Local traveler Keith Savage roams the globe to collect and share experiences
For Keith Savage, travel isn’t about trekking from one tourist site to the next, packing as much as possible into a vacation. And it’s no longer something he waits all year to do for a mere one or two weeks.
Last fall, Savage left a good job at Epic to pursue his passion—traveling the world and sharing his experiences with others. He started a blog, the Traveling Savage, and with the help of his wife, Sarah, developed a plan. For at least two years, he would travel for about month, come home for a bit and then set back out again.
Savage and his wife have traveled through Europe, but for this project he’s fulfilling a dream to travel extensively in one location: Scotland.
“I like to slow-travel,” he says, “to soak up the customs and get a feel for a place.”
A counter to the have-to-see-it-all approach many travelers adopt, Savage’s philosophy is about having experiences, not checking sites off a list from a guidebook. Savage wants to immerse himself into the places he visits and sync up with the daily rhythm of life. He hopes to leave with a deep understanding of each location and some rich experiences to remember.
With a mindset toward “experiential travel,” Savage shares a few of his favorite memories to date.
My wife and I were on a whirlwind trip of Portugal—three weeks of driving top to bottom. When you look at guidebooks, Porto doesn’t get a lot of love. But we finally found our exit and the road wrapped around these hills. We went around the last hill and saw what looks like the Eiffel Tower—it’s a bridge—and these splashes of color. The city is just beautiful. The buildings are all a different color and it’s all variegated. Porto’s really special.
My wife studied here in college, so it’s her favorite place. And she still remembered it. On the outskirts there’s a high point called the Sacromonte. It’s not always the safest place, but we got to the top and went to a little restaurant. We ordered a traditional Granada lunch of blood sausage and sardines. We were at the top of this hill peak—it’s an amazing viewpoint; you can see with city and the Alhambra—eating what everyone around us was eating.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre is special. We stayed in Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the five towns. There was this rock beach and we decided to go snorkeling. The water was freezing; it was June but it was ice cold. It got deep really fast and the water was crystal clear. We saw some fish. But as we tried to get out, waves started coming in and knocking us into this rock beach. We could not get out of the water! Everyone was watching us. We left with about a thousand bruises.
Scotland is my favorite place in the world. There’s a little town about an hour north of Edinburgh called Dunkeld known for its traditional music. It’s tiny. Suddenly you’re in this village and there’s a little place called the Taybank Hotel. The thing about traditional music in Scotland is it’s not bands; people just show up with their instruments. Four guys played the night we were there. As we drank, the music got loud and people were clapping and dancing. Our room was upstairs, but we weren’t going up there.