Can you tell everyone a little about yourself?
I’m a world citizen (I have 3 passports) who has traveled to over 110 countries, hiked on foot over 25,000 km, and written two books. I’m currently on a 5-year trip to all 54 African countries.
What does your life say about you?
That I pursue my passion. I tend to take unconventional paths. I love to explore.
Define the world “nomad”.
Someone who is restless. They’re addicted to novelty, especially geographic novelty.
[BTW, I wrote an article about being a Nomad and if they’re running away from something.]
What are the differences (good and bad) between hiking today versus hiking 10 years ago?
The biggest difference is how easy it is to use GPS. When I walked across America 4 times and walked across Spain twice, I never used GPS. I’m not old school. I love use GPS now. It’s a good thing overall.
Some people may think that hiking places are getting too crowded versus 10+ years ago. Yes, that’s the price of having babies. However, as more people use trails, usually more money is poured into them, so they get shelters, stairs, better engineering, good grading, etc…
What is the meaning behind the name of your book “Hike Your Own Hike”?
I didn’t coin the phrase. It’s a popular saying on the Appalachian Trail. It means, “Feel free to listen to whatever advice people give you, but ultimately follow your bliss and do what you love or feels right.”
Too often people do what society expects of them, not what they really want.
Best piece of advice would you give to someone who is pursuing a career as a travel journalist (writer and/or videographer).
What is the WanderLearn book series?
It’s my book series that shares what I’ve learned during my global wanderings. It encourages readers to get out of their comfort zone and learn about the world by exploring it.
If you could start all over again, would you change your career path or do anything different?
I would have quit my job at the Silicon Valley startup I had co-founded two years earlier than I did. It was a good experience for two years, but the last two years were a waste. That’s the only major thing I would have done differently. I’ve been blessed and lucky.
How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
Hike your own hike. Look after your own happiness, because nobody else will. Manage your own life. Direct it. Don’t be passive and wait for miracles to happen. Create your own miracles through relentless and stubborn action.
If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?
It would be fun to be the President of the United States for a day. It would be an exciting (and pretty stressful) day. I’d try not to launch too many nuclear weapons.
List 10 things you think the world would be better off without.
I’ll just list one: babies. I’m exaggerating obviously, but the world would be better off without so many humans. If we had a global one-child policy until 2500, then we’d leave the planet in a better condition than we found it. It wouldn’t just be better for the wildlife and forests, but also for humans themselves. It’s more comfortable living in a less crowded planet. Discouraging human reproduction is the most powerful action we can do to improve the environment, but few environmentalists dare talk about it since it’s politically incorrect.
However, I expect that we’ll have over 100 billion humans living on Earth one day and I’m fine with that. But most people who have children are not. Yet ironically they have them and I do not. 😀
If you could have dinner with anyone, from the past or present, who would it be? And what are 3 questions you would ask them?
I’d love to have dinner with Jesus Christ (or the Prophet Mohammad). I’m an atheist, but I have a degree in Religion. These two men had more impact on the planet than anyone else. I’d ask them what they think of the way things turned out with their religions. What surprises them? What would they change about the way we follow their religions today? Where did we deviate from their teachings?
What was the last picture you took with your phone?
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
The ability to live forever (or at least a few billion years).
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Somewhere in Asia, probably the Middle East, researching that region in order to write another book. I also hope that my new company, Best Luxury Safaris, is providing me a bit of income because trying to make a living selling books is lousy! 😀