The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn't even think to ask.

- 180° South

Unfortunately for many of us the opportunity for extended travel is not something that is feasible. With limited vacation time, particularly in the United States with its work-life balance grossly skewed in favor of extremes of capitalism and ever increasing productivity, two weeks of free time a year doesn't provide much of a break. The result is that many of our vacations are short and tailored trips designed to bring us to a place, sample the highlights, and then return us to our lives before we barely have time to let go of what we left behind. These types of experiences merely scratch the surface of what travel can and should provide.

When we travel to different places we immerse ourselves into new worlds that challenge us to expand our boundaries and think critically about the places and regions we visit. These processes are best accomplished over the lengthy periods of time that only a true journey can accommodate.

A journey involves not only the stops at individual destinations but also the extended time spent in between them along the way. The slowness of travel by land or sea allows travelers to fully take in the new surroundings and appreciate the differences, both good and bad, between those places and the ones we call home. The extended break from everything that is familiar and our long established habits and routines also encourage travelers to re-evaluate what is really important to them. It isn't always easy to leave the familiar behind and adjust to a new and drastically different life on the road in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar customs and foreign languages but it does have its rewards.

Taking the time to step back and gain that new perspective allows travelers to think about things in a way that couldn't have been contemplated before. In all too many cases at the end of a journey travelers return to the worlds they left behind as a different people, sometimes struggling to juxtapose their newfound experiences and often already awaiting the stimulus and insight that the next journey will bring.

Into the Great Wide Open

Into the Great Wide Open

Before beginning my MBA studies in Europe I spent several months traveling overland from China to Spain. I traversed the ancient Silk Road and rarely visited Central Asia and the Caucasus to emerge in Western Europe via Turkey and the Balkan countries.

Southward Bound

Southward Bound (and back)

After finishing gradaute school I took an eight month overland journey through South America. Starting in Panama I traveled south nearly all the way to Cape Horn before looping back north to return to Colombia.