Tell us a little about yourself. Tell us a little about where you are from and if you recommend it to people as a travel destination.
The short version? Born in Indiana, lived in North Carolina, went to college in Kentucky, got a job teaching English in Korea in 2008. While in Korea, I met my now-wife Laura, an awesome Canadian that’s travelled more than I have. After getting married, we set off as digital nomads, starting in Thailand, then Europe, South America, North America….
As a tourist destination, the US is absolutely worth the visit. Would definitely recommend Chicago, even though it does have some rougher looking sides to it.
What inspires you to travel? What types of places call to you? How often do you get to travel?
Since 2014, I’ve focused on weird, the offbeat, the exotic, and the unique for OneWierdGlobe. (Before that, I blogged about travel and life around South Korea.)
Places that are a little rougher around the edges are great, though I’ve definitely come to appreciate places that are intentionally and unapologetically quirky. Forget the tourist trail — it’s usually more expensive, more crowded, and full of touts to avoid.
We’re nomads of the full-time persuasion — usually, Monday through Friday are our work days, with the majority of our travels being done on Saturday and Sunday.
Describe your travel philosophy. What is your style?
Being married and in our 30’s means we’ll stick to Airbnb’s for the most part. When hotels are necessary, Laura’s usually looking for the cheapest mid-range place in a good location. Nothing against hostels, but I thoroughly enjoy sleeping next to my wife and cuddling without worrying about who’s in the next bed.
What types of things are you interested in while you are traveling?
In general, history, culture, and arts — but again, of the non-touristy variety. I love the beach and getting an occasional massage, and every so often we’ll try our hand at something more adventurous. As a game designer, I’m always interested in being inspired by games, toys, and things people play with.
What is one funny, embarrassing, cute, or even frustrating anecdote from your travels?
Oh, frustrating, we’ve had the lot of those. Probably the most frustrating was taking the Vientiane to Luang Prabang bus, supposedly a 12-hour trip when everything goes right. That’s fine, and we accepted it as the normal way to go. A bus breakdown set us back hours, and there came a point late in the trip where a huge log blocked the dirt road. Cue like a dozen locals whacking away at it with machetes… 17-18 hours after we arrived, we collapsed in our hotel room, not feeling like doing anything but sleeping and eating…
What is your next destination and what are you looking forward to doing there?
As I type this, we’re in Belgrade, and the next stop is Budapest. It’ll be nice to be in the Schengen Zone for awhile, and there’s a fair amount of weird stuff around.
What is one travel book or movie that you can recommend to folks?
You mean beyond my own? I’d definitely encourage people to check out Becoming a Digital Nomad, a step-by-step guide to testing and transitioning into the digital nomad lifestyle. Whether you want to travel more or just live life on your terms.
What is one thing you take with you traveling, no matter what?
The smartphone, obviously. Beyond that, an external battery to keep the smartphone working for a full day of traveling / adventure.
How did you get started travel blogging, and what would be one piece of advice you can offer newbie bloggers?
I started the blog in December 2007 in preparation for the trip to South Korea to begin teaching English. Originally it was just to stay in touch with friends and family back home… but of course that all changed about six months in. I realized a lot of strangers were reading it as well…
As a tip goes: don’t look at money as your measurement of success. Write posts that engage readers, answer questions before people think to ask them, and that focus on the reader’s journey, not on your own. You still write about the same places and adventures, you just frame it in such a way that makes it about them, not you.
Thanks to Chris for this inspirational traveler interview! Don’t forget to check out some of the other inspiring travelers we’ve interviewed, as well as some other Weekend Travel Inspiration.
Pin Chris’ Interview for later reading.