In this month's Industry Interview we are pleased to chat to Gary Arndt of top-ranked travel blog Everything Everywhere. Gary is a well-known travel blogger, photographer and speaker (he was one of the keynotes at TBEX '11) and is a self-proclaimed "one man National Geographic". He's visited a massive 101 countries and 150 UNESCO World Heritage sites to date.
Gary Arndt on Easter Island
What's the inspiration behind Everything Everywhere and what makes it unique?
I enjoy traveling and I enjoy sharing my experiences with people around the world. I try not to write the standard articles with top 10 lists or talk about places I've never visited. I also like to think I stamp things with my personality and that is what makes it unique.
You've been travelling since 2007, is there anywhere you haven't been and where's your favourite place so far?
There are MANY places I haven't been. Just to name a few big ones: Russia, China, India, and Brazil. I've been to a lot of really small islands and out of the way places so far, so I still have plenty of world left to explore.
As for a favorite place, I don't really have one. Different places can be good for different things. For my four-year travel anniversary I made a list of my favourite places in the world in many different categories.
How do you manage to keep your online activities organised while also enjoying being on the road?
It is difficult. It has been a particular issue for me the last three months as I've been traveling in Europe. You want to spend as much time experiencing the place you are visiting, but you also can't ignore your audience. I'm still trying to find a good balance.
You have one of the biggest travel blogs on the web - how is the business side of travel blogging going?
Better and better. I made a decision back in late 2007 when I decided to take this seriously that I wasn't going to sacrifice my long term goals for short term gains. I've purposely avoided things like sponsored posts, selling links and other things which I think aren't wise. I think this is now starting to pay off. Companies are getting used to the idea of working with bloggers and as the site grows, more and more opportunities are coming my way.
You're also known for your photography, what's your best image to date and what advice do you have for budding travel photographers?
Hard to pick a single favorite image. It is like picking a favorite child. I have a free ebook of my 50 favourite photos that people can check out if they'd like to see more. I'm going to update that soon to my 100 favourite photos.
My best advice is to get the best camera you can afford which gives you control over shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Also, use a tripod and use software like Lightroom to edit your photos before you publish them. Back in the days of film you had to work with an image in a darkroom and that hasn't changed. Only now the darkroom is a computer.
Where to next - physically and metaphorically?
I'm writing this on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. In two days I'm off to New York for some meetings and then I'll visit Wisconsin to see my family. The next two months I'll be in North America working and speaking at some events. I hope to be in Antarctica this December.
Check out our other posts in the Industry Interview series: