Today I’m talking with Michael Tieso, from the travel blog, Art of Backpacking, and the travel bloggers forum Art of Travel Blogging. Originally from USA Michael decided to give up the ‘normal’ life and travel full time, and has been for a few years now, living a more simplistic life – out of a backpack. You can also follow Michael on Twitter here if you wish.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m Michael Tieso from New Jersey and I’m addicted to traveling. If I’m not outside, I’m glued to my computer either programming, writing, or procrastinating (sometimes all at once).
I also love good locally brewed cold beer, sushi, beaches, and my iPhone blasting music. I like to keep my life simple and try to live with as few things as possible. Instead of buying a thousand dollar television, I spend it all on food.
How long have you been travelling full time?
I’ve been jumping from place to place for the last three years while running Art of Backpacking and several other websites and projects. It’s been a pretty good journey and there’s really no end to it. The more I travel, the more I want to go to.
I’m currently applying for my Italian citizenship so that’s going to be several more years worth of traveling in Europe.
Do you have a place in the world that you love, and can’t get enough of no matter how many times you visit?
I can’t seem to sit still for longer than three months. I’ve been to Argentina and China several times but after about 3 months, I start to get anxious to leave again. I keep going back to Argentina because I have family there. As for China, I just love their culture and language.
You’ve been backpacking for years now, and therefore packing and living a more simplistic life – is there anything you miss from before this lifestyle?
If you asked me this same question the first few months of traveling, I would have said I missed nothing but after three years, I’ve learned that there were definitely some good things to the lifestyle I had before.
I miss having a place of my own to come back to. I have this beautiful canvas print from our trip through Thailand but I have nowhere to hang it. It’d be nice to have a home base again so that after awhile of traveling, I got my very own place to relax in before planning another trip.
What has been your favourite travel experience so far?
I’ve had several different kinds of favorite travel experiences. One of the first ones that come to mind though is when I taught English for a year in China. That’s when I finally started to slow down on my travels and start to settle in instead of jumping from place to place. I now have a life long journey to learning mandarin and learning how to cook Chinese food. I really loved it there.
The Art of Travel Blogging is a great resource for the travel blogging community, what made you want to start this site?
First, thank you for the comment! I started it because I became frustrated with the Facebook groups and that there was no way to organize the threads. I kept seeing the same old threads bump up to the top, repeated, and answered with the occasional spam comment or two. Since other forums and groups are public, I felt many people hesitated to post. I think people are more inclined to share their experience and provide useful information in the private forums. I like that we have a strong community and that we have our topics organized, there’s a byline to our blogs, twitter and Facebook. There’s way longer more detailed information than Facebook groups, Q&A boards, or anything else out there for travel bloggers. I love our community and how involved everyone has been in the forums.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed!
Thank you very much Michael for taking the time out of your day to answer a few questions for me, I know how busy you have been lately. You can follow Michael’s blog, Art of Backpacking, or if you would like to join Art of Travel Blogging then click here. Michael has also just released an iPhone app, Eat the World (if you would like to search for, and download it), and you can follow Michael on Twitter.