Welcome To Tripscholars

Microbial Mats, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.  Photo by Tripscholars

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Some of the most profound and transformative experiences of my life have occurred while I have been traveling. Moving in awe over firm, but still warm lava, on the Big Island of Hawai’i while watching the billowing steam of new earth emerging into the mighty Pacific as our planet renews itself. Standing silently with my family inside of a cave filled with Paleolithic cave art and looking into the eyes of a long distant relative’s portrait over 17,000 years old, feeling our connection to each other and all humans, regardless of our current place in space and time.

The Value Of Travel Research

In large measure, much what enhances these moments is being able to appreciate the multiple facets of what I am experiencing. My mom lived in a small town outside of Yellowstone National Park so we have been able to visit it many times. To understand some of the geologic forces at work in Yellowstone,  the bedazzling microbial rainbow, the interrelated flora and fauna, the  stories of the Nez Perce,  up through the recognition of humans finally being far enough along on our collective journey to realize the value of preserving our most precious lands by forming the world’s first National Park– to experience Yellowstone from this multitude of perspectives brings me to tears every time I visit. I am more in awe of our planet and the beings that I share it with. I leave more inspired to protect and celebrate it.

But, I only get a lot of  this because of what I have learned  in advance of my trips. For the full experience,  I really need to have invested a lot of time and energy prior to my visits. That is where this site comes in! If you have made it this far into the site, I’m guessing that you are also a curious traveler and I want to learn from you and hear your stories too! 

Why I Built This Site

We travel as much as we can and, as a secular homeschooling family, we have always tried to make the most of our trips, packing in a lot beforehand and reflecting on our travels afterwards. Gathering and sifting resources has been a big part of my job. It is very rewarding, but also enormously time consuming. There is a lot of garbage out there! Our kids are (almost all) grown now and I finally have the time to try and create a site for all of us curious travelers to share our favorite resources. I have often wished there was some type of hub like this to go.  My hope is that this will both cut down on the time any one of us has to spend sifting through low quality and non-fact based materials, and also highlight the gems and hidden or unique ways to amplify our trip planning.

Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone
Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Photo by Tripscholars

How is Tripscholars Different?

According to a 2010 study, planning our trip can actually bring us more happiness than taking the trip itself. Now, I hope that isn’t the case for anyone here, but for many of us trip planning is, indeed, very enjoyable. Searching for the perfect Airbnb, planning the itinerary (if that’s your thing), shopping for the best hiking shoes for the trail, or finding that gem of a restaurant can all bring us genuine pleasure in the time before departure. There are loads of high quality sites for this type of preparation. As enjoyable as they are, this is not a place for sharing those resources.

Tripscholars is for trip planning beyond the itinerary! This is the place to share your favorite documentaries, websites, podcasts, films, books,  field guides, games, music, language learning opportunities, online classes, travel blogs, and more– as long as they help us gain a deeper understanding of the places we travel to. We are looking for resources that help us understand the cultures, history and  natural history of our destinations. 

We Are Our Community

When I started this project, I had zero experience in web development and no idea how to create an online place for people to share materials. I am grateful that people much smarter than I am have already created the structure to build an online community through a website! I have had the privilege of participating in, facilitating, launching, and leading different communities in the real world and am inspired by what happens when we collaborate together and learn from each other. Most of the best things I have been part of  are the result of people with different interests and aptitudes bringing their best to the table and seeing what we can create together. I want this site provide a place for building community for those who want it. If you choose, you will be able to share your stories and photos about your travels, create connections with other members, and start or join groups with people who have similar interests.

As we build our community, you will also be finding what fellow curious travelers have shared and will collect these resources into your own curated Guidebook so that you’ll always have something great to read, listen to, watch, or do that is related to your next adventure and that will help you enhance your trip planning and deepen your travel experiences! 

Looking forward to learning together, 

Erica

Issac Hale Beach, Hawai'i, USA
Newly Formed Earth, Issac Hale Beach, Hawai'i, USA. Photo by Tripscholars
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2 thoughts on “Welcome To Tripscholars”

  1. I am so glad to find this most valuable resource! Thank you for bringing together a community of curious world travelers to help make the most of the precious time we have for exploring the world.

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