What is Small Town Wanderer?
Small Town Wanderer is simply a connection point to highlight great things happening in small towns all around the world. Small towns are amazing places to live, work, and have fun.
One definition of small town is "relating to or characteristic of a small town, especially as considered to be unsophisticated or petty". Many times in rural settings, we can find ourselves thinking that we are less than or somehow don't have all we need. This site is just a reminder to us (and big city people) that we are doing just fine! There are amazing entrepreneurs and leaders that live in towns of less than 5000 people. There are restaurants, shops, historical centers, and festivals that would rival those of the larger cities.
This site is also about my wanderings (and others that live in small towns) as we venture out and experience all that is around us. We will have guest posts from others highlighting their experiences in smaller towns and adventures into the big cities!
Why do you talk about big cities?
Because big cities are also cool. We just don't really want to live there. As someone that lives in 'the middle of nowhere' it is very true that we don't have the opportunities to be close to diverse cultures or experiences. We believe everyone should eat some food in Chicago's Chinatown, stare at the Golden Gate Bridge, walk around our Capital in DC, or simply experience the vastness of Los Angeles. (And that is not to mention great cities outside of the USA like Paris, Athens, Rome, Mexico City, Vancouver or London.) There is so much to see in our world.
We don't need these to survive or even thrive, but they make us better people when we do dive in for a while and then return back home and share those experiences. Also, once we wander around those huge cities we can head out to the surrounding countryside and soak in some other
Why are you selling travel?
The simple answer is because I care. Having grown up in a rural community, there are so many obstacles to getting out and exploring. The cost and logistics of travel being one of the biggest. For instance, I have to travel 4 hours to the nearest airports to get a reasonable airfare. So, I just started helping others navigate this world via Expedia.com. I would do the research, set everything up, and then guide my friends through the process. I loved to help them through the nerves as their trip approached and then hear the excitement when they returned.
Our family also loves to travel. We have a very simple lifestyle, but we do spend most of our disposable cash on getting out to experience new things. We have sent all our kids on trips by themselves, we do family vacations, couples’ getaways, parent-with-individual-kid trips, and sometimes we just go solo. We love to see what is around us, all to come back home again and appreciate what we have right in front of us.
After doing this for this for 20 years I said to myself, "Why don't I become a travel agent so at least I can save myself some money?" After much research, I became an official Independent Travel Agent with Nexion LLC (which is part of the #1 travel agent network called Travel Leaders) and started Small Town Wanderer. That whole experience has cost money and time to be trained, equipped, and knowledgeable to help others. It is not as easy as just booking on Expedia, but is much better for you and me. I thought I knew it all before, and now I know that I know very little of what is out there for you to travel.
If you already have an agent, that’s awesome! Keep working with them! But if not, contact me and let's see what we can do. I am not doing this to feed my family so I can usually give you some nice deals. If I find a better deal for you to book yourself, I will let you know! Check out our travel site for ideas and dreams.
Who is Joseph?
My name is Joseph Fehlen and I live in Rhinelander, WI, which is four hours east of Minneapolis and four hours north of Milwaukee. Our town of 8000ish people is the hub of commerce and industry of the Northwoods. After growing up in small farming community, going to college and living in Minneapolis for nine years, doing a quick two years in Southwest Virginia, and experiencing family life in the Seattle Metro for eight years, we decided to move back to small town living. But I still love to travel and experiencing culture.
When I was young, going to Eau Claire, WI (2 hours away) was us going on a trip, even though we were back by nightfall. When I got into high school, my parents had that 'our kids are going to graduate and we haven't ever done a family trip' feeling, so they threw me and my older brother into the truck camper and headed off to Washington DC.