Alex Atkind is a California native who developed a serious passion growing up amongst the diverse and exciting different communities of Los Angeles. One of the absolute greatest benefits to coming of age in such a cosmopolitan environment is that the world never seems quite so small as it might elsewhere. Alex grew up excited about every chance he got to see the world beyond his small little slice of it on the west coast.
Alex began his lifelong love affair with travel (international travel, specifically) when he was still relatively young. His family would vacation in locations as close as Mexico and as far away as Europe. However, regardless of where they were, Alex noted very quickly some universal trends inherent to the experience of traveling. He carries these beliefs close to his heart to this very day.
First and foremost, there is a world of difference between being a traveler and being a tourist. Tourists, in Alex’s conceptualization of them, are defined by a distance between themselves and the new places in which they find themselves. For example, consider the one item above all others that automatically betrays an individual as a tourist, no matter where in the world you might be – the camera. The experience of snapping a photo, although wonderful in that it can preserve some visual markers to inspire more vivid memories of your experiences later, can also be less than ideal. It structurally mandates a form of distance between the person behind the camera and the subject in front of the lens. This distance is what defines a tourist.
A tourist is uninterested or unable to sincerely become immersed in the new environment. They are content in just observing and admiring their new surroundings. Travelers. however, demand more than just a sanitized or inauthentic experience in a new place. Travelers do not mind getting messy, they enjoy it. They understand that if you are going to go through the trouble of traveling halfway around the world, the least you can do is take a few steps out of your comfort zone once your arrive! This means acknowledging and embracing that travel may not always be easy, but it can always be transformative. Approaching a change in scenery with an open mind can absolutely inspire a change in you as well. Alex Atkind has always been passionate about embracing wherever he is at a given moment to the fullest of his abilities.