crazy travel stories


SHORT VERSION: 30+ Years Living Nomadic & Exploring 120+ Countries


... The journey, the freedom, the experience of new places - yeah, travel is addictive !!!

Hi. I'm Michael Robert Powell - and I'm a travel addict. 

Anyway, my story is not that cliche: "I quit my job and sold everything to travel the world".

No, I didn't even get on the career treadmill. 

You see back in 1988, after finishing a career-less arts degree, I didn't know what to do with my life. 

So, I left New Zealand for London to enjoy live music and big city life.


 Travel Junky

A dice throw led me solo backpacking around the Middle East (for 5 months in 1989 including Syria + Iraq). 

That journey hooked me. 

And sparked decades of traveling - alone, surviving on temp work, just going with the flow.

Subsequently, I’ve lived simple life. Having never owned a house, a car or a motorbike. Nor a permanent job. (But in 1995, I owned a TV).

Yet in recent years, I’ve edged a bit closer to 'normality' - since I met my wife (in China in 2015). 

Luckily, Wei (rhymes with 'Hey') is tolerant of my madness, and she also enjoys a minimalist travel life.

So, the trail continues ...

Explore the World

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Edgy Travels

Arrested in Saddam's Iraq by the military; accused of being "a spy" (1989)

Drugged, abducted, robbed + ditched in Siberia, Russia (2005)

Hitch-hiking the Sahara Desert, from Algeria to Nigeria (1991)

Enjoying Carnaval; later mugged at knife-point in Rio, Brazil (2003)

Traveling overland from England to India, via Iran, where I was caught in a deadly bus accident (1990)

Amid a cyclone that killed 138,000 people - Bangladesh (1991)

Trans-Siberian route, Beijing to London - overland (2005)

Caught in a war-zone around Angkor in civil-war Cambodia (1994)

Antarctica by ship - 14 land excursions; whisky + iceberg on New Year's Eve (2003)

Visiting Bolivia's notorious San Pedro Prison (2002)

Robbed by hotel staff, while suffering dysentery in Pakistan (1990)

Swimming with seals in Galapagos Islands (2003)

Amid riots in Israel (1990), India (1990) + Indonesia (1999)

Horse trekking in mountains of Colombia - thru FARC guerrilla territory (2003)

Flash-flood close call in Morocco (1991)

Skydiving in Argentina (2002) and solo parachuting in New Zealand (1992)

Slow boat down the Niger River to Timbuktu, Mali (2007)

Hitching the Himalayas, across Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal (1994)

Escaping from Indonesia by fishing boat, hitching in an Australian Army Blackhawk to be the "first tourist" in new East Timor, on 14 Jan. 2000

Actively participating in a Voodoo ceremony in Togo (2007)

Stuck in quarantine while van-camping in coronavirus-hit - China (2020)


P.S: Some of these stories will emerge - gradually, and others will appear in long-form in an ebook.

Enjoy exclusive stories with an occasional newsletter.