Ep 18: Gary Arndt – Everything Everywhere, how to blog like a pro and travel for 9 years.
Gary Arndt has mastered the art of world travel. He sold his house in 2007 and has been on the road ever since. A short time into his journey he decided to take his blogging and photography seriously, and within 4 years he went from amateur to winning multiple awards.
“Travel allows you to see connections between places.”
Gary has been to all 7 continents and has visited over 175 countries and territories. He has one of the larger collections of National Geographic magazines in the world, he’s gone dog sledding in the Yukon, bungee jumped in New Zealand, landed on an aircraft carrier, ridden in a Formula 1 car, and scuba dived all around the world. The list of adventures and accomplishments go on.
“The ability to adapt is much better than the ability to plan.”
In this conversation we talk about the genesis of Gary’s travel bug, his decision to hit the road, how he taught himself the art of photography and blogging, the success of Everything Everywhere, some of the biggest mistakes beginner bloggers make, the worst question Gary constantly gets, what he wishes people would ask him, some of Gary’s recent adventures, his podcasting, his obsession with Game of Thrones and what’s next for Gary. Whether you’re a traveler or a creative there is something in this episode for you.
“Build an audience and the money will come.”
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6 Key Takeaways
- Don’t spend too much time planning for a trip. Details will inevitably change, and you can learn more about the area from the locals once you are on the ground.
- Politics are increasingly split between a cosmopolitan world view and a parochial world view. Travel allows you to see how others live; that your way is not the only way to lead a good life. It removes the fear of the “other”.
- Don’t worry about things like Google Analytics and Instagram posting times, especially when your work is not remarkable. You need to improve the quality of your writing, photography, etc. first.
- Web traffic is not your audience. Traffic is a way to build your audience. You must create content that is compelling enough for people to want to come back and spread the word.
- Travel is a great way to learn. By observing other cultures, learning the history behind UNESCO sites, having conversations with people; you can begin to make new connections and have a greater understanding of the way the world works.
- Never ever ever go to a nightclub while traveling. Nothing good ever happens at a nightclub.
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Show Notes (Ep 18)
Intro and recent travels [02:03]
Where Gary grew up [04:07]
- Appleton, Wisconsin
- National Geographic
- Boy Scouts of America
- National Geographic Magazine Vol. 1 No. 1
Genesis of the travel bug [06:40]
Selling house and traveling the world [11:46]
Things done while traveling that normally would not [16:16]
Travel now compared to travel when started [19:09]
Learning from travel [22:33]
The dangers of travel [23:59]
Everything Everywhere the blog [26:50]
How to improve photography [31:13]
Blogging turning point [37:45]
How would life be different without the blog [43:50]
Why podcasting [45:10]
- This Week in Travel
- The Global Travel Conspiracy
- Berlin, Germany
- Easter Island
- Machu Picchu
- Nan Madol
- Bora Bora
- Cook Islands
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia – by Elizabeth Gilbert
What bad questions do you get vs. questions you want [53:37]
Is it hard to disconnect [56:07]
Biggest obstacles to making the leap [57:27]
Could the world use more travelers [58:50]
Favorite recent trip [01:00:22]
Most obsessed with right now [01:03:47]
- Game of Thrones
- Dan Carlin – Hardcore History
- Marco Polo
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty
- Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings
Final advice for travelers [01:11:25]