World Travellers: Chris Backe from One Weird Globe

My latest nomad in the World Travellers series is Chris Backe who runs a website, has released some interactive travel books and talks about how much he loves Asia from his time living in South Korea and Thailand.

World Travellers: Chris Backe at an Abandoned roller coaster

World Travellers: Chris Backe at an Abandoned roller coaster

Who are you?

I’m Chris Backe, the guy behind One Weird Globe and Choose A Way, a new series of interactive travel books.

Where are you from?

Born near Chicago, lived in North Carolina and Kentucky for years before leaving the US in 2008.

World Travellers: Chris and Laura with skeletons 2013

World Travellers: Chris and Laura with skeletons 2013

Where have you been?

I lived in Korea from 2008-2013, then moved to Thailand in March 2013. Since then I’ve traveled through Laos, Malaysia, back to Canada and the US for the holidays, and all around Thailand. When my wife and I travel, we aim to find the off-the-beaten-path places around the country, and spend a lot of time in the country.

Where are you now?

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be in Krabi in southern Thailand. This’ll be the final stop during 2 years in Thailand, and we’ll be here until March 2015. If you’ll be around, say hey and we’ll catch up (seriously – I love catching up with fellow travelers!)

World Travellers - Chris Backe, One Weird Globe.

World Travellers – Chris Backe, One Weird Globe.

What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?

Gotta say Seoul remains an awesome travel experience, whether you’re there for a couple days or 5 years.

#2? Probably Chiang Mai and/or the rest of northern Thailand. It’s not the easiest to get around without a bike of your own, but there’s plenty of places that are worth the effort.

#3? Vientiane – an ecletic mix of French and Asian influences, and amazingly cheap.

What is the best travel experience you’ve had?

Arriving in Bangkok for a conference and enjoying the 5-star hotel. Yeah, it was a review – and it was a marvelous time.

World Travellers: Chris Backe of One Weird Globe.

World Travellers: Chris Backe of One Weird Globe.

What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?

The Vientiane to Luang Prabang ‘VIP’ bus. Do yourself a favor and take the plane. What was billed as a 12 hour bus ride (and that’s the BEST case scenario) ended up taking nearly 20 hours of bumps and cramped quarters that were all but impossible to sleep in.

What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?

Getting a tour of the umbilical cord shrine in South Korea – a rather surreal place if you ask me.

What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?

Getting off the bus in the middle of nowhere, South Korea. We were still several kilometers from our destination, the tomb of a famous poet, but the entrance was up a side road the bus wasn’t heading… We waited for nearly an hour before a taxi finally came along that would take us there, wait for us, then get us back to the train station!

What is the most random job you have had on your travels?

Teaching English to a couple of older ladies in a Korean coffee shop.

World Travellers: Chris Backe.

World Travellers: Chris Backe.

How do you fund your travels?

I’ve written over a dozen books and itineraries, and I’m working on a new book about offbeat Thailand, due out mid-2015. I also do a fair bit of freelance writing, and I’ve done some pro photography in the past.

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

  • There are always ways to save money – whether it’s a clever travel hack or simply opting for a two-star hotel as opposed to a three-star hotel, there are always ways.  
  • Be suspicious of anyone approaching you and offering help – doubly so if they’re speaking good English.
  • Be ready for anything. You never know where your travels can take you if you’re ready.

What are your future travel plans?

We’ll be in Krabi until March 2015 – after that, we’ll spend a few months in Europe, then we’re down to South America for the long-term.


Chris Backe is the blogger behind One Weird Globe, a travel blog that focuses on the weird and offbeat destinations around the world. He’s lived in Asia since 2008, and is currently in northeast Thailand. He’s written over a dozen books and itineraries as well.


The site:







Thanks to Chris 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 HUGE 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!

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