7 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Since this Cheapest Destinations Blog picked up 100 new RSS subscribers in the past month and about 400 new Twitter followers, I thought this would be a good time for a rundown on who runs this site. I’m also a speaker on the kick-off panel at the upcoming TBEX conference (Travel Bloggers Exchange), so a few curious attendees may be popping by for a visit as well.

But first a few fun facts that may be more interesting.

#1 РI used to be a semi-glamorous music business executive. 

With work buddies, circa 1990

Back when the money was rolling, in the pre-Napster days when everyone bought CDs, I worked in marketing at RCA Records, in Nashville and then New York. I hung out with rock stars, country stars, and celebs, but it sure didn’t make me rich. Most of them either, actually. It’s an idiotic business model for most people involved.

#2 – Both parents were teachers and my sister is one now.
So I taught English in Turkey and Korea when I started traveling. It was in my blood I guess.

#3 – My daughter has been to more countries at age 11 than I had been to by age 30.
I got a late start on both her and the travel.

A family trip to the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

#4 – I lettered in track & field in high school.
I ran hurdles, triple jump, and 1600-meter relay. But I was also in the marching band and was one of the leads in the senior play. My mom was my art teacher.

#5 – I’ve been an uncredited ghostwriter/collaborator on seven business books.
No glory, but it pays better than writing about travel. My name made it on to one of them, about the business of hip-hop of all things. Here’s a sampling.

#6 – I went to elementary school with Mennonites in rural Virginia.
Lots of them. Boys in buttoned-up plaid shirts and gray slacks, girls in gigham dresses and pigtails, with bonnets on top.

#7 – My late grandfather worked on the Apollo missions that sent astronauts to the moon.
He was an engineer at NASA and helped develop the heat shield that kept the Apollo 11 capsule from burning up upon re-entry.

So anyway…this blog has been running since 2003, started the calendar year after the first edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations¬†book hit the marketplace. The reason I’ve been writing about so many different countries so far this year is that I’m researching the 4th edition right now. I’m hitting about half the featured countries in the course of one year.

Almost 1,150 posts have gone up since then, so there’s plenty to check out in the archives. I get quoted in the media a lot, I win lots of travel writing awards, and I attend conferences to find out what’s going on with tourism around the world. So hopefully you’ll find that I know what I’m talking about when I dole out advice on how to travel well for less. If you’re new at this, check out my contrarian travel book for getting a great deal every time you take off.

I also know a good bit about what’s worth packing since I’m the editor of Practical Travel Gear. I review two items weekly there and supervise three other bloggers checking out new gear.

In Bulgaria last month

I’m also the editor of Perceptive Travel, a narrative site featuring interesting travel stories from wandering book authors. It’s a perennial award winner (including a big award for “best online travel journalism publication”) and its writers are a staple of “best travel writing” book anthologies.

My media company runs a few other websites that span the budget spectrum. I occasionally still freelance for print and online publications run by others, but not so much anymore. I’ve got enough to do just keeping my own plates spinning without dropping anything.

The home pages of each of the sites listed here have appropriate social media media buttons to follow along and on some of them we do regular giveaways.

Thanks for reading!

  1. Jeremy

    That Bulgarian outfit suits you pretty well. Even if you did have more hair in the first shot. Fun read!

  2. Armands

    Wish you all the best to continue writing. Like your posts.

  3. loco2

    I think that its really cool that your late grandfather worked on the Apollo missions that sent astronauts to the moon! This was a great read, you really have accomplished so much that it is incredible.

  4. Kim

    My husband would like us to start traveling a bit. Due to health problems, I cannot travel outside the US. I have been to most places that interest me here in the US. Do you have any suggestions for places that we might not know about? We both enjoy nature and good food and we really enjoy a good deal. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated as we are kind of at a stand still on this idea. Thanks so very much for your time!!

    • tim

      Kim, I believe if you started researching, you would find that the U.S. has the most expensive health care in the world, yet it’s not any better than you’ll find in major cities elsewhere, especially in the level of service. Unless you’re doing very experimental treatments that can only be found here, don’t let that hold you back. In much of the world you can pay out of pocket for the best possible care and be out less than just your monthly premiums here.

      Otherwise, there’s no shortage of places to see in the U.S., which is partly why so few Americans have a passport. It would take two lifetimes to see it all here.

  5. Matt

    Hey Tim, I like the #7 at most! Must be very proudly!

  6. Thom

    What about #8? Finest swordsman in all of France?

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