Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd
Without question, we live in a pretty incredible time period in human history. Thanks to technological advances, the world is at its most interconnected, making travel accessible to the masses. Much like it has been since people first roamed this earth, the world can also be a dangerous and scary place. Turn on the evening news and there are no shortage of everyday incidents, from those that affect our neighborhoods, to events that can impact our entire existence. At times, it can seem like there is no sense in leaving your home and putting yourself at risk. But travel is an essential part of understanding one another and learning that, despite our differences, we are all the same. Here are some of the reasons why we travel, and why you should too.
It’s a Beautiful World Out There
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” ~ Susan Sontag
Julie and I are fortunate enough to have both grown up in California, a place with many beautiful natural features. You can lie on the beach one day, and hike through stunning mountains another. It’s a place that’s pretty incredible, and one we could spend our lifetimes enjoying. But there is so much more to the United States than California, and more to the world than the United States. Every trip that we have the privilege to take, opens our eyes to another amazing destination. Getting outside of our own backyard and expanding our horizons helps us grasp just how much there is to offer through traveling.
In our nearly five years together, Julie and I have visited stunning lakes, enormous (and receding) glaciers, waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, vibrant cities, centuries old buildings, and more. Each place we visit, continues to fuel our desire to see and do more. The memories we make and the experiences we have are invaluable and help shape who we are as individuals and as a couple.
Our Similarities Are Endless
When the world gets crazy, as it seems to be more and more these days, it’s easy to think of isolating oneself. But as long as there have been people on earth, danger hasn’t been too far behind. Humans have always fought and conflicts have barged into every day life. Though we now have news and social media that show us the realities that exist out there, travel is as important as ever. When we travel, we see just how similar our fellow men and women are. At our core, we need the same basic things: water, sleep, air, food, shelter, etc. Although we may have our differences, we hold these same fundamentals to be true even if it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of this.
As we travel, we see the world and how people go about their daily lives. We all strive to reach similar goals; providing for our families, living comfortably, and being good to one another. When you travel you become significantly more aware of just how vast the earth is and feel more connected as you explore each new place.
A Lifetime of Stories
In 2009, I studied abroad in Oxford, England for ten amazing weeks. I wholeheartedly credit that trip with igniting my passion for travel and further expanding my mind to different cultures and ways of life. One of the takeaways from that trip that I hadn’t fully anticipated, were all the stories, memories, and connections I came home with. I could now engage in conversation with others who had studied abroad and share my experience. If I met someone from France, I would talk about the week I spent in Paris, roaming the city streets alone, exploring its history. When I walked into my current big boss’ office to interview with him, I stopped to talk to his assistant who grew up in England. Her office is decorated with English photos and I felt an immediate connection thanks to my time spent there. And when it came time to speak with the boss, a Canadian, we could chat about my time visiting Alberta over the previous summer. 🙂
Easily one of the best byproducts of traveling is the way in which you can connect and bond with friends or complete strangers over shared experiences. As we expand our travel portfolio, we become more well rounded individuals, something I believe we should all strive for in this competitive world we live in.
Eating Around the World
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention food, because let’s face it, we love to eat! One of our favorite parts about traveling is after a long day of hiking or exploring a city, indulging in some of the local cuisine. If you’ve never eaten a Belgian waffle in Belgium, or had Swiss chocolate in Switzerland, you are missing out! Mark it down on your bucket list immediately, because trust us, it’s worth it!
Food is something that bonds us all together at our most primal levels. We all have to eat, so why not make it something delicious?
Making the Most of Time Off
With full-time jobs, Julie and I have to make the most of our time off to see and do as much as we can. While we typically aim for two big trips a year, this means we need to pack in as much adventure and sightseeing as possible if we want to explore the world. This is one of the reasons why we will often laugh when we think of the number of relaxing vacations we have taken in the past five years (the answer is 0) because there is so much to see and do! While you certainly don’t have to follow our exact path, we hope that some or all of these reasons will help convince you to get out there and travel. Move outside of your comfort zone, and we promise you won’t regret it!
“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien