Social traveller Michael Lee Johnson

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aug 6, 2013

Socially travelling to Beijing and walking back to London? Is it possible?

A couple of weeks ago I a saw a post on G+ about someone who is going to walk (!!) from Beijing to London. My first thought was: “this guy is insane”.
But I got intrigued and started to follow him on G+.

I have had a G+ account for quite a while but wasn’t really active on it. That changed because of the large and active Ingress communities on G+.
I recently started playing Ingress and joined several communities so I checked my newsfeed more regularly. And that’s how I stumbled upon the post from Michael.

Just before we was going to fly to Beijing and start walking, he changed his mind and started a new experiment. He wondered if it was possible to socially travel to Beijing using nothing else then the G+ community.

How crazy is he?

When I read that I said to Eelke that if he needed a place to stay in the Netherlands I would offer him our spare room. At first my husband thought I was crazy too (which I am) but he followed Michael’s adventures through my newsfeed and got intrigued too.

So when Michael asked for a place in/near Amsterdam I wrote he was welcome to stay at our place.
We started chatting and on Saturday July 27th I picked him up near the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam.
As we drove from Amsterdam to Hierden (near Harderwijk) I took a scenic route to show Michael some windmills and where the “Zuiderzee” used to be.
He wasn’t really in a talking mood, he was just looking around and I heard him say a few times “Can’t believe how flat it is here” 😉

We had some tea at our place and chatted for a bit but we could see Michael had had a long day – with all kinds of new experiences (Busses, trains and so on) – so we went to bed not long after.

Michael and Doerak


One of our cats – Doerak – took one look at Michael and decided he was okay. Michael couldn’t get rid of him after that!
The next couple of days I was busy with work for the blood bank in the evenings and had some appointments during the day so – unfortunately – there wasn’t much time to show Michael around.
But that did mean that he could get the next part of his journey sorted and fix his laptop! It also meant that I was banished from my pc because he had a hang out to organise and so many people to chat with. Luckily for him I was away a lot.




The last 2 days I did have some time but it was also the hottest week of the year!
We spend some time on the bikes to see some of the area and I introduced Michael to Ingress. We went to an old mill and a castle called “de Essenburgh”.

working outside at night
Michael on the bike
dutch Cows

It must have been the hottest day of the year when I drove Micheal to the German border on Saturday the 3th of August.
We met up with Andreas who took him to Emsdetten Germany.

Micheal is a nice guy and I’m amazed with all he has done to make his dream – walking from Beijing to London – come true! Although this part of his journey isn’t so well planned and thought out he is making the best of it, relying on the good nature of folks on G+.
Having Michael off to go to Germany and further
Michael, we’ll be following your journey and please come visit us when your back in the Netherlands. There is a hot bath and a massage from Tessage waiting for you! 😉

Save (social) travelling!

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