Gary Arndt is the man behind the blog Everything – Everywhere, named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Best Blogs of 2010. On the road since 2007, Gary has traveled to 89 countries and 6 out of 7 continents. In this interview, Gary shares everything from his thoughts on his blog to his most memorable experiences with locals.
You launched your blog in October 2006. At what point did your blog start taking off and what was the tipping point?
I was blogging for 9 months and nothing was happening. I made the decision in December 2007 to start taking things seriously and that was the beginning of a steady upward trend. I don’t know if there was a tipping point, per se. There have been many notable things like being listed by Time Magazine and guest posting for Tim Ferriss, but even those events were incremental in terms of building an audience, not revolutionary.
You own “one of the larger collections of National Geographic magazines and books in the world.” Wow! What was the first destination you visited based on inspiration from that publication?
I can’t say I’ve ever visited a single place because of something I read in National Geographic. One of the places I most closely associate with National Geographic is Machu Pichu which was “discovered” by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and reported in the magazine. I have yet to visit there, however.
What has been the most memorable conversation you’ve had during your travels?
It was probably with a guy in the Solomon Islands about the concept of ice fishing. He had a hard time believing that you could fish on ice and thought that walking on water was too much like Jesus.
The Tripping community is about cultural exchange, so we are dying to know: What has been your most memorable experience with friendly locals?
I was once given a ride from Nizwa, Oman to Muscat by a man who picked me up at the side of the road. He bought me lunch, drove me over 100km and dropped me off at my hotel. Didn’t accept a penny for gas and left without saying a word.
If you could be any other travel blogger for a day, who would it be? Do we dare ask why?
I don’t know if I’d be someone else, but there are many other bloggers I like. Jodi Ettenberg at LegalNomads.com, Dan and Audrey at UncorneredMarket.com and Wes Nations at JohnnyVagabond.com are all great explorers and great photographers and/or writers. They all live on the road and are committed to their blog.
Do you remember the first time someone recognized you “on the street” so to speak? Have you since become used to similar situations – where a stranger knows so much about you, but you know nothing about them?
No one has ever recognized me just from seeing me. I have had a few hotel owners and other people in the travel industry know who I was before I came to their hotel, which was awkward. When I meet with readers, they often know a lot about me which is odd, but its part of the business so you get used to it.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of the Everything-Everywhere blog, what advice would you whisper in Gary’s ear?
Shoot in RAW, use aperture priority mode and edit your photos
A big thank you to Gary for sharing his thoughts and tips with Tripping! Gary, we look forward to reading about your upcoming travels!
Photo credits: Photos 1,3,4, 5 from Gary Arndt; Photo 2 from ‘Must See-Monday: Machu Picchu, Peru’
Interview by Anis Salvesen.