Michael Hodson is serious about wedding toasts. He loves wind-up watches and he’s received more comments on his habitually untied sneakers than just about anything else. But apparently you don’t need laces to make your way across 54 countries over the course of 16 months, which is exactly what Hodson did when he said goodbye to his life as an attorney and set out on a round-the-world trip… without flying.
He wrote about his journey on his blog, Go, See, Write, a collection of travel stories, blogging tips, videos, and gorgeous photos by Hodson and some rather stellar contributors. We spoke with Hodson about his blog, some of his stranger travel stories, and why he decided to forgo the plane for the road.
The Trip Tribe: You were referred to us by Tracie Howe, a new blogger whose site Tracie Travels is just taking off. She mentioned that she reads your blogging tips… What was the impetus for providing tips for other bloggers?
Go, See, Write: I really enjoy helping newer travel bloggers get better at their job. In recent years, I have been part of a group of people that do intensive blogger training programs called BlogHouse (sign up for the newsletter updates for new BlogHouses here). Additionally I was one of the original founding members of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association and I was their first President. The travel blogging community is one that I have a strong emotional attachment to and helping all of us do better is something I strongly believe in.
TTT: You also have an interview series on your blog. Who are some of your favorite subjects that you’ve interviewed and why?
GSW: I used to do those interviews, but I got too busy over time to keep up with them. I was interviewing bloggers with unusual questions, far from the normal ones we get from people most times, and I was generally happy with the results.
TTT: Strangest experience when traveling, go.
GSW: Hmmmm, that is a big question. Strange implies bad, but I’ll give you a strange but good thing: hitchhiking in New Zealand. I did a fair bit of hitchhiking on my round-the-world trip when needed, but wasn’t planning to in New Zealand. But when I got there, the locals were the ones telling me that I had to do it. And I loved it. Drank at a local pub with a couple in their 80s, talking about his service in the military during the Korean War. Met a professional hang glider on his way to a competition and a guy who was going to meet his new in-laws (he had just proposed the weekend before) for the first time… and he invited me to join him for a barbecue at his girlfriend’s parents’ house. I’m telling you, the Kiwis are the nicest people on the planet.
TTT: On your original round-the-world trip, you decided not to fly. Why?
GSW: There were two big reasons. First, I wanted to write a book about the experience and thought that would be a good hook. Then I figured out how bad the book business was and abandoned that idea. More importantly, I’m an environmentalist and I really oppose short-haul plane flights, as they are horrible in terms of carbon emissions. In making it all the way around without flying, I was hoping to draw a little attention the possibilities of ground based travel.
TTT: Besides your own, what are some of your favorite blogs?
GSW: Some of them are the ones that are regularly contributing writers on my website now, including these: Ed Graham Photo, Helen in Wonderlust, Flora The Explorer, and A Cook Not Mad.
TTT: Describe yourself in 6 words.
GSW: Adventurous. Ambitious. Visual. Curious. Verbal. And Thirsty… someone bring me a beer.
About Michael Hodson
Michael Hodson was an attorney in the States for ten years before he shut down his practice and set off in late 2008 in an attempt to circle the globe without using a single airplane. Sixteen months, six continents, and fifty-four countries later, he succeeded and has just kept traveling. He blogs at Go, See, Write, his videos are published on his YouTube channel, and his Instagram photos can be found here.
This piece was originally published June 2014.