Why We Travel

Well, for those wondering about what the heck I did during my "mini-retirement," here it is: My heartfelt ode to travel and my fellow travelers. Two months of travel, four countries in Latin America, and a lifetime's worth of unforgettable moments, in four minutes. Dedicated to all travelers, especially the crazy ones who travel solo. 

I hope it's able to remind you of the magic of your own journeys, or inspires you to make your own.

For those who are interested, the transcript to my voiceover is below:


Someone once told me that those who would see wonderful things must often be ready to travel alone.

So one day I did. 

And I saw that I wasn't alone at all. I began to understand why.

Some traveled to escape. Jobs, lost loves, expectations, boredom.

Some left out of curiosity. A suspicion that there's more to life, that "adventure is out there!"

They call it Wanderlust: That itch in your feet, hole in your soul, fire in your heart, that burns hotter the longer you sit still.

Most set off in search of something. The next thrill. The next Facebook post. The next romance.

A higher mountain to climb. A bluer ocean to dive. A wilder story to tell.

Many were just trying to find themselves. Some best version of themselves lost amidst the daily crush of normal life and its never-ending somedays, but waiting to be discovered in some hidden paradise, or concealed in the well-trod dust of some ancient ruin.

Maybe to travel alone is to hope
that you can emerge transformed when baptized in the unfamiliar, 
the unexpected, 
and the unbelievable.

But then you learn... that you can buy a ticket to the farthest corners of the world yet never run away from what's inside you.

No matter where you go, a change of heart comes slow. 

In the daily confrontation of your limits and delusions.

In the everyday erosion of what you thought you knew, 

In surprising yourself in the strangest situations.

Maybe the gift of traveling alone, is in discovering - 

in breathless encounters with the world's greatest wonders, 

in this constant cycle of self-doubt and exhilaration,

in all the joy, 
the heartache, 
and everything in between,

in the everyday amazement of meeting kind souls and kindred spirits  in places you never imagined,

in learning to be present in every moment despite the coming goodbyes,

you find...

 … that what you were looking for, you've had all along.

That wherever you go, you are good enough.

You are good.

Because you are a fellow traveler’s amazing story as they are yours.

You belong to the world, and the world is in you.

This was written and planned months ago while waiting for my flight out of Ecuador at the end of my journey. During the long layover, in the midst of feeling more than a little melancholic that I was going home, I mentally reviewed all the footage I had shot, and it occurred to me that I wanted to do something more than just another montage purporting to show how fun my travels were.

This is the result of that attempt, shaky footage and all, shot handheld on a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition and Panasonic GH3.  Everything here was shot, by me or someone with me, in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. The focus at every moment was just to have a memory of the moment without getting in the way of the experience, not to have a shot I could put in my demo reel.

Of course, I would be remiss not to thank Aaron Gonzales of Point Bee Multimedia Inc. for his beautiful work on the musical score, my awesome friend Christine Herrin for the handwritten titles and constant travel inspiration, and all the people who appear in the video:  Jess, Chris, Zoe, Julio Cesar, Amelia, Andy, Olivia, Saloni, the two Shanes, Vinny, Jamie, Emma, Kathleen, Sacheen, Laura, Delia, Diego, Alice, Tine, Jack, Matilda, Delfina, Clara, Gabriel, Sonia, Sara, Jordy, Tamara, Ryan, Jessica, Casey, Chantal, Tito, Jessy, and everyone else I met along the way.

Thanks for watching and safe travels, friends.