as more bloggers join and the community grows. First let’s look at a summary of the major functions travel bloggers will enjoy, then we’ll break down each component.

Biggest Benefits for Travel Bloggers

  • Check into a location and update the major social platforms in one click, as well as text and email—all one seamless check-in and update process.
  • Connect with any other travelers or friends who checked in somewhere nearby—the system shows you Oh Hey World users and Facebook friends who are close to you.
  • See the real-time locations of any other bloggers or those with shared passions—basically anyone with matching tags.
  • Auto update your location on your travel blog via a WordPress plugin—your location changes every time you publicly check in somewhere new.

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What does this mean?

One-click check-in updates:
With the myriad of social media sites we’re all a part of, as well as the family wondering if we’ve safely arrived (I know my parents are always keen to know where I am!) it can be a chore to individually update each platform. So, by connecting your social accounts, saving the email addresses of your parents or family, and the phone numbers of important friends, you can update them all with one single click.

Practically, that means when you hit “check in” with your location you are geo-taged to an entire city (just like Facebook’s city location most of us have on our profiles) and you are then prompted (though not required) to update and share your safe arrival with those who matter:

  • Send an email to your parents.
  • Text your best friend or significant other.
  • Update your Facebook page.
  • Update the “where I am” widget on your travel blog (public check-ins only).
  • Send a tweet with your safe arrival.

And for the privacy concerns, look, I’m a female traveler and I get the whole “I don’t want a stalker” argument, but at the same time, OHW is a lot safer than sites like FourSquare because you can 1) check in privately, which still lets you find other travelers nearby and only message the ones you want to know that you’re in town, and 2) it’s a broad-level check-in to a city, so your exact location in that city is still unknown. I liken it to updating your Facebook page with the “current city” or telling people on Twitter that you just landed in Sydney—same thing.

Find other bloggers and travelers nearby
One of the neatest parts of Oh Hey World is the ability to see which friends and bloggers are nearby where you just checked—or in the city you plan to visit next. Once you log into the system and formally check into a city (which you can do publicly or privately), a list pops up showing you all your Facebook friends and connections in the Oh Hey World Network who are nearby—you can then message anyone you may want to meetup with for coffee, drinks, and whatnot.

See  locations of other travelers and friends/family
Using the lists and tags functionality, anyone who has tagged themselves as “travel bloggers” will show up in a search (check here popular tags), and you can real-time follow anyone on the lists you create. Same goes with people you are following, and many other niche tags as the base of travelers in the OHW system grows. That means that down the line you can quickly find where other bloggers are in one glance (instead of slogging through their blog archives, Facebook updates, and Twitter feeds hoping for an update), but you’ll also be able to find people with similar niche interests who tag themselves with interests like “food” “coffee” “microfinance” etc. In short, connect with people with shared interests via their location and proximity to you.

Update your travel blog the easy way
I cannot be the only person who has spent ages updating my homepage widget and tweaking my location data on my blog to keep it up to date with my current location. In fact, it was such a hassle that I stopped. But, theOHW plugin uses your public check in information to update your blog—this widget can be used on your about page, or sidebar, or really anywhere you want it.

How to get started

The site is very simple and intuitive to use, but there are a few tweaks and sections of your profile that will give you the most value if you fill them out fully. Follow the steps below to get started, and email us if you encounter any issues since we’re still in beta testing and want to make this super valuable for travelers and bloggers alike.

  1. Sign in.
  2. Edit your profile and connect to Facebook for the best experience.
  3. Add your interests, passions, and experiences to your profile. Ensure one of them is “travel bloggers”.
  4. Check into your current city and look through all your friends and OHW users nearby (public or private check-in—totally your call).
  5. Search by tags to find other like minded folk.
  6. Follow any friends and other travel bloggers you see in the OHW system, create a list for them, and then you can easily track their public check-ins.
  7. Update your location each time you move on to a new city and connect with nearby bloggers.
  8. If you’re using WordPress.org, install the Oh Hey World WordPress plugin so your current location is instantly updated on your site’s sidebar or about page.

We’re shaping this site to become the most useful tool the moment you set foot in a new city (and as bloggers we step foot in a lot of them!) and will be tweaking and expanding in the coming months to better fit the needs of the travel blogging community.

And now, let’s part with a question—what other goals do you as a travel bloggers have that we can help you with?

This is a controlled launch with a limited number of people, so as to ensure we catch any bugs we missed in our private beta and optimize the user experience before we open it to the general public.

The link below is good for 50 registrations, so act quickly …

TRY OH HEY WORLD NOW!!

PS: If the registration link above fails, please subscribe to the comments on this post—we’ll post additional codes here as we are ready to add more travelers to our system.

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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