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Saturday Showcase – Go See Write

Last week’s Saturday Showcase, Lauren from Never Ending Footsteps – who is heading off round the world in a day or so – nominated GoSeeWrite.com as her Saturday Showcase. So let me introduce Michael, the lawyer who threw in the 9-5 in favour of exploring the world …

So fill us in on who you are and where you are right now on your journey.

I am currently writing this from northern Spain, on my way to Venice tomorrow, and I think perhaps Croatia for a bit of time after that. I need to settle down somewhere for a few weeks before the craziness of the Ultimate Train Challenge

You’re avoiding aeroplanes on your travels – how’s that treating you?!

I made it all the way around the world without flying, which was a big part of the reason for that trip, but I now occasionally do hop on a plane. For instance, I flew from the US to Spain to get to Europe last week, but I try to keep my flights to a bare minimum. I vastly prefer overland travel where possible and flying is truly horrible for the environment.

It must mean you encounter some awesome places of the beaten track – any top place you wouldn’t have stumbled upon if you’d flown?!

Tons of them! That is one reason it is a good idea to get into as few planes as possible. Off the top of my head, I can say I wouldn’t have seen the amazing rock art of Laas Gaal, Somaliland or the beach town of Cabo Polonio, Uruguay if I wasn’t wandering around overland. Or the three day train ride from Zambia to Dar es Salaam that went through one of the biggest game reserves in the world… elephants and giraffes for the price of a cheap train ticket.

And of course the obvious thing to ask would be your weirdest mode of transport?

Probably the time I hitchhiked on top of a cargo truck in northern Kenya. There isn’t any public transport up there, so your only option is to hitch rides with locals. In this case, that meant on a two ton cargo lorry, where all the passengers rode up on top of it, holding on for dear life.

Any experience you’d advise people to steer clear of if they can?!

I can’t think of any right offhand. I didn’t have the best experience on the Trans-Mongolian train, but that was just bad luck. My train was basically empty, so I didn’t really have anything to do or anyone to talk to for six days, but it certainly is something that people should try out. Buying a bus ticket in Africa, especially Dar es Salaam, can be a bit of a harrowing experience, but in sort of a fun way, if you go with the flow.

What’s you favourite image from your travels and why?

I took about 15,000 pictures, so that is a tough question. I pulled up a photo that I took while on a boat tour of the Beagle Channel, right outside Ushuaia, Argentina, because I just love the colors and the reflection on the water, but ask me tomorrow and I’d have another choice, I bet.

Any advice for those who have an epic and unique travel plans like yours but who aren’t sure about taking the risk?

Do a smaller/get started trip. For me, I took a month long trip to Nicaragua by myself the year before, to see how I handled being solo for a longer period of time on the road. I loved it and that was all it took to get my courage up to do the 16 month long, RTW trip by myself.

What’s your must have travel item?

My iPod. Since I do mostly overland travel, I have long, long periods of time in buses and trains and really need the distraction of music to make the hours pass by.

Again with the shameless plug time – your favourite blog post and the reason behind choosing it?

I think my post, 13 Reasons Everyone Should Travel, is a pretty good one that I’d recommend to people.

Who would you like to nominate next and why?

One of my favorite bloggers is Aygelina of www.BaconisMagic.ca. She’s got a really good voice and photographic eye. And she’s also a heck of a lot of fun to hang out with.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Michael head over to his twitter feed (@MobileLawyer), his Facebook page, or of course his actual blog!

In the mean time I shall see if I can steal some of Aygelinas internet time for next week!

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