MilesAstray was born along the road, five years into a journey that started in 2012. Travel has been a muse for my writing and photography, but in the end, the journey wasn't all that much about traveling. My soles brought me places, but immersion taught me places, taught me people and lives.
MilesAstray might be travel inspiration for some. However, it is not a destination guide or travel blog à la “Top 10 Things to Do in Xyz” or “Why Travel Makes You Awesome.” There are no "hacks" to be found here, no oversimplified generalizations. From where I'm standing that would defy the purpose of travel.
I think you’ll do great out there without anybody shrinking your leaps of discovery to baby steps in their footprints. I believe that the more you do your own thing, the more interesting your journey becomes – if you don't plan every destination and vantage point with stern determination, you leave more space for individual experiences.
Throughout these years of traveling and living abroad, I’ve found the most captivating worlds miles astray the beaten trails, behind touristic facades and beyond generic adrenaline thrills. That’s why I want to advocate travel (if any) that is more individualistic (doing your own thing), holistic (looking beyond easy pleasures), sustainable (being aware of your footprint), and much much slower (leaving time for immersion).
I am not part of a pretentious indie traveler syndicate that belittles touristy places and experiences. They typically are what they are for a reason and well worth being part of the trip. But, you might make some of the most unique and unforgettable memories between the guidebook lines, if you venture there.
Travel that solely revolves around hedonistic sun and fun cravings can get old fast. What's worse, it might have a negative impact on a given place and people (e.g. excessive party tourism) and lead to misconceptions based on the limited cultural insights offered in a tourism context.
Ultimately, travel might open eyes or backfire with the arrogance of thinking to have seen and done it all; oftentimes it will foster the presumptuous belief that everybody should travel. But despite being a choice for some, travel is a privilege for most and certainly not the only road to wisdom and a home within yourself.
If any of my thoughts resonate with you, you might enjoy these articles: