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J. Chase Harps: Adventure Seeker

J. Chase Harps Skydiving Over Tokyo.

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to have positive experiences with someone or something different. Life can be an adventure, if you let it.

EBONY:  How has travel shaped your life and view of the world?

JCH:  It makes me think the world is more connected than our economic and societal structures allow us to believe.  I always say formal education can be valuable if used properly, and professional education is always available, but I think the real education comes from life experiences. Traveling provides that. You see things differently when you experience them up close and personal. The memories and feelings you get leave a lasting impression in your mind much longer than what you can read about in a book. I think the world is both large and small at the same time. Now, even in terms of my business and my academic education, I usually try to think about issues a bit more holistically and broadly whereas before I started traveling I usually focused on issues with a more narrow perspective.

EBONY:  What experiences do you seek out when you travel?

JCH:  I try to look for fun, intangible experiences that can’t be replaced or reproduced. Visiting historic, famous cites or going to nice resorts in remote countries is all well and good, but I try to tap in to what makes the people of that country tick. It could be, for example, a random street performance in Bali, or a friendly invitation to play Capoeira in Rio, Brazil. Sometimes, it’s been smoking hookah with professional cricket players in India, or sipping shochu in VIP lounges with Yakuza members.

It’s hard to describe in words, but you know when you see it because you can feel it. You kind of know it intuitively when you come across those special moments, so you run towards them and don’t concern yourself with the consequences.  I haven’t talked to everyone who has ever traveled, but I’ve heard way more about what did happen that was amazing, rather than what happened that was horrible.

EBONY:  What five countries are on your travel bucket list?

JCH:  Just five?! Well if I had to choose I’d say Egypt, New Zealand, France, Spain and Germany…for now!

EBONY:  What advice would you give to someone looking to travel, but feel they are being held back by finances, jobs, children, age, fear, etc?

JCH:  I would recommend that he/she make a list of not only where they would like to go, but also what kind of experiences they would like to have during their trip. Perhaps that way they can get more use out of their financial resources and share the experience with family members to add value. As far as job is concerned; my view is a job is a man-made means of economic survival so adjust your discretionary income priorities to revolve around traveling and you’ll be good to go.

You’re never too old to travel, but honestly, why wait? Fear is for folks who have time to think about it. So don’t think. Just pick a place and go. There’s no better time than the immediacy of now.

EBONY:  Three words to describe why people should travel?

JCH:  Forever.  Change.  Perspective

Danielle Pointdujour is a native Brooklynite living and writing in the Big Apple. You can find Danielle sharing her personal outlook on love, life and travel on various publications across the web.