Stephen Schreck

Stephen Schreck Interview

In today’s Why We Travel, I interview Stephen Schreck, brains behind the blog A Backpacker’s Tale. Stephen helps inspire people to get off the couch and travel the world.

Describe your first transformative travel experience.

In 2006, I took my first flight. It was from Chicago to Ireland. It was my first time overseas. As the plane was descending in Shannon Airport, I looked out the window. The clouds broke, and I saw the emerald green landscape, old stone fences, and castle ruins. At that moment it was like someone turned on a light switch inside of me. I changed in a split second. I knew that from that moment onward that travel would be my life. And it has been ever since.

The funny thing is I hadn’t actually traveled yet. I was still on the plane. But it was one of the strongest feelings I’ve ever had. My life has never been the same. In an instant, the desire to get a good 9 to 5 job, a wife, and a 401K was gone. The world a real, travelable, and discoverable place. And I wanted to see and explore all of it.  And I still am.

Why is travel important to you personally? 

Travel has seeped through every facet of my life. It has rewired my mindset towards people and places. It has made me more sociable. Travel has shown me my inner strength. Taught me how to deal with stressful and awkward situations.

But the most important lesson travel has taught me; if you can dream it, then you can do it! And the only limits my dreams have are self-imposed.

I travel because I love other cultures, history, and meeting new people. I love that every day on the road is new and random. And with it comes odd and amazing experiences.

But there is much more than travel than that. Travel keeps forcing me to push myself, and discover more about who I am. And I addicted to learning more about myself and testing my limits.

My blog is my full-time job. And a reason why I travel is to help inspire others. The thought that I can show people all the good things travel has shown me gives me goosebumps.

How do you prefer to travel?

I’m a backpacker through and through. That being said, I don’t mind the occasional nice hotel room or an expensive meal. I love backpacking of the community and culture. Backpackers are open to having crazy adventures, sharing, and enjoying every moment.

What tips do you have for travelers to make their experiences more meaningful? 

Journal every night.

Worry less about taking that perfect Instagram photo, and instead focus on the moment.

Embrace mistakes. These become the best stories.

What are your favorite travel-related books, movies, paintings, poems, songs, etc.?

One of my favorite books is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I’m a huge fan of the beatniks. Specially, On the Road by Jack Kerouac and the Rum Diaries by Hunter S. Thompson.

Why travel? 

Travel is vital. It breaks down bearers, teaches you more about yourself while teaching you about the world. It helps you grow and as a person while teaching you about history, culture, food, and people. There’s nothing in the world like it. Man, I love to travel.

Get in touch with Stephen Schreck

A Backpacker’s Tale

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