Brian Speier is a professional artist and entrepreneur. He recently started his own Portland company and has been traveling for pleasure and for his design work for over ten years. Here are some of his thoughts on traveling as a self employed business owner.
What is your favorite thing about traveling?
My favorite thing about traveling would have to be the amazing things I get to see. When I travel I am constantly inspired by the scenery, art and cultures that I experience. It can be compelling for an artist to find themselves in these new situations which entirely new designs.
Is traveling a lifestyle or a hobby for you? How did you get started?
I would have to say that traveling is a lifestyle for me. I can’t see myself without it, and I definitely plan my life, work and travel plans accordingly. It is healthy for me to travel, especially considering my job. New places inspire new art and new design ideas every time I travel. Whether it is to somewhere I have been before, but especially when I travel somewhere new.
What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?
The most beautiful place I have been so far would be Iceland. It was the most magical place i had ever seen, with valley s that were thousands of years old. There were hot springs and deep green valleys, and beautiful ocean side views where there are rock crags out in the distance for miles.
What are some travel tips you’d give to an inexperienced traveler?
Always do your research. It is important to research a new country before going to it so you can be prepared for many thing. Sometimes there are cultural differences to be aware of, or specific guidelines to follow. You may also need certain shots and vaccines. Make sure that you have a plan in place or at least some good safe contact in the area in case you need help.
Where would you like to go?
Someday I would really like to visit China. I have heard there is so much to see there. Of course it is a really big country with a long history. If I did travel to China I would have to take at least a month long trip. There are so many things I would like to see there, like the Great Wall of China, or the famous Terra-Cotta Soldiers. Not to mention the culture there is so much different than America. It is a perfect learning experience and I plan to visit China very soon.
Where would you like to revisit?
I have been to France only once, but that is the place that I would most want to visit again. There is a certain romance in the air that is hard to describe. The people, and the cafes, and the ambiance made it one of the most memorable places I have traveled so far. I would love to go back and stay for a while. Perhaps get a small apartment or rent a room for a few months and really learn more about the culture.
Do you travel alone? Why?
If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?
The top three places would have to be France, Brazil, and the Greek Isles. These place all have one thing in common, a romantic and ancient beauty. The architecture alone is enough to make each of these worth the visit, but get to know the people and you may never want to leave.
Do you travel light and efficiently or do you pack up the house?
I usually travel light. Depending on where I am going, and for how long. The big difference is in the amount of clothing I bring with me.
Brian Speier has been to over ten countries and he plans to visit more. As a Portland freelance artist he is able to incorporate his travel and work. It was wonderful to speak with him and hear a bit about his personal travel experiences.