Headed Back Home

That’s right, you heard it. I’m on my way back stateside. In just a few hours I’ll do a quick stop in Qatar and make my way to the U.S. from there. Why would I do such a thing (is what you should be asking) when I am out here having the time of my life, publishing books, taking amazing photos, interviewing awesome guests for my podcasts and making epic movies on countries the world over?

I’m glad you asked. I’ve made a video to answer that very question.


Hi Travel Geekers, This will be my last update from Southeast ASia for the foreseeable future. I know that many of you have become accustomed to getting my updates from this region, but I’d like to reflect on some of my past successes as well as to talk about the upcoming changes that will be taking place on the Travel Geek network.

In the past five years I’ve grown from a simple travel enthusiast, to something of an entrepaneur in culture and international concerns with media coverage spanning more than three dozen countries.

My growing library of books from this and other regions of the world focus on anthropology, geology and even the traditions of various different cultures of the world.

My blog, which started out as a journal to chronicle my bicycle trip across the states with a handful of readers, has grown to a frequented location for travelers seeking experiential advice and which is constantly attracting marketing and advertising from all over the world.

Produced more than 120,000 images, 85,000 of which are fully edited and released on a rotating gallery of photography from 40 countries.

Started a podcast show in which I’ve talked to radio hosts like Mark Vogler in San Francisco, Web hosts like Chris Christensen, of Trip Advisor, Rights advocates like Adam Kokesh, the host of the History Channel’s Hidden Cities, Anthony Morse, and a ton of other very influential people around the world.

My videos have been aired on network television in the U.S., like KVMD Los Angeles and others; my footage has been seen on the BBC in the United Kingdom and used in everything from hotel chains and government websites to charitable organizations and tourism bureaus. And I have even entered into an agreement to have my current six films as well as my upcoming seven other films represented by a worldwide distribution company that will begin work on putting them on networks all over the globe like Canal+, Eurosport, Sony Entertainment Network, MTV, Fuel TV , ESPN and others.

In addition to that, my films have also been listed on IMDB, a place of esteemed recognition and a highly sought-after listing for any filmmaker in any market. Four of my current six films have been listed, and they’ve already approached me about listing the remaining films as well.

On top of all this, I’ve launched my latest and greatest venture so far, the Travel Geek Magazine which includes all of the above, and brings it all together in what has become a very popular travel and research resource for people the world over. I have actually met people on the road who have said that they have heard of and visited my website. It’s amazing to hear those kinds of comments about my work.

In fact, the last decade has been an amazing and wild ride altogether. Each year of the last five years has been better than the one before. But because of what’s around the corner, it’s actually just beginning.

And that’s actually why I’m making this update. In the spring of this year, 2014, I was told by a very prestigious university in the U.S. that I was nominated for a full scholarship to attend classes free of charge and pursue a dual program MFA/PhD. I did not solicit this nomination, it was offered to me outright by the university. But what’s even better, I was also offered a fellowship with this university in which I will be teaching visual media — things like photography, videography, documentary filmmaking and journalistic integrity and media ethics, are all on the table throughout the time that I’m there.

What’s more, I’ll also hope to be taking my students all over the world to film and photograph and document their media in the places where culture meets creativity and share the insights that I have learned in the last decade of being a digital nomad.

Okay, all that is amazing, and I’m hugely humbled by all of that. But probably the most significant thing for me is that during the MFA portion of my degree, I will be using the last ten years of media creation and putting them to work in my magazine. I am going to try and make a magazine that is completely unique, something that’s never been seen before, something that combines global interests and experiential travel insights and a personal perspective that bonds it all together.

Driving all of this content will be an entirely new way of consuming online content. It’ll be more than just a magazine. It will combine all my books, photos, films, podcasts, journals and blogs, and drive them in a vehicle made up of a host of new apps, interactive platforms, vivid visuals and prepped for technologies that don’t even exist yet. It’ll be a blogazine for the next generation of tech-hungry consumers. And I can’t wait to get started on it.

So, what does all this mean for the Travel Geek Magazine, the Travel Geek Blog, the Travel Geek Podcasts, the Travel Geek Documentaries, and the Travel Geek Channel? I will be scaling back my releases of videos and blogs, as expected during this busy time. But remember: I’ve just finished collecting footage for seven brand new films from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei and North Borneo. So while my studies continue, and I find myself in a collective of media enthusiasts, I’ll also be editing on the world’s most advanced software, using studio quality components and in an environment where I’ll be sure to have the best advice on how to really make an impact with it when it’s all released.

So… Stick around. If the last few years haven’t kept you on your toes, I hope that this next step will be a very impactful one. I hope that it will be something that makes the world a little smaller, a little more accessible, and a little more real to those of us hoping to learn more about our amazing neighbors.


Travel Geek: Documentary Penang (Full HD, Feature Length)

In the heart of Penang lies a recent but rich history of colonial British culture. And through it, I explore in style and with a long time local.

This film is part two of the Travel Geek: Documentary Malaysia series.

So stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to get the videos when they are released!!

You need to watch cool videos; I need viewers. So if you enjoy my videos, please pass around the links. It’s a win-win!!

For all the extras from Travel Geek: Documentary Malaysia, visit http://www.MovingStillsMedia.com.

Friend me on Facebook: facebook.com/thetravelgeek

Read the blog at http://www.cyleodonnell.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @cyleodonnell

Travel Geek Short: Documentary Malacca

In this short documentary, I explore the culturally and historically rich port of call after which the Strait of Malacca was named. Talking with locals and exploring the city, this short follows me as I get in touch with the real Malacca that is seldom seen.

For all the extras from Travel Geek: Documentary Malaysia, visit http://www.MovingStillsMedia.com.

Friend me on Facebook: facebook.com/thetravelgeek

Read the blog at http://www.cyleodonnell.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @cyleodonnell

Travel Geek: Documentary Malaysia (Full HD)

Having spent 2013 filming in all parts of Malaysia, this documentary showcases six of the nine selected filming locations. Starting off in Malaysia’s cultural hub, I move northward from Malacca to celebrate Thaipusam outside of Kuala Lumpur. From there, I discover street foots, mile-high temples and Malaysia’s smallest and most diversified national park, roaming sand, sea and jungle in Penang. Then I take to the rafting waterways and climb active waterfalls in Gopeng. Following that is a trip through the tea-rich mountains of the Cameron Highlands where I find the world’s largest flower. And I end my journey on a tropical island getaway, snorkeling on Tioman Island.

Check out additional footage from Travel Geek: Documentary Malaysia
at: http://www.travelgeekmagazine.com

follow on twitter: @cyleodonnell & @travelgeekmag

Find on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thetravelgeek

Like on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cyleodonnellthetravelgeek

For collaborations and business inquiries, please contact via Channel Pages: http://ChannelPages.com/cyleodonnell

For the rest of the footage, as well as outtakes, extended cuts and extras that weren’t included in this film, check out the “Short Documentary Films” playlist, or select from the links below:

TGS: Documentary Malacca http://youtu.be/HGt9bMvJXeE

TGS: A History of Georgetown http://youtu.be/H4KI6T7gLLg

TGS: Hiking Tabur West http://youtu.be/KpK9tnRRAm4

TGS: Documentary Gopeng http://youtu.be/X2REKG-3w-8

TGS: DOcumentary Thaipusam (Extended Cut) http://youtu.be/PvpIWH5-gBo

TGS: Documentary Thaipusam http://youtu.be/el8V5UyY0Wk

TGS: Cameron Highlands http://youtu.be/7j1-bYKnrr0

TGS: Taman Negara http://youtu.be/T2raaBH8UPk

TGS: Hiking Tioman Island http://youtu.be/xpmola-7zWA

TGS: Snorkeling Tioman Island http://youtu.be/o5Hz5Qd0gKY

Serdang: Giant Hamster Ball Adventure http://youtu.be/mtEGWAMp26Q

Gourmet Chicken Tandoori Cuisine in Malacca http://youtu.be/_E3EJmsD3ek

December 16, 2013 Update

Hey Travel Geekers,
Next week I’ll be back in Malaysia for the umpteenth time for a short weekend doing visa paperwork. But while I’m there, I’ll more than likely run into something cool to film. So maybe I’ll do an update from the road. Those of you who caught the documentary that I filmed in Penang might enjoy seeing more of it from a different angle.

In other news, for those who have been following my video and Facebook updates on my recent filming junkets in Northern Thailand and Laos, I’ll start editing the footage from the Phuket Vegetarian Festival and northern hill tribes of Laos and Thailand after I return.

It will be fun finally getting these out since, all told, I’ve been back and forth filming in this area since the end of 2009.

These won’t start releasing until after the New Year 2014, and will only be about half of what I have planned for my docs in Laos and Cambodia.

Then, hopefully around March, I’ll finally complete filming down the Mekong, through the Ho Chi Minh Trail (and other war-torn areas that I talked about in my latest Laos update) and down into Cambodia where I’ll be completing a focus piece on the freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphins living just south of the border.

Their numbers are in huge decline. So this will be a bittersweet trip, encompassing not just the awe of seeing freshwater dolphins for the first time (not to mention a rare opportunity), but also to film these creatures in what may well be their remaining years in existence. Hopefully I will be able to add my footage to the pool of collective media behind this wholly necessary movement to save them from extinction.

It will be as important as anything I’ve ever done. And so when that time comes, I’ll hope to call on my 35,000 readers and friends and social networks and contacts and those who have enjoyed my efforts in documenting international cultures and causes these last ten years.

Help me get the word out and maybe we can help the impoverished people of Cambodia and these amazing creatures in one fell swoop, by increasing the eco-tourism to the area and decreasing the need for net fishing along this fragile strip of waters.

More to come on that. It’s going to be an exciting year!

Thanks for spending it with me!

A little help here?

Recently, I released my latest film, Travel Geek Short: Documentary Gopeng.  And unfortunately, I have to upload it again in a re-edited version because I overlooked some copyrighted content.  I dunno how I could have let that slip, though I imagine it’s just a technical error.  But the way I see it this is a good thing.

For starters, I don’t like any of the cover images that automatically popped up when the first version finished uploading.  So this little hiccup allows me an opportunity to make this next version a little bit better.

As a YouTube partner, I am allowed to upload a cover image to each of the films that I release.  And I have been running an experiment on my channel to see which videos get the most views based on the images I select.  Some of the videos have clip shots from outtakes or extra scenes.  And recently, I have decided to start clipping the cover images directly from the same film just to ensure that I am advertising the film adequately.

In this latest short film, I’ve selected a few frames that I think would be cool to be the cover image for this film.  Take a look at them and let me know which one is your favorite.  Which one should I use (and remember, it’s going to be much smaller on YouTube, so the detail will be a factor).

Let me know in the comments, or email me at cyle@cyleodonnell.com.