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.