State of the Savage: June 2011

by Keith Savage · 22 comments


Bloggers aboard the AMResorts Yacht in Vancouver for TBEX '11

Going home – it’s a part of travel not given much breath. For most travelers, home is literally the last thing they want to think about. But I have to tell you, after being gone two of the last three months, it’s like a healing salve upon my soul to be able to get back into familiar surroundings and relaxing routines.

I am of Wisconsin. Here I am the master of my domain. Actually, that would be my wife. Hm.

People often ask me why I don’t just move to Scotland. Why all the international flights and separation from Sarah? It’s a fair, no, good question. Certainly it would be easier on the finances. There would be fewer violations of self from snarky and vindictive job-hating TSA agents; fewer bacteria baths inside rattling fuselages; fewer annoyingly futile attempts to take mental pictures of loved ones and newfound friends before I once again disappear.

The simple truth is even if I could move to Scotland – visa and immigration issues are a mess, no one wants Americans – I don’t want to move there. Don’t get me wrong, I hope it’s painfully obvious that I love Scotland, it’s just that I also love Wisconsin. It is home.

I’m a huge proponent of having a home base, which seems to be the minority view in a world of aspiring digital nomads. I know I’m more productive at home free of the mental strain of travel. But I need to travel. It’s the catalyst for inception; I open up and explore more. New people and places lead to new ideas and perspective. I do my best to capture these seeds, bring them home, and nurture them to grow.

Plans & Happenings

Speaking of new people and places, earlier this month I landed in Vancouver for the Travel Blog Exchange Conference. I met hundreds of fellow travel bloggers, professional writers, and PR folks in the gorgeous and ultra-modern Vancouver Convention Center. What a beautiful city! My four short days were filled with productive meetings, decent informational sessions, and lots of free drinks on rooftop parties and yachts. Yes, yachts. The people I met really made this trip, and the picture on this post is a shot from my final night in Vancouver aboard a yacht in the harbour. In the pic you can see Simon of Never Ending Voyage, Jeannie of Nomadic Chick, Akila of The Road Forks, Gareth of Tourist 2 Townie, Shannon of A Little Adrift, James of Nomadic Notes, Michael of Go See Write, Cailin of Travel Yourself, Lisa of LL World Tour, Ryan of Ryan Goes Abroad, and Marc of Marc Passion.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve spent a lot of time catching up with friends and catching up on posts from my previous two trips to Scotland. Multiple trips up north in Wisconsin loom in the future, and I’m happy to have the chance to enjoy summer here. But I had to face an ugly reality when I returned from my last trip to Scotland: I’d gained some extra padding while I was indiscriminately eating and drinking my way around Scotland. Imagine that. Since then I’ve been working out religiously and started moving toward a raw food-focused diet replete with green smoothies. The experiment has been…fruitful…as I’ve already shed the gained weight and I feel pretty excellent.

As I catch up on my posts from the last couple trips I’m also on the front end of planning my next trip to Scotland, tentatively slated for late August/early September. Admittedly, I’ve been procrastinating a bit and allowing myself extra time to decompress. I’m ready to dive into this after the 4th of July weekend, and I’m looking at the islands of western Scotland, particularly Islay.

Parting Blow

Where is home for you? Do you even have one? Is the sting of a trip ending softened by the glow of home?

Photo courtesy of Lisa Lubin


JennaNo Gravatar June 30, 2011 at 11:18 PM

I hear you. I moved around and traveled my whole life until 9 years ago when I “settled” in Sacramento. I have a productive, rewarding job with wonderful colleagues. I have friends who are always here no matter where I go. It is especially important for my 2 small children– they thrive on the stability of teachers, friends, and family we have here. My traveling self is fortunate to have 4 months off a year when I can travel as much as my limited budget allows, but I am always comforted by having a home here.

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 1, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I moved around a couple times as a kid and I can attest to the hardship of it. On the other hand, you learn how to adapt to your environment and make friends more easily, too.

Reply

JennaNo Gravatar July 3, 2011 at 11:25 PM

I agree– it’s definitely true that when we move around a lot, it makes us more adaptable and helps us learn to make friends more easily. But I lived in 8 different places before I was 18. That’s a little much!

Reply

MarshaNo Gravatar June 30, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Honestly, I’m still looking for home–I almost think that’s why I travel so much, that my wanderlust is a neverending search for a place to belong. Hope to find it soon. P.S. I’ll be in Scotland in early-mid September as well, so if your plans pan out and you’re interested in meeting up, let me know.

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 1, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Did you move around a lot as a kid? Very cool about your Scotland plans! I’ll announce my plans on this site as soon as they are finalized. I always enjoy a meet-up.

Reply

Bluegreen KirkNo Gravatar June 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Home for me is South Carolina! Haven’t been back in years but its just home. Cant really ever see another place taking its spot. Sure I have lived other places but in the end its my roots and what I know and know best. Enjoy your time at home and prepare for that next trip back to Scotland!

Reply

EmmaNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Awesome awesome awesome. This is exactly what I was looking to read today. I’ve been thinking about the fact I’m going home in 7 weeks and part of me is keen to see friends again while the other is sad to be leaving. The truth is I can’t put myself in either mindset at this stage or else I miss part of the experience while I’m here.
Cool on the raw food front too, I know one or two things about that 😉

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:04 PM

What kind of trip are you on, Emma? I thinking about how I’m going to continue this raw food experiment when I go to Scotland. Any tips?

Reply

EmmaNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:10 PM

My trip at the moment consists of meditating, drinking coffee and then writing blog posts. I am seeing a bit of Iceland too making the odd trip here and there but as I’m on a tight budget it’s pretty much based in Reykjavik. I am loving it though. Just even being in this city is enough for me, the energy here is unreal!
Raw food wise, there’s a massive community (ok not massive but you know, big enough) in Glasgow and Edinburgh with regular meets, potlucks and events. There’s raw food to be found in both cities although I’m not sure outside of these, potentially bits and bobs in health food shops.
It just so happens that Scotland has the best bunch of raw food people on the planet! How’s that for luck? And no, I’m not biased 🙂

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Sounds very cool. I’d like to visit Iceland.

What makes Scotland’s raw foodie scene so good?

Reply

EmmaNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Everyone should visit Iceland. Like I said, Scotland but a million times better. If you love Scotland you’ll love Iceland, although the people are a bit more reserved here.

I’d probably say that we just have a really great group of people that are down to earth, funny, friendly and full of Scottish banter. Very close but definitely not a clique. Everyone is welcomed and made to feel at home. We’re not afraid to take the piss out of each other and we are so far from dogmatic about raw it’s unbelievable.

Next time you’re over you’re welcome to join us 🙂

CandiceNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Aww, sad I’m not in that photo! Haha. It was awesome meeting you at TBEX though, I had such a blast.

But I’m with you 100% on needing that home base. If there’s anything I learned from this whirlwind trip, it’s that I’m most productive when I’m able to sit still for a few weeks at a time, at least. So, your’e not the only one. 😉

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I wish you were in there too. Glad I’m not the only one cause here I was starting to think maybe I’m just lazy.

Reply

EricaNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Ive started realizing how blessed we are to have a home base in Austin. While I do love being out and about, I love knowing I have OUR bed at home. Decompress! It is so important to mental health!

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Erica, what made you realize this about Austin?

Reply

EricaNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Just small things like – having our microbreweries and a good bar to hang out at. Mexican beer is well… meh. The live music scene I miss terribly along with missing all the cute festivals and such that I didn’t realize were milestones in the year. They became ritual and it is hard to break.

Reply

GrayNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM

You are not alone, Keith. I like to have a home base, too. I don’t think I could be a nomad, or even a long-term expat. I like living in the US (most of the time), and I like having my own bed to come home to and sleep in after a trip. I like having friends who are around on a constant basis, seeing the same faces over and over again. I love travel, but I like having some consistency in my life, too. You have been traveling a lot, for sure. I’m sure it’s nice to be home for awhile.

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Consistency – bingo. Yep, that’s a big part of it.

Reply

NikkiNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Can’t wait to hear about Islay!
I’m all for having a home base too. I almost enjoy being at home and planning and dreaming about the next trip as much as taking the trip. Anticipation and all!
The one requirement for me is having a day job where it’s okay to take time off, where you don’t have to dread a pile of work to make the re-entry more stressful!

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Going home has been a lot more fun since I quit my office job. No question. I hope to explore Islay’s whisky wonders in depth 🙂

Reply

WanderingTraderNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Its so weird man for me to think about whats home.. the majority of my life I have been traveling so its hard to set down roots in one place. That may be the reason that I like to travel to so much because that is what I am accustomed to. I think the way I travel is a bit different as well since I rent an apartment and call it home

Reply

Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

You make a good point, Marcello. I was also a homebody growing up, so it only makes sense that it’s ingrained in me and it’s what I prefer now. Home’s got a different meaning for everyone. Sounds like you know yours.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: