Interview with Wes Nations of Johnny Vagabond: Lucky 13 Questions 38

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Wes is one of my favorite travel bloggers out there on the road right now.  No one seems to get into more unusual and entertaining situations than him. Go read his post on getting into a poker scam in Vietnam for example.  His photography is also becoming truly spectacular — check out his Ganges River photos and tell me you disagree — he is an amazing talent.

Where do you go see these things?  Why at Johnny Vagabond, of course.  Why isn’t his blog Wes Vagabond?  Who the hell knows, buy him a beer and ask him.  Right now, he’s in Southeast Asia with the rest of the Chiang Mai mafia.  He went back to SE Asia after a few months in India, where he really wrote some great material (and took some great pictures).  Go check out his website, follow him on Twitter, and in the meantime, enjoy his Lucky 13:

1 — best foreign curse?

It’s not really a curse but I met a young Irish woman once who always exclaimed “Well, f*ck me running!” which always puzzled me. It’s physically possible, I suppose, but what’s the hurry? People don’t take the time to do things properly anymore.

2 — most annoying nationality of travelers you have run across?

lithuanian skeleton playing basketball

the Lithuanian response

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. While I think we’re all equally annoying, I’ve been feeling the need to have someone to pick on — a comic foil of a sorts. I considered the French, of course, but everyone picks on them and I actually kind of like the snooty buggers. So, after considerable thought, I’ve decided to make fun of Lithuanians for a couple of reasons. First, it’s just a funny name — I think whoever named the country had a lisp. And second, though I’ve never met one, I suspect they all wear funny little mustaches. Even the women.

3 — what is the superpower you most want?

I’d like to be able to cross my eyes, mutter a few ancient words and magically add three zeroes to my bank balance so I can keep traveling. A flying motorcycle would be cool, too.


4 – celebrity that you’d most want to slap or otherwise taunt in person?

Do I have to pick just one? I secretly dream of picking Kenny G up by the ankles and beating Michael Bolton to death with him. It’d be the perfect crime: no murder weapon and no jury in the world would convict me.

5 – John, Paul, George or Ringo.  Choose and explain.

Ringo by a mile. Talk about a lucky guy — right place, right time, zero talent. If Ringo can be a famous godzillionaire, there really is hope for the rest of us shmucks.

6 — what do you fear most about old age?

Not reaching it.

7 – year in your life that you’d like to have had a rewind or erase button for?

None that I can think of, really. I’m old enough to have forgotten all the early ones and the recent ones have been pretty good. Wait… maybe the year in high school when I had a perm and wore bell-bottoms. Still haven’t forgotten that…

poster tequila cheaper than dating

words to live by... by Wes

8 – Run, Vodka, tequila, whiskey or gin?

Tequila — not the cheap stuff, but a good quality sippin’ tequila does the trick. It’s practically guaranteed that I’ll wake up in a strange place with no pants on.

9 – what is your single most treasured personal possession?

As geeky as it sounds, my MacBook — I couldn’t do what I do without it. After nearly a year on the road, it’s filthy but I’m afraid to clean it. I think the dirt is what’s holding it together.

10 – Fill in the blank: I will go see any movie that _______ is in.

Keanu Reeves, because I actually like crappy movies. (Interviewer insertion: popular answer. Nomadic Chick and The Road Forks agree, as do I.)

11 – Most overrated writer.

Dan Brown. I hear he’s working on a biography of Ringo Starr.

12 – what is your favorite sports team?

I don’t really have one. I’m a very fair-weather sports fan. When the playoffs roll around for just about any sport, I’ll tune in. Usually I’ll root against whichever team has the biggest jerk for a coach or whichever team everyone else is cheering for.

woman money belt outside shorts

13 – what is your biggest pet peeve? (meaning something small enough to be a bit embarrassing it bugs you)

Travelers who wear their money belt on the outside just make me crazy. They walk around with their passports, cash and credit cards hanging from their body by a thin piece of elastic. I tried to explain to a woman once that it was supposed to be worn under her clothes and she replied “But then it’s a pain to get to.” Umm… yeah, that’s kind of the point. Touron.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

38 thoughts on “Interview with Wes Nations of Johnny Vagabond: Lucky 13 Questions

  • Johnny Vagabond

    I will not drink before interviews. I will not drink before interviews. I will not …

    Thanks, Michael! It’s really an honor to *cough* finally participate in the Lucky 13.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Wes, I organized the interviews in order of importance in the travel world. So yes, you are 34th.

      And I thought about putting you in “Good Looking Week,” but come on. I mean….

      (and for those with no humor out there — I am completely kidding. Love me some Wes — though no in that way. Not that there is anything wrong with that….) 😉

  • Megan

    Note to self: Buy Wes some tequila when I get up to Chiang Mai. Sounds like a good time…

    Probably in March, by the way, Wes. Prepare yourself!

  • Leslie (Downtown Traveler)

    Great interview! Especially love the critique of fanny packs/money belts accompanied by the photo of a dazed, partying backpacker emerging from the sea with one of them. LOL

  • Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker

    I haven’t run into anyone who wears a money belt outside their clothes, insanity…

  • Gareth Leonard

    I say if you’re going to wear your money belt outside your clothes you should at least go out and purchase one of those real nice, classy, leather fanny packs like Hulk Hogan wears. They hold a lot more treats and you can let it sag a little for style points.

  • Joseph

    Hands down, he is one of the travel bloggers I want to meet in person…Megan is the second one…add tequila to this party and we will have writing material for a couple of months 😉 Michael, your presence is mandatory 😀

  • Ali

    Great interview! I wish I had that super power to add 3 zeros to my bank account too. Funny pictures Michael!

  • Marsha

    Love Wes, love these responses, love the lucky 13!
    P.S. the externa-money belt might be bad but damn that bikini top is blinding me!

  • Laura

    This is one of the funniest interviews I’ve ever read. Great answers!The pictures are hilarious!

    And, for some reason I watched the video. No words.

  • Roy

    This is a hilarious interview!

    I think if a girl said “Well, f*ck me running!” I’d probably say let’s do it. Don’t knock it till you try it.

  • Ken Kaminesky

    Awesome interview! Wes had me in stitches a few times, and you are right about his photographic skills. Wes, your work rocks! Looking forward to seeing much more from you. Hope to share a drink or twelve with you one day.

    • Johnny Vagabond

      Thanks, Ken — that means a lot coming from you. I’m a big fan of your work. And as for the beer… you’ve got a deal.

  • andi

    Oh gosh, after just returning from Mexico and seeing the word tequila, I think I’m gonna be sick LOL. I adore Wes’ photographs and sense of humor.

  • Erica

    You know, you had me until Keanu Reeves… Did you watch Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures as well? I think that was the only time I could remotely stand the guy – but I was 10 so I had no taste. 😛 (Mind you I know that sarcasm and teasing comes off horribly in text but deal!)

    Love your answers Wes! Great interview question choices Michael!

  • Laura

    Haha, the last answer is great. Not only is it just bad fashion sense, but it’s supposed to be HIDDEN!

  • Theodora

    A fine interview, with a fine chap. Can I chuck my name in the hat as people who will, still, pay to see anything with Keanu Reeves? Just cos he’s Ke-ah-noo….

    Which, I guess, dates me as someone who remembers the day when River Phoenix died as a sort of self-indulgent alternative to JFK in Texas.

  • Abby

    Great one! Wes, you know I’m a fan — and one of my very first travel friends online. So happy to hear you think Dan Brown is overrated. I love his books; they are such page-turners. But as a writer, I find it so insulting that he writes screenplays in book forms, so he can fast-track to the millions. Enjoy the ride, Dan. Like the rest of us!

  • Brooke vs. the World

    Love the interview. And oh my god, I would punch someone if I saw them wearing a moneybelt like in that photo. PUNCH.

  • Sally

    You know what one of my pet peeves is? Having people show up in a city after I’ve left it. What’s the deal with that, Wes? You were supposed to be in Chiang Mai when I was there. You really missed the boat there, buddy. (And, no, I’m not referring to myself as a boat… Or maybe I am. Whatever. You get the point.)

  • Juana Greer

    Love the answers to #3, 4 and 6. Great interview, inspired answers. Touron, lol! Wes had me in stitches a few times, and you are right about his photographic skills.

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