Michael Hodgson
Travel Writer | Photographer
HI Travel Tales | Autio.com | Food Wine Travel

I am an award-winning travel writer and photographer. When traveling, I use my skills as a journalist and photographer to create unique, immersive stories that reveal the soul of a destination. Partnered with my wife, Therese Iknoian, I publish my stories and photos on our award-winning blog, HITravelTales.com. I regularly hear from destinations that our stories and photographs are some of the best they've seen. I lend my voice and writing skills to creating audio travel stories for Autio.com -- co-owned by Kevin Costner -- and my writing also appears in Food Wine Travel magazine.

My specialty areas and primary interests include local culture and history, street art, farm to fork and local breweries / distilleries, adventure, natural wonders and wildlife. Set me loose in a destination and my stories and photography will connect readers to a place in such a way they will want to embark on their own journeys of discovery.

✍️ I am a dual citizen, born in Calgary, now living in California.
✍️ Secondary base in Berlin, Germany
✍️ I am a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
✍️ Learn more about me via my verified account on Muck Rack - https://muckrack.com/michael-hodgson-travel
✍️ View my photography portfolio - https://photosbymichael.hitraveltales.com
✍️ Fun facts: I was the captain of Team Media in Mark Burnett's 1995 Eco Challenge adventure race, learned to fly a hang glider, flown an ultralight plane, walked the Rift Valley, and hiked among Kodiak bears ... always to experience a new adventure for stories I was working on or assigned.
✍️ Prior to focusing entirely on travel writing, I was a highly acclaimed outdoor writer and my stories and columns appeared in Outside, Backpacker, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, The Christian Science Monitor, San Jose Mercury News, Portland Oregonian, Salt Lake Tribune, Adventure West Magazine, and others. My published books (some of which are actually still in print) include No Shit There I Was, Compass & Map Navigator, Facing The Extreme, and Camping For Dummies.

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  • Videos

    One Hour Historic Berlin Spree River Cruise

    uploaded 08 Jun 2022 9:50am

    A one-hour historic sightseeing cruise along the Spree River is a perfect introduction to some of the most important historic sites and buildings in Berlin. To discover more amazing things to do in Berlin, go to our Berlin website page -- …

    Miniatur Wunderland Tour - a fantastic miniature world in Hamburg

    uploaded 14 May 2022 10:21pm

    Travel around the world in six minutes with our video from Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg. View amazing miniature models and scenes from Germany, the Alps of Austria, the United States, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy, and the magical fictional city of …

    Visiting a Maasai village

    uploaded 18 Dec 2021 7:25am

    A visit to a Maasai Village in Kenya offers a unique insight into the Maasai culture and way of life, as well as providing fantastic photo opportunities. From the warm greeting to the dances, singing, fire making demonstration and tour inside a manyatta, …

    Christmas Garden Berlin 2021

    uploaded 05 Dec 2021 5:36am

    There is something very magical about Christmas lights. Add in equal parts of Christmas music and servings of hot glühwein (German spiced mulled wine), and you have the recipe for an enchanting evening. That is what you get with Christmas Garden Berlin …

    Maasai Mara Hot Air Balloon Ride 4K

    uploaded 09 Oct 2021 9:43am

    Dawn in the Maasai Mara, and we headed out and up on a hot air balloon adventure. We were on a photo safari during the Great Migration so we were lucky to be able to see herds of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, and the endless beauty of the Maasai Mara in …

    Beekeeping at Wild Harmony Ranch

    uploaded 07 Nov 2021 8:53am

    Learning a bit about beekeeping at Wild Harmony Ranch with Lindsay Chichester, University of Reno extension, College of Agriculture, and Nik Noomen of Wild Harmony Ranch in Gardnerville, Nevada. We get to see inside the home where bees live (and make …
    01 Aug 2022

    It is not difficult to take eye-catching images of animals if you know a few wildlife photography tips. These nine tips improved my wildlife photos immediately, and they will improve your photographs...
    05 Jul 2022

    Don't bring germs and bugs into your home after you travel. Clean and sanitize your carry-on and checked luggage to keep your suitcases looking good as well as germ and bug free
    29 Jun 2022

    Air travel is getting harder. Long delays, canceled flights, horror stories of packed planes, plus stressed-out passengers and flight crews. Our tips to make flying more enjoyable
    23 Jun 2022

    Iconic Berlin TV Tower promises best views in Berlin


    Fernsehturm, Panoramastraße, Berlin, Germany

    The Berlin TV Tower is the tallest building in Germany and is visible throughout Berlin. From the panoramic floor or restaurant visitors enjoy some of the best views in Berlin
    01 Jun 2022

    Berlin one-hour sightseeing cruise on the Spree River


    Berlin, Germany

    A one-hour historic sightseeing cruise along the Spree River is a perfect introduction to some of the most important historic sites and buildings in Berlin
    18 May 2022

    Gulliver in Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg, the world's largest model...


    Miniatur Wunderland, Kehrwieder, Hamburg, Germany

    Travel around the world in under a day at Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg – the world's largest model railway. Stride like Gulliver through an ever-expanding miniature world
    13 Apr 2022

    The Danube cycle path from Regensburg, Germany to Vienna, Austria, is a popular bike route because of the mostly flat bike paths beside a very scenic section of the Danube River. Follow along as I...
    21 Mar 2022

    Historic Hotel Boulderado: a landmark Boulder luxury hotel


    Hotel Boulderado, 13th Street, Boulder, CO, USA

    The Hotel Boulderado has been a Boulder, Colorado, centerpiece since 1909. Experience living history and modern amenities with a stay, a history tour, or a meal at this historic luxury Boulder hotel
    15 Mar 2022

    IFWTWA writers take you from Bali to Cambodia, Nevis to France, Seattle to Ponte Vedra, Berlin to Istanbul, and points in between to introduce you to some of our favorite places. My story begins on...
    01 Mar 2022

    For the fourth consecutive year, HI Travel Tales has won top honors for excellence, with the website named as one of the three best in North America in the 30th Annual NATJA Travel Media Awards...
    15 Feb 2022

    When you visit Modesto, you must jump in your car and cruise Modesto to understand the city's wealth of agriculture, adventure, history, and food. An audio tour is a perfect guide
    01 Feb 2022

    Death of a wildebeest: Great Migration crocodile attack


    Maasai Mara, Siana, Kenya

    The Great Migration is considered the world's largest migration of wildlife with over 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles moving from Tanzania to Kenya each year. Nearly 250,000 wildebeest die...
    20 Jan 2022

    For travelers heading to Kenya on a photo safari, getting a glimpse of the “Big Five” animals tops many photography bucket lists. Being able to photograph the Big Five – elephant, rhino, buffalo,...
    17 Dec 2021

    Visiting a Maasai village in Kenya – What to expect


    Maasai Mara National Reserve, Siana, Kenya

    A visit to a Maasai Village in Kenya offers a unique insight into the Maasai culture and way of life, as well as providing fantastic photo opportunities. But you need to know what to expect and what...
    04 Dec 2021

    Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel: A luxury historic San Francisco hotel


    The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, Geary Street, San Francisco, CA, USA

    The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel offers affordable boutique luxury with amazing San Francisco views and location. Renovated in 2020, the historic Clift Hotel rates as a top hotel in San Francisco for...
    30 Nov 2021

    Christmas Garden Berlin at the Botanical Garden: 2021 photo tour


    Christmas Garden Deutschland GmbH, Potsdamer Straße, Berlin, Germany

    The beloved Christmas Garden Berlin, closed due to the pandemic in 2020, returned in 2021, for its magical, illuminated journey through the Botanical Garden Berlin. Enjoy a photo and video tour of...
    10 Nov 2021

    Testing positive for COVID while traveling is a fear many new and veteran travelers share. Who wants to get stuck for an extended period far from home, let alone while sick with COVID? Know your...
    30 Oct 2021

    Any time of year is the time of year for travel gifts for him or her. We can help you find the perfect gifts for the traveler in your life
    05 Oct 2021

    While Palm Springs may be famous for its celebrity lifestyle and Hollywood elite residences, it is becoming even more famous for its public outdoor art and murals. The Palm Springs outdoor art scene,...
    30 Sep 2021

    Sustainable traveling tips on what to pack, and what not to pack, to ensure that you are sustainable traveler no matter what your destination. These eco-conscious packing tips are easy to do