Crazy, right? Why am I starting a travel blog in 2020, the year that shut down world travel? It’s simple: I love traveling, I think everyone should do it, and I’m determined to help other folks travel more. Not so easy as of summer 2020, I admit, but I’m playing the long game here.
I’ve wanted to write about my travel experiences for a while now, but I put it off for a variety of reasons. Mostly, it’s because I didn’t think I had anything compelling to say. I’ve done pretty typical touristy trips, using guidebooks, going on tours, and sticking to the well-worn path. It seems silly to write about MY trip to Seville when you could do the same, probably with equal success.
And yet, I’ve realized that things I think are simple and accessible to everyone can be intimidating to others. When someone says they’d love to visit a place, I tell them “you should go!!” but they usually don’t.
Enter 2020 and the global pandemic. Everything is closed, travel is completely shut down, people are afraid to go outside their neighborhood, much less on an airplane. I scrap two planned trips, with no idea when I can do them. People say this is the end of travel as we know it.
For a while I was just sad. I thought “what if this is it? What if I never get to travel again?” I tried my best to stay hopeful.
After a while I realized something: we need to travel now more than ever. Facing a global pandemic shows how much we need to widen our perspective and see ourselves as part of a global community. We need to look at other countries to learn from their experiences and be inspired by their successes. When we Americans see other places shutting down, our response should be “how can we learn from them” and not “well, we’re different and get to decide for ourselves and what do they know?”
Most of all, we need to see people across the world and consider, if only for a moment, what it’s like to walk in their shoes. There are so many things that isolate us in our own homes and behind our screens. It’s easy to imagine there is only one way of seeing the world. But travel helps us open our minds to different ideas and different people who share this planet with us. Some of those ideas are great, by the way, like bars having tasty snacks or businesses taking mid-afternoon breaks. (I’m sorry, Spain, we have so much to learn from you.)
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”– Anthony Bourdain
I suppose I should talk about myself too. I am in no way a professional. I’m a former music teacher, currently working in the legal industry, and I guess now a blogger too. I’m a huge nerd for music, art, history, and culture. And sometimes other things like Dungeons & Dragons and video games.
I have a lot of passion for all this stuff, but especially for traveling and for new experiences. I’ve always shared my adventures with family and friends, even branching out with a public Instagram (that’s where the handle PirateKingMax comes from). Now, I’ve decided it’s time to create something to help people go on their own adventures.
So, I have my travel blog. What now? Traveling is going to look a lot different in the short term and maybe in the long term too. Things will start small, especially for me. Right now I’m basically stuck in Ohio. I’ll probably stay in the midwest for my next trip, or maybe somewhere else in the US. I’m also going to share some writing about my travels pre-COVID-19, in what I call “the before times.” That’s the plan for now. I’m hopeful that someday soon I can think about traveling farther and taking the trips I’ve been dreaming about.
If you’ve made it through this post, I thank you very much for reading. I’m looking forward to getting out there again soon, and I hope you’ll join me.