Having stepped foot in nine countries and 44 states by the age of 29, Kurt Wirth has been #LivingFearless his whole life. He’s stayed with locals on four cross-country road trips and explored Europe by rail. A native Alabamian, Kurt has struck out on his own and begun to leave a footprint across the globe.
What inspires Kurt toward a life of #LivingFearless? Well, we asked just that.
Protection 1: Thanks for chatting, Kurt!
Kurt: Happy to be a part of the #LivingFearless campaign.
Protection 1: You’re averaging more than one new state a year! How young where you when you started traveling?
Kurt: I guess that’s true! Outside of family trips, my first real traveling opportunity was with the Mississippi Boychoir when I eight. That year, we sang at Carnegie Hall and traveled all over the States the next few years. So, by the time I was 11, I had been to several states in the South as well as New York, Minnesota, and Arizona.
Protection 1: And that obviously sparked a passion?
Kurt: Absolutely it did! I was so fortunate to be exposed to such a wide variety of people and places at a young age, and it lit this fire under me to experience everything I could during my lifetime. I make a point to stay with locals when I travel so I can absorb the character of the place, get the inside dirt on where to visit, that sort of thing.
Protection 1: Such wanderlust. Did you come from a rural area? If so, do you think that influenced your drive to see the world?
Kurt: That’s a good point. I’m from a village of fewer than 100 people in Alabama, and…well, there isn’t a whole lot happening there. It’s pristine, simple, and perfect for raising kids, but I knew for as long as I could remember that I wanted to go explore the world to see what else it might have to offer.
Protection 1: So, mister expert, what’s been your favorite place to visit and why?
Kurt: I do what I can! Man, what a tough question. If I was forced to choose, I’d probably go with Sweden and, specifically, Marstrand. I honestly couldn’t believe how stunningly beautiful Sweden was, and how clean the cities were. Marstrand is a tiny community that sits, in part, on an island off of Sweden’s west coast. The whole island is hikeable, the water is crystal clear, and there’s a giant fortress at its center – which I even got to explore. I’ll never forget it.
Protection 1: Sounds incredible. Well, that’s about all the time we have. To sign off, what advice would you give people who might be reading and are inspired to start traveling more?
Kurt: First and foremost: stop putting it off. I find that so many people make excuses and rationalize themselves into a corner that never allows them to experience life. We should all be rationalizing how to get more out of life, not less. Staying with locals can reduce the cost by at least half, and renting – or owning – a hybrid can make up for its cost in gas savings. Nearly anyone can travel on nearly any budget and, I’m telling you right now, it will completely change your life. If you want to refresh your life and gain a new perspective, nothing can replace traveling.
Protection 1: Thanks again for your time, Kurt. Keep #LivingFearless!
Kurt: I plan to, and thanks for the opportunity!