The Travelling Ape Book

My Amazon best-selling book is rated 4.7/5 stars on Goodreads. It's available in eBook, paperback, and hardback. For paperback and hardback versions, please search ‘The Travelling Ape’ on Amazon to find it. I talk about it on a podcast here.

Travis Jeppesen

author of See You Again in Pyongyang

Mike Richards' impassioned travelogue is an inspired antidote to the petty nationalisms that divide us. This witty and highly readable travelling ape paves a much-needed way forward toward a cosmopolitan interconnectivity - without which, we're surely all doomed.

  • What’s our planet really like? 
  • Are humans mostly good or bad?
  • Is civilisation heading in the right or wrong direction?
  • How many rhetorical questions can you ask before it gets boring?

One bewildered, insignificant ape believes he has answers to these questions. Michael Mackay Richards is one of around 400 Homo sapiens – 0.000000001% of people who’ve ever lived – to have visited over 150 of the world's 195 countries. Which, last time he checked, was officially quite a lot of countries.

The Travelling Ape explores what travelling the world taught him about life, humanity and the geopolitical turmoil that so defines us. And how the journey changed him as a person, too. From the streets of Pyongyang, to silent meditation retreats in India, and to riding an abandoned rollercoaster in Iraq for some reason, no stone is left unturned on this epic (and sometimes weird) global odyssey. A journey infused with sharp insights and equally readable anecdotes of personal humiliation, when travel goes wrong. 

With a unique voice, one of the best-travelled apes in history offers you a fresh take on the world. It’s one that just might help you fall back in love with it.

Nomad Mania

Directory and hub for the world’s most widely-travelled people

At a time when it is easy to lose faith in mankind, this optimistic, kind, and ultimately celebratory book by Mike Richards is the perfect global antidote to restore that faith. Clearly written with a deep love for humanity, and with humility and appreciation to boot, this triumph of positivity takes you across latitudes, aiming to answer the fundamental question: who are we and what is our role in it all?

Further Praise for The Travelling Ape

Michael Richards has travelled widely and thoughtfully, accumulating not only miles but insights. The Travelling Ape is a heartfelt, illuminating, and frequently humorous examination of the human passion to see and understand the world.


author of The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them

A wicked read by a restless globetrotter who manages to combine his own exciting experiences with in-depth info and thought-provoking commentary. This book will inspire any traveller to hit the road.


author of 198: How I Ran out of Countries and Elsewhere: A Journey to the World’s Least-Visited Countries

A journey across the globe and the mind. Mike weaves in politics, economics, and philosophy alongside rich anecdotes drawn from visits to over 150 countries. Mike makes you think about your travels, and inspires you to roam further. A travel book like no other.


author of Europe United: 1 Football Fan. 1 Crazy Season. 55 UEFA Nations

In The Travelling Ape, Michael MacKay Richards takes us on an immersive journey, as he explores his own life during his visits to many different places and cultures. He writes in such a way that you feel you are with him during every step he takes, as well as feeling you benefit from what he has learnt along the way. This book is a beautifully honest observation of what we can learn from the world around us.


author of A Practical Guide on How Meditation Can Take You From Overwhelm to An Inner Calm

The Travelling Ape goes way beyond your typical ‘travel hack’ books. It brilliantly shows us the transformative power of travel, while intriguingly connecting geopolitics and personal growth. Mike’s storytelling is both amusing and thought-provoking, making the book an absolute delight for any wanderer seeking the true essence of their travel journeys.


best-selling author of Travel to Transform: Awaken the Global Citizen in You and Thrive in the Modern World

Written with humour, optimism, and light-hearted introspection, The Travelling Ape takes readers on a journey through the joys and challenges of travel itself. It’s a broadly upbeat look at the world that reminds readers that – although global society is not without its challenges – most people are kind, curious, and good. The Travelling Ape is a compelling travelogue that reminds us we’ve got more in common than we think. 


author of The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World

It's so reassuring and refreshing to discover that a world traveller, so much younger than me, has made the same central discoveries about our Larger Home: The world is better than you think; most people are kind, helpful, hospitable; we are all world-citizens who have more things in common than differences. His adventures, observations and studies are documented in this admirable book that oozes love for travel, cultures, the human race and most importantly learning.


author of Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel

This book is both a joy and a tonic for anyone who has ever wondered about the value, or otherwise, of travel. Michael Richards, the self-styled Travelling Ape, has visited over 150 countries, and his relentless positivity and curiosity about the world shines through on every page. His introspective travel memoir brims with humanity and happiness – a good thing, these days – and the writing zips along with humour and honesty. It’s a great read, I loved it.


author of The Born to Travel Collection: Tales From a Travel Writer’s Life

I found The Travelling Ape to be an incredibly insightful and entertaining travel narrative. Michael’s passion for adventure and desire to experience other cultures really comes through in his writing. If I had my way, The Travelling Ape would be required reading in all secondary school/ university geography and world history classes. It kindles a passion for learning about other places and will make the reader want to take a trip around the world. 


author of Choose Adventure: Safe Travel in Dangerous Places