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Today’s “4 Cheapo Questions…” interview features Mike Richard, founder and editor of Vagabondish.com, the “travelzine for today’s vagabond.”
We’ve been big fans of Mike’s website for a long time, both for its thoughtful articles and talented writing, as well as its eye-catching photography and snazzy design.
But enough about us! Read on to learn a little more about Mike and the story behind Vagabondish.
1. Can you tell us about yourself and your website, Vagabondish.com?
As a web geek with a real passion for travel, I needed a way to chronicle my travels online. Naturally, a blog was the way to go. So, three years ago this month (October 2006), Vagabondish.com was born.
It was nothing more than a personal playground at the time – a place to post travel-related photos, articles, advice and links that I enjoyed. I had no intention at the time of making it a full-time gig. Three years on, we’re still posting great travel tips, news and advice, but with a fantastic crew of writers, regular contributors and avid readers.
2. What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?
Well, there are two bits really. Both could well be applied to life as a whole, but served me well as motivation to follow my passion for travel. The first is paraphrased from Tim Ferriss:
“The traffic lights of life are never going to all be green.”
The “location independent” lifestyle niche has grown tremendously in the past three years and really exploded in the past twelve months. More and more “wage slaves” and corporate 9-to-5’ers are wondering if a life of perpetual travel is possible. Many question whether it’s a viable long-term lifestyle path.
The fact is: if you’re passionate about travel and seeing the world, do it! Like deciding to buy a house or have a child, there’s never going to be a perfect time when all the planets align just right for you to take the plunge.
… and also from Tim:
“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”
It’s sad, but often true. I’ve corresponded with literally thousands of travelers – many are perpetual vagabonds with no real place to call “home” – during my years as editor of Vagabondish. Not a single one has ever expressed regret for leaving their previous trappings – work, house, fiancé, etc. – behind. Not one.
Incidentally, it’s part of the reason that this post – Just Dive In! How to Travel (and Live) Without Regret – was one of our all-time reader favorites.
3. Tell us about your favorite place to stay in Europe. Where is it and what made it special?
My favorite stays have always been with locals. Earlier this year, I scored a fantastic private loft space with a couple in Berlin’s Mitte borough via Craigslist. The entire 10-night stay cost less than two nights at a mid-range hotel. And of course, the best way to interact with locals and get an authentic taste of your surroundings is to live with them.
4. When and where is your next trip, and how are you doing it on the cheap?
My girlfriend and I are headed to Key West for the New Year’s celebration. We’ll be staying with family and a few friends to keep it on the cheap.
This of course isn’t always a possibility. But I’ve realized just how easy it is to make new friendships online. If you know you’ll be traveling to a specific destination, check out Couchsurfing and even Twitter (use http://search.twitter.com and search for folks Twittering about your destination). Even if you can’t find someone to host you, you’ll no doubt make the acquaintance of great, knowledgeable and friendly locals who are often much obliged to share a drink and show you around their hometown.
Now get ready for the “speed round”:
Favorite airport – Right here in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s small, but it’s home.
Aisle or window – Always the window.
Chicken, fish, meat or veggie – Gotta be fish! If it’s from the sea, it’s for me.
1 item you can’t travel without – Laptop. C’mon, I’m a travel website editor.
Most under-rated landmark in Europe – Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland. It’s staggeringly beautiful – a quintessential Irish landscape.
Thanks for chatting with us, Mike! And keep up the good work with Vagabondish!