People ask me all the time, “What kinds of stories are you looking for?”

Here’s a couple hundred subjects and themes that I’ve interviewed around 1,750 world travelers and adventurers about over the last four decades. Might I have missed something?

Scan the list, and I’m sure story ideas will jump out at you. The funny thing is, that once we’re doing an interview, you’ll be surprised at what comes to the surface!

You’ll soon discover that there ARE, indeed, travel stories in you wanting to come out!

More than 200 different travel themes weave their way throughout these stories, creating a psychology of travel/an endless mosaic of the true travel and adventure tales of not just a few people, but of many–in fact–ultimately just about 1,750 people!

These tales are not travelogues; these are not the tales of tourists and how they spend their summer vacations/these are the true accounts of travel-life, of the wonder of peak human experiences, of struggle/and in some cases/of the deaths of travelers! Below is a long listing, not all-inclusive, of various themes these tales can contain. What are your travel tales about?

  • departing from home, interesting and unusual arrivals overseas
  • ships, boats, trains, planes, cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, taxis, rickshaws, tuk-tuks & the like, VW buses, vans, animal conveyance & hitchhiking
  • airline stories, glory days of Pan Am, confessions of pilots & crews, funny airline stories
  •  surviving airplane crashes
  • other unusual forms of transport, famous transport, e.g., Titanic, QE2, Concorde, Green Tortoise, etc.
  • hotels, places to stay, brothels as hotels, hotels from hell, staying with people, other sleep-related experiences
  • common questions asked of & by travelers, incessant & embarrassing questioning by foreign nationals
  • floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, monster waves, storms & other natural disasters
  • interesting mountains, rivers, caves, deserts, volcanoes, natural formations, etc.
  • hostile environs, dangerous dogs, unpleasant insects & critters, wildlife, poisonous snakes
  • fantastic observations, contact with birds, wildlife, unusual animal encounters
  • illness, disease, death, dying, bodies, getting well, Peace Corps deaths
  • mental disturbances, illnesses, mental breakdowns overseas, famous  psychological syndromes, other psychological issues
  • accidents, mishaps, running into or over people or animals
  • robberies, pickpockets, theft
  • rapes, fights, attacks, stone-throwing & other threats
  • bad, dangerous, frightening, frustrating & otherwise unpleasant situations, dangerous places
  • safety & security overseas
  • wars, riots, spying, terrorism, mobs, crowds & other civil disturbances
  • kidnapped, abductions, hijackings, hostages, disappearances, white slavery
  • kidnapped (& later returned) garden gnomes, teddy bears & other things that have traveled the world & appeared in postcards or photos
  • cleanliness, filth, slums, poverty
  • great escapes, close calls, chases, wrong places at wrong times
  • travelers with nine lives
  • soldiers, police, roadblocks, arrests, foreign jails & prisons
  • sexual harassment & assaults, women alone
  • other forms of harassment
  • prostitutes, call girls, famous shopping’ streets, x-rated stuff, sex-related
  • borders,  no-man’s land, customs hassles, smuggling
  • beggars, hustlers, con artists, con games, scams, extortions & other rip-offs
  • cannibalism
  • prejudice, language problems, bureaucracies
  • toilet stories
  • learning & conserving money, traveling on very little, getting something for nothing
  • getting away with something, stealing, black markets, changing money
  • travel styles, ways people travel
  • making friends, meeting people, breaking the ice, reunions, revisiting same places again!
  • romantic, love & sexual encounters, past loves
  • great hosts, hospitality, generosity
  • interesting peoples, countries & cultures
  • national characteristics, differences, contrasts, behaviors, values, attitudes, attitudes towards women, habits,
  • nonverbal gestures, communication, interaction, customs, culture shock
  • lifestyles, visits & living with locals, village life
  • meeting the real people, getting local, going native
  • the most beautiful women in the world
  • interesting, memorable travelers, characters, local persons encountered
  • interesting, favorite, best & worst places; best & worst times, experiences, sights
  • unusually interesting peoples, places, things, museums, sightseeing attractions
  • famous & infamous people you have met, celebrity encounters
  • holidays, festivals, events, happenings, weddings, celebrations
  • markets, bazaars, souks, shopping, bargaining, etc.
  • foods, drinks, drugs, recreational & other substances, restaurants, cafes
  • hippies, bygone eras, older stories, ago, earlier times, historical
  • entertainment, sports & other fun, sights or pleasure-seeking activities, e.g., ballooning, river-rafting, flying your own plane
  • scary, white-knuckle & potentially dangerous & risky experiences, taking risks & chances, adrenalin rushes, bungee or base jumping, & other terrifying but exciting experiences
  • photography, cameras, picture taking, Kodak Moments’, taking ‘forbidden’ photos, taking pictures with or without permission
  • best postcards, souvenirs, collectors’ items
  • unusual travel accomplishments, e.g., mountain climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, awards, records, adventure clubs
  • discoveries, surprises
  • communing with nature, eco adventures
  • first impressions of all kinds
  • returning to where born, visiting foreign relatives, roots experiences
  • pass for people of different countries, look like you have ‘100 faces’!
  • Peace Corps, Medical Corps, missionary experiences
  • achievements, self-development, personal growth, learning, attitude change & any other personal changes, gains or losses as a result of travel, life-changing experiences, why travel?
  • saints, miracle workers, gurus, magicians
  • mystical, spiritual, religious, peak experiences, enlightenment, shamanic journeys
  • other pilgrimages & quests, religious or otherwise
  • occult, black magic, witchcraft
  • ghosts, aliens, UFOS & any other weird, strange, paranormal or occult phenomena
  • deja vu, synchronicities
  • any other human needs, desires, fantasies, king, princess, Cinderella or ‘royalty’ for a day
  • first times of all kinds
  • sailboats, regattas, sea life & other  sea stories
  • only white (black, Latino, Asian) person locals have ever seen
  • who can you trust? how do you know you can trust someone?
  • travel from the perspective of children
  • from hell’ stories, e.g., the hotel, airplane, bus, tourist, train conductor, etc. ‘from hell!’
  • confessions’ stories, e.g., confessions of a hotel manager, tour leader, game ranger, airline pilot or crew, etc. . . .
  • do’s and don’t of travel, travel tips, travel secrets, the best & worst travel guides, cultural faux pas & gaffes
  • ugly Americans, distasteful, embarrassing travelers,  idiots abroad
  • other travel advice, lessons learned, wisdom of travel
  • funny stories, travel humor
  • experience of returning home

Nearly 10,00 travel stories
collected so far from . . .
travel tales contributors
as of July 1, 2014

“Thanks to Michael Brein . . . to be the pioneer of this field.”
Shawn K. 07.18.2013

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Putting the Passion of Psychology Back into Travel