Mirra and I just finished our last trip of the planned itinerary with Intrepid Travel (videos will be coming out through July). Over the past year and a half we’ve been lucky enough to visit 14 countries. Before we left, there were warnings of theft, sickness, anti-Americanism, violence, you know the drill… fear. I’m very happy to say that none of those things happened to us. I know they do happen, but they happen everywhere, in Minneapolis and in Cape Town, in Mumbai and in Tuscany. But people have a shift in mentality when they leave their own country, they think that they need to buy pants that are more breathable, and a special wallet that goes under their belt, and to bring all sorts of pills they would normally never take. They forget — I often forget — that these travel locations are just another place on earth where a million or a billion people live there lives; where their kids go to school; where they eat the street food that looks clean; where they know not to walk alone down a back alley at night; where their neighbors are looking out for them.
The world is ever more fucked up when you read the news. Almost every time we left for a trip there was a mass shooting back home in the US (one of which resulted in the death of a family friend of Mirra’s). It’s depressing and horrifying. But as I sit here, getting ready to edit through the last four countries of our adventures I feel hopeful in this New Year — Not only to have traveled without issue, but to have traveled with so much love. Looking over our films, it’s amazing how we were welcomed into so many homes, embraced by so many strangers and imparted with such wisdom. Its overwhelming — Ancient ideals and modern inspiration abound in the world.
People often ask us “how do you find these people?” – and despite a lot of research, many of the situations are pretty happenstance. But when you go to someone’s home and hear their story and how they are living their lives because they want to change their world, what happens is motivating and moving. It feels like we were meant to find those people…but maybe there are just a lot of them.
I’m very grateful to have traveled safely with the woman I love (now my wife – we got married in the snow in the park across the street from our house on December 30th). Safety is never guaranteed. But with the limited power you have it’s pretty easy. I attribute it to: common sense, positive attitude and chance. However, amazing travel comes from getting out past the tourist spots and finding a reason to learn from others, to look for the incredible things that are happening in the world, to find the people with stories to tell… maybe they’ll inspire you to be that person with a story about changing the world.
Happy New Year!