5 Minutes With Ted Nelson

For McCool Travel’s 51st travel profile, I am pleased to present Ted Nelson. Ted is an an adventure travel writer and the blogger behind Traveling Ted—a website that chronicles his adventures hiking, canoeing, and skiing in the United States and around the world. He also enjoys the cultural side of travel including learning and meeting people from around the world, eating their food, and learning about their history. His goal is to inspire others to travel and provide tips for those who want to follow in his footsteps.
“Ted Nelson has been adventure traveling since he was 10 years old on camping trips with his Dad to places like the Great Smoky Mountains, The Everglades, and Big Bend National Park. In 2005 he added international travel to his repertoire with a three month trip to Southeast Asia.”

Traveling Ted Nelson
Ted Nelson: Traveling Ted

Ted Nelson

Hometown…
Grew up in suburban Barrington, but now lives in the city of Chicago
Always in my luggage…
The question is not what is in your luggage, but what is your luggage? My favorite is the much maligned fanny pack.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…

  1. Canoeing the Wisconsin River
  2. Backpacking the Great Smoky Mountains
  3. Cross-country skiing any trail

A favorite travel memory is…
A three month jaunt around Southeast Asia post tsunami in early 2005. There were so many magical moments that I just have to pick the whole trip. I traveled through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Japan. The last week I spent with friends who were teaching English in Kyoto, and I arrived just as the cherry blossoms bloomed. It was so beautiful.
3 favorite travel brands…

  1. Clothing Arts – make pick-pocket proof pants
  2. Lonely Planet
  3. Visit Salt Lake City

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Travel by bus or train in order to avoid taxis (especially from the airport)
  2. Staying at hostels, guesthouses, hammocks, or camping
  3. Eating street food

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  1. Drink local beer
  2. Make a concerted effort to meet people whether other travelers or residents (kind of tired of the word local)
  3. Enjoy a campfire

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
Go where your fanny pack takes you
My favorite non-travel website…
Any free stream website showing sporting events and Netflix—I stopped paying for cable to have more money for travel
most memorable souvenir…
Arriving at the Batad Rice Terraces in Philippines there is about a mile hike to guesthouses from where the road ends. A lady was selling guitar straps along this trail. I bought one for 50 cents and it still adorns my guitar ten years later.
favorite cheap eat…
Any tropical fruit—even the dirty smelly durian.
recent discovery…
The beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
I am fortunate to have met…
LeeKien in Vietnam. He asked me what I thought of his country. I told him it was beautiful, but hard to meet Vietnamese people. He took me to his girlfriend’s house who cooked lunch for me because he wanted me to see how Vietnamese people live.
I would like to meet…
More people like LeeKien
Traveling Ted Nelson


Thank you very much, Ted. May all of your travels be enjoyable and memorable.
Follow Traveling Ted on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Check out McCool Travel’s previous profilesMcCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Charles McCool (that’s me!).


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