Happy New Year!
I wanted to start the new year with a short message about community and connection, and tell you about the goal we have for you here at Wheel & Anchor.
I was blessed to get to spend some time catching up with old friends and family over the holidays, and I was asked a few times why I started this travel community and what we plan to do with all these travellers who've joined.
Well, to answer the second question first, what we are going to do is create fun social events to connect travellers, and to create a variety of unforgettable travel experiences for that community to enjoy together. I anticipate sharing meals, drinking wine, making new friends and all-around enjoying myself while doing so.
There's an answer to the 'why' there too, but I think it needs a bit more context.
I did a lot of travelling in the pre-internet era (feels like the Middle Ages these days), and many of my fondest memories were born from random conversations and interactions that seem harder to come by in the connected age.
As you've no doubt been endlessly reminded, we're now all supposedly more connected in the day of the smartphone and the internet, newsfeeds and 24-hour news cycles.
But I can't help noticing while riding the subway or waiting in airports that while we're all certainly more connected to our devices, there's a lot fewer connections happening right in front of us. Fewer hellos, smiles, small conversations borne from paying attention to the world right in front of our noses.
Call me weird, but I actually like talking to people, hearing a story and maybe a new perspective.
Rather than indulge myself in nostalgia for days gone by, however - as there is certainly no stopping that particular trend - I'd prefer to something about it. And so I started this community with a vision to bring like-minded travellers together and see where we end up going together.
To that end, what's it mean to be likeminded when it comes to travel?
Well, before we launched Wheel & Anchor I did some research amongst some of the most well-travelled of my friends, and came up with a list of guiding principles I called The Traveller's Creed.
It's not meant to be comprehensive or dogmatic, just an attempt to articulate the value that travel has added to my own life and those of other travellers I've met. At some point I'd like to update this list with some input from the growing community here at Wheel & Anchor, but for now it pretty much captures the essence of how I and those I spoke to felt about travel.
We may not all share political views or food preferences, but the thread that links us all is that little voice of the child within that tells us to indulge our curiosity and see what adventures are out there waiting for us to discover.
And, that sense of discovery and those adventures are at the core of goal we have for you here at Wheel & Anchor. That goal, in a sentence, is that we want you to become well-travelled.
And by well-travelled I don't just mean you touched down in many other places, taken some photos and checked a few boxes. We want you to experience the diversity, the newness, the sense of another way of human life that you can only get by venturing abroad for yourself. And, we want to want you to do that and share that with friends old and new.
To be well-travelled is to be exposed to new viewpoints, diverse flavours, alternative paths and the essence of the shared human experience. Like being well-read, it is a journey rather than a destination, a cake which layers upon itself and enriches your life.
I've read through hundreds of member questionnaires over the past month or so, and I can tell you that most of the people here are already quite well-travelled and have no intention of stopping. The rewards of travel are in the journey itself, and I can't wait to meet you at one of our upcoming events!
So, to sum up, I created this community to connect you to other people who share your passion for travel, and to help you on your journey to become well-travelled. And we're going to do that through fun events and awesome trips.
I'll end this with a toast (part of my new year's resolution):
To new inspirations, new perspectives and new friends - happy 2019!
New events coming soon, including a series of events in western Canada...stay tuned to your member newsletter for all the news and updates!