Brett Hughes (above) and Dave Campbell of Another Best Day are no strangers to adventure, whether it’s surfing in Nicaragua, checking out the local art scene in New Orleans, or enjoying rooftop views of Rome. After meeting by chance while volunteering at La Chureca, a trash dump community in Managua, Nicaragua, the duo became fast friends, and started Another Best Day as a way to share their experiences while traveling, and to inspire their audience to make the most of every experience. Here, we catch up with Brett and Dave on their travel backgrounds, top tips, and some of the most important lessons they’ve learned on the road.
First international trip—when and where?
Dave: I was three years old when my family went to Germany and Austria for a summer vacation. We visited with friends and family, hike in the Alps, and stayed in a 100-year-old farmhouse. I am so grateful to my parents for giving me such an early start to my life as a traveler!
Brett: Nassau, Bahamas—a very cool trip. Just having a reason to get a passport was so special to me.
How has travel affected your life?
Dave: From an early age travel has become part of who I am, how I live, and how I engage with the world. It is a source of joy, energy, and life lessons. Every day my travel experiences inspire my lifestyle, philosophy, and choices.
Brett: The act of travel and travel prep has changed my life; it confirmed for me that the most important thing in this world is its people, their stories, ideas, and the connections between all of us. Travel continues to humble me by allowing me to remain a student and learn forever, while just having some simple fun.
Is there a specific experience that you can point to that transformed your life?
Brett: I’d have to say the most influential experience of my life would have been my first trip down to a trash dump community called La Chureca in Nicaragua January 1st, 2009. It taught me more than I can explain in a small bio, brought me to new friends like Dave, and became the first site of the my NPO Lacrosse the Nations. So much happened in such a outwardly daunting place. The people, their smiles, and love is a day to day reminder that we were made to travel, learn, and take those lessons to do something to give back to a world with such transformative places and people.
Dave: The experiences that we both had in La Churecha solidified a life-long commitment to helping improve the lives of others.
What’s your favorite memory of a trip with kids—either from your own childhood or with your own kids?
Dave: As a kid, while touring Alaska in an RV with my family, we would announce animal sightings with a series of hand signals.
Brett: Trips to Glen Arbor, Michigan will always have a special place in my heart. It had so many different sights, sounds, and smells: sand dunes, Leelanau, “The Cherry Republic,” Lake Michigan, and small towns. The food, nature, and calm I felt stands out as a strong memory from my childhood.
Biggest travel mistake?
Brett: I used to pack too much and not give away enough. Now I pack light and give away anything I can when appropriate.
Dave: Not backing up two years worth of pictures and then losing them when my computer stolen while traveling in Nicaragua.
Favorite foreign word or phrase?
Dave: Vorfreude, meaning “joyful anticipation” in German. You can read a bit more about the thought on Another Best Day.
Brett: I don’t speak the language but meraki is a Greek word that means doing something with love or soul (similar to the English ‘ardor’), giving a piece of yourself to the task or craft.
Travel has taught me…
Dave: Travel has taught me to be adaptable, open-minded, and inquisitive.
Brett: Travel has taught me most of the things that guide my life. The art of meeting new people and never judging or presuming prior to a conversation, of slowing down, of truly enjoy great cuisine, of living a life less cluttered, laughing much more, and how to take a good picture and tell a better story. Travel is what humbled me, and allowed me to dream bigger than my already crazy heart allowed me as a young kid on a country farm.
Photos courtesy of Dave Campbell and Brett Hughes.
© 2017 AFAR Media