About Marko

My name’s Mark, but my friends call me Marko.  The “Polo” came after three years of travel and living abroad after college.  I’m originally from San Diego, but these days the last place you’re likely to find me.

I studied economics and political science at UCLA, graduating with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 2008 before heading off to India to work with a local microfinance bank in rural Karnataka.  In total, I spent almost a half year in India working with small-scale famers and helping them access modern farming techniques, education, fertilizers, irrigation and personal loans.

The shocking poverty I experienced during my internship permanently changed my world view – I simply couldn’t return home to a fat paycheck knowing that people were starving in less fortunate countries.  I started writing about all I saw, and felt called to spread awareness about the social issues I discovered.

The economy crashed right when I got home.   My plans to work as a management consultant collapsed so I took my life savings and bought a one way ticket to Asia, intent on finding adventure and blogging about it.  I traveled overland from Singapore through SE Asia to Tibet and China before crossing to Europe via the Trans-Siberian railroad.  You can find my blogs in the Asia category of this blog

Seven months and seventy posts later I was in Spain, financing my writing habit by teaching English.  I studied Spanish by day and wrote by night, first for Off Track Planet and the Matador Network before moving to the Basque Country and writing a digital guidebook for the region.

Since then, I’ve made a failed attempt to sail around the Mediterranean, cleaned boat hulls in Mallorca, and written a city guide to Buenos Aires for Off Track Planet.  I’ve also completed the summer creative writing course at the Paris American Academy and I’m (slowly) moving through my coursework at MatadorU.

Now I’m working with my brother on a travel project called Vagabrothers, trying to blend culture, history, and current events to make a show that can promote global understanding between cultures.  Check it out, and join our adventures!

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2 Responses to “About Marko”
  1. Katie Hamblin says:

    Hey Mark it is Katie and Tyson from your STCW class….we can’t find your phone number and want to get in touch with you 🙂 We are in the islands right now are you? Email us back when you have a chance.

  2. Lucas Ribeiro says:

    Hello! 😀 I’m a 14-year-old Portuguese boy and I’ve seen you in the “Biggest, Baddest, Bucket list” and became a fan of yours! I love Donostia! It was a pity everything was so expensive. 😥 My dream travel is towards my father’s land: Guinea-Bissau! Sorry if I disturb, but I have to at least try to send a friend request in facebook. 🙂 Kind regards and I wish you win!

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