Beyond the Postcard with Brad Hilbrich
I will absolutely always recommend traveling to people; I think it’s easily one of the best and most worthwhile things to do and ways to spend your money.There’s no right or wrong way to travel, of course, but I do sincerely think that if you’re going to just see the sights, you’re missing out. Yes, a picture next to the Eiffel Tower might stay on your dresser forever, but you’ve got an incredible—maybe even once in a lifetime—opportunity to see how people in other countries live, act, behave, and think. Sights are great, but the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned add more to my travels than any building would.
At the moment, I ‘ve been to thirty-six countries on five continents. At the moment, I also live in Dubai. I’ve lived in Taiwan (with my good friends from CP Travels of course), China, and the UAE apart from various places in the US, and getting to know people and going beyond what’s on the postcard pictures is what keeps me traveling.
When I look back on what I’ve done, what sticks with me are the moments when I put my camera down and just lived. Do I have pictures of the day we spent the afternoon flying kites in Varanasi? No (but Patrick does; be sure to give them a look). What about the night spent clubbing in Beirut, maybe the coolest city I’ve ever been to? No evidence exists. The night we stayed up at a Berlin currywurst stand talking about politics with a bunch of German guys? Not at all. Maybe most importantly, do I have any photos of the night I went to a get together at a café in Guangzhou and met the girl I’m still dating, two and a half years later? I don’t, but everything I’ve done still exists in my mind because rather than document the places I go to, I really try to experience them, and I recommend you do too.
Pictures are great, and they’ll look wonderful on your wall or your facebook, but the experiences are what you’ll take with you permanently. I started travelling in 2008, and I really haven’t stopped. It has changed me because I allowed it to change me. Let travel change you. In the words of Patrick Springer, “The travel bug is the best thing I’ve ever been infected with.” Enjoy every minute of it.
- Brad is a remarkable friend, a veteran traveler and the best captioner of photos you can ever hope to encounter.