When I was considering starting my own travel blog, one of the blogs that really caught my attention and inspired me to start my own was Everything Everywhere. It is run by Gary Arndt, a man who has been traveling the globe for three years straight. I had the pleasure of meeting Gary in person last month at the Travel Blog Exchange Conference, and was thrilled when just a few days later, Time declared Gary’s blog one of the top 25 blogs in the world.
Gary was kind enough to answer some questions for me via email. Please read on to read the interview and learn more about Gary’s plans, how to avoid travel burnout, what he has learned, how to embark on your own global adventure, and more. When you’re done, you should check out Gary’s phenomenal photo collection. You can find him on Twitter at @everywheretrip.
Q: Can you summarize what your global travels have entailed thus far?
A: Since I sold my house in March 2007 I have been going non-stop. I’ve been to approximately 70 countries and territories during the last three years.
Q: What are some of the greatest challenges you have faced while traveling?
A: If you take your time, you don’t really have to deal with any big challenges. I suppose the biggest one I had to deal with was being denied entry into the nation of Kiribati because my passport was wet.
Q: I know you travel solo–what about it do you love, and what about it (if anything) do you hate?
A: I love the freedom. I enjoy not having to ask or inform anyone where or what you are doing. At times, however, I do wish I could travel with someone else. The longer I’m on the road, the more I think I would enjoy someone else’s company.
Q: You’ve been traveling the world since March 2007. How long do you plan to continue?
A: Forever. I do not plan to stop. At best I might get a small place somewhere to serve as a base I can work out of, but I don’t like staying in one place more than a month or two. I don’t know what I’d do now if I wasn’t traveling.
Q: What do you do if (or when) you are feeling travel burnout?
A: Burnout doesn’t come from traveling, it comes from the speed at which you travel. I find myself traveling slower and slower. If you take your time, you can avoid burnout.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who is interested in fleeing the cubicle for a life of travel but is scared to do something untraditional?
A: Like jumping into cold water, you just have to do it. I meet people almost every day who think what I do is amazing and would love to do it. When I ask them why they don’t, they come up with a long list of excuses. The key is to start thinking, even as a thought experiment, how you could do it.
Q: Do you have any money-saving tips for those traveling on a tight budget?
A: Visit developing countries and stay away from luxury hotels. The biggest factor in how much you are going to spend is where you travel. Your money can go 5-10x farther someplace like Southeast Asia than it can in Europe. Also, luxury hotels are pretty much the same everywhere in the world. You wont find that 5-10x discount if you stay in four or five star hotels.
Q: What are some of the most important things you have learned from your travel experiences?
A: The world is very different from the view you get sitting on your couch watching TV. The media puts a sensational spin on things to get viewers.
Q: What is your favorite place you have visited, and what is your least favorite?
A: That is the most common question people ask me. I really don’t have a favorite place. If I did, I’d be there now. So much of what I come away with when visiting a place has to do with the specifics of my visit: the weather, the people I met and the experiences I had. Two people can visit the exact same place and have totally different experiences.
Q: What are your travel goals for the future and how do you plan to fulfill them?
A: I don’t have any immediate goals. As my blog has become more popular, I’ve been getting more and more opportunities to visit places. I will probably return to Spain later this summer and have a trip to Aruba lined up later this year as well.