This week I interviewed Keith Savage, of Traveling Savage. Keith’s mission and travel plans really spoke to me and I think that many of us can relate with wanting to give up the cubicle for the backpack.
LandLopers: Your travel plans and blog are pretty unique. Tell us about them.
Keith Savage: Traveling Savage is a blog I started six months ago to explore the psychological, emotional, and philosophical impact of travel on the human condition. I have an anthropological interest in cultures and a natural history/archaeological interest in the land. I plan to travel slowly, spending one month in a place to soak up the daily pace of life with all of its nuances. I guess you could call this style of travel experiential travel – I’m not too interested in the tourist highlights or infrastructure. After I return from a trip, I’ll spend two months at home writing, researching, and preparing for my next excursion.
LL: From a practical side of things, how long do you plan on traveling three months off/one month on? Will you work in the time at home?
KS: My wife and I have saved what we think will be enough money to keep me traveling in this style for two years. While I’m at home between travels I will be working full time on my blog and writing. Thankfully, we’ve been testing a budget that uses only her salary and we’re able to get by fairly comfortably despite having a house in the suburbs. I’ll need to put my ingenuity to work to find ways to start earning money, but there are so many resources out there I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to make something happen.
LL: How has your family/spouse reacted to this?
KS: Ironically, this idea behind Traveling Savage first came from Sarah, my wife. She’s been a great supporter of the venture and we’ve had several great brainstorming sessions where we talk about the possibilities of the future. Our families have been nothing but positive. They want us to be happy, and their only concern was about financial stability. My parents have given me a lot of advice and praise, and it’s helped me to see potential where I would normally see imperfection.
LL: What are you most anticipating? Dreading?
KS: I’m most anticipating being able to focus on writing and Traveling Savage full time. At this point, as I assume it is for many travel bloggers, it’s like coming home to a second job (and I don’t even post as frequently as others). I just wrote a post on how to survive on the road without your significant other, and I think that’s what I’m most dreading. Sarah has been with me during almost all of my previous travels; she and I are great travel companions and I’ll miss her on these long trips (and she’ll miss coming along too!).
LL: In a recent article I discussed the travel ‘end game.’ What’s yours? Where do you see this travel experiment leading?
KS: That’s a great question and one I’ve struggled answering in the past. I’ve just started working on a business plan for Traveling Savage, and one avenue I’m looking to pursue is an online magazine that I would publish quarterly. I could also see myself writing articles for travel publications and really pushing the envelope creatively on new deliverables that take advantage of technology like the iPad and iPhone. I’m actually OK not knowing exactly where things will go. I don’t want to downscope what could be possible by trying to define the “end game” before I’ve had a chance to let things develop organically.
LL: What is your advice to others with these same feelings of career crisis?
KS: It took me several years to make a decision. I was unhappy in my job but kept at it because it paid well and I didn’t know what to do with myself. If you have a sustained feeling of disillusionment and unhappiness, spend serious time looking at what you enjoy in life. Then look at your strengths and skills. Find a way to join the two. For me, creativity and travel are what make me feel like I’ve spent my time wisely. The 9-5 template is dead, or at least it shouldn’t be the default way to do business. Only you can make the change you dream about.