My Story

30+ Years Living Nomadic - Exploring 120+ Countries


Some say I've had a crazy life. That I'm living the dream. Maybe. But for me, I just went with the flow and this is what happened.

Hi, I'm Michael Robert Powell - call me MRP, if you want.

Anyway, my story is not the cliche: "I quit my job and sold everything to travel the world and live the dream and now, you can to ...."

No, I didn't get on the career treadmill. And even today, I've no desire for a career; just enjoying life without clutter.

You see, back in 1988 following graduation in an arts degree, I didn't know what to do - so I left New Zealand for London to enjoy live music and big city life.

 Travel Junky

A dice throw led me backpacking solo around the Middle East in 1989. That led into decades of traveling the world alone, surviving on temp work and living without a social circle.

Never had a house or a car or a permanent job. (But once, I owned a TV.) 

However in recent years, I've edged closer to 'normality' when I met my lovely wife in China (2015). Wei also enjoys a minimalist travel life.

And so, the trail continues …

Wei & MRP - Ladakh, India 2016

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 (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 Indonesia (1999), Israel (1990), India (1990)

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)


(P.S: These stories will emerge on the blog gradually, as will an ebook.)

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Everything is original based on my travels.  

To travel perpetually, I live simple and earn a bit along the way. I don't use sponsors, hotel reviews or press trips. So you'll find real, old-school travel ... Backpacking for the love of being on the road and experiencing the world. 

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Explore the World
Enjoy exclusive stories with my occasional newsletter

No BS.