About Me

My name is Gary Arndt.

In March 2007 I sold my house and have been traveling around the world ever since. Since I started traveling, I have probably done and seen more than I have in the rest of my life combined.

Below is a summary to give you a better idea of who I am and to learn more about my website.

My Background

Getting ready to ride in a F1 race car
Getting ready to ride in an F1 race car

I wasn’t always a world traveler. Other than occasional summer vacations, my family didn’t travel very much. I grew up in Wisconsin and never saw salt water until I was 21 years old. In 1998 I sold my business to a multinational corporation and they sent me on a whirlwind 3-week tour of their offices in January 1999. I visited Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Germany, Belgium, and the UK.

That trip stuck with me for years. I made a few other international trips after that to the Bahamas, Iceland, and Argentina, but never really made a commitment to travel.

In 2004 I decided to go back to school and study geology. After seeing the hell that Ph.D. students were going through, the idea of going to graduate school became very unappealing. I enjoy learning but didn’t enjoy doing research so much.

I decided to travel around the world.

It took about 2 years for me to tie up all the loose ends I had and sell my house. Finally, on March 13, 2007, I turned over the keys to my home.

I lived on the road, traveling non-stop for 9 years. In 2016 I finally “settled down” and got an apartment so I had a base I could return to between trips.

Up until the pandemic, I was still traveling for about 3-5 months and visiting upwards of 20 different countries each year.

SCUBA diving in the Great Barrier Reef
SCUBA diving in the Great Barrier Reef

Random Facts About Me

  • I own one of the larger collections of National Geographic magazines and books in the world. I own a good condition issue of Vol. 1, No. 1. Not a reprint, and unbound. When I put my things in storage, my National Geographic collection took up most of the space. I also own National Geographic vinyl albums, VCR tapes, books, old subscription flyers, and 8mm movies.
  • I placed in the top 10 at the college national debate tournament in my junior and senior years.
  • I’m an Eagle Scout.
  • I have 3 dimples
  • I graduated from college with a triple major in Mathematics, Economics, and Political Science. I’m a few credits away from degrees in Geology and Geophysics.
  • I love movies. I have a DVD collection of close to 700 DVDs (mostly older and foreign films). These are almost all rendered useless by streaming.
  • I am part owner of an NFL franchise.
  • I have a ham radio license (KC0PED).
Me and the ladies at Prambanan, Indonesia.
Me and the ladies at Prambanan, Indonesia.

About My Travels

Here is a brief synopsis of my travels to give you an idea of what I’ve done over the last 13 years. Suffice to say, I’ve done a lot of traveling.

  • Visited all 7 continents. I actually visited all of them in one year once! (2012)
  • Set foot in 204 countries and territories around the world on the Travelers Century Club list of places
  • Traveled to all 50 US states and every US territory……..TWICE!
  • Explored every Canadian province 3x!
  • I’ve been to every state in Australia, Germany, South Africa, and several other countries. I try to explore places completely.
  • Been to over 220 US National Park Service sites in my quest to visit all 420 in the US. I’ve almost visited all 60 US national parks.
  • Photographed and documented trips to over 400 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world. I’ve become one of the world’s foremost authorities on World Heritage Sites.

I have also:

Me and several Spanish bloggers in Girona
Me and several Spanish bloggers in Girona

About the Blog

When I went on my first around the world trip I created a small website for the people in my office to follow my trip. The word “blog” wasn’t around at the time, but I suppose it was a travel blog of sorts. I posted photos and updates, usually over dial-up connections that were available in 1999.

Given my background in technology and the internet, when I started traveling in 2007 having a website was just a given.

About 9 months into my trip I was in Hong Kong and I began thinking seriously about what I was doing online. Not many people were reading my site. I probably knew the names of most of my readers because they were friends and family. I decided to rethink how I was doing things and began to take the site more seriously.

Fast forward several years and the blog has done alright.

  • It was named by Time Magazine as one of the Top 25 Blogs in the World in 2010.
  • I have about 100,000 people visit the site every month with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
  • Twice was a National Geographic Traveller Finalist for Travel Blog of The Year.
  • Earned a Gold Medal (2012) and two Silver Medals (2011, 2017) for Best Travel Blog by the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA)
  • Earned 3 Lowell Thomas Awards, which are the most prestigious prize in travel journalism.
  • Won over 40-lifetime NATJA Awards, a record for travel bloggers.
  • Have spoken at or keynoted almost every major travel industry event in the world.
  • I was the first full-time blogger admitted to the Society of American Travel Writers (2011) and the first-ever elected to its national board of directors (2017).

National Geographic Traveller said:

“In the travel blogging world Gary Arndt is one of the big fish.”

The New York Times said:

“Gary Arndt(‘s) blog, Everything Everywhere, is routinely cited as a model for success…”

About My Photography

Me taking photos in Morocco
Me shooting in Morocco

99% of the photos on this website were taken by me or are of me. The photos which I did not take were either on the small number of guest posts I’ve had or were of things I didn’t have a camera around for but wanted to show (a whale shark is a good example) or I was in a place where I couldn’t take photos (like Broadway play).

I knew nothing about photography when I started traveling. I purchased a Nikon D200 and just started taking bad photos. Slowly I began to piece together why some photos were good and some were bad. I also followed photography blogs and began doing things like shooting aperture priority mode and saving files in RAW.

In 2016 I moved from Nikon to Sony, a move that I do not regret in the slightest.

I’ve come a long way in my photography from knowing nothing at the start:

  • I was named the SATW Travel Photographer of the Year in 2014.
  • I was twice named Travel Photographer of the Year by NATJA (2013 & 2015)
  • My 3 Lowell Thomas Awards were all for Photo Illustration of Travel.
  • I have won 2 Northern Lights Awards for my photography of Canadian destinations.
  • Have been on the list of the 100 Most Influential Photographers in the World for the last 3 years.

You can download a free ebook of my 100 favorite travel photos which looks especially good on the iPad.


Q: What is your favorite place?

About to bungee jump off the Auckland Harbor Bridge
About to bungee jump off the Auckland Harbor Bridge

A: I have no answer to this question. There is no one best place in the world. I’m not even sure the question makes sense. I wrote my full thoughts on this question here.

Q: Why haven’t you visited China/Iran/Peru/etc. yet?
A: The world is an incredibly big place and there are some places I just haven’t visited yet.

Q: Have you ever been in danger?
A: Not really. There was one time in Cambodia where I was pretty worried for a while, but in the end, it was nothing. I haven’t been robbed, mugged or pickpocketed yet.

Q: How did you know what to pack?
A: I didn’t create a detailed list. I just sort of kept track of stuff in my head. I have a camera bag with electronics and a suitcase with everything else. The longer I travel, the less I worry about my gear. Now I probably couldn’t even make a list of my gear off the top of my head. I throw stuff in a bag and if I need something I buy it wherever I am.

Q: How do you pay for this?
A: For the first 3.5-4 years I paid for almost everything myself. The money came from saving I had from selling my house and my business. As the website has become more popular I have more opportunities for trips sponsored by tourism boards from different countries. I also have an income that is generated by my website.

Q: Where do you stay?
A: Low budget hostels or backpacker hotels. I usually don’t stay in dorms but get single rooms. That is my one luxury and what raises my costs a bit over what most people might spend. It isn’t a huge expense, however. If I am on a sponsored trip, they often put me in luxury hotels. I have had many times where I stay in a youth hostel one night and a five-star hotel next. It is very weird.

On top of the Franz Joseph Glacier, New Zealand
On top of the Franz Joseph Glacier, New Zealand

Q: Did you buy an around the world ticket?
A: No. I started traveling in the Pacific. Flights in the Pacific are a nightmare and buying more than a few stops at a time wouldn’t be worth it. Nowadays, most of my travel is point-to-point, so an around the world ticket wouldn’t make sense.

Q: How long will you keep traveling?
A: I don’t intend to ever stop traveling. I’m sure I’ll slow down and the way I travel may change, but I don’t know why I’d ever want to cease traveling entirely.

Q: Do you get lonely?
A: Sometimes, but talking to people you meet on the road and having the internet available (which has been everywhere so far) makes it easier. I hope to have some of my friends join me for stretches later on in the trip. I also read a lot. The iPad and the Kindle store has been a godsend.

Q: How many languages do you know?
A: Just one: English. Honestly, knowing another language might help me in some places, but the majority of the places I’ll be it won’t help much because there are so many languages. If you have to know one language while traveling, English is it. I try to know certain phrases so I can get by. People seem to like it if you at least try. I am making an effort to improve my Spanish and I know several handy phrases in German and French also.

Q: What did you do with all your stuff?
A: Some is still in storage. The rest I unpacked when I got an apartment in 2016.

44 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Hi Gary! Loving your travels and astounding photos! I came across you through Pinterest as I was sharing pins about the western area of North Dakota for our travel entity, Beautiful Badlands ND. I immediately noticed that you have placed the wrong state name on your pin for Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Obviously it’s in North Dakota, which your writing and photos indicate, however your pin shows ‘Wyoming’. Ooooops!

  2. Gary, I have been listening to This Week In Travel for a couple years. Since it slowed down I started listening to Everything Everywhere Daily. I love random facts and appreciate this pod so much. After all this time I finally came to your website and found random facts about you. After hearing you sign on from Minnesota for years, I was shocked and pleased to find out you are part owner of my favorite NFL team.
    Thanks for what you do, happy travels, and Go Pack Go!

  3. I love your podcasts with Chris Christensen, especially the focus on the smaller places, and the UNESCO sites of a particular country.
    I’m fascinated by your project of seeing the UNESCO sites. It seems like such an impossible task to see them all, how far do you think you’ll get before it feels like too much – Is a goal of seeing 50% of them a decent target to shoot for, or perhaps seeing at least one example in every country?

    • 50% is very possible. I just need a few months in Europe and a rental car. Several people have done it. The problem is they keep making more.

  4. I want to invite you to make a trip to Iran, because Iran is full of beauty and is currently one of the cheapest destinations. I’m sure you will have an unforgettable journey

  5. Greetings from Theva Residency Boutique Hotel in Kandy Sri Lanka!
    It was a pleasure attending the conference yesterday!
    Please do let me know when you visit Sri Lanka in the future as I would love to collaborate with you.
    Enjoy the rest of the stay in Sri Lanka!
    Safe Travels back!

  6. Hello Gary,
    Thank you for this wonderful website and sharing these amazing adventures, regarding Palmyra Atoll which is a U.S. territory, you mentioned that its status did not change to statehood, while the status of the Hawaiian Islands changed to statehood and became the state of Hawaii. Did you know the reason why Palmyra was not included in the Hawaii transition to statehood?

    Also another question, you said in the “About me” section that flights in the Pacific are a nightmare, why? Thanks.

    • I have no idea about Palmyra. I’ve researched it but could not find an answer.

      As for flight in the Pacific, I assume it has to do with the low population and low levels of tourism. It is just hard to make a business out of it so airlines come and go all the time.

  7. Well darn you’re cute. Ha ha, part owner of the Packers, that’s impressive. I am too, how is it we haven’t met? Anyway, I wanted to stop by and thank you for the inspiration at TBEX. Your wife comment gave me a good laugh. After losing my husband to cancer I really wasn’t sure where I was going with my little travel blog, but now I think I do. Thanks Gary. Your humor is a soul saver.

  8. I came across a Podcast with you being interviewed by Tomo and Meggsy last night; which goes back a few years I think. Nonetheless I learned a few things listening to you. We’re 6 months into our blog and travels and a lifestyle change. A long way to go!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I am on the verge of jumping on the same train…quitting the job, putting the stuff in storage and going on a walk about journey, so to speak. Stumbled across your blog today and it really inspired me as well. Thank you! I hope to walk in some of your footsteps and visit some of the places you already have. I am now following you on IG, so I look forward to being inspired even more! Safe travels!!

  10. Hi Gary, I remember the first time I visited your site years ago. It’s great to see you’re still doing what you love the most. I like looking at your pictures from around the world and get a chance to see places that I’ll probably never see myself. Thanks for sharing them.

  11. You are having some awesome experienced here Gary, and you are documenting them all really well on your website… what a great time you are having, and I really enjoyed your site with all the photos and the different locations.

    I am in Greece, so I was drawn to this section mostly…. and I notice you have not visited the island of Rhodes yet.. is this in your plans?

    Would love to see you here.

    All the best my friend…. really great work!


  12. It is great to do what you like as long as you can afford it.
    Every day is the first day of the rest of our lives, go for it, you are blessed.

  13. Gary, just wanted to say that as a fellow travel blogger and traveler, I admire your story, your professionalism and your great writing. There are lots of self-serving travel blogs out there that exist for click bait and dont have the content to back up their following, so it’s refreshing to find a source with helpful articles, high quality photography and a great story to go along with it. I aspire for my blog to become as helpful to fellow travelers as yours has been to me. Keep up the great work!

  14. Finally, a re-design that I like! The previous re-design had a hard-to-read text font. This time you nailed it! Now you can relax for a while! Congrats!

  15. Hi,
    I am looking to travel by myself,notby choice,but want to know where i can go safely in the world. I have traveled to 4 continents and have yet to do the slavic countries, Africa,Asia and so many of the Islands in the Pacific and Indian Ocean…do you ever do meet ups?

  16. Hi Gary,
    We just chatted with David (our nephew) and we hope to visit him in Singapore the end of January, 2009 (along with his parents). We’d love to meet and chat with you if you are in the area.

  17. I would like to say that, on behalf of the Scouts of Australia, you are doing a fine job. What you have accomplished is the very embodiment of Lord Baden-Powell’s legacy. I hope you are very proud of yourself, and see fit to visit Scout Groups all around the world as you travel.

  18. Lovely to read your About Me. I drop into your site regularly to see where you are and what you have been doing.

    I love the site – it is really visual.

    I have done a lot of travelling too: backpacking trips, working overseas, package holidays, etc. I still have a few places to cover, and reading other people’s travel blogs gives me an idea of what to expect, and what plans to make.

    If ever you pass through Leeds, England, send me an email and we could meet up for a coffee/tea!

  19. What a great site!

    Are you planning on hitting any of the islands off of Africa? I’m thinking Mauritius would be an awesome place to read about and see with your photos.

  20. Beautiful site… really. You are living my dream. I would LOVE to travel more. In the meantime, I shall live vicariously through your beautiful photos ;)

    Maureen (who lives just north of your home state of Minnesota… I’m in Winnipeg, Canada)

  21. Hello. Nice to meet you. Impression on your blog is : Cool. Really nice. One of the best I have ever seem around here. When I click on your profile: WOw!! Who is this guy??? You are amazing. Happy Travels. Wish i can go travel around the world soon.

  22. Wow…we missed the chance to meet when you travelling to Indonesia :) Maybe sometime in the future if you decide to come back again to my country, there’s many interesting place to visit besides Java

  23. Wow this is amazing!!! I would love to do the same!I think that traveling is so important for the spirit,the culture,the wellness,the inspiration!I live in Lebanon “stressful country” but i was born in Ivory Coast!You don’t plan on visiting Africa????Anyways,thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  24. Have you gone to Mainland China yet? I see pictures of Macau and Hong Kong, but you have to visit Guilin and the more remote areas of China. It is an amazing country.

  25. You are living the dream so many of us have. Just found your blog today and you have another dedicated reader. This is awesome. Something I’ve been thinking of for a few years now! I just need to build a more successful web firm first ;)

  26. I’ve just come across your blog, and I must say what you’re doing is wonderful! I’d love to travel too. I am from Romania, Transylvania region (I see you have’t been there yet), but have been living in Las Vegas for almost 2 years now. I’ve just started a blog about Vegas and other stuff. Good luck in your journeys!

  27. Amazing blog! Very shortly I will be traveling the world myself. It is great that you are living your dream. Check out my travel blog sometime. I think you will enjoy it.

  28. It’s refreshing what you’re doing. Inspiring as well! I, like many others, hope I’ll be able to do what you’re doing now someday =)

  29. Wow, I came through an entrecard link and was overwhelmed with the Hawaii Observatory picture. I’m coming out of my second retirement, but in my third, I’ll use your blog as a roadmap! Really cool stuff.

  30. hi, at first i thought u r a Malaysian cos i see some Malaysian photos. I like what you do.. travelling. I love to travel too, but can’t find the money and time..haha. But, the lonnger I wait, the older I get. Anyway, thanks for sharing. You should come again to East Coast of Penisular Malaysia. That’s where I am from. Very small town call Kelantan.

  31. HI Gary:

    I just talked to you Dad on the phone and he just told me about your “Around The World Trip”
    that is very cool. Something that I would Love to do, but don’t see how it would be possible. Glad someone in the family can and did.
    I am Anunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob’s daughter Barb, the second oldest. don’t know if you remember me.
    I am one of those relativies who also LOVES to travel. My Mom used to tell me I am the one born w/ wings. It is hard for me to find someone to travel with. Guess we all get caught up in everyday life.
    Well now that I do know about your adventure I will be checking in.

  32. Hey man. I love what you are doing. Its so cool !!! I hope to do it someday, traveling around the world. That is if I save enough cash for that, perhaps 20 years from now, fortunately I am still below my 30s.

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