Michael owns one of the few blogs that mainly focuses on overland travel. I’m a big fan of overland travel since it makes you see and experience a lot of things.
Michael, a lawyer by profession, has also travelled extensively to a lot of countries in almost all continents and you’ll definitely find his blog very informative and yes, entertaining as well. He also does interviews with fellow travel bloggers.
Some of my favorite posts in his blog are about his personal reflections and realizations as he travels. A lot of blogs gives you details about places, where to go, where to eat etc but only a few shares their thoughts and feelings on their blogs and for me it makes the blog worth reading as you get to know more of the person behind the blog.
Get to know more about Michael and visit his blog at Go See Write. but before you do that, check out my short interview with Michael.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“That is a great question and I am not sure I have any answer at all. I know I have liked movement about as long as I can remember, going back at least to high school. I am prototypically American in at least one major respect: I love road trips and driving. Far before I started any serious international traveling, I spent a couple decades just driving around the States.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“I have been absurdly lucky. I think I’ve had the sum total of perhaps 10 days of illness in over three years of permanent travel. I’ve had more than my fair share of transportation mishaps, since I spend more time in transport than anyone else I know, but nothing horrible. No car or bus wrecks. I’ve only had one bout of food poisoning and it lasted only half a day. I dropped my camera off a three story building… and it survived (http://www.goseewrite.com/2012/04/short-tale-idiot/). I’ve had my ATM/credit card stolen a couple times, but never in any particular bad circumstance. Probably the worst experience off the top of my head was being trapped at the Ethiopian/Kenyan border for three days (http://www.goseewrite.com/2009/06/border-crossing-kenya-ethiopia/) without a valid visa — and not being able to bribe by way in. But even then, it worked out. Basically, everyone is free to hate me — I’m the luckiest traveler ever.
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“Finally an easy question! Climbing Kilimanjaro. It was the most difficult and best experience of my life. I still haven’t been able to write about what it meant to me.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“The world is massive. The best thing about almost exclusively traveling via overland travel (and circling the globe that way, without ever flying) is the simple realization that we live on a truly huge planet. It is amazing. I appreciate the time savings that plane travel affords everyone, but if you haven’t done any significant overland travel, you have missed out on experiencing the planet from the proper perspective: the ground floor.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“Everything. I haven’t been homesick one day in over three years. I wake up every morning just happy to be on the road. I’ve had a number of friends recently quit long-term travel. I can’t ever imagine doing anything else. In my eyes, I’m living a dream life. Waking up is all the motivation I need to keep going.”
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?
“Setting aside a variety of beautiful women who would quickly find any excuse to cut short traveling with me, I’ll say Michael Palin. I love his BBC travel shows. He’s obviously got a variety of great stories to tell. And because he’s old, I think I might be able to keep up with him. Maybe.”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“So unfair. What are all the other places going to say when they hear I have been cheating on them? I don’t think I have a favorite place, which is probably one reason I have zero desire to settle down anywhere. I’ll give you a few countries that I think everyone should visit though: Colombia, Namibia, Turkey, Cambodia and New Zealand. Now that I think about it, New Zealand might actually be the country that finally does get me to “settle down.”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
“Go half and fast and do half as much as you think you should. I can’t tell you how many times I have run into travelers that have gotten quite sick because they are trying to cram everything possible (including a lot of partying) into every single day. They just run their immune systems down and end up with some of the worst times, lying on their back deathly ill.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“When I was on the Ultimate Train Challenge (which in and of itself was a little silly — Lisbon to Saigon in 30 days, all on trains), I spent one night in Belgium at a soccer game. During the month-long trip, the three of us that were doing it also had a scavenger hunt going on. One of the things we got points for was taking pictures of ourselves in silly hats. I hit the jackpot at the game. The pictures sill haunt me — http://www.goseewrite.com/2011/09/usa-belgium-soccer-game-utc-scavenger-hunt/.
What do you think about yourself?
“I am a loner who is completely and totally comfortable in his own skin. I have massive faults and issues, but I know exactly what they are and I’m comfortable with them. Because I am basically a loner, I can easily handle days at a time (I think the most I have done is about 10-11 days) without needing to have a single conversation with anyone, which makes long-term travel that much easier.”
“My blog started out as the way to take notes (for the book I still need to write) about my round-the-world trip without leaving the ground. It took me 16 months and 44 countries to finish that task and I’ve just kept going. The blog has evolved into a non-chronological hodgepodge of posts about my mostly overland travels ever since. I like to think I bring a little sense of humor and a different eye to travel than the normal blog, but I’ll let everyone else decide that on their own. Wait… please like me. Please! I need the affirmation. Whew. Thanks.” – Michael Hodson of Go See Write
Editor’s Note: All pictures are provided by Michael