the candy trail … is my global-nomadic lifestyle – traveling the world for fun, knowledge & freedom.

Since 1988 I’ve been living out of a backpack – traveling Asia, Africa, the Americas, etc – to experience the world’s most amazing and off-the-track places. Hi, I’m Michael Robert Powell from New Zealand – also known as Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.

long term traveler michael-robert-powell-turkey-1989

MRP @ Turkey 1989

I’ve never had a permanent job. Never owned a house or car or motorbike (but once had a TV). After graduating from university, I took a 6-month job – then hit the road with the money saved and have never looked back.

long term traveler michael-robert-powell-mexico-2009

MRP @ Mexico 2009

Today I remain on the road. Still single, never married, no children, few assets, no social circle or societal niche.

long term traveler michael-robert-powell-antarctica-2003

MRP @ Antarctica 2003


Simply, I’m fascinated with history and culture, amazed by landscapes and nature. AND I’m addicted to the movement of the  journey, that freedom and unpredictability that is travel.

long term traveler michael-robert-powell-india-1990

MRP @ India 1990


  • Arrested in Saddam’s Iraq by the military in Kurdistan; accused of being “a spy” (1989)
  • Hitch-hiking the Sahara Desert & the Sahel, from Algeria to Nigeria (1991)
  • Enjoying Carnaval; later mugged at knife-point(s) in Rio, Brazil (2003)
  • Overland travelling – mostly hitching from England to India via Iran, where I was caught in a deadly bus accident (1990)
  • Drugged, abducted, robbed, ditched in Siberia, Russia (2005)
  • Caught amid a cyclone in Bangladesh that killed 138,000 people (1991)
  • Trans-Siberian Route – numerous city stop-overs – from Beijing to London (2005)
  • Caught in a war-zone around the temples of Angkor in civil-war Cambodia (1994)
  • Antarctica by ship, enjoying much, including whisky and ice-berg on New Year’s Eve (2003)
  • Dysentery and robbed in Lahore, Pakistan (1990)
  • Swimming with seals in Galapagos Islands (2003)
  • Caught amid riots in Indonesia (1999) and India (1990)
  • Horse trekking in southern Colombia, thru FARC territory (2003)
  • Flash-flood near-danger in Morocco (1991)
  • Skydiving in Argentina (2002) + solo parachuting in New Zealand (1992)
  • Slow boat down the Niger River to Timbuktu, Mali (2007)
  • Hitching the Himalaya, across Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal (1994)
  • Escaping from Indonesia by fishing boat then hitching in an army Blackhawk to be the “first tourist” in the new East Timor, on 14 Jan. 2000
  • Actively participating in a Voodoo ceremony in a remote village in Togo (2007)

And more …

long term traveler michael-robert-powell-egypt-1995

MRP @ Egypt 1995


Because I love to travel overland, I fly only when I must. Local public transportation is my way across the world. I stay in simple hotels and family guesthouses, and buy  mostly from food-stalls and small businesses. And so my money mostly goes to the local, everyday people.

long term traveler michael-robert-powell-uruguay-2002

MRP @ Uruguay 2002


– Be a good person and do no harm to others.
– It’s not what you have, but what you do, that matters.
– Life should be fun.

READ MORE → Frequently Asked Questions

SEE MORE → Maps of my Journeys

→ Contact Me