Ever landed yourself in hot water when you go travelling?

Me too. All the time.

My name is Mike (aka. “Mikeachim” on social media), and I’m an Archaeology student turned writer and story geek.

I’m also a travelling disaster.

I’ve missed countless flights, got lost climbing umpteen hills and crossing countless fields, and looked stupid in front of more people than you would believe. That’s my thing, and I’ve come to see why it’s the ticket to good stories and memorable travel experiences.

That’s my excuse, anyway.

 Welcome To Fevered Mutterings

It’s about (mainly) European travel, about how I make a living as an online writer, and about how to tell a good story.

Let’s look at each of those in turn.


European Travel

I grew up in Cyprus, so my heart is in the Mediterranean, and I suspect it’ll never leave.

Right now, the rest of me is in England – and embarking on a quest to visit and write about every city in the UK. I’ll probably be using the train network (here’s how to keep your tickets cheap in this country) and I hope lots of things will go wrong, because that’s how good stories happen.

The rest of the time, I like sleeping outside in a sack. It’s all very British really.

Oh, and in 2017, I’m walking at least a mile a day and writing about it every weekday, to reacquaint myself with the Great Outdoors.


Becoming A Professional Writer

I started writing professionally in 2009. Since 2012 it’s been my main source of income.

You’ll hear a lot in the media about how tough it is to make money as a writer in digital media these days. I take a different view (and so does this guy). Nevertheless, it’s hard. It’s the toughest, scariest job I’ve ever done, and I’ve made plenty of mistakes – which is the fastest way to learn that I know of.


How To Tell A Good Story

Firstly, I’d suggest you check out my free introductory storytelling course. (I’m not kidding. 100% free.)

And then check out the intensive 8-week course I made for bloggers who want to tell amazing stories.

Storytelling consultancy (I know, I know – sounds weird to me too) is now a big part of how I make a living, and I’ve spoken at conferences in The NetherlandsIreland, Italy, Portugal and Canada on the subject.

Here are some useful things I’ve learned about telling good stories over the last 5 years.

Turó de La Rovira, Barcelona

Once Upon A Time…

I was born in Germany (in a British RAF hospital), grew up in Cyprus, and moved to England just as I hit my teens. (Memory: sat at an newly-landed Boeing 747 window at Heathrow, looking out at the rain – and I turn to my parents and say, “Why have we come here? It’s raining.” They never gave me a good answer to this question. That’s parents for you.)

In Cyprus I discovered National Geographic magazine, hoarding copies like a curly-haired Gollum. I obsessed over them, loving the writing, mesmerized at how adults (adults!) could make the world sound so amazingly fun! The pictures were terrific – but the writing was what blew my mind. At some point, I wondered how much fun it might be to become a professional writer, telling stories for a living. If people actually did that for living.

Was that even allowed?

Skip forward. My family has moved to the UK, and I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I leave school, drift through a number of tedious jobs for very little money – and at some point I’m leafing through an old copy of one of those National Geographics. Something in me says I need an adventure to get me out the rut I’m in.

A few weeks later, I spot an advert in an outdoors magazine for a walking expedition through the Austrian South Tyrol – and off I go.

I come home changed. A change that leads to retaking exams, going to University as an archaeology student and learning to write with precision and clarity, and then to a series of office jobs in York while I experiment with my own writing as a side income.


Cut to early 2012. I’m an office-monkey by day, and thanks to a blossoming fascination with the wider world, I’m a travel blogger by night. My work has been read out as part of the Travel Bloggers Exchange Community Keynote, my blog posts have been linked to by the likes of Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker, and I’m selling decent amounts of my writing work – but somehow I’m still holding myself back.

I still don’t feel like a real writer. I still don’t feel like I’m allowed.

Then, one day, I think I’m having a heart attack. And a few weeks later, I quit my job – and found a new one.

It’s working out nicely so far.

Now it’s your turn. Say hello here! Or drop me an e-mail at:

hunter.sowden AT gmail.com

Oh, go on. I promise you’ll get a reply.

Alternately, hit me up on the Twitter, the Facebook, the Instagram or the Google+.



Onsite Income disclosure: I make a wee bit from advertising, and I make a wee bit from people who click Amazon affiliate links and end up buying something (which costs them nothing extra, while I get a tiny percentage). If there’s a link to something on Amazon in this blog, it’ll probably be an affiliate link. I’ll probably use the money to buy something really English like a new teapot or a nice warm pair of socks.

  • Hi Mike!
    This is Dina from Vagabond Quest. We are currently updating our travel link page. Are you interested in exchanging link with us? We already place your blog up in http://www.vagabondquest.com/travel-links/
    It will be great if you can provide a sentence of description about your blog.

    If you are interested, here’s some data for our blog: (no pressure though :) )
    Vagabond Quest
    Dina and Ryan have been traveling around the world since April 2009 and are still going. It’s their dream to be permanent travelers.

    Thank you!

  • Muchacho: where’s that See Differently thing you’ve been talking about? love the name, intrigued to learn more.

    happy travels

  • Hello

    We are interested to do a link exchange with you of our popular independent world travel blog (accepted by “Best Travel Blogs”).

    Our travel blog:
    http://www.UnhookNow.com (World Travel Adventures to 100 countries – helping people realize and afford their travel dreams).

    We are placing travel blog links on our “Travel Tips/Links” page. Please give us your link and brief blog title.

    Thank you,
    Wayne & Pat Dunlap
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/PlanYourEscapeNow.com
    Twitter: @wdunlap – https://twitter.com/wdunlap

    About Wayne & Pat Dunlap:
    We have a passion for travel and sincere desire to help others realize their travel dreams. We rented our home and traveled the world for the past 2 years visiting 51 countries (now members of the Travelers’ Century Club – 100 counties). Please visit our popular World Travel Adventures Blog http://www.UnhookNow.com to see photos, interesting things to do, history, and sign up for free cost-saving travel tips and bargains. We give inspirational and informative speaking engagements for organizations about great travel tips and inspirational stories. Our popular selling comprehensive life-style change and comprehensive how-to world travel book “Plan Your Escape, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home” http://www.PlanYourEscapeNow.com shows how you can escape your 9 to 5 routines, have more adventure and romance, and realize and afford your travel dreams.

  • Hi.
    We are a couple of ex-teachers who have rented out our apartment in Australia and now travel the world off the rent.
    You can follow our adventures: blog, tips, case studies, advice, etc at


    Cheers, Jon and Jenny

  • Pingback: Building a Travel Blog Audience With Ayngelina of Bacon Is Magic - travelinksites.com | travelinksites.com()

  • I’ll take you over Mr. Bryson any day, though he’s not bad. I haven’t yet looked at all your travel stuff, but am curious-have you been to the People’s Republic of China? I studied there in ’85 and am always looking for a unique pov.
    Your humor is my own-how’d you get your mitts on it?

  • Michael Smith

    Hello Mike,
    I have a travel passion project that might interest you.
    My friend and I are currently trying to fund a reality travel series on Kickstarter called The Couch Surfer. It’s a show about one man staying on local’s couches in order to save money and get the best out of every destination. I would be honored if you could post our Kickstarter link on your blog, facebook or Twitter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    HERE’S OUR LINK: http://kck.st/MBcUAf

    Thank you,
    Mike Smith

  • Hi Mike, Just discovered your sight although I was already following you on facebook. Love the photos and I especially love your writing. Your story sounds surreal. Living the dream.

  • Hi Mike, It sounds like you may be just as klutzy as I am! My husband Stacey says I’m not allowed to go to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta anymore! One trip I broke my elbow “Skiing” at Lake Louise — actually I didn’t even make it to the hill (embarrassing I know) and I put my arm down to break my fall. On the other trip I broke my ankle hiking at Maligne Canyon, Jasper, Alberta. My cramp-on wasn’t on my boot tight enough, my foot twisted out from under me, and I lurched sideways off the path at the head of the trail! I DID hike all the way in and all the way back! Never dreaming I’d broken my ankle!

    We are just starting our site. I’d love to pick your brain!

  • Hi Mike!

    I hope everything is great with you! I’m contacting you because I came across your beautiful travel blog.

    My name is Alina and I work with blog collaborations at Rebtel. If you haven’t heard of us before, Rebtel helps people all over the world to stay in touch with their loves ones. We provide an app that enables people to make international calls to a very low cost, or even for free perfect for expat and travelers like yourself! Right now we have over 23 million registered users.

    So I was wondering if you would like to try out our app for free and then let us know what you think, no strings attached.

    Our app is really appreciated amongst our users. Check out our reviews on GooglePlay, iTunes and Trustpilot.

    If you want to know more you can look at this news report about Rebtel:

    Please let me know if you are interested or if you have any questions regarding Rebtel!

    With kind regards


  • Mike I love your blog. Why can’t I find a place where I can subscibe to your posts. Fabulous!
    thank you

  • Came over searching for a travel blog that I can guest post on for my day business, and got hooked from a – the awesome photo of the first blog post, b – the refreshingly simple design, c – the first sentence in About you page. Another comment er was right – you are the likes of Mr. Bryson! Off to read the rest of your blog, and maybe at some point will gather enough confidence to email you for a guest post, or an interview, or both :)

  • Nicolai

    Hi Mike,sorry if I�m using a comment for this kind of message, but I couldn�t find a contact form or email address in your website :\My name is Nikolai, i am helping out marketing agency to find travel bloggers suitable for their campaigns, and your blog looks like a perfect fit for what they�re looking for.Do you think you could be interested in receiving offers about advertisement on your website?

  • Hi Mike,

    I know that award nominations are really for “fresh” bloggers like myself however, I just wanted to give you a head’s up that I’ve nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I’ve also written a few words about you and your blog. Feel free to take a look. Thanks!


  • Mike, I like your sense of humor! Your writing style is very unique. I’m hooked reading your articles.