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.
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!
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How Many Countries Have YOU Visited?
Michael & Therese have visited 39 (19.6%) out of 193.
Make your own visited countries map.
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 20 countries.
As 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.
My 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.”
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