Storyteller Francis Tapon | Francis Tapon Travel Blog

Francis at Maromokotro

Francis Tapon is a backpacker, world traveler, and author. Learn more storyteller Francis Tapon in our Culture with Travel interview.

Storyteller Francis Tapon riding on a scooter in Africa
Francis riding on a scooter in Africa

Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?

​I’ve traveled to 100+ countries and written two travel books. I’m currently on a 5-year trip to all 54 African countries. I’m almost done.

I love to travel because I like to challenge my mind. I love change.

Travel definitely teaches us more about the world, but it doesn’t necessarily unite us. That depends on your point of view. Some travel with closed minds or they focus on the negative. So, it’s easy to conclude that Tanzanians are different than us because you might be blind to the similarities.

What surprising aspect of culture do you love about where you’re from that travelers may not be aware of?

San Francisco is surprisingly open-minded sexually. Sure, it’s famous for being welcoming to homosexuals, but it’s far more broad. People are into polyamory, open marriages, and transgender. That may surprise those who think it’s just a haven for gay men.

Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!

​Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl .

​Clam chowder

Share about a custom/tradition you observe, and talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you?

​Family is totally overrated. What matters is forming a community. A family is forced/imposed community. It’s far better to create a community that makes you a better person and brings out the best in you.

Still, I love my wife, mom and my Chilean family. The French side, not so much.

Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you. 

​After traveling to 51 African countries, I’m surprised that art and dance aren’t as prominent in their societies as I expect. National Geographic skews our thoughts.

Languages not only give us the power to communicate but also can unite us across cultures. Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language.

​I love languages that use the same word to say hello and goodbye. French: “Salut” is an example.

Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story!

​I met my wife, Rejoice, through the Badoo App in Cameroon.

Then, we got married. You can read it here:

Francis wedding
Francis Tapon and his wife, Rejoice.

Follow Francis’s journey on his website, You can also follow along on Twitter and Facebook

4 thoughts on “Storyteller Francis Tapon | Francis Tapon Travel Blog

  1. I should clarify my statement that says that family is “overrated.” Although I still agree with that, I hope that people don’t think that I think that it’s a bad way to create a community. It’s certainly one way to create a community. The point is to create a community either by making a family (which is an inflexible community) or making your own community by picking your friends (which is a flexible community).

    Obviously, most people do both. However, you can’t do both perfectly since you only have 24 hours in a day and community require time investment to stay healthy. So there are tradeoffs of doing both. More people ought to consider not reproducing and simply creating their own communities.

    1. I think this guy’s main goal in life is craving attention. I too have traveled extensively to third world countries, but Francis thinks he’s really special for trekking over territory that locals travel on a regular basis. What he writes about has been done by many others. Honestly, no need to write about it,

      1. My reply of September 2nd is without merit and totally unjustified. This gentleman is actually providing a great service, sharing timely info with fellow travellers while expanding their horizons. Francis is the real deal… my apologies to him.

        1. Tom, you may be the first person to ever apologize on the Internet! 🙂
          In the age of anonymous flaming and vicious insults on the web, it takes true courage and humility to admit that one’s first judgment was off.
          So kudos to you!

          Thank you!

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