the story

Voted "Best Travel Blog" by Forbes, Vagabonding is a round-the-world travelogue created by Mike, a Renaissance man from Chicago.

Mike's solo, one-year quest through Asia and Africa is over, but you can relive the adventure in the video, travelogue, and photo archives.

Here's a map of Mike's route.

Travelogue Entry Archives

In five days I'll be on a plane, traveling further than I've ever been before. It's still not real. It's still abstract, hypothetical...  more »

A mystery flight attendant named Jared provided me with a (nearly) free ticket to Bangkok.  more »

They're mad for Nitrogen Narcosis and topless sunbathing on Turtle Island.  more »

A four-day PADI Open Water Certification course turned me into a natural-born diver.
 more »

Phuket had the clearest water I've ever seen. The most evil-looking sea snakes, too. It's an amazing dive location.  more »

I've found my new true calling: jewelry importer extraordinaire.  more »

Where else can you get three healthy, tasty meals for less than $4?  more »

There are leeches, downpours, and stoners aplenty in this tropical rainforest. Breathtaking beauty, too.  more »

Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is a beautiful, tragic, natural, and chaotic place. The government is among the world's most corrupt; the people are among the world's most friendly.  more »

The incredible balancing stupa at Kyaiktiyo, or "Golden Rock", is one of the holiest sites in Myanmar. My friend Dave nearly converted to Buddhism there.  more »

360 miles in 20 hours with just three bathroom breaks. Scary mountain roads too!  more »

Read about the situation in Myanmar according to S___*, a 25-year-old monk.  more »

This ancient, deserted city in Myanmar is one of the true wonders of Asia.  more »

I took a cooking course in Chiang Mai and learned that Thai cooking is fun and, in many cases, easy. I've got three great recipes for you here.  more »

Laos was a neutral country during the Vietnam War. But that didn�t stop the USA and Vietnam from dropping more than one million bombs on it.  more »

On a three day trek in northern Laos I hiked through pristine forests, drank bootleg whiskey with a village Chief, and attended a big pork party.  more »

Luang Prabang, Laos, is beautiful, steeped in history, and laid back. It's my favorite city in South East Asia (so far).  more »

The Angkor temple complex in Cambodia is one of those rare, much-hyped destinations that actually exceed expectations.  more »

Between 1975-1978, the Khmer Rouge killed an estimated two million people in Cambodia (21% of the country's population). Amazingly, the Cambodians have persevered.  more »

90% of Cambodians are ethnic Khmers. These brilliant architects and sculptors have been in the region since the beginning of recorded history.  more »

Life is all about guns, girls, and ganja in Cambodia�s capital city.  more »

The Southeast Asian leg of my journey is over, and it’s time to reflect on the past four months.  more »

Over the course of 72 hours, I went from an all-time traveling low to one of the highs. India is going to test me to the breaking point, and yield some of the greatest rewards.  more »

Everyone's dying to visit this ancient and holy city.  more »

For many, the key to visiting the home of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort is to get in and out as quickly as possible.  more »

In a small, welcoming village like Orchha, India, it's easy to make the leap from observer to participant.  more »

What's war coverage like in India? What’s the word on the streets of Old Delhi? Will the war in Iraq affect Vagabonding?  more »

I walked 300 kilometers, crossed a 5,400m pass, and made a brown furry friend in Nepal's high Himalaya.  more »

I had a strange and life-affirming conversation on the burning ghats of the Bagmati.  more »

Cairo is bursting with contemporary distractions and hip young people. Not all women wear veils, either.  more »

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is the Holy Grail of museums. Here are photos of the things I admired most.  more »

I thought I'd seen the best of Egypt's ancient monuments until I visited this beauty, located in the extreme south of the country.  more »

These haikus best sum up my meandering two-day felucca trip down the Nile.  more »

I confronted equipment failure, was enchanted by the abyss, and observed super-sized marine life while diving off Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.  more »

Learn about the ancient Nabataean capital that's almost entirely carved into sandstone cliffs. Also, read an anecdote about Jordanian hospitality.  more »

Here's a quick review of the months I spent in India, Nepal, Egypt, and Jordan, as well as some notes on my health, safety, finances, and the project.  more »

"Whatever you do," our guide Steven cautioned, "do not run if a gorilla charges you."  more »

A herd of wild elephants tried to push my treehouse down (or something like that) in Kibale National Park, Uganda.  more »

I drained two abscesses, gave four shots, and diagnosed 20 cases of malaria while working as a medical volunteer outside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  more »

A sometimes unintelligible Scottish guide led me over a series of class five rapids in Uganda, including the "largest commercially rafted hole in the world".  more »

Some events in Tanzania reminded me that corruption is rampant in most of the countries I've visited on this trip.  more »

I went on safaris fraught with danger and intensity, beauty and tenderness, close encounters and mechanical failures.  more »

The days are long and lazy in sunny beach hangouts like Nkhata Bay, Malawi.  more »

I've portrayed travel very glamorously on this site, but make no mistake; some days on the road are pure slices of hell.  more »

I had my best dive yet at this site near Tofo Beach, Mozambique, known for its whale sharks, manta rays, and humpback whales.  more »

I impersonated a UN photographer at a Chief crowning ceremony in Swaziland and got to meet and feast with the new Chief.  more »

I really enjoyed the beaches, nightlife, architecture, and tropical feel in Durban, South Africa – until a gang of thugs tried to mug me in broad daylight.  more »

I confronted decades of "Jaws"-inspired fear, got in the water with great white sharks, and emerged with a new opinion of these magnificent creatures.  more »

This summary of my time in East and Southern Africa includes information on my health, finances, equipment, and the project.  more »

I braced myself for serious reverse-culture shock, but it never really came. So what now?  more »


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