Meet the Nomads: Mark Wiens

Meet the Nomads: Mark Wiens

Mark Wiens is a young global traveler who grew up in different parts of the world (France, Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and USA). I’m not sure if I’ever heard of Migrationology (his blog) before but I think he’s the one who concocted the word.

Mark travels to experience the culture and cuisines of different nations. He also takes part in volunteer activities, one of which was with Gawad Kalinga where he helped out in building houses for less fortunate people in the Philippines.

If you want to know more about Mark, visit him at Migrationology.

Here’s Flip’s short interview with Mark.

How did you discover your passion for traveling?

“I moved around from the US to Europe to Africa all my life while growing up. I never really needed to discover my passion for traveling as it was sort of inbred into my mind from an early age. Recently it was more a passion to continue the traveling lifestyle that my parents introduced me to.”

What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?

“I’ve been fortunate to have many great experiences and few horrible experiences, but here are a couple mild cases.

I was at a Boca Juniors football (soccer) match in Buenos Aires, Argentina taking pictures in the midst of chaotic fans when some sort of tattooed gangster wanted a go at my camera. Backed by his crew of thugs, I couldn’t really resist. He grabbed my arm and proceeded to take my camera for good, and I lost some amazing pictures.

Other than that, I hate cold weather. First couple nights camping in Patagonia, I didnt’ have a sleeping pad and slept on the frigid ground, nearly freezing to death. I really hate cold weather.”

What’s the most outstanding travel experience that you’ve ever had?

“I’m a huge lover of food. Everytime I am faced with a countries cuisine, it is usually an outstanding experience. One time in Chile, we were looking at a menu and lusting for some beef, but turned away due to the steep prices. A kind waitress finishing work saw us and suggested we go in to eat, “the food is really good.” When we told her it was a little over our budget, she invited us over to her house where she introduced us to her family, had her Mother cook us an impromptu feast, and we all enjoyed our company for the remainder of the evening. Similar experiences have happened to me in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines too!”

What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of traveling?

“Flexibility and patience are two of the most valuable skills to posses. If you can master these two skills, it is quite possible to get along with most and turn negative situations into great experiences. Complaining about a lot of things is just not worth it.”

What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?

“3 main reasons keep me traveling and always excited to go to a new and adventurous place. The first is the unique and awesome cuisine that originates from each country and sometimes each city. Food is one of my ultimate priorities when I travel. Next is meeting people who are a part of a different culture and who do things I’ve never seen or thought of. Learning, connecting, and talking to friends from other cultures is fascinating. Lastly, there are stunning sites, either man made or natural, from Angkor Wat to Patagonia that I crave to see more of.”

This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?

“It would have to be Anthony Bourdain strictly because of our parallel desire and enjoyment for eating things from every country and culture. We might not even need to talk too much but just let our culinary emotions do the communicating.”

What could stop you from traveling?

“‘A wife and kids could possibly stop me from traveling or just change a few of my traveling styles. If my family can continue to travel that would be great, but I would have to take into consideration the best interest of my family as a whole and not just my personal motivations.

If that doesn’t happen, the only thing that could hold me back is some sort of physical ailment.”

Among the places that you’ve been to, which one fascinated you the most?

“I did a 10 day trek through Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile, that blew my mind. The sophisticated natural beauty of glaciers, sandstone pillars, lakes, mountain rivers, and shrubbery was truly stunning and left an everlasting impression on me.

I also hiked solo through the rice terraces in Ifugao, Philippines, for about a week from Batad to Mayoyao and places in between. Unbelievable rice field terraces on the sides of rugged mountains, mixed with meeting locals, staying with families, and playing with kids, was another truly fascinating adventure.”

What’s the best travel advice that you could give for a novice traveler like me?

“The first thing to do is to “go for it.” Don’t allow people to discourage you from traveling and going places you want to go. The next thing to do is to be friendly and make the first move to talk to other people. Often people would love to talk to you but don’t know how to make the first move. Lastly, if you can be as flexible as possible with a great attitude, your life will benefit and your adventure will be fulfilled.”

What do you think about yourself?

“I consider myself a relaxing erudite and a spicy food connoisseur. I simply love to make absolutely no plans and see what occurs. I also enjoy making spontaneous decisions.”

“I serve spontaneous observations from an unplanned migration of world travel on my blog. Migrationology is about traveling to a beautiful country, getting involved in something, having valuable experiences, making cultural connections, and indulging in native cuisines. I have found that things usually work out better or present entertaining challenges when unnecessary planning is not stressed. There are infinite possibilities of global exploration and to experience them they shouldn’t be rushed.” – Mark

Next: Anil Polat of Foxnomad. Previously: Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt. For more interviews with travel bloggers, check out the archives of Meet the Nomads.

Comments

  1. The impromptu feasts are most certainly one of the greatest parts about traveling. Sometimes, being a foreigner is akin to almost a celebrity status to some. Good story…

  2. flipnomad says:

    thanks for dropping by JHF

Trackbacks

  1. […] into great experiences. Complaining about a lot of things is just not worth it.” – Mark Wiens of Migrationology “It’s easier than people think.” – Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt […]

  2. […] Next on Meet the Nomads: Mark Wiens of Migrationology […]

  3. […] Toni White of Reclaiming my Future. Previously: Mark Wiens of Migrationology. For more interviews with travel bloggers, check out the archives of Meet the […]

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