Spencer Spellman

This week Spencer Spellman, also known as the Traveling Philosopher, answers our questions.

  • Soundtrack of the report
  • Listen to the Music
  • Doobie Brothers

Philosophy is an important topic on Hejorama as our main objective is to provide analysis and thoughts about travel in general not only focus on destinations and good addresses. We like to think about travel as a state of mind, a lifestyle and not just an activity. Of course, this is also what we love to read about on other travelers’ blogs.

As you can guess a website called “The Traveling Philosopher” could only be appealing to us and that’s why we started following his author, Spencer Spellman, a while ago, regularly reading his new posts where he reflects upon his travels and his life in general.

During summer 2011, Spencer decided to “quit the race race” to go travel the world and write about it. We feel really close to his story because ours started on the exact same day: Friday 10th of September, launch of Hejorama and beginning of a new life for our team.

Here are some of the articles we like the most by Spencer:

Spencer was nice enough to take the time to answer our questions and gives us a chance to know more about him. Discover the Traveling Philosopher!

Spencer Spellman

1. How did you become a traveler?

I honestly don't remember a time when I wasn't traveling. I've been very fortunate. I have two older sisters, one of which became a flight attendant when I was young. I flew for the first time when I was 5 and by myself for the first time at 7 and have just been traveling ever since.

2. Why is travel appealing to you? What do you get from it?

It's the ultimate education. Travel is more of the seeing of sights or drinking beers on a beach. I find that I learn something different about myself or the world every time I travel.

3. What is your favorite memory of travel that you usually keep to yourself?

It seems like every time I travel there's this one moment, in which I pull out my camera to take a photo, but then pause and put it away. Maybe it's a sunset, a particular animal, or something else that holds special sentiment. I never have a photo to remind me of it, but it's often those moments that are long-lasting.

4. What would be your ideal mode of transport, real or invented?

Definitely a hybrid car/yacht. There's nothing like a good road trip for me, but I love being on the water. I wouldn't mind just driving right down the bank and onto the water sometimes.

5. What is your best asset when you travel?

I'm extremely laid back and just go with the flow. Travel can sometimes be stressful and frustrating, but I try to just let it come to me as it does and not sweat the small or big stuff.

6. Who would you like to travel with?

There's no one that I can really think of that I pause and say to myself: "Man, I would just love to travel with that person." However, I consider myself pretty spontaneous and if someone proposes an idea of something they want to do or somewhere they want to go, my response is typically: "Let's go now!"

7. You recently started a column called Movie Monday, what is your favorite travel movie?

That's a loaded question. So many of my favorite movies aren't so much travel-related, as they just inspire me to go. However, there's never been any movie that has sparked such desires of adventure as the Indiana Jones movies.

Indiana Jones

8. Any cultural practices you’ve learned in travel you use in your own life?

Many of the cultures I've visited live much more simpler than I typically have. Each time I return from one of these cultures I try to use some of that simplicity in my own life.

9. You often quote books and writers on your blog. Which books that illustrate interesting travel philosophies would you recommend?

I love Bill Bryson's writing. He really makes travel so fun. What I love about his writing, is just the edge and humor to which he writes that goes beyond most humorous travel writing. I definitely recommend Rolf Potts' book Vagabonding. While he's referring to long-term travel, there are some great principles in it for anybody. He reminds us that you don't have to be wealthy to travel.

10. If you could go anywhere, to do anything, why would you go there?

It would probably be something that mixes travel, adventure, and competition. I've always been drawn to such events as the Iditarod and Mongol Rally and think those types of events put a unique spin on seeing the world.

11. Where do you think your next adventure will take you?

Well the next adventure is now moving to San Francisco after traveling for several months. After that though, I'll be traveling to Africa next fall.