Interview: Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere

a man with white powder on his face
Gary Arndt has been traveling around the world for the past 5 years taking amazing photos along the way. He shares his stories, photos and experiences on his award winning travel blog Everything Everywhere.
I’ve been following Gary’s blog for a few years and was really psyched when he agreed to answer some questions for an interview.
Here it is:
1- Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, hobbies & interests (asides from travel!)
I am originally from Wisconsin but spent almost 20 years prior to traveling in Minneapolis. Besides traveling I’m also an award winning photographer as well as being a part owner (1 share of stock) and rabid fan of the Green Bay Packer.
2- What encouraged you to start traveling around the world?
I had an internet company I sold in 1998 to a multinational company. In 1999 I took my first trip overseas on a three week around the world trip to their offices. I visited Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Beligum, Germany and the UK. Since then was hooked and I knew I had to travel more. In 2005 I made the decision to travel around the world and in 2007 I sold my home and started.
3- How long have you been traveling and what was your first destination? most recent?
I mark the start of my travels as March 13, 2007 which was the day I sold my house. I began the trip by driving to Texas, going to LA by train and then flying to Hawaii. It took me 6 months to cross the pacific. Most recently I was in Sweden.
4- I know that you don’t have a favorite country or area in the world. I was wondering- from the places you have visited which would you like to go back to in the future?
I’d like to go back to some of the island in the Pacific because I didn’t know what I was doing photography wise when I was there. I also didn’t get to spend much time in some of the smaller emirates in the UAE.
5- I read that you started your site for friends and family to follow your travels initially.  How did it go in the beginning? What made you think about getting more serious to create a successful blog? 
My background is as an internet entrepreneur.  I used to own a network of websites that did 50m pageviews monthly. I knew what it meant to get real traffic and I wasn’t doing it. About 9 months into my trip I decided I had to either quite blogging because it was a waste of my time, or take it seriously. I’ve been taking it seriously ever since and now it covers my travels.
6- What changes did you make to your blog to attract readers?
I put a greater emphasis on photography, began marketing myself and took social media more seriously. I also just didn’t quit, which surprisingly enough, is a huge part of success.
a man taking a picture of a fish
7- Your pictures are amazing. What did you do to become such a great photographer? Any thoughts regarding Point & Shoots vs. SLRs?
I am a totally self taught photographer. I never took a class or even read a book on the subject. I mostly took a lot of bad photos and then tried to correct for why they were bad. I did spend time listening to photography podcasts as well as reading photography forums and blogs. Ultimately, I just tried to replicate what worked and stopped doing what didn’t.
The main reasons to use an SRL are better low light photos, swappable lenses,  and the ability to save RAW files.  Point and shoots are usually lacking in all three departments. Micro 4/3 cameras can provide close competition.
8- Do you have any travel goals or are you taking it day by day, month by month etc..?
I do have a list of most wanted destinations, but I don’t have a list of places I’m trying to check off. I’d like to visit every country in the world, but I am in no rush to do it. If that was my goal, I could have done it already.
9- While traveling are there any types of sites, experiences or activities that you always try to visit/ do at each destination?
I usually will go out of my way to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites if there are some nearby. I also try to visit top tier museums around the world as well as significant cultural or historic places.
10-When (if) you stop traveling where would you like to live? Any foreign options?
I think I might be more likely to live overseas than in the US actually. Singapore, Auckland, Sydney, Vancouver, Bangkok and London are all great cities where I wouldn’t mind living.
11-What do your friends & family think about the adventure you are on?
Now they have just gotten used to it. At first my family thought I was crazy and my friends thought it was cool. I’m sure after 5 years it has lost its novelty.
12- I see that you’ve done lots of speaking engagements at travel and blogging events. What has that been like? 
I don’t usually write about the business side of things on my blog, but I do enjoy talking about it and sharing what I’ve learned with other people.
a man standing in front of a group of statues
13- Do you have any advice for people thinking of long term travel?
Do it. I have yet to meet anyone who did it and regretted it.  If you do it it will rank alongside the most significant things in your life.
14- Any advice for aspiring bloggers?
Be prepared to keep at it for years before you start to see any real success. If you expect to be successful right away, you probably will be disappointed.
15-Are there any final thoughts you would like to share with my readers?
Everyone can come up with reasons why they think they can’t travel. Once you make the decision that you are going to do it, those excuses just become problems that have to be solved, not obstacles that can’t be overcome.
I want to thank Gary for taking the time to take part in my interview!
Check out Gary’s blog Everything Everywhere HERE

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