Hi, I’m Dale Thomas Vaughn
Hello Fellow Travelers!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 50 million unique people who have visited Bootsnall.com since 2006 (that’s as far as we can measure because that’s when Google Analytics became a thing) to participate in a forum, read an article about travel, or look for a round-the-world ticket to check a trip off of your bucket list.
I am one of you too.
You may have noticed that Bootsnall has been a bit quiet for the past year or so. The truth is we’re a small team and we needed to put our attention and resources toward our revenue-generating business at AirTreks.com – where we have built up a world-class service to empower your multi-stop and round-the-world tickets. This company lives and breathes travel… so we love empowering thousands of people to travel the world every year.
Well, we’re re-energizing the Bootsnall community and we have big plans! Why? Because we think it’s important to create space for the travel community to share about why we travel and where we’re going next and what we have learned along the way.
And that’s the point. There are plenty of fancy travel magazines that show the next big resort or professional travel photos – and we love those too – but we think Bootsnall offers something unique: a place to share, to participate, to be authentic. We know travel isn’t just about vacation… it’s about the stirring in the soul, the widening of the mind, and the deepening of connection to the world and others.
We know travel isn’t just about vacation… it’s about the stirring in the soul, the widening of the mind, and the deepening of connection to the world and others.
So we’re going to get back to what we do best – empower the conversation about, by and for travelers – and then we’re going to do it better. We encourage you to share your travel stories, your travel tips, and your travel dreams. You can submit them here. We’re still going to curate stories just to make sure they’re well-written and inclusive, you can see our guidelines on our new submissions page, and we will be setting up times and processes to help any of our contributors who want to improve their writing skills. We’ll put out calls for submission frequently, and we want to hear your ideas.
Why are we going this direction?
Well… we want to change the world.
Top 3 Reasons Why Travel May Be The Best Strategy to Save the World
1. To Erase Borders
In a world that seems to be imploding, with nationalism on the rise again, borders are becoming more and more enforced. The world cannot backslide again into the chaos of isolation and xenophobia… that way lies madness. The only way I see that changing is if international travel becomes once again the aspiration of the masses. When I worked in the House of Commons in the UK, I learned more about politics and rhetoric than out of any book. When I walked the Camino de Santiago I learned more about history and philosophy than I had in all of my education. When I visited Peru, I learned more about biology and the social contract than I could have on any screen. Travel is the great unifier. Instead of fighting for borders, we need find ways to think globally like Carl Sagan or Buckminster Fuller or even Elon Musk suggest. History shows us that peace only happens when we see ourselves as united in purpose and survival… not separated by tribe or nation. We need to be able to see more of the world so we can erase the borders between us and within ourselves.
2. Climate Change
The world as we know it is changing. I recently visited the giant Sequoias in California because the droughts there are threatening to wipe out trees that have thrived for more than 2,000 years. The Great Barrier Reef is bleaching, glaciers are melting, forests are burning, lowlands are drowning. We may be witnessing a waning window to travel and see the wonders of the world. We want to urge people to take in the beauty of our planet so that maybe we mobilize ourselves to turn the tide – (by the way, to us this doesn’t need to be a political issue since it’s really about integrity and reason as the keepers of this garden). Our company is completely virtual, so we do a pretty good job on environmental impact; but we want to go to the next level and so we’re working to find partners to help us offset flights for our clients and give back to the rebalancing of our Earth. If you have ideas, let us know!
3. Accessibility Has Changed
With air travel competition and the changing markets, we’re seeing shifts in the international hubs. This means there will be new access points for people who have never had the opportunities to travel that are available now – particularly in North America. I recently took a roundtrip flight to Edinburgh from Los Angeles for $260. In February I’ll be in Norway on a ticket that cost less than $300. When travel becomes accessible to people outside of the highest socio-economic classes, a world of possibilities open up. While the market allows, we want to help people travel far and wide.
It’s possible for a group of dedicated people to change the perceptions of travel, of our world, and of our species. I want to be part of that group. And I hope you do too.
A little bit about me, if you’re interested:
As a young man, I spent a year living and working in London after college. When my visa expired, I set out on a pilgrimage through France and Spain that included several adventures and a run with some bulls in Pamplona. During that journey, I wrote in my journal everyday and I would stop at an internet cafe weekly to send the best posts back to my alma mater’s (SMU) new “adventures” blog… not really knowing who would read my story.
Several months later I returned to the States and visited the campus to thank the faculty who’d run the blog for me, and I found out that more than 100,000 people had read my writing, and that I had grown a sizable following among the campus staff. I was 22 years old and I didn’t know what to do with that following except be grateful.
I went on to spend the rest of my career to this point growing followings for brands (Ticketmaster, The Good Men Project, Cuddlist.com, The Better Man Conference), while continuing to travel and seek adventure “on the side.” I seem to be good at attracting audiences, I think it’s because I look for authenticity and the common human interest in stories. Those tools were honed during times of travel and adventure.
There is a full circle to this position for me.