“It’s not where you go, it’s who you’re with that makes a trip worthwhile”.
Payton Kirkpatrick is a traveller, brand ambassador and production assistant who has taken trips all over the world. And he’s only just getting started.
The more he travels, the bigger his bucket list grows, and it keeps on growing. For Payton, the best thing about travelling is making new discoveries and rediscovering yourself on an adventure.
Payton currently works for a science education production company (office production assistant), but he has always had a passion for traveling.
His passion for travel and exploring the world, led to him discovering WiGo Trips and joining as an ambassador. He says that the best thing about the adventure company is that it encourages people to get out of their comfort zones and explore everything that the world has to offer.
Payton’s adventures have taken him to Japan, Peru, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, the Caribbean, Canada.
Of all the countries he’s been to, he says that his favourite was Japan because it gave him a chance to explore the great outdoors and the all of the amazing natural scenery that the country had to offer.
He added that it also gave him a chance to practice his language skills, which allowed him to get to know local people on a more personal basis.
“The thing that I love the most about travelling is the unfamiliarity of getting out and seeing new things that I haven’t seen before.
“I also really like photography, so being able to sit in one location and watch how the light changes and build a connection with that place, is so much more important than simply seeing different places on social media.”
Traveling also brings people from a variety of different backgrounds together and allows them to have interactive and meaningful experiences with each other as part of a shared adventure.
For Payton, this has resulted in lasting friendships with likeminded travel buddies.
He said: “It really allows people to connect on a different level because the shared experiences that you have, end up being so much more powerful. Even if you only spend a week with people you meet on a trip, you’ll end up feeling like you have gotten to know them so well.
“In Japan, I spent 25 hours I was with a group of four travelers I met at a hostel when we decided to hike Mount Fuji. Those 25 hours were lifechanging and I still speak to them every now and again. We still plan trips to visit each other. I can guarantee that I can hike with any of those people again and we would have an absolute blast.”
Sampling Local Delicacies
Another thing that Payton loves about traveling is trying different dishes from around the world. For him, there is nothing better than sampling weird and wonderful new dishes when he is abroad.
He added: “The whole ambience of enjoying a meal that is not from your cultural background and getting to experience it in an authentic way with other people is also really cool”.
Payton is one of those lucky travelers who has had the opportunity to try many different recipes from around the world. While it is difficult to choose his absolute favourite, he did mention that Irish potatoes and sushis were definitely the most memorable dishes he has tried!
Every Travel Cloud Has A Silver Lining
However, traveling is not without its challenges. For example, while he was in Japan, he had planned a side trip to Myanmar to visit some friends. However, the night before he was supposed to leave, he lost his passport and was left with no money to get a new one at the US embassy in Tokyo.
Having no money, no credit or debit cards and no ID led to a vicious cycle where he was unable to get a new passport or collect money that his family had sent him via Western Union.
He was eventually able to persuade staff at the embassy to get him a new passport after showing them a picture of his ID that he’d previously taken on his phone. They then accompanied him to Western Union to withdraw the money that his family had sent him and this allowed him to obtain a new passport.
Of course, he missed his flight and had to rebook. After that, he got food poisoning. While these unfortunate series of events would undoubtedly have been stressful for anyone, there was a bright side to the mayhem.
Payton said: “It made me realize that I was a lot more resourceful than I assumed myself to be. In a short space of time, I went through every single option possible and I was fairly composed. After the whole event, I started to see the humour in it. I’m now much more prepared when I visit any other country and I know what to do if things do go wrong”.
Connect with like-minded travelers!
When it comes to planning future adventures, he said that connecting with other likeminded travelers can help alleviate any fears and concerns that people may have about going overseas.
He added: “Reach out to other people about any reservations you may have about traveling abroad. You should try to connect with people who have been to the same places you want to go because they will be able to give you their own insider opinions and recommendations.
“You should also leave your trip flexible, and just plan a few of the key highlights. This means that you can extend or modify your trip if you change your mind during your trip”.
Fancy taking off sometime soon?
Fancy taking a group tour across the United States? Our ambassadors at WiGo Trips have collectively organized dozens of adventures across the US and other parts of the world.
Be sure to visit our app for more information.
Janine Griffiths | Journalist
Janine is a copywriter and marketing strategist from England, with a background in journalism. She has represented many major brands throughout her career such as HSBC, Prudential and BIM. She runs a popular travel blog called janinesjourneys.com and has made has previously worked for major regional newspapers in the UK such as the Guardian, Yorkshire Post and the Shropshire Star