Who is The Meaningful Traveler? It’s me. But maybe it’s you too. It’s anyone who seeks to travel in an open manner, learning how to see and listen and how to apply what you learn on your travels to your life back home.

Brock Family in Bryce Canyon

Me and the family...on a trip, of course!

So what’s my story? It goes something like this:

Me: “Hi, I’m Steve Brock and I’m a travelholic.”

You: “Hi Steve.”

Me: “It’s a familiar story. My parents took my brother and me on trips as kids. We had a camper and over the span of my childhood summers, we covered all the Western US and parts of Canada and Mexico.”

You (to yourself): “They hook them so young…”

Me: “In high school, I did a whirlwind tour with other students through Europe. In college, I spent my junior year in Germany wringing every last kilometer from several Eurail Passes. In grad school, I studied Chinese in Taiwan for two semesters and then put that learning to use six months later teaching a graduate program in Marketing and Trade in China for a year.

Then I got married, but that didn’t help since my wife also loves to travel.”

You (thinking to yourself): “Mmmmmm. Co-dependency. Of course.”

Me: “Shortly after getting married, I took a job with World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian organization. I did extensive domestic travel, as well as international trips that showed me how the other half 95% of the world lives. After eight years there and with two young children now part of the picture, I actually got tired of travel.”

You: “Denial…”

Me: “Maybe. But how we perceive and relate to travel changes at different stages of our lives. After World Vision, I headed up the integrated marketing agency, HighPoint Solutions and later, Brand:Wallop. I initially had to travel less for work. That, in turn, freed me up to discover the joy of family travel.”

You: “I thought you traveled with your family as a kid. ..”

Me: “I did. But now as an adult, I realize that, as the title of a book on the subject states, the farther you go, the closer you get. In fact, a few years ago on one trip with my wife, kids and parents, I began to realize the impact that travel can have on all relationships: those we meet, those with whom we travel and even our relationship with ourselves and with God.”

You: “Uh, this is getting deep.”

Me: “Exactly. Which is why I have taken the insights and approaches I use in my work helping companies with their brands  (where I uncover the underlying associations customers form with a brand) and have applied it to travel. I’m using the same techniques we use in understanding the deep emotional resonance people feel about a brand to unpack how they feel about travel. In a way, I’m trying to give voice to those feelings many of us have about our trips, about the transcendent moments we experience but don’t always understand or can’t express.”

You: “I’m not sure I understand or can express what you just said…”

Me: “You don’t have to. Just start reading.  Plus, you can always email me by clicking here or if that doesn’t work, try steve at meaningfultraveler dot com (using the appropriate symbols for at and dot).”

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