Back in Journalism school or “J School” as we called it, those were the five questions we were initially tasked to ask to get a story.
So I am putting them to myself here as part of my introduction.
My name is Chris. I am a 51 year old Midwest based writer. Once upon a time, I dreamed of being a world famous reporter covering stories around the globe. I attended and graduated from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and plied the trade for a short period of time. However, sometimes, life has a way of taking a different path and I ended up getting married, going to law school and working for an insurance company…missed that one. I added a pair of wonderful kids (now ages 20 and 15) and found myself ensconced in an entirely different career. However, I never gave up on the traveling, writing, taking photos and shooting video…so much so that it literally would drive my family nuts as I turned our vacations into opportunities to “report” and “document” the adventures.
Meanwhile, I have managed to jet around to some of the most distant locales on earth from where I live…Bali, Easter Island, Topeka…and stay within my budget.
Over the years, friends and family would consistently ask me “Do you have a blog?”, “Have you posted your videos online?”or “Why do your eyes go crossed like that?”….Ok, skip the last one, but they generally wanted to know where they could find my reportage and how I was able to craft some great unique trips on a very limited budget. I never had a satisfactory answer as my works were never culled together in one location. But eventually, you need to scratch the itch…so I decided to launch this blog. I hope to feature not only stories of my travels, but how I designed and achieved them and didn’t bust the budget. I also want to provide and share advice with helpful travel hints which hopefully smooth out the turbulence which we inevitably encounter as we wander. Additionally, in the travel realm, deals rise and fall with great regularity and very quickly. Building a platform and sharing those opportunities together will helpfully allow us all check off more of our “bucket list” (a term I’m not really enamored with, but which does capture the sentiment) of experiences.
In travel, it’s all about the “where.”
Search the web and you will find those who have stepped foot in every country, summited every peak or ridden yaks across Mongolia. I have done none of those, but I’m on the journey. To date, I have traveled to about 40 countries. Small potatoes by some standards but also measurable enough to share and bond with you and maybe provide some insight.
For a long while, I never could have imagined that I would be able to stroll with my family down the Champs de Ulysses in Paris; scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef or successfully climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. I made those goals and achieved them and I want to work to ensure you can define and achieve your travel objectives. We are all on our own pace…yet we share the same goal: to look over the horizon; around the bend or peer behind the veil of a different culture and see what else is out there. My mission is to assist you where I can in making that a reality.
If it is the ‘where’ that is paramount, the “when” comes in a close second.
Deciding when to travel is vitally important as well. While we would all love to travel to San Moritz over the Christmas holiday in First Class, that is a tall order. But if you have flexibility, foresight and imagination, it is amazing what you can achieve.
Even on a limited budget, I’ve driven down the streets of Napa Valley in the fall and smelt the wine in the air. I’ve enjoyed ski in, ski out accommodations on a holiday weekend for a fraction of the going rate…why, if you’re going to have a “yard sale” (a total wipeout while skiing, which I’ve been know to do) on the mountain, you my as well do it at discounted rates.
Surprisingly, sometimes if you travel in the off season, you will be amazed at not only getting cheaper prices and fewer crowds, you also get better weather or some other intangible. We plan on exploring the same.
What the heck?
Why? Why in the world does the internet need another travel blog?
Decent question, I thought to myself…for about five years.
If you look around the web, there is a littering of writers advancing the wayward spirit; travel hackers showing you how to get great travel for free, or glossy websites promising travel nirvana.
To a certain degree, I follow them, but I also recognize there is no “one size fits all.” What works for a single 23 year old male with no dependents or job does not fit the family of five looking to stretch their limited vacation dollars farther or a retired couple looking to set off on a grand European excursion.
In this venture, I hope to capture and convey a wealth of travel dos, don’ts and won’ts to assist you…whether you are in your Backpacker or Conde Nast magazine subscriber phase. Hopefully, we can give you more options for experiences of the later at prices of the former.
While it’s neat to think, I can start a blog and make a lot of money, please realize that is not the goal or my objective. If that comes, that’s great. If not, so be it.
My promise to you is that all my information, reviews and comments are objective. I am not here on behalf of any company and there is as strong a likelihood that I will hack off some travel provider by calling them out as I will win their endorsement or any sponsorship. Along the way, however, I hope to gain and earn your trust and confidence with solid reporting; unique insight and stellar content. Truth be told, I don’t know the first thing about designing and running a blog, but travel is all about “expanding your comfort zone” so here we go.
Okay, it’s not a W, but it is a tenet of journalism (yes, I know its a dying and changing profession these days).
My goal is to regularly publish a cavalcade (always good to work that word into an article) of different travel stories which assist you in affordably pursuing your travel goals. I realize that comes through different mediums, so my hope is to provide you with insightful pieces which pique your wanderlust, but also assist you in actually achieving your travels. To best achieve this, I need to know about you, my reader/viewer. What travels/trips are you looking to bring to a reality? How can I best address your questions and issues? Sign up for my email list; drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Communication is the key and the more I know, the better I can tailor this site to fit your needs.
Well, that’s “my story.” I roll out the welcome mat to Untravelit.com. I look forward to building a community of like minded folks who want to share their travel dreams, goals and experiences. Along the way, my promise is to work to help you achieve more, spend less and savor the journey.
By the way, a little about the name…it’s obviously a play on words, un-ravel-it with a “T” inserted to make it Topical and fun. But this website is really more than that. We truly are un-raveling Travel to see how it can best work to serve our needs. How this adventure will un-ravel, I haven’t a clue, but join me and let’s find out.