Honoring Our Dedicated Members

The IgoUgo Hall of Fame honors those members whose exemplary work and longtime dedication are the foundation of our success. In addition to contributing an impressive quantity of high-quality trip journals over a number of years, members of the Hall of Fame continually inspire our globe-trotting fantasies with their insatiable travel curiosity. New members are welcomed each year; read on to learn about our most recent inductees.

airynfaerie

Why I believe travel is so important:
I believe travel is so important because it opens a person's eyes up more than almost any other human experience. Being able to see and experience other cultures and meet people in very different situations than your own allows you to realize that underneath it all is the same thread…that we're all humans. We all have the same basic needs. Through travel, I believe that a person's capacity for love and understanding is expanded exponentially.
Favorite travel quote:
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." –Saint Augustine
Best travel tip:
This is a tip I have to give to myself quite often as I'm very Type A...but my tip is to go with the flow. Plan as much as you want, but if things don't go as planned (which happens more times than not while traveling), then reexamine the situation as a new adventure. See what can be learned, a relationship made, an unexpected side trip taken—which wouldn't have been possible if your original plan would have happened.

fizzytom

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Writing for IgoUgo allows me to share my experiences with people who actually want to know about them; sure my friends and family like to hear my traveling tales but they only want to hear so much. At IgoUgo, I get read by people who really want to know where I've been and what it was like.
Worst travel mishap:
In Moldova I ate some pancakes containing nuts that triggered an anaphylactic shock. With my lips swelling rapidly and my throat constricting I managed to tell a Russian-speaking pharmacy assistant that I needed an ambulance. When it came I was so oblivious to what was going on around me that I hoisted my skirt for the paramedic to administer adrenalin, and when I came round, a ten-strong Roma family was peering through the door of the ambulance to look at my bottom proudly sticking up in the air.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
I'd spend a year visiting all of the Russian Soviet Republics I haven't yet visited (I've been to Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia so far; Russia doesn't count because I was only there in transit).

Joy S

Favorite travel memory:
It’s so difficult to choose—I have so many favorite travel memories, but the one that springs to mind is a recent trip above the Arctic Circle to Lapland just before Christmas. To experience the biting cold, abundant white snow, and polar nights was thrilling, but to share my six-year-old’s excitement at experiencing all of this plus meeting the real Santa Claus in his home was magical and unforgettable.
Favorite travel quote:
"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted." –Bill Bryson
Favorite souvenir:
I always seek out a souvenir from every trip and have lots of things that are precious to me: a tile from the Italian lakes, a Venetian mask, a wooden bear from Colorado, a hand-carved giraffe from South Africa...the list goes on. Now my son has caught the travel bug and his favorite souvenirs are also special: a Tom and Jerry gondola from Venice, a New York snow globe, a mini Eiffel Tower…

I also always bring back a fridge magnet from my travels—they are cheap, maybe tacky and a bit kitsch, but fun to look at when I’m in my kitchen at home remembering the wonderful trips I’ve had.

Liam Hetherington

Favorite travel memory:
I was a late bloomer when it came to traveling. Between 1994 and 1999 I didn't go abroad once. As an impoverished student, even whilst studying International Relations, my budget never really extended to taking foreign jaunts. So I would have to say my favorite travel memory would be my first big independent holiday: taking the Trans-Siberian Express from St Petersburg to Beijing over three weeks with two mates in 2002. The history, the romance, the adventure, the sense of voyaging somewhere that until recently would have been still forbidden to us... Experiencing culture shock in St Petersburg, stumbling into a floodlit Red Square at midnight, accidentally breaking into Boris Yeltsin's country estate, sipping vodka in the restaurant car watching the vast expanses of Siberia slipping past, riding horses across the steppes, getting lost within our first five minutes in Beijing... The in-jokes and bickering as we tested our friendship to the limit by sharing hotel rooms, train bunks and Mongolian gers for 5,000 miles... The sense of achievement and companionship as we sat in Tiananmen Square on our last night and congratulated ourselves on surviving (shortly before being robbed blind by a helpful rickshaw driver)... This trip has provided me with so many fond memories, and really my yearning to keep on traveling and seeing the globe started there, somewhere between Nevsky Prospekt and the Great Wall.
Favorite travel quote:
Hmmm. It would have to be song lyrics obviously. To reflect my itchy feet I think I would have to plump for Bobby Darin's "Fabulous Places":

"There are so many fabulous faraway places to see
Such as Mexico, Sweden, Hawaii, Japan and Capri;
There's so many exciting and wonderful places -
Mountains and jungles and desert oases;
Pleasant as home is
It isn't what Rome is
So why stay there?"

But as I say, I'd only start missing my family and friends and yearning for home comforts after a while, so then I'd be turning to Frank Sinatra's "It's Nice To Go Trav'ling":

"It's very nice to go trav'ling
To Paris, London and Rome,
It's oh-so nice to go trav'ling
But it's so much nicer,
Yes it's so much nicer to come home."
If money were no object, I’d go to:
That's a tough one. Where wouldn't I want to go? I want to go back to China (I only spent a weekend there). I've been to Peru, but I want to see the rest of South America. I want to explore Indochina. I want to ruin-hop my way through the Yucatan. But I think my strongest (and strangest) dream destination would be to trace the Silk Route through Central Asia. Frankly if I won the lottery I'd pack my backpack, catch a flight, and just travel, on and on, testing the limits of just where I could get to.

And then, when I got there, I'd probably be feeling homesick. So I'd come home. Reimmerse myself in my normal life with family and friends. Until my feet got itchy once again...

MikeInTown

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I write for IgoUgo because it is a fun way for me to relive my vacation experiences and provide information for others who may be considering a trip to some of the places I've been.
Favorite travel memory:
My favorite travel memory is the 3-day safari we did at Kapama Game Reserve in South Africa. We saw all of Africa's Big Five and other animals in their natural environment. I will never forget the nervous excitement of being just a few feet from a male lion as it roared.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
I would definitely travel the world, visiting interesting places on all seven continents. After I’ve been to all the places on my list, I would buy a seat on a space mission so that I could see this wonderful planet from outer space.

Owen Lipsett

Why I write for IgoUgo:
My second favorite thing in the world (travel itself is first) is writing about travel so it’s a pleasure to have somewhere that I can make my musings useful to others. IgoUgo offers a nice way of sharing travel experiences with other people and gaining their wisdom (either through their journals or conversations that have grown out of them)—a bit like travel itself.
Best travel tip:
I don’t rely exclusively on any single source of information when I’m researching a destination or hotel; even most guidebooks are just one person’s opinion. I try to get various perspectives—usually if a place is really good (or really bad!) I find that’s reflected in the range of opinions I encounter.
Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel compels you to see the world through other people’s perspectives and thereby enriches your own.

sararevell

Favorite travel memory:
Sharing a ger with my husband, two Mongolian guides, a shepherd and some goats on our third wedding anniversary somewhere in the middle of the Gobi Desert.
Best travel tip:
Always pack dental floss. It's bad enough going to the dentist in your own country but it’s worse having to go on holiday.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
Sierra Leone. I sponsor a girl who lives there and would love to meet her someday.

travelswithkids

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I really enjoy traveling around the world and seeing and learning about new places. One of the reasons I write for IgoUgo is to try to infect others with that enthusiasm. Another reason is that I've gotten a lot of helpful travel hints from others over the years and my sharing through IgoUgo is one way of repaying others for those tips. I hope that others who read my IgoUgo writings will be inspired to visit some of my favorite places.
Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel is important because you learn so much more about the world by seeing it in person. Whether it is a natural wonder of creation, an amazing city, or the effects of third-world poverty, the experiences gained while traveling help you understand the amazing world we live in. I also think travel builds an amazing appreciation for history. From Mayan temples to former concentration camps, seeing these places always inspires me to learn a lot more about the subject.
Favorite travel memory:
One of my favorite memories is the rush I felt when starting my first trip to Europe. I was 21 and on my own farther from home than I had ever been, with only a vague outline of where I planned to go, but I knew it was going to be great. From that day on, I've been hooked with wanderlust.

UK Flower Girl

Favorite travel memory:
Just over two years ago my husband and I welcomed our daughter Sofia into our lives. She changed our lives, and our traveling lives, forever. My favorite travel memories are the ones watching Sofia learn to be a little traveler herself. Sofia's fresh perspective on things makes us stop to enjoy some of the little things again. I love watching her get excited over an airplane or a stained-glass window or fountain or whatever strikes her fancy at the moment. It doesn't matter where we travel; she always puts a new spin on things. Sofia has been to 20 countries with us and although it can be challenging at times, I wouldn't have it any other way!

I hope all of this travel in her younger years instills the love of travel that her parents share. Sofia is going to be a big sister in June and hopefully baby will be an awesome traveler like Sofia has been.
Favorite travel quote:
I couldn't pick just one favorite travel quote; there are so many!

"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things—air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky—all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it." –Cesare Pavese

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." –Mark Twain

"He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left." –Chinese proverb
If money were no object, I'd go to:
Everywhere I could. The world is a wide and wonderful place with so many places to explore. Because I have spent very little time in Asia I would start there and then maybe go on to see more of South America. Right now my heart is in Europe after spending the last 8 years living in England, even though we are currently in the process of moving to Australia. I will travel my whole life and never run out of places to go or things to see—even if visiting a place for a second, third, or tenth time!