Words & Photos by Colby Buchanan - colbybuchanan.com
Colby Buchanan is a Travel Advisor based in Nashville, Tennessee. Colby's vision is to create unforgettable experiences for his clients, no matter who or what they do. He takes time to interview each client and makes sure that every experience is unique to each client with a few intentional questions on the vision and expectation behind each adventure they want to embark on. Hear about his story and let him help you plan your next voyage.
I never imagined that I would become a travel advisor. I graduated college with a degree in biology and thought I would pursue an environmental science position. However, my course shifted when my dad passed away unexpectedly the summer before my senior year. At that time, I realized that I had been struggling with depression for many years; I just didn’t know it.
The only reprieve from my slump was my dreams of going to Europe. I would imagine seeing the Eiffel Tower light up or being surrounded by vast mountain ranges in Switzerland. I was too shortsighted at the time to realize that I could make a career out of traveling.
Processing my dad’s death forced me to think about what I wanted my life to look like. I knew that I would not thrive in a job where I was stuck in a cubicle from 9-5; I had experienced that before and hated it. I felt like the walls were caving in on me. I needed to be free of the conventional life.
In 2013, I finally mustered up the courage and bought a round trip ticket to Paris. I traveled all throughout Europe for two months, and it changed my life. I learned about myself and other cultures along the way. I felt the most alive when I was in countries where I didn’t speak the language and had to break out of my natural introverted self. The adrenaline starts flowing and a tinge of anxiety sets in, and that’s where the adventure begins.
Traveling alone made me more assertive, slow to judge, and more compassionate towards others. It challenged my preconceived notions of different cultures and people groups. I realized how small I am in this world, and yet how connected we are on a human level. We all crave the same things - love and connection.
When a client reaches out to plan a trip, there are times when I have not been to a specific destination they have in mind. However, I put myself in their shoes and plan a trip that I would also enjoy. I qualify my clients with questions like, “What is your travel style? Do want a balance of big attractions and small scenic areas? Describe a trip that you have enjoyed on your trip. What do you like to do on your vacations? Etc.” From these questions I piece together an itinerary that is efficient while being flexible so my clients can make changes when they want.
My main piece of travel advice is simple - walk as much as you can. Put your phone or map away, and simply walk the streets and take in the surroundings. Once you are removed from a distraction - that is when you can take in your travel experience. In many of these towns, you can quite literally follow your nose to an incredible meal or wander down a path and stumble upon a hidden waterfall.
I started off on a path of studying biology to learn more about that the world around me. Traveling has given me an even broader perspective of our planet and the amazing adventures it holds.
For the dreamer - For the adventurer