self discovery

Blurry autumn night in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Scotland is a place, for me, that provides avenues to self-reflection and contemplation. It’s an escape from the grasping, trivial, and ever-consuming distractions of modernity, tendrils I can’t seem to escape ensconced in my routines back home. There’s much to be said about the displacing effect of travel on our loosely woven understanding of the world, but of all the places I’ve traveled only Scotland has yielded corridors of insight that compel me to stay, and, barring that, return. And return.

Humanity has always been afflicted with an addiction to perception. Reading those words struck me like a hammer upon the rod. Read more...

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A sign found outside a field in the hills above Dunkeld

A little over three years ago, I decided to leave the beaten path and delve into the dark, scary woods of the unknown. I would switch from a corporate life of technical and sales writing to being my own master as I traveled and wrote. It took me another year of saving before I could actually quit my job and embark on the adventure I’d set before me.

But I was not alone.

My wife, Sarah, brainstormed with me and scrimped every step of the way. Not only was Traveling Savage one of her ideas, but the whole venture wouldn’t have been possible without the financial stability provided by her job. By the time I finally made the jump, I had been in stuck in the doldrums at work for several years. I didn’t have a business plan for Traveling Savage, but I had enough ideas to push through my pragmatic disposition and make such a risky decision into a feasible escape.

And that was the real challenge I was trying to overcome in late 2010: escaping the golden handcuffs of a job I didn’t enjoy while not knowing what to do next. Read more...

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Today is the one-year anniversary of Traveling Savage. It’s also my first weekday back in the States after a month in Argentina. The light doesn’t last long here, the snows are high, and I’ve managed to catch my first cold of the season – sounds like the perfect recipe for a little reflection and crystal ball-gazing. Read more...

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Finding the Love in Travel

The gauchos of northwest Argentina sing their hearts out to Salta. I asked Ana, the guide I’ve met up with on a couple of occasions here in Salta, the meaning of some of the folkl√≥rica songs we’d heard. She smiled, turned a bit red, and said, “they sing about their love for Salta, how they’re leaving their hearts behind when they ride away.”

There was no need for embarrassment, I understood exactly what she meant. The process of travel is the great distiller of life. The dislocation of your self from the everyday grind is polarizing. The meaningless elements disappear in the shuffle, perhaps never even considered. But the important parts, the heart, stick in your mind and gain prominence. I remember feeling this way after a six-week trip Sarah and I took in 2006. By the end, we knew we needed to spend more time with family and friends. That’s what was important after being outside of our workaday routines. ESPN and TCM, games and drinks out at the bar, trips to big box stores – all this crap really didn’t matter. Read more...

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Fear of a Small Planet

by Keith Savage · 33 comments

Post image for Fear of a Small Planet

Do you remember a time when it felt like you could be anything and do anything? The world outside your doors was shot through with possibilities. The adventures you could have were as limitless as the world was exotic. Threads of hope, awe, excitement, and wonder wove into a tapestry often simply called childhood… Read more...

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