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.

Dutchnatasja

My 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
Why I write for Igougo:
I had a lot of help in the past from the people who wrote for Igougo; tips, little gems, the do's and don'ts of traveling. After a lot of traveling by myself, it was my time to pass my experience to other people. It's like a travel diary and everybody is allowed to read my book.
If money were no object, I'd go to:
Australia and Fiji.

Eric from Aiea

Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel is the means that opens up the world and other cultures to you. I am lucky to have a job that has taken me all over the world and given me the opportunity to work and live in so many different places. You can read all you want of things, but to see them yourself is what makes a difference in you. That is compounded when you have great friends all over the globe who allow you not only to see a place through your eyes, but also through theirs. I can never say thanks enough to so many friends who have allowed me to experience things that fill most people's dream wish lists. These days it seems more that I am traveling to meet friends than I am travelling to see their country.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
If money were no object (and actually getting the time off from work was no objective too!), I would take a group of my Vietnamese and Singaporean friends on a three week backpacking trip through Spain and Portugal riding the train and staying in B&Bs just so they too could see the contrasts of culture and architecture (and foods) there that some likely they won’t get a chance to in this lifetime. Spain's blending of history and cultures is incredible to see, but sure is difficult to translate to someone who has no idea of any of it because it is so foreign in concept. Now that would be a trip of a lifetime, but no way any of them would not have a backpack and a big suitcase by day 2 of the trip!
Worst travel mishap:
"Why you should look at the weather forecast the day before you set out on an adventure": In 1990, my Colombian friend Mery lived in London, and planned out a pre-New Year’s trip into Scotland. I travelled overnight by train from my apartment in Germany, and after linking up at her flat in London, we set off to see Glasgow, Inverness, and Edinburgh the day after Christmas with me using an INTERRAIL Pass by train and her with another friend by bus. The plan was to link up at the B&Bs she had reserved. After a great time in Glasgow, we headed out to Inverness and right into one of the worst winter storms in the 90s to hit Scotland. I had only the names of the places she had made the reservations at and no maps, and was on my own when hopped out into the snow in Inverness at night with my backpack. I quickly figured that I needed to ask directions and after several pubs, finally found someone who knew where the place was, and actually got a ride there. Mery was stuck somewhere in Scotland so I was on my own for the rest of the trip. The snow was coming down so hard that visibility was about 20 feet at Loch Ness, and if the monster jumped up to say “hello,” I would have missed him completely. Definitely NOT the time to see Scotland, and my time in Edinburgh was when it was bitterly cold, but at least I had a map there! After two nights there I decided that it was better to go back to London on New Year’s Eve. One mishap after another led to great memories and greater stories. (And it was actually on that train ride back to London that I would meet one of my greatest friends, then a Ghurka soldier, who was also on his way to London for the New Year celebration, and who would later be my city guide in numerous stops in Tokyo 10 years later.)
Favorite travel memory:
For all the fun in Asia I have had, my favorite travel memory is of Wroclaw Poland, when Poland first opened up to allow tourists in. I was living in Germany from 1988-92 and often took weekend trips around, taking some of my soldiers to get them out of the barracks and to see Europe. In that time few in Poland outside of Warsaw and Krakow had actually met or seen Americans, and so for a Thanksgiving 4-day weekend adventure, I took two of my young soldiers with me, and we took a train through Eastern Germany to Wroclaw. Having once been a fortress city we figured it would be a great place to explore. It was bitterly cold and snowed on and off in what at the time was a dirty and gritty city, but what a grand time we had. We all still remember to this day going out for a dinner on Thanksgiving, inviting a few local girls along with us who we had met, and a 5-course meal and untold how many beers for the whole group at a cost of less than 20 USD. One evening we were in a bar playing quarters (we had American change of course), when all of a sudden several big policeman rushed in and surrounded us and started to question us. It was when we spoke that they realized we were Americans. We found out someone had thought we were skinheads because we all had very short haircuts. I still have a Polish cavalry saber I bought on that trip hanging on my wall.

dangaroo

Why I write for IgoUgo:
To offer an alternative to the mass read guidebooks that often claim to be up-to-date but aren't. I hope my reviews offer insight into lesser known spots, as well as hands-on travel experience on subjects like hitchhiking, hiking and travelling on a tiny budget which can be of great use to contemporary or future travelers.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
I'd like to travel to lots of distant islands such as St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Sao Tome e Principe, Falkland Islands, Easter Island, Aleutian Islands and Fernando de Noronho.
Best travel tip:
Unless you are on a business trip then I'd highly recommend taking as little as possible. The less you have with you, the less weight you have and the less things you have to get lost, broken, stolen or just worry about in general. The more time you spend checking that you have everything, the less fun you have. Just take your passport and a simple camera.

koshkha

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I had been writing travel reviews for several years before I discovered IgoUgo so when I 'arrived' the advantages were all too obvious. You can write about quite literally whatever you want to and you can do it the moment that the urge to write strikes you; just sit down and pour it all out on the screen. There's no need to submit suggestions and in contrast with other sites I use, I really appreciate the lack of politics, competitiveness, or aggression from other members. IgoUgo very quickly became my favourite travel website.
Worst Travel Mishap:
Given the amount of travel I've done, it's amazing I've not had (touch wood) any serious mishaps. My worst moments were probably missing a flight in India because I'd not properly checked the paperwork and thought we had another day (thank goodness it was July when the planes were half empty and Virgin sorted us out for just £50) and the time my husband lost my passport in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh City airport. It turned out he'd got it caught between our two bags when lifting them off the x-ray machine but if they hadn't turned up things would have been really awful.
If money were no object:
I'd go back to Galapagos and have a much longer trip. My husband and I had a special bank account that we called the 'Blue Footed Booby Fund' and sold things on eBay for a couple of years to raise the money. Galapagos was so much more wonderful than I could ever have imagined and I would love to go back - ideally for a week or two cruising around and a week on a dive boat. I remember the last snorkel session of our trip when we found an underwater cave filled with dozens of sharks - absolute magic.

Slug

Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel gives me so much: something to look forward to, something to remember, time to chill and relax, and a chance to experience firsthand what the lives of others are like. I can't imagine life without having recently experienced somewhere new or having somewhere new to look forward to.
Why I write for IgoUgo:
I spend so much time planning and looking forward to my vacations that I like to write down my experiences during each trip; it helps ensure I remember my experiences and if I do get the “at home blues”, I can revive my experiences by reading some of my older reviews. I write for Igougo specifically as I get a small but consistent financial reward for my efforts (unlike some travel review websites I could mention), I enjoy building up my reviews into logical and coherent (OK don't answer that) folders, and I enjoy looking out for the shout outs to my pieces on the Igougo blog and Twitter.
Worst travel mishap:
On almost every trip we take we try to explore something different. As we travel on foot or by public transport invariably we find ourselves in a place we politely describe as “somewhere tourists don't normally see”. Likewise, we usually manage to find the most dreadful and overpriced meal just before we are due back into the UK; I like to think someone is preparing us for the bump back to reality. Seriously, in 20 years of travel we have (so far) enjoyed a pretty charmed life.

tvordj

Why I write for IgoUgo:
When I travel, I use a number of sites for research to find accommodations, things to do, etc. IgoUgo is one of the best sites for this. I like to read people's real reviews, whether it's praise or warts and I get some great ideas for off the beat things to see as well, things that you might not find in a guide book. I like to read about others' adventures and travels, too. I enjoy writing about my travels and sharing my travel photos as well as passing on tips and reviews. IgoUgo has the added incentive of awarding points that can be used for gift cards and that's a very cool thing to do!
Favourite travel memory:
It's difficult to pick just one! There was a week I spent on my own in London, with lots of time to walk, and do and see things on my own schedule. Or another week I spent in London with my mother, her first trip (my 8th or 9th) where we had a wonderful mother-daughter time together. There have been wonderful road trips and city visits with my fiancé, but perhaps my first travel experience as an adult might be the most interesting and might double as the worst travel mishap though it wasn't really all that much of a disaster. I had gone on a European vacation in school but after that, until I was in my mid-thirties, I couldn't afford to go anywhere. Thus, I was very excited to take my first trip to the U.K. to join a bus tour with a coworker. She had more travel experience than I did but took an anxiety attack, probably from jetlag and over-exhaustion but she didn't realize that's what it was. She could only think that she wanted to go home and she did. She booked a flight and left the next day leaving me on my own! Luckily, it was an English speaking country, and I was joining a tour group so my experience, while having a rocky start, turned out just fine!
Best Travel Tip:
Research, research, research. Make a list of your priorities and must-see activities but never be afraid to throw it away if something more interesting comes along, or if time constraints, weather, exhaustion or other impediments change things.

Koentje3000

With his profile quote, "You don’t lose the way but you gain one," Koentje3000’s travels have been many and varied. From his first Journal on Melbourne to his latest in Norway, the photos and journals are a pleasure to see and read. With dreams of visiting Turkey, Syria, Uzbekistan and Bolivia, we look forward to his future sojourns.

rufusni

"I love to explore, whether it is new places or those that are more familiar but more importantly I love meeting new people." To describe her wanderlust, rufusni goes on to say "My feet get that itchy feeling, my heart is stirred for different experiences, my head has space for new knowledge, my soul needs a fresh reason to sing."

flyingscot4

An IgoUgo member since 2004, flyingscot4’s travel philosophy is summed up in his own profile. I'm a septuagenarian member of the backpack/hostel set of travelers. I travel slowly for pleasure, relaxation, rejuvenation and because running is not something that I do well anymore. I avoid organized tours in favor of deciding how long I want to stay in one place. I prefer small cities to large ones and I look for signs of community pride. Bamberg and Coburg, Germany are examples of such small cities along with Bruges and Ghent in Belgium and many others scattered all over Europe. Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany is always clean despite the hordes of tourists that invade this small, Medieval city year 'round. Amsterdam's streets are washed daily and individual shopkeepers are fussy about the exterior appearances of their businesses as well as the interiors. Pride in one's community says a lot about the people of that community. I travel often, inexpensively, usually alone, and, most importantly, I always have a blast! To me, travel is about enjoyment and I frequently return to places that I have enjoyed. Today, being retired, my shortest trip is at least four weeks long and in spring of 2013 I hope to travel for two months. My goal is to influence others to "go it alone" and make each trip a personal adventure for one. A person traveling "solo" can see and do much more than is possible with another person or group because the solo traveler is pleasing only him/herself. Solo travel may not be as romantic or as convenient, but I believe that the advantages of solo travel far outweigh the disadvantages. I won't recommend something that I have not personally done or seen (unless I so state), and I will not question or condemn the travel styles of others.