If you want some great travel advice, just talk to Blair Littleton! Blair is a voyager, approaching life and culture with a curious and humble spirit. An avid reader, her own life adventures are worth writing a novel about. From Australia, to Central and South America, Asia, and Europe, this gal has been everywhere! Blair’s pursued a career in medicine, which she views as the perfect vehicle to allow her both to travel and to bring positive change as she does. She is currently a Physician’s Assistant, working as the Attending Physician at an Urgent care clinic in Portland, OR. We hope you’re as captivated by her dreams, passions, and pursuits as we are!
MEET THE VOYAGER
WHY DO YOU TRAVEL?
I am so enthralled by the world. It is fascinating to me that there are so many different countries and cultures and ways people live life. I’ve always known I wanted to work in medicine. To offer a tangible trade to people in need and connect with people at the same time–I love that idea. I went on a medical mission trip to Panama with one of my pre-med classes while I was in college. We were able to integrate into the community there, and really help meet a need through offering basic medical care. I learned that travel and healthcare can be complements of each other. Medicine is everywhere, it transcends all boundaries and borders. My ultimate dream would be to get my pilot’s license and have the ability to fly to different communities without access to basic healthcare. One day!
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR BEST TRAVEL ADVICE?
- Bring a small token of the trip home with you: I always gets a piece of artwork in every country I visit. I started doing this because a beautiful piece of art will last a lifetime. I hang each one on a wall in my home so that every time I look at a piece, I am reminded of a particular experience I’ve had abroad.
- Always have a good book with you: You’re probably going to be taking planes, trains, and other forms of transportations, downtime that is perfect for pulling out a good book!
- Who cares if you’re tired, keep going. You can sleep when you get home!
- Don’t worry about capturing every moment on your phone. Put your phone up, be in the moment.
- Wear lots of layers, and comfy shoes: I love Sseko Designs because every piece is so practical for my travels. The Wanderlust shawl is perfect for chilly plane rides, my booties never fail me while i’m walking around exploring, and my new travel bag is the perfect size for a carry-on, and it’s so beautiful too!
HOW DO YOU SEEK THE UNFAMILIAR?
For me, seeking the unfamiliar often comes from experiences with people and in friendships. My husband and I just took a recent trip to China to visit friends who live in there and speak Chinese. This allowed us to experience China in a way that felt more authentic, which I loved. We stayed at hostels, ate street food, and took local transportation everywhere. I was dared to eat a chicken foot and of course, I did it– and yes, it was gross. We like to approach travel with a “whatever goes” attitude, and that can result in some pretty incredible cultural experiences.
If you have a curious mind and you want to see how other people live their lives, you have to see it through the lens of the people who actually live there. Travel can be exhausting that way, but I love it– it’s how you learn. Asia was so different than the US, I was constantly shocked by the number of people there and enthralled by the idea of ‘group think’ that is so present.
WHAT TENET OF THE BRAVE MANIFESTO SPEAKS MOST TO YOU AND WHY?
“Practice radical generosity” –My husband and I have spent the last couple years thinking: what does radical generosity look like? And how do we practice that in our everyday lives? It is influencing our decisions for the future as we think about our friendships, community, and where we want to invest our resources. We are tossing around ideas right now about going to Bolivia for a year so I can work at a health clinic there, but we also believe there are ways to be generous right here in our own backyard so we’ll see what happens!