Climbing two of the world’s tallest mountain peaks, through nine countries, across 12,000 miles is an extraordinary story worth telling. Jonathan Ronzio, award-winning travel filmmaker, international speaker, adventurist and blogger, set out to have his story heard by documenting his experience on film and online. While traveling ‘Between the Peaks,’ with two friends, Jonathan volunteered at every stop along the way and embraced his social capital seeker side, sharing the beauty around him digitally.
What’s your take on the importance of documenting your travels using social media?
At the heart of it all is our desire as people to leave something behind. Documenting travel goes back as far as travel itself. We left marks on caves as we migrated, and mapped the worlds that lay beyond the end of the earth. We climbed mountains for our countries and wrote journals home about our conquests to be published. Sharing our adventures through social media and blogs is simply the evolution of the human story. Our travels and learnings can now be published and consumed in the present, pushing the way we experience and appreciate people’s cultures and places around the world ever further and ever faster.
There is a certain beauty in the moments we leave technology, and our ego, behind. When we simply let the experience have us and then become nothing more than memory. But a balance must exists between what we keep for ourselves and what we share with the world. Putting your travels up on social or writing a blog is not only a way to look back on where you’ve personally been and how you’ve grown, but it’s a way to inspire others to seek the world beyond their own boundaries.
What’s important to you when you travel?
I’m pretty happy when I can leave a place having made new friends, tried new foods, taken beautiful photos, and gained new perspectives. Really, when I travel I’m looking for an honest adventure. The unplanned and unexpected. I do enjoy going on tours and excursions, but for me, the most amazing experiences come out of the days that I didn’t try to pack my itinerary full and when I’ve just let the experiences happen as I wandered the road. Those times, I’ve always gone away with those four things – friends, foods, photos, and perspectives.
How can travel companies tap into this demographic and appeal to travelers like you?
I think there is a huge push toward seeking out genuine travel experiences. We don’t want to be tourists anymore, we want to be travelers. We want real experiences with real people in real places. Take Detour for instance. They’re just one of many new travel services out there for the digital nomad that aims to solve the “be a local in a foreign land” problem. The more that travel companies can design and offer trips that don’t feel like mass produced vacation offerings, but instead are genuine immersive experiences, crafted with care to promote cultural learning and social consciousness, the more they will be able to tap into the “wanderlust generation.”
Interested in reading Jonathan’s story? Make sure to check out his blog.