For those who don’t know me I’m Lance. I’m 33, married since the weekend of my college graduation and a father of a 3-year-old son. We live in Memphis (well, technically the suburb of Collierville, but I call myself a Memphian).
I love Memphis. I love everything about the city, even its flaws that have most people complaining about the city. Memphis is dirty, but in a good way. It has soul. It’s a soul that is not polished. It says, “Here I am. If you don’t like me then you can just bugger off because this is me.” If more Memphians would take on that attitude I think our inferiority complex would disappear.
But this blog does not exist to discuss the dirty soul of Memphis. I am a Memphian who loves to travel. Traveling is my dirty soul. I love traveling, I love dreaming of my future travels, I love planning my future travels. I even love planning other people’s travels.
I lived in Central Arkansas until moving to Memphis just before high school. Growing up, most of my travels consisted of basic trips to the Ozark Mountains.
But the summer following the first grade came The Trip: Two weeks in Florida, the first in Miami and Key West and the second in Orlando’s Mouseland. Despite spending two days straight in a car to get to Miami that trip transformed me. I remember picking up every brochure I came across. I had a very large box full of Florida brochures stuffed in my closet. For years after that trip, I spent hours at a time in my bedroom planning and dreaming of the next trip.
I love to travel and feel I’ve seen my fair share of places. I’ve been to many of this country’s major cities, roughly half the states and a handful of countries. I know people who have traveled much more than me and others who have barely traveled at all.
I don’t get jealous of other people – I’m pleased with my life. But to a degree I do envy those people who have had the opportunities to travel more frequently.
But I’m happy with the travels I have made. I feel sorry for those who have not left their homes to see what is out there.
You’d think I would have ended up as a travel agent or somehow work in the tourism industry, maybe even have a job that would have me traveling. But unfortunately I do not. I’m an editor at a business newspaper in Memphis. I’m a freelance writer, but I’ve never written articles related to my travels (I hope this changes that). I spent some time during college working at Graceland (yes, I was a tour guide at the second-most visited house in the U.S. behind the White House). But that time has been the closest I’ve come to collecting a paycheck from anything related to my love of travels.
With that in mind, this blog is a way for me to connect to that love.
What will I write about? Well, everything related to traveling. One day it might be my top 10 pizza places in New York followed by an essay on why people travel. I sometimes will give advice on Memphis tourism. Other times it will be about other places I’ve visited in the U.S. and in Europe. Maybe I’ll consider the pros and cons to staying at an all-inclusive resort.
Still other writings will be about places I hope to one day visit but haven’t yet stepped foot in. Just because I’ve never been to a locale doesn’t mean I haven’t already researched it to death. I haven't been to Miami in 25 years but I feel my knowledge of the best Cuban restaurants in the area, for example, can match the advice most South Floridians would give. When I or someone I know travels to a locale, I dive in and learn everything I can about that city. That was the case when my wife took a recent trip to South Beach.
You might ask what makes me an expert. Well, nothing, except for the fact that I have a passion for traveling. And, I was the Memphis Expert on Trip Advisor for a couple of years. I found myself way too busy then and had to relinquish that role.
But no, I certainly have not been certified by anyone to speak my mind about travels. You can choose to ignore everything I say. But whether you agree with my recommendations or not, I am just happy you have taken a minute to check in to see what the Local Traveler is about.
Anyway, that’s the Local Traveler in a nutshell: A person who would be happy if he could spend nearly every day of his life in a new place. I hope you are able to learn something about traveling by reading my thoughts.
The Local Traveler