Welcome to our Wanders Around The World
This blog is a visual journal of everyday world travel. An ever-evolving collection of images, stories and insights from a decade of wandering. We enjoy connecting with fellow wanderlusts and would love to hear from you. Drop us a line at: [email protected]
Our Story: Becoming Vagabonders
In 2007, long before the trend of digital nomads and travel influencers, we took a 7-month backpacking sabbatical through Western and Eastern Europe. That trip sparked possibilities for a life we previously thought was unattainable. Since then, we’ve travelled to more than 50 countries across 6 continents to learn, experience, and better understand the world. Along the way, we developed an official traveling mantra: Cheap & Charming
This frugal, low-to-the-ground traveling style allowed us to travel longer and gain access to more authentic experiences. The more savvy we became about saving money, the more interesting opportunities became available. With the right attitude and an ability to adapt, we discovered that long-term travel was not only possible, but rewarding in ways we never imagined. Our very first post, Reflections on Long-Term Travel, discusses the benefits and challenges of a vagabonding lifestyle.
Our Perspective: In Search of Authenticity
Over the years, we’ve observed how the rise of social media has created a decline in how people travel. Non-stop self documentation and the allure of insta-stardom hinders the ability to take in a destination purely and deeply. Seeking attention has now replaced seeking experiences. Which leads us to wonder…
If we don’t create content for others to like and comment on, is our experience invalid? If we’re unable to document something for a post, is it worth our time? If we don’t maintain viewership, do we begin to lose relevancy? Social media provides an incredible way to share, engage and connect, but if it’s contrived, forced or done insincerely, what’s the point? Travel is inherently personal. Yet there’s also a wealth of insights we can learn from one another. What makes all the difference is if we’re honest about our intentions.
Our Approach: Mindful Immersion
As Americans, we’re in the unique position of living in a large country that offers an array of experiences that don’t require a passport. It’s easy to adopt a “we have it all here” mentality. But while people, food and customs differ from state to state, we ultimately share the same culture. If we really want to expand our horizons, we need to get out of our comfort zone and seek out those enriching new and different experiences.
That can be difficult to do with limited vacation and inflexible work schedules. It often relegates our travel to a hurried drive-thru of tourist sites. Instead of a slow, intentional immersion into a new place, we barely scratch the surface. Inadequate time off can’t always be helped. But if we’re aware of our checklist tendencies, perhaps we can slow down, even just a tiny bit, and savor the present moment.
Our Hope: Inspiring Better Travel
Every time we travel, we’re amazed that the smallest details make the biggest impression. Simple things like the way locals greet one another. The architectural nuances of a neighborhood. The different flavors thrown together by a street food vendor. These seemingly mundane observations are what make experiencing a destination so special. They also help us cultivate a greater understanding of how the world works.
By celebrating the everyday, we begin to incorporate a more purposeful approach to travel. A perspective that recognizes the extraordinary in the ordinary. Bill Bryson said it best:
Travel is about experiences. And how we approach travel is critical to ensure we get the most out of those experiences. It’s our hope that this blog serves as inspiration, not only to make travel more of a priority, but for all of us to simply travel better.