“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
― Mark Twain -The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
Hello, fellow Travel fans!
My name is Mike Siegel, and I'm a professional stand-up comedian, TV host and actor, based in Los Angeles.
For nine years, I could be seen every week as host of TBS network’s “TBS Movie EXTRA”, and I've hosted numerous network shows including HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk”, Fine Living networks’ “What You Get For the Money”, “GSN Live” on the Game Show Network, and “The Next GAC Star” on GAC.
I have performed stand-up on numerous television shows, including “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, “Late Friday”, and “Comedy Showcase with Louie Anderson”. I've also acted in TV shows ("JAG", "Prison Break", "Mike & Molly", among others) and on the big screen as well ("Traffic"). For more on my showbiz life, go to my professional site at funnymike.com.
But this site is not about my Hollywood resume.
No, this site and its podcast are about my other passion in life - travel.
When I began appearing on many of my fellow comedians' podcasts, I knew I wanted to start one of my own. But what would be the theme? What subject did I love to talk about any time of day? What stories did I want to hear?
I realized I never tired of meeting people from around the world, and hearing stories from those who had been to wherever I hadn't. It was then that the Travel Tales Podcast was born.
In building this site, I also wanted a place where I could feature not only my travel writing, but the work of some of the guests as well. I also give brief snapshots and recommendations of places I've been around the world. I hope it inspires others to expand their horizons. I realize travel can be intimidating for some, and I try to do all I can to convince people to see the world and grow from their experiences.
My own path around the world took some time. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, I embarked on the common post-college backpacking trek through Europe for six weeks. It was my first time out of the U.S., and the world opened up to me, both literally and figuratively.
I returned home broke and unemployed, but determined to see as much of the world as I could in my lifetime.
I took a job in Chicago as a sportswriter while moonlighting as a stand-up comedian. Soon I was on the road full-time as a comic, getting my first taste of solo travel. I was hooked, not only on performing comedy, but on the thrill of discovering places I’d never been and the freedom of the road. As the years went by, I moved to New York and Los Angeles, all the while taking trips abroad when time and money would allow.
Whether flying solo or touring with a group, I'm always up for a trip and a new experience.
I make an effort to soak up the local culture, customs, rituals, and especially the food! If the local beer, wine, or spirits happen to be good as well, then look out!
Along with my love of food and drink, I'm an avid scuba diver, hiker, surfer, skiier, and soccer player/fan. I love maps and the challenge of learning the train systems in cities throughout the world. I've taken just about every form of transportation known to man- from rickshaws to junk boats, from camel carts to tuk-tuks.
I'll try just about everything once -sometimes more than once. I suggest you do the same.
I hope you like the podcasts and hearing our guests' Tales of where they've been and where they're going. You can subscribe for free on iTunes and hear us on Stitcher radio. I'm adding new episodes, articles, and photos all the time, so keep coming back to the site and see all the great visual content that accompanies the audio. I hope you enjoy the site and the podcasts as much as I do making them.
Now get out there and see the world!