This week, WSGT is interviewing Max Hartshorne of @GoNOMAD, a travel blog dedicated to providing travelers with inspiring articles, photos and destinations around the world.
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
My very first travel experience that meant something to me was waking up in a tent in Normandy, France at 5 am, stumbling out of the tent in the mist and marveling that, at age 16, I was actually in ANOTHER COUNTRY. I walked through a deserted village and saw a farmer riding his bike out into a field, with the shroud of the mist. And I was hooked, France is still the country I’ve visited more than any other.
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
I would love to travel and not have to be on the hook for a story, and to not have to follow an itinerary. I travel very often on press trips so that’s usually not possible. But it would be fun to have unlimited funds and just go to a place like Laos or Chaipas Mexico and just settle in for a few months. I’m planning to do that some day, not sure how soon, but I might try it out some winter when New England is just too much.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
In 2002, when I bought GoNOMAD, I wanted nothing more than to have this become my full time job. But it did not make enough revenue, so I was scared to just quit my job. But little by little, in only two years it DID make enough and I was happy to quit my day job in sales and spend all of my waking hours working on GoNOMAD and traveling. I’ve done nothing but this ever since 2005.
4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
I use XO Currency to keep track of costs in foreign currencies, I use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to share my travels, I use Google Maps all the time and I love listening to Spotify off line in my hotel rooms to rock out when I’m by myself. I also am crazy about podcasts and enjoy listening to Marc Maron and Rachael Maddow on airplanes and during downtime traveling.
5.)What place do you wish more people had seen?
I wish more people have been to Iran. It gets a bad rap and I think it is one of the most extraordinary places just Persepolis alone is worth the trip. Esfahan is a dramatically beautiful city, the people there love reciting poetry and it’s magical. Not scary at all.
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
Buy the website. Be bold. Do what you dream of doing and don’t let fear get in the way. My cousin Stephen told me that.
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
All the time! People are gracious in whatever country they’re in. Especially in Mexico, people just help you love you and are the best. I have gotten lost and it’s turned out to be a blessing!
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
It’s my job. That makes it easy. But I don’t usually stay longer than a week, as I said, I’m gearing up to finally stay somewhere fun for months, not days or weeks.
9.)I travel because….
Nothing educates and illuminates as well as travel. Nothing gives you empathy and understanding of other countries and cultures than being with them in person. No meeting by phone, Skype or email can equal a face to face dinner or a drink at a pub. To live life you have to be in it, and I am restless, so travel is something I need to do, every month, to keep refreshed and energized. it gives you better stories too.
Max Hartshorne has been the editor of the GoNOMAD.com travel website since 2002. Over the past decade, he has had the privilege of working with writers and publishing travel articles about nearly every country in the world. He is a regular on two radio stations where he shares his latest travel tales.
Before he bought GoNOMAD, Max was the Managing Editor of Transitions Abroad magazine, and spent 20 years in advertising sales. Max speaks frequently on social media, travel writing, and on how to create an online publication that earns enough money to become your full time job. He is well versed in all facets of social media.
His blog Readuponit, which appears on the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s website and on GoNOMAD is about the people he meets, the places he visits and life as a travel editor, grandfather and bon vivant.
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