Cover art for podcast The Travelers Blueprint

The Travelers Blueprint

153 EpisodesProduced by Bob DiMenna and Elliot ShibleyWebsite

Learn how you can become your own Travel Agent with insight provided by travel authors, tour guides, adventurers, and digital nomads as we, hosts’ Bob DiMenna and Elliot Shibley, interview travel enthusiasts from around the world in order to gain knowledge on all aspects of travel. From hacking the … read more


TTB 101: War Tourism

Michael Hilliard has been involved in journalism since 2010, working and reporting from countries ranging from Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, China, Belarus and many more. He has broken front page news a number of times, and has worked with sources ranging from the White House to the Taliban.

He is regularly called upon as an informed source for various publications and also serves on various committees and councils for the Australian government. Michael is also the host of Australia's largest geopolitics show The Red Line, which has gone on to be streamed of 400,000 times in over 86 countries.  

Inside the Episode:

  • Drinking with the Taliban in Uzbekistan, having a gun pulled on him by the Russian mafia, almost was killed by a minefield in Georgia, stuck in Chernobyl...and the list goes on.
  • People struggle with distinguishing between the local population of a country and their government. As Americans, we are happy to speak out against a decision made by our government when we disagree with it. So take that thought process around the world. Countries like Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, (and so on) have some bad reps in Western media. So that’s where Michael came in. To uncover the truth about these countries through their culture, food, and people and uncover the stories beyond the mainstream headlines. 
  • Surprisingly, once Michael looked past the fact that the people he met were horrible criminals...terrorists….and gun smugglers….,he realized that they were also quite normal. After settling down with one of these guys for a beer or a meal, it felt almost normal…. Michael had some of the most unique stories to date, with experiences that included members of some of the worlds most vilified individuals. 
  • Travel Tip: If you have a gun pulled on you, play it cool.
  • Lost in the Russian Arctic. A bottle of vodka to keep him warm and the unwavering ambition to explore and learn, Michael trudged on, almost freezing to death…
  • Michael talked about this amazing, beautiful ski resort in Georgia. As you can hear in this clip, he was provided with extraordinarily motivating information to keep him on the correct path...landmines.
  • Michael shared a nail biter of a story, as he had to be smuggled out of Transnistria, flying under the nose of the KGB. By hiding in the SUV of a gun smuggler, Michael avoided what would have been, at a minimum, a very long prison sentence.

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