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Andrew Hughes (Yozza MacAoda)
Works at Reprise Media Australia
Lives in Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Andrew Hughes

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The Google+ Social Travel Experiment

On July 26th (just over a month ago), I asked the question; Is it possible to travel across the world for FREE using nothing but +Google+  and a whole lot of hugs? 

Why? Because I wanted to show the world that #GooglePlusIsNotAGhostTown and why this platform is different than all of the others. I was just sick and tired of all those news articles and people saying that nobody uses this platform. That nobody is here. 

If nobody is here… Who am I? Who are you? And who the hell is nobody? 

It is now September 6th and so far I have been to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Harderwijk, Emsdetten, Munster, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Milan, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Athens, courtesy of Google+ users from one side of the world to the other. 

I have stayed at multiple peoples houses, in hotels and bed & breakfasts. Travelled across countries via cars, buses and trains. Met lots of awesome people, made new friends, visited multiple Google offices and had an absolutely AMAZING TIME in the process. I have experienced humanity for what it truly is. Thoughtful. Caring. Hospitable. Amazing. - That doesn’t mean I haven’t had problems… I have had plenty of problems, but overall, the experience has been life changing.

For those of you that don’t know me…

My name is Michael Lee Johnson, I am 28 years of age and I am from Widnes, Cheshire in the North West of England. I grew up in a small semi-detached council house in the middle of nowhere. I was an only child. My mum brought me up on her own and I love her very much.

I am an introvert by nature, a socially awkward sort of guy. For the longest amount of time I presumed there something wrong with me, but it turned out that I'm just an introvert, a special sort of weird. To me, being social doesn’t come natural. I am the type of person that doesn’t like asking for help. I had to step outside of my comfort zone and do things I wasn’t used to... Like talking, chatting and interacting with strangers. Meeting new people and making new friends. 

So far I have spent about 10 euros on food and water in the past 5 weeks. I have eaten 3/4/5x per day. People have cooked for me. Taken me to restaurants. Bought me food on the street and taken me out for drinks. Introduced me to their friends and family, and made me feel at home. Showed me around their cities and gone out of their way. They have been there for me. They have trusted me in their homes. They have written all sorts of nice things about me. 

Google+ came through. The people. The place. My life has been turned upside down. As of writing this message my follower count is growing at nearly 1000 users per day. I am getting lots of lovely messages and a fair few horrible messages. (You can’t please everyone). - That’s life.

Before I left Athens, I was just about to get an Indian visa, take a ferry to Turkey, travel up to Istanbul and then jump on a flight to Mumbai, however, things didn’t go according to plan. I had problems getting a visa for India due to a ripped page in my passport, which meant I could either try and stay in Athens for 4 weeks until the embassy issued me a new one, and then reapply for the Indian visa, or I could jump on a flight back to the UK and resolve all of my issues here.

I couldn’t find somewhere to stay in Athens for 4 weeks, so I crowd-funded my flight back to the UK and now I have applied for my new passport to continue with my journey. I should be flying out to Mumbai later on in the week.

For those of you that don't know what I am doing... Over the course of the next 3 years, I am going to be walking 15,000km from Beijing to London, whilst doing live Google+ hangouts from one side of the world to the other, writing a book, raising money for Unicef and recording a documentary about my use of Google+ over the entire duration. 

On Friday July 26th, I was meant to be boarding a flight to Hong Kong with the intention of heading up to Beijing on the train, and then I had an idea...

Why not make this journey a little more interesting. Why not make it more about you, and less about me. Inviting you into my journey. Inviting you to take part. And instead of getting on a flight direct to Hong Kong, why not ditch my plane ticket and social-travel all the way using nothing but Google+ and the goodwill of this community… So I can show that to the world.

I should be arriving in Beijing very soon, so please bare with me. Thank you in advance.

For more information please visit the original post:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100125012078853567494/posts/6222hncypWU
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Andrew Hughes

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Coming soon in Sydney!
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Andrew Hughes

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We're not allowed to use that word at my company-:)

Andrew Hughes

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+Michael Lee Johnson Do you anticipate deviating from your route to Bejing via Sydney? If So, +Reprise Australia would be delighted to have you join us for lunch and a bit of chatter.
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Hey +Andrew Hughes maybe if someone offers me a return ticket from Bangkok or somewhere else down that way, and somewhere to stay, but as of right now, no unfortunately.- The problem is not deviating from my route to Beijing, (my route changes all the time), the problem is getting to and from these extra places. 
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Have him in circles
444 people
Troy Roennfeldt's profile photo
Olivier Starck's profile photo
Laurel Papworth's profile photo
Hannah Law's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Digital Media and Marketing Bod - Digital, Technology, Creative,Search, Strategy and Analytics
Skills
Digital Innovation, Digital Marketing, Search Marketing, Social Marketing, Web Analytics, Conversion Optimisation
Employment
  • Reprise Media Australia
    Director : Innovation & Technology, 2011 - present
  • Reprise Media Australia
    SEO Director, 2011 - 2012
  • Reprise Media Australia
    Senior Consultant SEO & SMO, 2010 - 2011
  • Universal McCann Australia
    Senior Consultant SEO & SMO, 2010 - 2011
  • AdStorm
    SEO Consultant, 2008 - 2009
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
y0z2a, yoz2a, y0zza, yozza, andrew hughes, Yozza MacAoda
Story
Tagline
Director : Innovation & Technology - Reprise Media Australia
Introduction
I work for Reprise Media Australia as Director : Innovation & Technology. Previously, I have worked as the SEO Director and previously, Senior SEO and SMO consultant within web and marketing agencies. I have also worked client side in startup companies, and run my own search, social and web projects since 1998. You'll find me on LinkedIn: y0z2a

I also have historically owned and run a Renault Clio Motorsport Company and run several blogs.

I have relaunched SearchEveryWhere (finally), bringing much of my previous work and projects together into one place in 2011 - something that I have tried to do unsuccessfully several times in the past. But... here's to trying again.
Bragging rights
I intentionally fly under the radar...
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Previously
Staffordshire, England - Copenhagen, Denmark