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Traveling Around the World with C.C. Chapman

We're honored to welcome C.C. Chapman to GoGirlfriend to share his some of his travels and future travel dreams. C.C. has worked with A-list brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Ford and Sony and is a much requested speaker at events like TBEX, 140Conf, TEDx and South by Southwest.

We're a community-based travel blog and we welcome submissions from everyone. Whether you're a budget-baller or a first class only kinda traveler, we'd love to hear from you. Visit our Writer's Guidelines and learn how you can share your travel advice, stories and adventures!

Getting to know C.C. Chapman through his travels

Julia Rosien: Can you tell us about your first travels and what made you decide to incorporate your travel adventures in your business?

travel stop in Germanytravel stop in GermanyCC Chapman: I had never been on a plane until college when I flew to Hawaii for my future brother-in-law's wedding. My first international trip was to Germany to speak at a podcasting conference. 

I quickly realized how great it was to see new corners of the globe. My worries about not being able to speak the language or what the food would be like were quickly squashed as I realized that was part of the adventure.

As I became more of a known keynote speaker, travel became very common to me. Since I never leave home without a camera and my notebook it made sense that travel would become an integrated part in all that I do. I hope it continues to be so.

JR: With all the blogs that offer free content, do you think it's still possible to make a living as a travel writer?

travel treasures in Nottinghamtravel treasures in NottinghamCCC: You are asking the wrong guy, because I've had a horrible time trying to make money as a travel writer. I have a few friends who do this, but they are rare.

There is a shift finally happening out there where people are beginning to pay for premium content. Most people will be satisfied with all the free content, but others will crave something more. This is why sites like Byliner are gaining traction. We've got a long way to go but I like to think that artists of all sorts will be able to continue doing what they do online.

And if anyone wants to hire me to do travel writing please do contact me!  

JR:  What's the best travel advice you've ever received?

CCC: To get a passport.

It sounds so trivial, but ask your friends in the US if they have a passport and many will say no. Up until recently most people I knew didn't have one because they never saw the need to go beyond our borders. But, it is a golden ticket to the world and I think everyone should have one. That way you CAN go anywhere if the urge or opportunity strikes you.

So, my advice is to get a passport immediately if you don't have one.

JR: What's the worst travel advice you've ever received?

CCC: Beware of _______!

the wonder of spainthe wonder of spainIt doesn't matter where I go, everyone has heard some horror story about that location. Last year when I traveled to Girona, Spain I had a friend warn me about pick pockets because they heard somewhere that there was a lot of them. I didn't see a single one.

The truth is that bad things can happen to you anywhere in the world and yet people seem to think when you travel it draws a bigger target on you and if you are smart that is never the truth.

Do your research, but listen to the locals and trust your gut.

JR: Do you have a bucket list of places you want to visit yet? What's at the top of that list?

CCC: Alaska is my top destination. I'd love to visit there with my father because he put the love for it in my head. As a big outdoorsman this will always be at the top of my list.

Also, near the top of the list is to Italy because that is where my family is from and China because that is where my wife's family is. 

Other places that come to mind are Scotland, Australia, India, Japan and Peru. Honestly there isn't a place on this planet that I wouldn't love to visit at some point.

I have a life list goal of shooting photos on every continent. I've only been to three so I've got plenty of places still to visit.

JR: Is there one country (or city) that you fell in love with and had difficulty leaving?

left my heart in New Orleansleft my heart in New OrleansCCC: New Orleans certainly grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. Everything about the food, people and culture resonated with me on all levels.

I had been warned that it was dangerous and one big drunk party but when I visited I learned that it is so much more than that. They've been knocked down over and over again but keep getting up.

Plus, a good old fashion crawfish boil is one of my favorite meals I've ever enjoyed and it was in the backyard of a friend's house in NOLA!

JR: In all of your travels, what experience is closest to your heart?

CCC: Last year in Accra, Ghana the ONE Campaign took me to a malnutrition clinic. 

the impact of visiting Ghanathe impact of visiting GhanaWe were shown all the great work that is going on there and at one point we were lead into a room where some of the newest patients were staying. It was heart breaking to see such sick children.

One girl caught my attention when I found out she was the same age as my son, but because of her severe health looked several years younger. She held my fingers and we talked a bit even though she couldn't really talk to me. When I went to leave she grabbed them tighter and tried to pull me back. Her eyes and smile still haunt me to this day.

Sadly, I later found out that she passed away after our visit. She may be gone from Earth, but I'll carry her memory and the look on her face for the rest of my life. 

Her name was Mercy. 

JR:  Tell us more about CC Chapman and what's on tap for you in 2013.

CCC: I've finally narrowed it down to saying "C.C. Chapman is a Boston based storyteller, explorer and humanitarian."

The problem with being a creative being is that I do a lot of things. I'm most happy when I'm out in the world meeting new people, taking photos and sharing the whole experience with the world through my blog.

CC Chapmans Cleon FoundationCC Chapmans Cleon FoundationThis year I'll be establishing my new company The Cleon Foundation

After years of working in the marketing space to simply sell products, I want to focus on a much higher goal. Our tagline is "making the world better through creativity" and I want to work with companies find their social good roots and make them flourish. I plan to do a lot of speaking and educating companies to get them thinking about how they can give back to the world. The plan is to also work directly with organizations and companies who have a product that will improve the world.

It is a lofty goal, but one that I know in my heart I have to do and I'm dedicated enough to make it happen.

The plan is to continue speaking on a regular basis and promoting my new book Amazing Things Will Happen as well as the previous book Content Rules.

I'm hoping to look back as we flip the calendars to 2014 with a big smile on my face.

JR:  What's the best advice you can give to an aspiring writer, traveler or travel writer?

CCC: To just start doing it. 

Too many people wait for permission or a green light from someone else. We stand in our own ways and we need to get out and do whatever it is that we want to do.

The world we live in continues to give us new tools to do everything we want. The power that I have from the phone in my pocket still blows my mind and gets me excited. This power is available to most anyone (yes, there is still a digital divide in the world but it is getting a little smaller every day) and yet people still wait to be told they can do something.

Start doing what you want to do today and figure out how to keep doing it!

About C.C.Chapman

CC Chapman ~ explorer and humanitarianCC Chapman ~ explorer and humanitarianC.C. Chapman is a Boston based storyteller, explorer and humanitarian. He is the co-author of the best-selling book Content Rules and the author of the recently released Amazing Things Will Happen.

C.C. is the Founder of The Cleon Foundation whose goal is to make the world a better place through creativity He is a seasoned expert in the world of online media and a highly sought after speaker and content creator. C.C. is a graduate of Bentley University and you can find out more at CC-Chapman.com

Catch up with CC online:

Thank you CC for sharing your travel adventures with us. Have a travel story to share/ Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - we'd love to hear from you!

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