Why Nerds Travel (Pt 1) – Stories (Inspiration)

When MARLON of Nerdcoolture said he was working on a series of blog posts about “nerd travel,” I immediately volunteered as tribute. After all, I basically started this blog to talk about the intersection of my wanderlust and geekery, and I had recently gone on the nerdiest trip of my life (so far).

And while Marlon and I had first “met” during a remote podcast*, we really connected over the topic of planning geeky vacations. So I’m excited to be blogging about the topic in collaboration with him. A little about Marlon – he’s all about bringing the geeky into everyday life, particularly through fashion! He’s also super into the Simpsons and takes epic travel photos.

So what is “nerd/geek travel”?

It’s travel but with a geek lens! Marlon and I are exploring this idea and what it means to us individually with this series of posts. I hope you’ll stick around for all of them as we talk about what inspires us to travel, how we prepare for trips, and how we keep it all geeky!

Marlon already posted his Inspiration for Nerd Travel (spoiler: video games!) on Monday, which I hope you’ll check out. And now I’m sharing what inspires me to travel…

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Girl on the roam

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Hello old and new friends! I’m embarking on this new blogging adventure after the incredible Real Life adventures I’ve had these last few years. While I’ve shared some of them on my other blog (the books & writing one), I felt it was time to give my wanderlust and corresponding geekery a dedicated space of its own.

Read more about this project and me on my ABOUT page.

But for my first post, I wanted to talk about girls on the roam.

I’ve long been an explorer of the worlds nestled between covers and on pages, created by words and imagination. In that sense, my brain and heart have always been roamers searching for new lands, great tales, and unlikely companions. Some of the most breathtaking places I’ve “been,” I’ve gone to without leaving the comfort of my couch.

But actually traveling – whether it’s with your family or friends, by yourself, or on a guided tour – holds a special magic of its own. As one of my favorite authors wrote:

Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

-Ray Bradbury

I will be the first to admit that I am not the type of person who thinks she’d be great at backpacking solo across Europe. I’m not that brave, and when it comes to getting chummy with strangers, that’s not something that comes easily to me. However, this description works very well for my mom, who is the OG “girl on the roam” in my life.

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Before my parents moved to the U.S., my mom was a travel agent. She led tours to Singapore, pet tigers in Thailand, and parasailed in the Southeastern sea. In her 20s, she won a trip to Australia from a contest on a packet of gum and spent a week there hanging out with kangaroos and hugging koalas.

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As my mother, she planned family trips every few years for summer or fall break. I’ve been bused around swaths of the United States, parts of Canada, and all over Europe thanks to her. I’ve gone to a hot spring spa in Japan (where you have to get completely naked) and hiked the lush foothill trails behind my maternal grandparents’ apartment in Taiwan. My summers were peppered with exploration, fun, and a kind of optimism about the world.

In this way, my mom instilled a sense of wanderlust in me and my sister at a young age, and now that we’re older, we’re planning trips and setting out on our own adventures. (Our mom still plans family trips, but she also goes on many more of her own with her girl friends!)

I’ve also had the privilege and pleasure of having girl friends who are globetrotters and storytellers – like the roommate who moved to Paris for her career with only a year’s worth of French under her belt (she’s fluent now); the besties who did cartwheels in the Grand Canyon, or the writer friend who turned a really difficult year into an epic cross-country road trip. Their daring and passion for discovery continue to inspire me to step out of my comfort zone, to be spontaneous, and to also notice the beauty in and around us. (In fact, one of them inspired the creation of this blog!)

All of this is to say, girls have amazing adventures too – in Real Life and in fiction – and I want to celebrate that face and those perspectives, especially when so many of the best people in my life are girls who aren’t afraid to roam. So this blog is a little bit about that, as well as about my own geeky pursuits, but I hope what you read here will inspire you to wander because there is an indescribable bigness to this life, and I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of that.

Whether you’re a bit meek like me or intrepid like my mom, I think we all have a little nomad in our hearts. We just have to have our eyes and ears open to the stories and little miracles happening around us.


Supplement:
(Music) How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful | Florence + the Machine