World Travellers: Earl Baron AKA Wandering Earl

It’s my pleasure today on World Travellers to interview one of the top travel bloggers and worldwide wanderers out there. If you thought my travels were crazy and inspiring, you need to read on as Earl Baron shows just how a lifestyle of travel is a complete reality for a prolonged period. He’s been on the road pretty much non-stop since 1999 and he has written an awesome book called How to live a life of travel!  He has travelled to well over 80 countries and his nomadic travel site, Wandering Earl is one of the most popular one man blogs out there.

wandering earl on dont stop living

World Travellers: Meet Earl Baron AKA Wandering Earl!

Who are you? 

I’m a traveler, and blogger, who has been on the road, living, working, volunteering and backpacking around the world non-stop since 1999.

Where are you from? 

Originally from a suburb of Boston in the US.

Where have you been? 

I’ve covered a good amount of the world so far, from Southeast Asia to Australia/NZ to the Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan, Afghanistan and over to and around almost all of the Middle East, up to the Balkans and Eastern, Central and Western Europe, as well as the Baltics, and across to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and a little bit of the South Pacific as well.

Where are you now? 

Sitting at a cafe in Bucharest, Romania, a city that I’ve been using as my ‘base’ for the past 1.5 years.

wandering earl

Get inspired by today’s World Traveller on Don’t Stop Living – Wandering Earl!

What are the top 3 places you’ve visited? 

My favorite countries I’ve visited are India, Mexico and Syria (before the current situation began).

What is the best travel experience you’ve had? 

One of the best was my recent visit to Socotra Island, Yemen, an isolated island in the Indian Ocean that sees extremely few visitors but offers what has to be one of the most unique travel experiences on the planet, with landscapes, flora, architecture, caves, mountains, valleys, sand dunes and beaches that will literally leave you in awe at every turn.

wandering earl on dont stop living

World Travellers – Wandering Earl, travelling since 1999!

What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?

I‘ve never really had anything too terrible happen. I had my wallet pickpocketed once but that wasn’t really a big deal. I was kidnapped for three days by a gang of Bangladeshi taxi drivers in Dhaka but even that wasn’t so bad after I quickly realized that my unarmed, amateur captors had no idea what they were doing. And I managed to eventually escape with all of my belongings in the end, having never given in to their demands that I take out a hefty amount of money from the ATM machine.

What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had? 

One funny experience was when I bought a cooked rat from a food vendor in Laos to bring to a group dinner at the guesthouse I was staying at. I pulled out the rat, which still had its eyes, nose, tail and even toes still attached, and of course, I had someone take a few photos of me taking a bite out of the side. Only after a few photos were taken did I look more closely at the rat and discover quite a few maggots moving around in the flesh. Needless to say, I instantly became sick to my stomach. Okay, maybe that’s a bit more disgusting than funny but I had a good laugh after it was all over. 

What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had? 

Probably the night I ended up meeting several members of the Taliban in northern Pakistan and spent a few hours with them as they told me how they wanted to kill all Americans and British citizens, as well as all Jews. I happen to be from the US and Jewish but I had told them I was from New Zealand, to which they replied, “Ahh, that’s our favorite part of Europe.” I survived in the end but I definitely was a little bit on edge throughout the experience.

wandering earl tours

Check out Earl’s website and see the world with Wandering Earl Tours!

What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure? 

1) Travel with a purpose. Aimlessly wandering around the world will actually get old quite quickly if you don’t have a goal. It doesn’t have to be a grand goal but when you enter a new country, there should be some idea of what you want to learn, to achieve or to gain from your time in that destination. 

2) Choose your own travel style. Figure out what level of comfort you prefer and don’t feel as if you need to copy someone else’s style at all. If you plan to spend $20 USD per day but you are miserable sleeping in cheap hostel dorm rooms and taking the cheapest of buses everywhere you go, then spend more money. It’s better to spend $50 per day even if it means you won’t be able to travel for as long because this way, you’ll actually enjoy and benefit from the experiences you have. 

3) Meet people. Talk to as many people, both locals and foreigners alike, as you can while traveling. You never know where a conversation will lead, who you’ll meet or what kind of opportunities will present themselves as a result.

What are your future travel plans? 

Well, since I now lead my own tours every couple of months to various destinations around the world through my new project, Wandering Earl Tours, my upcoming schedule will take me to Romania/Moldova, India and Socotra Island for my next three trips. In between, I hope to visit Georgia and Azerbaijan and hopefully another country or two that I can fit into my schedule.

Biography

In 1999, I left home for a 3-month post-graduation trip to Southeast Asia and today, over 12 years later, that trip has still yet to end. The non-stop adventure has involved over 80 countries, with a mix of backpacking, volunteering, danger travel, working on board cruise ships, teaching English and living in various destinations around the world. I created WanderingEarl.com in 2009 and ever since 2010, I’ve been a professional travel blogger, working full-time on my site as I continue to wander, lead my own tours and ensure that travel continues to play a major role in my life.

Links (website, twitter, facebook)

www.wanderingearl.com

www.facebook.com/wanderingearl

www.twitter.com/wanderingearl

Thanks to Wandering Earl for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured (there’s a waiting list at present), either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my contacts page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below! Safe travels!

Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

16 thoughts on “World Travellers: Earl Baron AKA Wandering Earl

  • Completely agree Forest. Earl is one of the top travellers and bloggers out there. He REALLY travels. His recent stuff in Yemen and Romania had me jealous as I backpacked through China, gave me inspiration to get to those 2 countries on my next jaunt. Safe travels. Jonny

  • I love Earl’s blog! He was also he first travel blogger I’ve ever met in person (in Syria, which I have to agree with him about being one of my favourite countries), and hanging out with him was very memorable. Nice interview, Jonny!
    Sam recently posted…Museo del Poncho, CopacabanaMy Profile

  • Wow! Cool story Sam – I haven’t met Earl yet myself and the first travel bloggers I met were in Toronto and New York in 2007. They were the ones that inspired me to set up this blog, yet none of them still travel or even update their blog these days. Back on topic – Earl’s stories are top class. I havent yet been to Syria so I’ll get it on my long list! Safe travels, Jonny

  • Thanks so much for this interview Jonny! It’s always great to connect with other long-term travelers out there as well so I look forward to communicating with you some more in the future…and perhaps running into each other somewhere in the world.

    And very cool to see two comments already from two wonderful people that I am very familiar with…thanks for reading Forest and Sam!

  • Mainland Yemen is quite unstable and has been for years if not decades, which is unfortunate because of the thousands of years of Islamic history and architecture there. But, I remember first reading about Socotra Island a few years ago, and I definitely have that one on my bucket list. If I remember correctly, something like 90% of the plants/fauna and 75% of the animals can only be found in that part of the World. It’s beyond just an “off the beaten” path destination. More like “out of this World” destination! Plus, unlike the mainland, it is rather “safe” for tourists to see.

    Thanks for the interview, Jonny! Will have to start reading Wandering Earl’s blog and check out his tours now! Does anyone know if he’s blogged about that Taliban experience yet? That is definitely a “travel experience” if ever I heard of one!

  • Thanks for the comments Ray – I’ve read a lot of Earl’s stuff on Yemen (his recent trip) and his previous Afghan adventures. I’m sure most of that stuff is on his blog, Earl will no doubt confirm if he’s reading. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Yeah, reading his Yemen posts right now as we speak. Great photos, and it certainly gave me a complete 180 degree turn on my initial viewpoints of Yemen. Can’t believe I “bought” into the Western Government/Media crap. 🙂 Also love his style of writing — interesting, but succinct and to the point. I can see why he’s such a popular Blogger.

    Definitely need to look into this some more for a future trip! Hope you let the temptation get the better of you and you actually make the journey yourself to Yemen when you are in the Middle East later this year! 🙂

  • I might make it to Yemen in the next year as most countries we’re heading to only give you 14-30 day visas so could get a few countries in at that rate!

  • Sounds cool Earl – I will have to check that one out too – northern Afghanistan, Bhutan and Tibet are all on my “to see list” at some point…safe travels. Jonny

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