HI Travel Tales
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HI Travel Tales

HI Travel Tales Team at HI Travel Tales
HI Travel Tales was born from the passion for travel, the desire to seek out adventures of all kinds, and an eagerness to share everything. Whether those adventurous undertakings are in big cities or small villages, in a mountain wilderness, or on an ocean, they stem from an avid curiosity about people and places. Founders Michael Hodgson and Therese Iknoian and their team use words, art and photography to take you where they’ve been and hope you’ll enjoy the adventure too.
HI Travel Tales
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About HI Travel Tales - Michael Hodgson and Therese Iknoian enjoying the sun and beach in Fiji.

Enjoying a moment together in the Fiji sun during a wonderful sailing adventure.

Two lifetimes of globetrotting across several continents and dozens of countries fueled the love of people, places and cultural explorations for us. As professional journalists and writers, we find adventures are everywhere – down the street or across the globe, in the city or in a secluded forest. And, yes, they can also be at popular tourist destinations. We just open our eyes – the first piece of advice to be a traveler not a tourist — and are always ready to turn right when everyone else turns left. “Why?” you may ask. “Why not,” is the answer.

About HI Travel Tales - yes we have a sense of humor.

A slightly silly moment at Disney World in 2012.

HI Travel Tales was launched in 2014 as a way for us to communicate with a very large world of travelers, and to be able to share our experiences and discoveries, not only as a married couple but also as solo travelers. We love sharing stories from other travelers, too, and have a growing slate of wonderful contributors. We are also surrogate parents to a rather large and still growing family of stuffed animals who all have names and invariably fight over who gets to go on the next trip (Michael sometimes insists two go, hiding one in Therese’s carry-on.)

As admitted gear junkies with decades under our belts as gear-testers, we can’t help but also be on a constant search for great goods for the journey. Only real-life testing will do, of course. And if there is a really cool item, we could end up in a marital tug o’ war over who gets to use it. If this “stuff” makes your trip lighter, safer, easier, more organized and more fun, we are all over it (Therese doesn’t mind if it’s cute either). Look for the HITT Seal of Approval for Travel Product Excellence we award to the best o’ the bunch.

Meanwhile, grab a glass of dry French rosé and your favorite stuffed friend, and come along with us as we show you places you’ll want to visit where you can make your own memories too..

P.S. Where did the name HI Travel Tales come from? Hodgson is Michael’s last name and Iknoian is Therese’s. Thus, H and I are … HI!

Click here to view the 2017 HI Travel Tales Media Kit.


We are proud members of the following professional associations:

Adventure Travel Trade Association Adventure Media Member Family Travel Association media member
Professional Travel Bloggers Association member adventure travel conservation fund logo

How Many Countries Have YOU Visited?

How many countries I have been to. Visited Countries Map Maker
Michael & Therese have visited 39 (19.6%) out of 193.
Make your own visited countries map.

Michael testing a Rab shirt and enjoying the wildflowers at Table Mountain.Born to British parents in Canada but spending most of my formative years in the United States, I schlepped back and forth across the Atlantic frequently with my mum and dad until heading off to college. While there, I had the opportunity to spend a few months in Kenya – and I found myself hooked on discovering cultures, new places, and taking on adventures. My biology major somehow led me into a writing career (hey, this makes sense to me). As a writer, I specialized in outdoor endeavors, from camping, hiking and mountaineering, to adventure racing, paddling and gear testing. Of course, all that meant travel and adventure! While I consider myself more of a travel writer and artist these days, I remain drawn to wild spaces and places around the world. My travels have taken me to more than 30 countries.

Choosing the best flight - not everyone gets to sit up frontAs an artist, I have always enjoyed sketching and painting in my journals, but recently started creating artwork exclusively on my iPad. My art is inspired by my travels around the world and, like drawings in my travel journal, provide snapshots of the world through my eyes. I am honored that some of my artwork has been sold exclusively to raise funds for philanthropic causes and non-profits, such as Big City Mountaineers. As writer/journalist, I have authored more than 16 books and penned many hundreds of feature articles over the years. Now, I am focused exclusively on travel writing for HITravelTales.com, a website/travel blog I launched in partnership with my wife, Therese Iknoian.

Michael writing in his journal on the King Salmon RiverMy articles have appeared in Outside, Backpacker, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, The Christian Science Monitor and others. My published books (some of which are actually still in print) include No Shit There I Was, Compass & Map Navigator, Facing The Extreme, and Camping For Dummies.

Michael Hodgson on Mount Rainier with Lou Whittaker and Nawang Gambu

More years ago than I care to remember, I am on Mount Rainier with Lou Whittaker and Nawang Gambu.

Therese is always a magnet for children.

Here I am in Somosomo, Fiji, getting immersed in the culture and doing what comes naturally — being a magnet for children.

Little did my parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages, exploration and cultures. Since that short trip, I have been to nearly 30 countries and once had friends complain that I filled too many pages in their address books (yes, old-style paper books).

Therese acting her age.

Yes, I also have a thing for kids rides anywhere in the world, though sometimes fitting onto or into them is a bit problematic.

Trained as a news journalist, I first spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist also earning a Pulitzer Prize as a member of a news team. Ah, but the independent life called and I launched a freelance writing career, writing articles and authoring several books (and getting my master’s in exercise physiology). All the while trotting the globe on news-gathering and reporting trips, that age-old light bulb finally went on with a thunk of my palm against my thick head: Travel! Why aren’t I writing about travel since everybody always wants to hear my tips and stories?

My writing focus finally turned to travel with the launch of HI Travel Tales with my husband, Michael Hodgson. Today, I combine writing with photography – an art I honed as a college student when photos were still developed in a dark room (Google it) and processing meant chemicals, not Photoshop. I returned to photography in recent years, gravitating to street scenes, people’s face, and shapes, shadows and light that tell stories and “paint” a picture.

Therese is always looking for the best photo, the best angle. Fluent in German, I also run a translation business (ThereseTranslates), working primarily with outdoor and sports companies. A bit of a French speaker, too, I love to learn some of the language wherever I go — gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! — often embarrassing myself (not to mention my husband) in the quest for cross-cultural communication.

Author Therese Iknoian, high on the Via Ferrata Tridentina in the Dolomites.

I am hanging high on the Via Ferrata Tridentina in the Dolomites.

As a writer, I have authored non-fiction books, including two editions of Fitness Walking, as well as Tai Chi For Dummies and Mind-Body Fitness for Dummies. I have also written for Fitness, Health, Backpacker, Women’s Day, Men’s Health, Parenting, and Shape, to mention a few, and was the “Ask the Coach” columnist for Trail Runner from 2003 to 2010.

My mantra on travel exploration stems from my father: “I’ve been kicked out of better places than this.”

OUR CONTRIBUTORS

 

 

 

CHARLES BATY — Born in Alabama, Charles Baty started as a mathematician but ended up a blues guitarist. Baty and Rick Estrin formed Little Charlie and the Nightcats, which went on to tour and release numerous albums, including Night Vision (1993) with guest musician and producer Joe Louis Walker. “Lil’ Charlie” drove more than a million miles during this era, traversing the continental United States dozens of times prior to the GPS era. Maps and memories with a good dash of diner food steered him right. Although “softly” retired in 2008, he can’t help but join a tour now and then, penning a journal as he stares out the van window. Check out out “Lil’ Charlie” on occasional tours at http://www.markhummel.com/calendar.html.

DIANE BENTON — Diane Benton, who grew up roaming the world, and Jerry van Heeringen, who started later in life, now live for the adventure of being travelers as a couple. Local food is a given and working hard to blend in too. (OK, so it’s not as if Jerry at 6-5 can truly blend in…). Mastering a few phrases in the local language is usually at the top of their list too. Bonjour, Madame? Still, that’s not to say that travel mishaps don’t happen. But, hey, isn’t that part of the adventure?

CHRIS CHESAK — Chris ‘Chez’ Chesak is a longtime veteran of the outdoor and travel industries, with some 20 years experience in both. He recently spent nine years working for an adventure travel trade association and is now the Executive Director of the Family Travel Association. He’s traveled to more than 25 countries and once spent three months driving across the U.S. in a sweet, but battered, VW Golf. While he loves to travel, he loves even more when he can do it with his young daughters and provide them experiences that truly ‘blow their minds’.

KEN LEE — Realizing that life is too short not to travel, Ken Lee created Mountain Adventures to avoid a regular job so he could keep traveling. Smart man. As a tour operator for more than 25 years now, he ventures all around the globe. With a foundation in mountaineering, Mountain Adventures itineraries have grown to include Asia, South America and Africa. Tours range from jungle journeys in the Bolivian Amazon, photography jaunts across China, to wine-tasting expeditions at some of Chile’s finest wine-making establishments.

GEOFF O’KEEFFE — Geoff O’Keeffe loves the West, his wife and kids and his home in the Rockies. Until recently, he spent a significant amount of his year in China. His number one objective is to be able to do just one thing at one time in one place.

OUR CONTENT PARTNERS


ABSOLUTE TRAVEL — We are a company of trusted, passionate travel specialists who create customized luxury journeys to inspiring destinations. Our trips are completely based around your interests and schedule—they are one-of-a-kind experiences that are as unique as you are. We can have you traveling to the far-reaches of Oman’s desert with Bedouins, cooking gourmet meals with a celebrity chef in Singapore, or sailing between the fabled islands of the Galapagos.

JOURNEYS INTERNATIONAL — Journeys International is the longest standing family-owned global adventure travel company in the US. We offer full-service exotic, guided cross-cultural explorations, nature safaris, treks and eco-tours in remote corners of Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. Founded by current directors Will and Joan Weber in 1978, Journeys boasts an extraordinary record of client and staff satisfaction and several industry awards.