I found Bryan’s blog – The Wandering Gourmand – while researching breweries in Bamberg, Germany. Not only was Brian immensely helpful in planning out a full day of drinking, I also discovered we both hailed from Youngstown, Ohio. I guess Northeast Ohio folks like to travel for beer, but here’s more on Bryan:
What is your job/career?
As of July, I officially left corporate America hopefully never to return. After many painful years of learning that I don’t deal well with authority, I saved enough money to pursue my dream of writing full-time. I can now claim that I am a professional writer as I am actually getting paid to write about travel, craft beer, and food. I’m also tweaking the last edits of a novel that I’ve be working on for over five years. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to sell it to a publisher.
How do you manage to work and travel?
Now that I work for myself, I call my own shots. Of course, the equation always weighs in of the more I travel the less I work. The less I work, the less money I have to travel. Thus, I work long hours when I’m not on the road for freedom to later be on the road.
What’s your travel inspiration?
With the risk of sounding like a glutton as we approach the Lenten season, my travel inspiration is food and beer. I’ve been a foodie since I was a child. I remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap when I was five and sharing a can of sardines with him. I never had them before. They were different and shocking to a five year old palette, and I loved them. As for beer, I’ve been tracking craft breweries since they were called micro-breweries. I guess you can say that I like to taste my travels…
Why did you decide to start your travel blog?
Bryan’s friend in Thailand
Every teacher and professor has told me that I should pursue a career in writing, but the only thing I’d ever written were school assignments. As I was always active in extra-curricular activities, drinking beer, and chasing the opposite sex, I never took their words seriously. Once I finally caught a girl (my wife) and began to suffocate in the doldrums of the cubicle world, I needed a creative outlet. Blogging became that outlet.
Do you read other travel blogs or know other bloggers - what are some differences between normal travelers and bloggers?
It seems that a majority of the “cool kids” in travel blogging are digital nomads. Those sites are fun to live vicariously through, but I don’t find them helpful. Most people aren’t digital nomads but every day, working people. I hope my site is different. I hope my site inspires people to know they don’t have to leave everything behind to see the world.
Did you family travel a lot when you were younger?
I was fortunate to be an only brat, so my parents took me on some rather exotic vacations to the Caribbean, Mexico, and even Venezuela. The problem was (and I realize how bratty this sounds to complain), we just went to giant, corporate resorts where cultural experiences are limited to poolside dance lessons and nightly themed shows. Still, these trips served as a primer to inspire me later in life. One of the themes on my blog is to help others travel beyond keg stands and Macarena line dances.
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited?
I really loved Cartagena, Colombia. It was exotic, romantic, and when we went, still forbidden. We spent a week at a bed and breakfast in the old city and acted like locals.
What’s one place you definitely have to see?
Schlenkerla’s Hefeweizen and Rauchbier in Bamberg, Germany.
India is tops on my bucket list. I’m making early plans for 2017 already.
What’s your number one road trip jam?
Every time I drove to or from Ohio University, I would have to listen to Loner by Ekoostik Hookah as the Athens’ city limit sign approached. Since then, it’s been the first song I listen to on any road trip.
What’s one type of food from any country you think everyone should try?
Guinea pig in Ecuador. Nothing opens up the food adventure like eating a household pet.
What’s your favorite social media for travel related sharing?
You can tell my age from my answer – Facebook.
Many people out there think travel is too expensive…How do you manage to pay or save for travel? Any insider tips?
I teach Financial Peace University so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. First, you have to make travel a priority. That means with every purchase you make, especially the big ones, think about how that affects your ability to travel. You have to ask the question, “Do I want the BMW or a month traveling in Germany?” Second, eliminate all debt. Snowball it as we teach in FPU. Third, budget travel into your expenditures. Each pay period, we allocate a certain dollar amount into an account for travel.
You can read more by Bryan at The Traveling Gourmand. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - lots of solid beer pictures on there for everyone.