About Me

The Author Himself

I am a professor of computer science.  I taught at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for 8 years and Macalester College in St. Paul for 25 years before retiring in 2008.  Currently I am a Visiting Professor at Columbia University in New York where I live for six months of the year with my wife Ruth.  The other six months I reside in the Twin Cities.

During my career my wife, children, and I had the good fortune to live and work overseas fourteen times for periods of 1 to 8 months.  We have gazed at Everest, ridden camels in the Gobi, walked with elephants in the Serengeti, visited indigenous tribes in Borneo, and lived on a tropical island paradise, all without reaching into my own wallet and without ever giving up my day job. In 2010 I wrote a book, On The Other Guy’s Dime: A Professional’s Guide To Traveling Without Paying, which described these adventures and teaches the reader how to do exactly the same thing. Enjoy!

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36 responses to “About Me

  1. Max Richardson

    Phenomenal blog!
    Gotta toss you a hat tip for the quality; it’s nice to see quality rich on the conveyance of one’s experience.
    I was lucky to have spent my whole young adult life on the island of Bali, reading your blog brought back a lot of memories. I especially remember the holy day of Nyepi – The Day of Silence, when the island is cleaned of evil and all things bad.
    Numerous ceremonies are held in the evening before and effigies of demons are paraded around. Then the next day, all of us – Balinese, tourists and expatriates – have to stay indoors for 24 hours, from sunrise to sunrise. We light no fires and keep off all lights. The airport is shut down – no tourists allowed for 24 hours on this tourist island! Radio stations go silent and satellite TV providers pull the plug. I’m a surfer who lives by the beach and it can be hard to watch perfect waves that I am not allowed to go out and ride, but it’s nice to think that for one day this year, the ocean and island gets herself back. Just the birds out there singing without any darn traffic horns or diesel engines.
    I’ve traveled a bit and each culture has its own special holidays, but this one really is special. The whole hurtling juggernaut of commerce and of more, more, more and faster, faster, faster comes to a dead halt. Wouldn’t it be a damn fine idea if the world had a Day of Silence?
    I’ve recently been working on my writing to develop a voice and always mean to build out my own blog but get frustrated with hosting and all the stuff that goes along with maintaining a website. Despite the fact that the internet allows me to read about people’s experiences half a world away, honestly, I would just love to write and not have to deal with the tech side.
    I’ve had a ton of cool experiences over the years which I’ve been meaning to write up, and it would be great if I could push it out to the universe. If I swing a piece out to you would you ever consider it hosting it if you feel a resonance with your readers? I am always interested in feedback from different audiences as I develop my style.


    Max Richardson

  2. Hello Michael,
    I am originally from Sri Lanka and at moment lives in UK for over 7 years. And now am planning on my next move, Canada or Ireland. While i was here i have started a small business of publishing (which covers Sri Lanka and UK). so i wonder whether you are interested in selling me a non-exclusive license for your book called ‘Other Guy’s Dime’ a professional’s guide to traveling without paying.
    Thank you
    Looking forward to hearing from you

  3. Congratulations on your blog. It’s definately a different niche. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Very interesting blog. I have lived and worked in South America for 6 to 7 years, mainly throughout Colombia. I would not feel comfortable going back with my future children but all in all good experience and great to be back in America.

  5. Hi Mike,
    My name is Homer and I’m writing from Travel News (http://tra.velne.ws/) a real time travel community of travel bloggers, travelers and people who like traveling in general. It’s a free and open community for anyone to participate, think of it as digg but dedicated to traveling.

    We would really like your opinion on it and we would love if you could join the community. It is completely free and you can submit as many links as you want there is no limit and they show up in real time.

    Some more info on Travel News; We started travel news as an application for our friends to share interesting links about traveling but became apparent that a lot of people liked the idea and started to share their links. After requests from users we have added lots of functionality like voting/commenting/mark as favorite/read later, many more will follow. Since August 2012 TN has done a great progress, grew 400% since when it started and we expect that growth to continue, more than 200.000 unique visitors every month with 550.000 page views.

    Already a lot of bloggers are submitting their great articles to Travel News, more than 9000 travel articles covering nearly 25.000 destinations.

    All in all we hope to make it a point of reference of finding the most relevant information about destinations and the experiences travelers have in those destination (removing all the noise).

    I hope you join us.


    Homer from Travel News Team

  6. Hello Michael!

    My name is Vanessa, I am a Journalist in Colombia. I would like to know if it would be possible to get one of those pictures you took at the Kayabukiya Tavern near Tokio so I can use it in my publication.



  7. Hi Michael,

    Great blog! It’s really thoughtful and we would love to do a publicity exchange with you, promoting your recent book or article on our facebook feed that reaches more than 40,000 people.

    Please contact me for more details. We would love to support you and hope you feel the same about us.

    Social Media Manager with Enrout

  8. Pingback: » La vuelta al mundo en un blog: OtherGuysDime Viajes – 101lugaresincreibles -

  9. Hi Michael,
    Ran across your blog and love it! My partner and I live/travel, and blog, about many similar topics. Basically, how you can realistically travel for free using creative work and travel ideas. I was wondering if you’d like to exchange blogroll links (we have already added yours to our blogroll) and maybe guest posts?
    Shelley & Keith

  10. Hi There,

    I just came across your https://otherguysdime.wordpress.com and found it quite appealing. I would request to please provide us email id of your webmaster so that we can work together to promote each other’s websites.

    Michel Shay

  11. Damen Lederjacke

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  12. Hi,

    We were wondering if we can exchange links with your website for our Berlin Blog : http://www.berlincitytours.com/blog
    We like your website a lot.

    Kind Regards,


  13. Hello, I was wondering if you’d be open to a guest post on your website? The first one would be free. If you like my work, perhaps we can discuss something on a regular basis. You retain the right make editorial changes. The article would be high quality, unique, interesting to your visitors, and contain a few links to my websites.

    The benefits are 1) you would save time from producing the content yourself, 2) it might draw new visitors. 3) Fresh content is one of the determining factor in SEO, so this might help you improve your ranking on Google.

    There’s no downside for you. All you have to say is yes for me to start.

    Andrew Wang

  14. Hi Michael,
    I’m a blogger and educator on alternative education. As a world traveler myself, I know that some day I’ll be pulling my kids from “regular” school and traveling with them!

    Could we do an email or phone Q and A or interview on the impact the travel has had on your family/children? I desperately want to feature family travel as a legitimate form of education on my blog.


  15. Michael,

    Drop me an e-mail with your best phone number, won’t you? I’d like to have you on “Rudy Maxa’s World,” my syndicated travel radio show this coming Saturday morning. (RMW is the most widely syndicated travel show in the US. ) Best, Rudy (SavTrav@gmail.com)

  16. I really like your writing style, great information, thankyou for posting : D.

  17. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  18. Enjoyed your book. I’d like to send you a copy of my review that I published in my online newsletter, on Facebook and at amazon.com (where I’m a Top 500 reviewer). Please send me your email address.

    (Blaine) Greenfield
    Professor Emeritus, Bucks County Comm. College

  19. Stacey Dougherty

    Your pub, Melissa, sent me an email about your book and offered to send a copy if I wanted one. I do, but my reply to her won’t go through. I want to include the book in a Holiday Gift article I want to do on travel books. Please ask her to send me a valid email address.

  20. Thank you for the articles. I was looking for where one can send a private email. Do you have a tab anywhere?

  21. Hello, I manage a travel website where we provide high quality reviews and information on travel destinations all over the world. I came across your site and was impressed with the quality content and think our reader would be interested in your site. Would you mind if I referred your site to our readers?

  22. Hi! I would like to swap links with your site. My blog is http://www.travelocafe.com. I’ve already added you under my “Links” section on my page. Please send me the description you favor for your site. Thank you!
    I’m also looking for guest bloggers. Please let me know if you’d be interested in being featured on Travelocafe.
    Regards, Laura

    • Dear Laura,

      I would be happy to swap links and will put yours up today. As for my link why not use the following:

      A blog for teaching professionals how to live and work overseas without having to dig into your own wallet or give up your day job–essentially how to travel “on the other guy’s dime!”

      Thanks. And, yes, I would love to do a guest post. When I have some time I will send you something and let me know if you like it.


  23. Look forward to it Michael and have signed up. It’s a great niche you’ve found here.

    May I also (very politely of course!) suggest you consider using subject categories for these topic areas and others, for people like me who have not been following from the start?

  24. Hi Michael
    I think your stories will inspire many people who have dreamed of this sort of life but never figured out ways to make it work practically. I’d like to hear more about how best to tackle things like what to do with your home and possessions and how to persuade partners to take the risks involved, perhaps also the various types of working opps out there, for non-academics.

    Look forward to reading about all of these things. Keep it up! 🙂

    • Dear Jools,

      Thanks for the nice comments about the blog. Over the coming months I will be addressing most of the points that you raise in your comment–how to rent out your house, how to travel with kids, a reluctant spouse, travel insurance, finding good working opportunities, etc. So, keep reading and eventually I will get to all of the info that you need to do exactly the same thing. Take care.


  25. I think your blog is going to be very interesting to read and follow especially for a travel enthusiast such as myself. I admire the experience you have received through your work and the fact that you got to experience other cultures, in other parts of the world. I look forward to your upcoming blog posts and also about learning your tricks and “how-to’s”.

  26. Hi,

    This is a wonderful blog! It was a very good read.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in guest blogging on my blog. It is a collection of my travels and the travels of my guests. If you scan the site you can see that now almost 100% of the posts are from guests. Lately I’ve been finding many people interested in guest posting.

    The blog receives about 2000 visitors a day and that number is steadily growing.

    So if you are interested in being a guest, please let me know.

    Send me an Email:

    Thank you,

    Warm Regards,
    George Christodoulou
    Travel Blogger | OneTravel

  27. Michael,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

    As a young guy, what I’ve found the biggest hurdle in finding work abroad is my lack of expertise in any particular area (engineering degree … limited, pure business work experience). On the plus side, thanks to my age I found I can live & work in Canada for a year, so that’s where I’ll likely go this Summer (Alberta … oil & gas).

    I have a lot of freedom because I don’t need to hold on to a day job here (in Europe). On the other hand, the job abroad will have to be a valuable addition to my resume (so no long-term bar tendering).

    looking forward to your stories and tips!

  28. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I will have a sabbatical within 1 or 2 years. We are close to retirement within 5 years. We’ll be still in [30-70]. I would like to work abroad. I know Spanish, some Italian. I will benefit of your experience to know how to do it.

  29. Congratulations on the blog. It looks great and will be full of great stories. Looking forward to being part of your travel-tales. See you soon

  30. I think your blog is going to be very interesting to read and follow especially for a travel enthusiast such as myself. I admire the experience you have received through your work and the fact that you got to experience other cultures, in other parts of the world. I look forward to your upcoming blog posts and also about learning your tricks and “how-to’s”.

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