Chris Guillebeau: An Interview With a Successful Entreprenuer, Writer, and World Traveler

This is the first in a series of brief interviews with some of the important movers and shakers in the travel business. In some cases you’ll be familiar with the person but in other cases they might be someone you should know about who has been playing a role more behind the scenes.

Chris Guillebeau

ChrisBChris lives a lifestyle many of us only dream about. He’s an entrepreneur and writer based in Portland, Oregon, who is currently 119 countries in to his goal of visiting each of the 197 nations on earth.

If you have any desire to travel the world while sustaining an appealing lifestyle using your talents at the same time, Chris is someone you should be following. The first part of his philosophy on life is “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to,” which is a thought that should resonate with many travel fanatics who aren’t always understood by their non-traveling friends and families.

His site,, is loaded with interesting articles that will help you get started down the path you desire, and his first book, The Art of Noncomformity, is due out soon.

Who: Chris Guillebeau, Portland-based traveler & soon-to-be author

Blog: The Art of Nonconformity, documenting his quest to visit every country in the world and lifestyle design.

What is your favorite packing trick?

Pack less and never check bags. Terribly obvious, I know, but sometimes the obvious is the best. I also leave things like books and clothes in random stops along the way.

Do you have a luxury item that you don’t leave home without?

Not really. I suppose my laptop is somewhat a luxury, but it’s also vital to what I do. I work from wherever I am in the world.

Do you have a repeat offender destination?

Yes, I visit a number of places each year as jumping-off points to new countries. I’ve probably been to Hong Kong more than a dozen times in the past two years. I also like South Africa a lot, although I only get there about once a year these days.

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve eaten while on the road?

I’m a vegetarian and therefore not a huge adventurer when it comes to eating outrageous things. The next time I get to Malaysia, though, I’m planning to visit an “All-you-can-eat Durian Stand” that I saw in Kuala Lumpur last month. I figure since I have to skip the Chinese dogs and African rats-on-a-stick, the least I can do is try durian sometime.

Backpack or wheelie?

Wheelie + laptop bag. It’s worked for 119 countries and counting!

Check out Chris’ book, The Art of Noncomformity, on our list of Top Travel Reads

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