Kiev, Ukraine (PRWEB) November 09, 2014
While the world watches the Ukraine crisis from afar, world-renowned travel blogger Andy Lee Graham is relaxing in Kiev, savoring his singular achievement – visiting 100 countries in more than 16 years of perpetual world travel.
“Ukraine is actually my 105th country – 104th if you count Transnistria as a rogue country,” said Graham. “Number 100 was Greece, which I visited at the beginning of October.
“I would have stayed in Athens a while longer, but I wanted to make my way over to Ukraine and get a man-in-the-street feel for what’s going on here,” said Graham. “Rather than fly direct, though, I stopped in Malta, Romania, Moldova and Transnistria along the way.”
Another of Graham’s claims to fame is visiting countries that tourists and other travelers avoid. He actually prefers so-called “developing” countries and locations where significant world events are taking shape. He was in Iraq in Aug. 2003 after heavy fighting had ended; Thailand during the 2004 tsunami; and Ivory Coast when its civil war heated up in Feb. 2011.
“He’s been to places that are so far off the tourist trail that ‘the beaten path’ is a day’s bus ride away,” wrote travel writer Tim Leffel in his foreword to Graham’s recent book, “The Rules of Travel” (Real Travelers Press, 2014). “He has supported himself for more than a decade on the road, writing about his experiences on multiple continents.”
Graham, who has been traveling non-stop since 1998, has traveled to more places and continually traveled longer than any human alive today.
“I’ve had a challenge out there for years for someone to step forward who’s been continuously traveling longer than I have,” said Graham. “By ‘continuously,’ I mean you can’t have stopped for longer than three months in a row at any one place. So far, no one in the hardcore traveler community has stepped forward. Travel writers aren’t even on the list.”
The founder and chief blogger of HoboTraveler.com, Graham has documented his travels with more than 8,000 blog posts and has posted about 30,000 photos and 2,000 videos since founding the site about 15 years ago.
“What’s unique about Andy is that, unlike most other ‘travel writers,’ he only writes about places he’s actually visited – actually lived in, really,” said Alan Oak, editor at Real Travelers Press. “He gets to know local people and almost exclusively patronizes local hotels, restaurants and services. He isn’t just sitting all comfy in U.S., rehashing the same old garbage about high-priced tourist traps.”
Eager to share his passion for travel and the hard lessons he’s learned, Graham provides consultation services for prospective travelers. He’s also condensed his experience into a series of simple rules in his book, “The Rules of Travel” – rules for everything from finding a doctor abroad and getting the best hotel room to avoiding street attacks. He also is the host of “The Ask Andy Show” on the HoboTraveler YouTube channel, in which he answers audience questions about everything travel-related.
“It can be a dangerous world out there for the ignorant,” said Graham. “But if you follow the rules, it doesn’t have to be, and you can travel nearly anywhere. If there’s one thing I’ve learned traveling to every inhabited continent and circling the world 20 times, it’s that people are just people everywhere.”
Graham doesn’t plan to end his travel lifestyle anytime soon. After Ukraine, he will visit Georgia, Albania, Turkey and Portugal’s Azores islands. Afterward, he’ll make a quick trip to visit family for Christmas in Indiana, USA, and then onward to Guatemala in January, where he is guiding his 81-year-old mother on her first trip abroad.
“Hitting my 100th country was a big milestone, especially since I spend 1-2 months in each country,” said Graham. “But I don’t want to stop now. I guess you could call me a travel addict. Besides, there are about 150 countries I haven’t met yet!”