When not on the road, I write from a home base of Traverse City, never far from a stroll on a Lake Michigan beach, vineyard visit or favorite current hobby and photography obsession—pre-dawn kayak floats amid resident loons.

Immerse yourself in a place, and you'll be inspired to protect it. That's the guiding philosophy of one of my favorite magazine outlets, Traverse, at which I'm honored to serve as travel editor. I like to carry that even further, believing in travel as a tool for peace and understanding.

Travel even to the deep of the Ecuadorian Amazon and spend time with the Huaorani tribe, and you'll find that we wherever we live in the world are not that different after all. That's especially true if you take the hand of a tribal elder, together go for a swim, swap gifts (even if a sweaty t-shirt is all you have at the moment) and can only say to each other, over and over with different inflections that word “Waponi!” which roughly translates to “happy.”

Warm beaches call to me in the heart of a Michigan winter, but my ideal travel adventures are just that—adventures that transform, That's true if the journey offers the chance to feed a blind elephant at a Thai rehabilitation center or take a pub crawl by helicopter in true Crocodile Dundee territory. I invite you to follow along on such adventures in the hope you'll be inspired to take a few of your own.