Regular readers will know us for our City Guides and magazine-style travel features but at UTB headquarters we’ve been glancing around the blogosphere in envy… where are all our tall tales of the unexpected? The comic / tragic mishaps, the near death experiences and just the random weird-ass sh!t that happens when you’re On The Road?!?! We’ve decided to dust off our backpacks, beef up our immune system with a couple of extra vaccinations and take Urban Travel Blog onto the streets, ready to recount all… the good, the bad and the ugly as we gallivant across the globe. The man responsible for the first leg of our voyage into the unknown is Vince Robbins… Here he is getting ready to go! Stay tuned for regular updates.
This morning I walked my 8 year old cousin to school down Main Street in Wheaton, Illinois. Little kids piled out of two-story houses, bundled up against the cold with their parents and dogs trailing behind them. We waited for the go-ahead from the volunteer crosswalk attendant, and then proceeded. On the 5-block walk back, my face just about froze off as I almost got lost in just about the easiest town to navigate in the world. I made it home before the hypothermia set in, in time to have eggs and bacon with my aunt and other little cousin.
I know, I know, your seatbelt wasn’t buckled for such a wild adventure on the road; third graders, 15 minute walks, home cooked meals. Hang in there, I’m still alive.
Believe it or not, it gets slightly more interesting. This is the first stop on an adventure that will take about as sharp a turn as can be taken. From suburban Main Street America I’m headed on a ten week trek to the slightly less familiar: India and South East Asia. With me I have a backpack about the size of the one my 3rd grade cousin brought to school today, a little money in the bank, and a one way ticket to Mumbai, India, where my good friend Franklin has been waiting patiently for the last month.
I’ve been working at a hotel in my hometown of Los Angeles for the past two years. I saved what I could, not sure what it would be for, but damn sure I wouldn’t put it towards my student loans (sorry future me – the minimum payments are high enough!). I knew I wanted to travel, but was waiting for the right trip, or the right time, or the right idea. Last year Franklin said, “Want to go to India?” I said, “Uhh… Yeah?”.
Here I am, a little less than a year later, helping my cousin glue eraser-hearts onto Valentine’s day cards for his classmates…
Wait, no, I mean, here I am, less than a year later, about to be headed to India!
This journey has been a long time coming, literally and figuratively. Seeing other parts of the world is something that I’m passionate about; I’m inspired, awakened, and enlightened by the differences and similarities I see between what I’m familiar with and what I come across out there. I’m also extremely grateful to have the opportunity to do things like this.I’ve stocked my small backpack with the treasures of a minimalist traveler. Each item is damn useful and has been thoroughly researched. The less things I have to carry, the better the adventure will be. I’ll share thoughts and advice along the way about what’s necessary, useful, and wasteful while traveling. I’ll document adventures, stories, findings, relationships, and mishaps as I go.
We’re uprooting the best damn travel blog from its safe headquarters and taking the spirit of UTB on the road! Thanks for coming along with us.
I have a sneaking suspicion that India and Asia are going to be slightly different than Wheaton, Illinois. The kids over there can’t be nearly as cute as my cousins!