Interview completed on March 11, 2016
We wanted a name that incorporated the way we travel. We have always thought of travel as a very personal experience, different for everybody regardless of where you go or what you see there. As people who are interested in slow travel, in delving into a culture, and experiencing it through a very intimate lens, we felt that the words “Bespoke” and “Traveler” were the best way to describe how we travel and what we write about. “Bespoke” means “custom-made” or “tailored” and we believe that travelers should be fully involved in the ways in which they experience their destinations.
Read my interview with Bespoke Traveler! Check out the links in the interview for more interesting articles on their website. Make sure you check out their website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel!
TCK: How specifically do you think travel changes people? How has it changed you?
BT: Travel can be a transformative force, if we allow it to be. It changes our perception of ourselves and our world. It can expand our horizons and destroy long held beliefs. For us, it has increased our empathy, helped us learn to roll with the punches, allowed us to communicate beyond language barriers, made us embrace the beautiful complexity of nature as well as ourselves, and taught us to beware of the singular point of view.
TCK: Did you have travel experience before you started the organization?
BT: Yes. We have been exploring since we were babes in the woods.
TCK: What are your top three favorite places in the world? And, why?
BT: Lake Como, Italy for its serene, calming beauty. South Africa for its entanglement of wilderness and multicultural history. Zion National Park, Utah, USA for Angel’s Landing and the Virgin River Narrows trails.
TCK: You have quite an extensive library of published material. How do you find the time to travel to all these different locations and manage to write/photograph the material?
BT: Stories can be found everywhere. The tricky part is not to trip while jotting them down.
TCK: How do you fund your travel? Is it mainly through book sales? Contributions? Monthly membership?
BT: Our travels are funded through a variety of means: book sales, publication in other magazines and journals, generous contributions from donors, and sponsored collaborations with businesses. For the latter, we always make sure to indicate this when it appears on our website.
TCK: Do you often work with other authors/photographers for content?
TCK: What are your greatest challenges with maintaining your content and keeping the material fresh?
BT: Adjusting the writing schedule to our travel itineraries and having the patience to root out a meaningful story are probably the greatest challenges.
TCK: Do you experience writer’s block?
BT: They have pills for that now, don’t they? Just Kidding.
TCK: You’ve received several awards for your work. Which meant the most to you and why?
BT: Awards are wonderful to receive, but the most meaningful aspect of our work is when a reader tells us how inspiring our stories were to their personal lives.
TCK: What does travel mean for you?
BT: Travel is an opportunity to be curious. Travel does not only have to mean taking a plane to a far off destination or going on a “Round The World” expedition, or trekking through uninhabitable regions. One can do a lot of exploring in one’s own backyard and discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
TCK: What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own travel-based website?
BT: Our best advice would be to lay a good foundation for the website first. It is better to know what your unique voice and perspective on travel is before-hand, so that the website can best reflect that.