5 Minutes With Tom Bartel, Travel Past 50

For McCool Travel’s 64th travel profile, I am pleased to introduce you to Tom Bartel. Tom, along with his wife Kristin Henning Bartel, have been full time travelers since 2010 and are currently somewhere in the Middle East. Tom and Kris worked in the publishing business for 30 years so you know their stories are fantastic. They share their experiences on TravelPast50.com.
Tom’s bio:
“Tom Bartel was a Minneapolis newspaper and magazine publisher for 30 years, until he chucked it all and started traveling full time in 2010. He now indulges his photography and writing jones by publishing the blog TravelPast50.com with his wife Kristin Henning. ”

Tom Bartel, Travel Past 50
Tom Bartel, Travel Past 50

Tom Bartel

Hometown…
We call Minneapolis our home town, but right now our only connection is a Post Office box. And our kids live there, so we have to go back every now and then to visit our money.
Always in my luggage…
Other than my cameras, which I don’t ever put in checked luggage, I bring an electrical adapter and a multi plug extension. That way I can charge all my devices at once: laptop, phone, iPad, camera batteries.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
Honestly, it’s usually wherever we are at the moment. That and Madrid, Spain, which is my favorite city. And Florence, Italy, which is the all time winner in the best art category.
A favorite travel memory is…
Getting shot at in Barcelona, when we accidentally stumbled into a demonstration that the police weren’t too happy with.
3 favorite travel brands…

  1. Tripit app
  2. Ex Officio clothes
  3. Apple iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Walking and using public transit when possible.
  2. Eating only one meal a day in restaurants. We usually pick up bread, cheese, yogurt, fruit to fill in the cracks. I also try to limit myself to only one alcoholic drink per meal (although I admit that doesn’t always work.)
  3. And housesitting, when it works into our plans.

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  1. I’m a history and art nerd–the by product of a liberal arts education–so I love to go to museums, churches, and battlefields.
  2. Eating new sorts of foods, particularly finding the local cuisine’s best offerings.
  3. And striking up conversations with the locals about what they think of living where they do.

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
If you come to a fork in the road, take it. (OK, that’s 11 words, and I ripped it off from Yogi Berra, a noted philosopher and baseball hero of my youth.)

Tom Bartel and Kris Henning, Travel Past 50
Tom Bartel and Kris Henning, Travel Past 50

favorite non-travel website…
New York Times
most memorable souvenir…
Balinese paintings
favorite cheap eat…
The really spicy and good street food in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Never mind the nasty case of giardia I picked up there.
recent discovery…
Some of the life of the Palestinian people who live in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. Sad and sobering. I’m not sure I’m ready to write about it yet. It takes a lot of consideration.
I am fortunate to have met…
Agung Rai in Bali. He founded the Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud, Bali and gives personal tours that he calls the Golden Hour. A great defender and preserver of traditional Balinese culture.
I would like to meet…
Meryl Streep. I want her to play me in my upcoming biopic. We’re in discussions now.

Tom Bartel, Travel Past 50
Tom Bartel, Travel Past 50

Thank you very much, Tom.
Follow Tom on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Instagram, and Travel Past 50.


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: Jane Canapini.


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