I’ve hemmed and hawed for ages deciding how I was going to finally start this blog. Should I start with a story from what will be regular content? An Introduction? Something else? In the end I decided to go with a mix, a bit of a backstory on me, what this blog will be, and a feature of some of my favorite images from my past travels. So shall we begin?…
Up until I was 20 I had not really traveled outside the USA (I mean with out counting a day trip from Washington to Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada as a little kid) but I had somewhere along the way as a kid picked up a desire to travel the world. I loved long car rides, I loved going places, and it became one of my goals to travel as much as I could as an adult, though up until I moved to New York the idea to see the wonderful extent of this wide world seemed almost impossible. American’s have a very odd relationship to travel due to the large size of our own country “The world is scary”, “You need to speak the language of the country you are to visit if you are not on a tour”, “Why would you want to go THERE?” etcetera, ecetera. As a rather rule abiding person, in many ways, these cultural values undoubtedly made their way into my brain regardless of the fact they were against my goals and desires. As it turned out I tend to follow rules more than conventions and I left my life in Sacramento California to go to college in Portland Oregon and then moved to New York City upon graduation.
As it should be moving to New York City was monumental to me. There are so many reasons but it was those first 3 months, when I was interning, that would change my trajectory and truly show me that I can travel in the way I had always desired. Only a few days after moving to the city in 2010 I met a few girls where I was staying who were interning for the United Nations. As expected they were from all over the world as were the other UN Interns I met through them. While I was from a very diverse part of the US and I had know people from other countries prior, these new friends were the first I had met that actually lived in other countries and were just in the US for a short while. In exploring the city with them I learned more about various cultural customs, views on America, the general state of world affairs, and most importantly that you can basically open a beer bottle with any object if you are skilled enough. When they all eventually departed from New York it left me with having amazing friends in various countries around the world. I stayed in New York by the fact I was hired into a full time job and continued to meet wonderful people from all over in my work and as it happens due to many circumstances many of those friends ended up returning to their home countries as well.
Moving forward to the Summer of 2012, I had finally had saved up enough money for my first Europe trip and as timing would have it I was able to time my trip with a mini reunion of my first group of friends from New York in Paris. From Paris I was able to work it out to visit a friend from college in Germany, and then a friend from work in Turkey. This was my first big trip, the first tripe I planned for myself. Previously I had been to Tokyo once and Paris for work but those trips were for specific reasons and not of my own money and planning. Having the chance to visit friends and create my own trip showed me how not scary travel was, how much I don’t need to know the language to get by, and how amazing this great world can be. Its been about 4 ½ years since that trip and I have gone from having been to 4 countries on 3 continents to 20 (21 soon!) countries on 4 continents + Oceania with various return trips to France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan as well.
So it seems fitting that after all this time and all these travels it would be a good idea to start documenting my adventures both near and far in a real way instead of random notes strewn about and a hard drive of photos. Past and future adventures will be shared in the context of stories from the road, helpful information for specific destinations, hiking guides, and some choice food spotlights from travels and my kitchen. My goal is to inspire those who have the means but think travel is too scary, to intimidating, too hard, to embrace those fears and hit the road. For those who are unable to travel, for physical, financial, or other reasons, I hope to allow you to experience some of the joys of travel from wherever you currently are. Exploring the world near and far, in person or through the Internet, is essential to understanding the wide and fantastic diversity of this planet especially at these divisive times and my wish is to be a positive force through this blog and life in general in that regard.