Carmen

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I'm a professional writer, and I love to travel and share my experiences, so IgoUgo was a perfect match. Thirty-some-odd journals later, I'm still hooked!
First travel memory:
While giving a lift to a cute American guy whom my friend and I had met the night before, we ran our rental car through a pile of cow manure on the road to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, and it splattered in a cartoon-ish way. We were amused; he wasn’t.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
Australia—koalas, kangaroos, Aussies, G'day mates, Uluru, Sydney, Great Barrier Reef...Crickey! It's brilliant!

Drever

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I retired early in order to follow up on wider interests and to explore the world. A passion for writing was something I developed in my former job as an economist. Upon discovering IgoUgo, I found the perfect match.
First travel memory:
I was born on a small island in the Orkney Isles, Scotland, and my first excursion was the annual trip to the Orkney capital, Kirkwall. Boy, did it seem big—the population was around 2,000. Blessed with a cathedral dating back to Norse days and ancient castles, it stirred my imagination.
If I could be anywhere, I’d be:
The influence of the Orkney Isles, with their average of three archaeological sites per square mile, has not waned. It has merely extended to every part of the world with an ancient past, lots of historical artifacts, and a story worth telling. To such places, I am drawn.

Ishtar

Why I write for IgoUgo:
It's a way to track journeys; it's an urge to elaborate on a new taste. It's an electronic scrapbook shared with my daughter anytime. It's a relaxing process; I love reliving the sounds, the smells, the people, the life. Anticipating the pleasure of the written word makes for beautiful passages.
Best travel tip:
Keep an open mind; abandon attitude, prejudice, preconceptions at the door. Leave some things to circumstance! Don't plan every single day of your time away; try to keep away from what is familiar (a mall is a mall is a mall). And NEVER leave home without a camera.
If I could be anywhere, I’d be:
In New York City. My soul parallels its heartbeat: exciting, dangerous, hurried, no-nonsense, gentle, infinitely varied. Its status amongst cities of the world is indelible. Too old to be called pretty, too dramatic to be called serious. And so connected to the rest of the world.

Mutt

Why I write for IgoUgo:
When I write, it is mostly for me, although I do like to pass on advice to those who would foolishly follow. I mainly think of it as an opportunity to learn more about the places I've been and to relive the experiences, although perhaps some are better not relived.
Worst travel mishap:
Conducting an impromptu baptism ceremony in the Baluchistan desert, with a bottle of table water and the few phrases I could recall from the Lord's Prayer, for an Afghani prince who had clearly mistaken me—with my long hair, beard, and sandals—for someone else entirely.
Best travel tip:
Never disappoint a crazed-looking Afghani prince with a Kalashnikov, no matter how deranged or, indeed, potentially blasphemous his request may seem.

nmagann

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I want to bring my experiences to the adventurers, the budget-minded, and travelers on packages with a host of "time-on-your-own" choices. Real people with real information provide more than what is offered in a biased tourist packet or trip brochure. We can all use insider tips.
First travel memory:
At 21, I took Mom to Puerto Vallarta. I spoke little Spanish, and she spoke none, yet I leaned on her the entire time. It was so great that we went back 6 months later. I’ve grown so much since then, even traveling solo, and I owe it all to her calm, common-sense approach.
Best travel tip:
I like to book day tours with local companies, providing them with needed income. In return, I get smaller group tours, conversations with the guide and my fellow travelers, pick-up and drop-off at my accommodations, and often discounts for multiple bookings.

Ozzy-Dave

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Very little of my journal material is written for IgoUgo; it is usually adapted from more comprehensive stories and articles published elsewhere. My interests lie largely with the psyche of the traveler—his attitudes, expectations, passions, and perspectives. It is the IgoUgo community interaction that keeps me interested.
Favorite travel quote:
"The measure of civilised behaviour is compassion."
—Paul Theroux
If I could be anywhere, I’d be:
As far away from crass mass consumerism as possible. Somewhere with culture, soul, fabulous food, religious integrity, warm weather, and breathtaking landscapes. Somewhere I don’t need to wear much. For me, that is the deep south of Thailand and its myriad of islands.

Sierra

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I love traveling and exploring, writing and photography, and I enjoy being a bit of a "tour guide" for the places I've been. IgoUgo has provided me with a place to release my "inner photojournalist" among a community of like-minded folks from around the globe.
First travel memory:
Summer at a cabin near Jay Peak, Vermont. I remember picking wildflowers in a sun-drenched field with my mom and standing atop the mountain with my dad. I have my parents to thank for so many of my travel experiences—I wouldn't be the same person without all those memories.
Favorite travel quote:
"The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake,
Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road
A gateless garden, and an open path:
My feet to follow, and my heart to hold."
—Edna St. Vincent Millay

travelprone

Why I write for IgoUgo:
My writing for IgoUgo is a labor of love, distilling practical knowledge gained from the travel process itself, then sharing it with fellow addicts. The feedback I've received from dedicated travel guides and staff members whom I’ve met and/or communicated with during the last 3 years has been most rewarding.
Best travel tip:
To maximize the quality of your travel experiences and to over-prepare, especially for arrivals and departures. The Internet is a great resource for up-to-date information, maps, and photos. Read widely about history, art, and architecture. Have essential, practical information you’ll need on arrival at your fingertips. Stress-free beginnings to a trip positively affect your experiences.
Favorite travel quote:
"Travel is almost like talking with men of other centuries." —Rene Descartes

wanderluster

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I love the freedom IgoUgo provides by allowing writers to contribute articles about any destination, independent of editorial acceptance and its appeal to the masses. Experiences I've shared about places as diverse as Egypt's pyramids and Panama's remote Emberá Drua rainforest village will likely benefit someone, somewhere, sometime...
Worst travel mishap:
I had a miscommunication with my English-speaking taxi driver. Cognizant of our wrong direction, I yelled, "Stop!" and wildly gestured to go back. He nodded in comprehension and then continued to drive an hour out of town. I missed the only flight leaving Namibia for Botswana that week.
If I could be anywhere, I’d be:
In an airport lugging around a backpack containing my camera, journal, hiking boots, swimsuit, sandals, and fleece sweater, ready for any terrain and any adventure. True to my wanderlust nature, no single destination could keep me forever. So much to explore, so little time!