Meet Spencer Spellman, or as his many friends call him, Spence. He lives for travel, which is evident in his numerous blog posts and travel articles. He is about to start a new chapter - a new location with a (somewhat) permanent address. We pried him away from his packing to answer some of our questions as this week’s Tripper of the Week!
You have deemed yourself The Traveling Philosopher. How do you live up to the title?
Well I travel and on my diploma it says “philosophy”, so I figure that has to count for something. In all seriousness, travel is more than just seeing the sights. For me, travel is about change that takes place within me, the places I visit, and my home upon my return. I think it’s the reason many people travel. There’s something about traveling that just staying home doesn’t quite do.
In a recent post you emphasized the meaning of travel as not just seeing the sites and checking off a list, but about perhaps seeing the same street a different way, exploring the unexplored, and chatting with a local. Is there a particular familiar street and/or friendly local that stands out in your mind when philosophizing the essence of travel?
Upon visiting Ireland, I walked up to a couple older Irish women to ask them a question about the local area. A couple hours later and we were still chatting. They gave me the whole history of Ireland and a lot of tips and insight to really make my trip more than just ordinary. It’s moments like those that remind me of the essence of travel. However, those moments are everywhere. You don’t have to cross the ocean or get on a plane to experience those conversations that leave a lasting impression.
I went to Dallas, Texas. Nothing extravagant, but I was visiting my sister. I remember getting to hang out in the cockpit and the pilots gave me a model airplane that I still have. However, it was the flight attendants that I had a crush on. They gave me such special attention. I thought it was because of my southern accent or brown eyes, but years later I realized that that was just part of their job.
You seem to have a love affair with Ireland. What sparked the flame?
I can’t quite put my finger on it. I can go into a pub anywhere in the world and it just doesn’t compare to my experiences in Ireland. there was just something about walking into a pub anytime of day, seeing families eating together, people dancing, and duets strumming folk music.
You are very well connected in the travel blogging community, both virtually and personally. Who haven’t you gotten to meet in person yet that you’re dying to have a beer with?
I’m still holding out for Anthony Bourdain to DM me on Twitter and ask me to write his life memoir. My list of people I’ve connected with online that I’d love to share a beer with is getting really long. I’ve had so many great experiences meeting people in-person that I first connected with online that there’s still a thrill to it each time. I often find that people I really like online, I like 100 times better in person.
I just think the west coast fits me and especially San Francisco. San Francisco has a very metropolitan feel, but at the same time is laid back. That’s totally me. I like to think of myself as a go-getter, but at the core I’m a super chill, no frills kind of guy. I’m excited about learning to paddle board and eating a lot of fish tacos.
What do you hope tot get out of Tripping as you set off on your next adventure?
I hope to just continue to connect and inspire other travelers. That’s what I love about travel. It’s that connection, sharing stories, and inspiring one another and if I can inspire one person, then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do.
Thanks Spence! Good luck with your new chapter and your upcoming travels. We’re awaiting your arrival in SF!