WildChina > Destinations > Kyle Johnson: China’s Ultimate World Traveler

Would you exchange luxurious material possessions for the opportunity to take an extraordinary journey around the world?

From the towering snow-capped mountain peaks of Alaska to the age-old charming hutongs located in the heart of Beijing?

Kyle Johnson, an avid world traveler, would without a doubt say ‘yes’.

From the northernmost tip of North America to the southernmost end of South America, checking off a list composed of an impressive 36,000km’s worth of thrilling adventures along the way, Kyle has spent a quarter of his adult life out on the road; therefore, traveling is a fundamental part of his life, more important than material possessions.


What does Kyle love the most about traveling?

He thoroughly enjoys the way it has broadened his perspective on life, giving him freedom and promoting an overall more vivacious lifestyle that is enriched by all of the remarkable individuals, rich scrumptious cuisine, and mesmerizing scenery he encounters. This vagabond way of life makes him reflect on and rethink the sometimes slow pace and mundane routine of our every lives. With a camera in one hand and a pen in the other, Kyle frequently uses photography, drawing, and writing to document his journeys. His journal is constantly overflowing with sketches inspired by medieval architecture and writings inspired by specific moments while traveling.


Kyle’s most memorable adventures?

His ‘top five’ would include: exploring the amazing wildlife and fishing in the vast beauty of Alaska, hardcore motor cycling through the Andes, hiking around the seemingly endless lush grasslands native to New Zealand, long boarding with local surfers in the villages of Hainan, and dining on the most flavorful of dishes made with the freshest ingredients while enjoying some of the world’s finest wine in the tranquil Italian countryside of Tuscany.


For Kyle, the key to a successful and insightful trip is maintaining a bright attitude. While working at a surf shop in Hawaii, he clearly remembers seeing a couple arguing. Rather than appreciating the mesmerizing and soothing waves of the ocean that lay just a few steps away, this couple was getting caught up in a heated argument. So in the wise words of Kyle, “Be aware of your surroundings, appreciate the moment, remain open-minded, and most importantly, smile”. When you smile, you get a smile back. Who knows, a local might even invite you into their home to enjoy a cup of tea – what better way to understand a specific culture than with the locals themselves?

“Be aware of your surroundings, appreciate the moment, remain open-minded, and most importantly, smile”.

On his upcoming trip to Italy’s Tuscan countryside with Bishan, Kyle hopes to expose fellow travelers to the idea of traveling on a more human level, focusing on “Experiencing Tuscany Differently”, interacting with locals and understanding the regional history, produce, and overall culture through activities such as visits to organic farms that make their own cheese. While staying at an one thousand-year old restored castle surrounded by olive trees and a vineyard, travelers can truly get away and travel back in time a few hundred years to fully appreciate the beauty of site with some delicious cuisine, flavorful wine, and lovely company –  a truly valuable and luxurious journey!


With international progress, overall higher levels of education, and Chinese outbound tourism on the rise, the mindset of the traveler is also evolving – they are stepping away from the stereotypical large group tours that efficiently cover multiple locations in a short period and moving towards a more effective and independent way of travel, spending extended time in a specific location to get a more in-depth look at the local culture.

As the ultimate world traveler, Kyle epitomizes the future of outbound travel amongst up and coming generations of Chinese travelers.


All photo credit to Kyle Johnson


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