Howdy! This isn’t a blog about a multi-day epic adventure in some exotic location. It’s a reflection on a long weekend spent with good company. I’m not sure if it's a part of getting older (and wiser) but, I’m starting to bucket my travel into two categories: A-side travel and B-side travel.
What am I talking about?
A-side travel: destination-driven, prioritizing sightseeing, big adventures and carving out new experiences.
Now flip it.
B-side travel: People-focused, returning to places I’ve already been to dig deeper and explore the nooks and crannies of day-to-day life. Traveling for the company, not the destination.
This trip was a B-side mission. My friend Dane Ichimura lives in Seattle and has made the journey east to Colorado a few times, so it was my turn to jump on a steel bird and pay him a visit.
B-side travel is slowly becoming my favorite kind of travel. The plans are looser, the days feel longer, and the possibilities are endless.
Dane and I had chatted about doing polar plunges in Green Lake or ferry rides to the coast. What we did instead was much simpler: we walked to get coffee, biked across town, talked about life, ate well and laughed hard.
You don’t need full play-by-play of what we did on this trip, because B-side travel isn’t about that. It’s not aspirational travel, it's attainable. You don’t need a cross-country flight to do what Dane and I did. You can do that out your front door with the right company.
A-side travel is still great and I love that experience of chasing down big adventures, views, or experiences.
I’ve seen aspirational travel through others’ trips. Those trips go by faster, the time crunch is constant, and when you get that view or finish that sight-seeing your trip can feel kind of hollow. Your goals were achieved, what's next?
On the B-side, your trips are open-ended and spending 2 hours in a coffee shop/bike shop called Good Weather isn’t a waste of time :) it was where your time needed to be spent. A 4-mile bike ride turned into 20 was always part of the plan. Piling out on the mats in the bouldering gym comes close to 5-star accommodation.
This more intimate form of travel is just as important, fun and cool as a multiday epic in an exotic location. So maybe give a friend a call who’s the next state over, or even the next town away. Tell them to break out the air mattress because you’re coming over to explore the B-side and be a part of The New Outdoor.
Words by Adam Concannon, Topo Designs