Adventure, Culture

How Nerds Travel (Pt 2) – Preparations (By Alice Fan)

The good thing about collaborating is that someone will have your back or that your work will be complimentary. It’s cool to know that Alice’s writing about Nerd Travel has been exactly that.

My last post on HOW NERDS TRAVEL is a feast, but that’s because there’s so much that I wanted to say about it. You should’ve seen the rough draft and the rough draft in my head.

But Alice’s take on How Nerds Travel continues to strike chords and echo some mutual sentiments. I’ll touch on a few before you read about her nerd travel prepping skills.

“Once I’ve chosen the destination, I start digging in to see what geekery I can get up to.”

This is like picking a spot on an open world map in video games, and conquering everything around you before returning back to home base. This is how I planned my D.C. trip. I knew that The District had to be trekked, but what else could we discover and learn that wasn’t so mainstream? What treasures could we dig up to share in our stories? This is the epitome of a video game protagonist to me, and I’m totally game for it. 


“I like to choose more metropolitan destinations because they offer the most bang for your buck – a mix of old and new, historical and cultural events, and a variety of food.”

This couldn’t be truer for most of my destinations. I love the outdoors and scenic areas, but knowing that there’s some type of civilization around with a “happening” area just opens up levels of discovery. Going to D.C. I knew there would be plenty of commerce and touristy traffic spots, but I also had to escape to Alexandria to get some natural open air. Both the jungle and concrete jungle of this country have history written all over them. I love learning from both. 


“Psych yourself up by consuming relevant media.”

Yes, yes, and YES. These things are necessary to add anticipation to your trip especially during those stressful days just before departure. One question I always ask my wife before we leave: What’s the theme song of our trip? For Washington D.C., it was by hip-hop artist Wale who pays homage to the District in his hit single “Chillin.” We played this song throughout our trip, as well as other artists from D.C. like Marvin Gaye, and Roberta Flack. As far as other media, I ran THE PATRIOT in the background and painstakingly ran through the NATIONAL TREASURE series. But yes, build the hype as you get closer to the trip! That in itself adds to the stress relief. 


“Instead of a gnome, use a Lego Winter Soldier or a Funko POP GoT dragon or a pocket Jamie Fraser* in your pics.”

Not a lot of people know this, but I have a son. My wife and I bring SACKBOY from LITTLE BIG PLANET everywhere with us. Why? Because he’s adorable, and he emotes. And he’s travel-size. But he’s become so important to us, we get distraught when we leave without him. He takes selfies for us and dresses for the occasion. The cool thing about having a traveling gnome or totem, is that you’re creating traditions. The better part is that you’re creating nerdy tradition, which is something the world can use more of. 

 I guess that’s what a lot of this boils down to for me, creating personal, nerdy traditions. Honestly, no one’s written a book about it, and there’s no formula, but as our fandoms bloom into different parts of this country, the world, and our social media feeds, these sentiments and traditions become memories. Memories are important to us.

So that’s why the nerdy prepping is important to me.

READ: Alice Fan’s How Nerds Travel (Pt 1) – Preparation

What travel traditions would you like to start or have you started already? Sound off in the comments!