Into The Unknown: A Hitchhiker’s Adventure

Post by guest writer and film-maker: Garrett Martin

BWY guest writer, Garrett Martin, shares an inspiring story about what traveling can do for you. This dedicated explorer and talented film-maker is setting out on a hitchhiking adventure across Canada, and will be documenting his exciting journey. Read on for more about Garrett’s passion for travel and plan behind his unique documentary…

It was around 2 am. I had been standing for about 3 hours straight, it was roughly 30 degrees Fahrenheit and getting colder by the minute. My camera was sitting patiently on my tripod, overlooking this vast glacier lagoon. I was gazing into the sky when all of a sudden, it appeared. A faint green light flickered in the air and immediately caught my eye. Within seconds, that faint green light turned into an array of the brightest green that I had ever witnessed, and the lights danced across the sky leaving me absolutely speechless. I had just seen the Northern Lights for the first time and right then, I knew I had to travel the world.

Into The Unknown - A Hitchhiker's Adventure

About half a year before this moment was when I truly caught the “travel bug”. I took a road trip across America that opened my eyes to how many incredible places are out there. From hiking through knee deep water in the Zion Narrows, to seeing the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park that I couldn’t even believe existed – I realized there are endless places just waiting to be explored. After that trip, I made one of my goals in life to see as many of these places I could and to document what I experience to share with others.

I have now been to 36 out of the 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Iceland, Costa Rica, Mexico and many of the islands in the Caribbean. Through the places I have visited, there is one core thing that I have learned. It’s not about where you go but the journey along the way. I have learned more about myself in two years of traveling than I have my whole life, and the list of things that traveling has done for me is endless. Here are a few important things that I learned traveling can do for you.

Shape Who You Are

Into The Unknown - A Hitchhiker's Adventure

Halfway through my road trip across America, I vividly remember the moment where I took out my phone and starting searching for camera models. I knew at that exact moment what I wanted to do with my life, and that was to learn as much as I possibly could about photography and film-making. I need to be able to capture these moments when I travel. I am now a photographer and film-maker, and couldn’t be happier that I have found my passion in life. It never would have happened if I had not taken a leap of faith.

Conquer Your Fears

Into The Unknown - A Hitchhiker's Adventure

Traveling has also motivated me to conquer my fears. One of my biggest fears is heights and after traveling, I learned the importance of facing your fears and not letting them dictate what you can and can’t do. I now have skydived at 12,000 ft., and I have gone cliff diving into the Pacific Ocean while in Hawaii. Fear is the main thing that prevents us from seeing this world and the only way to conquer these fears is to face them. Traveling forces you out of your comfort zone, allowing you to embrace these fears and conquer them once and for all.

Experience Life

Into The Unknown - A Hitchhiker's Adventure

I think one of the best things traveling has opened my eyes to is the importance of experiences. In it’s broadest sense, the purpose of our lives should be to experience everything that we can. There is no better way to do this than to travel. To meet new people, discover new places, experience new cultures and to live life in as many ways possible. I have a much greater appreciation for life after traveling and realizing how lucky we really are. Life is a gift and traveling is by far the best way to show your appreciation.

Traveling has done so many of these things for me. It has completely changed my life forever. I believe that traveling is a fundamental part of the human experience, and I have made it my life’s mission to show people that this is true. After years of learning photography and film-making, I am finally ready to film my first travel documentary. I will be sharing with people the reality of traveling and what it can do for you.

This travel documentary will be following my friend, Miranda, as she hitchhikes all the way across Canada, from coast to coast, in just one month. We will travel across all ten provinces, visiting the major cities as well as the countryside, to give an in-depth view of the majority of Canada. We will be traveling through hitchhiking, couch-surfing, staying in hostels, camping and any other means to show that neither money nor anything else should stand in your way of traveling. People always seem to have an excuse as to why they can’t travel. Whether it’s money, fear, time or another issue, something always seems to get in the way of us experiencing this incredible world we live in.

Paradise Of The Pacific from Garrett Martin on Vimeo.

I used to be that person who made excuses, or even tried to find an excuse to not travel. I didn’t see the point and  thought I was a lot better off in my own little comfort zone. Nothing could go wrong here, and although I wasn’t extremely happy… I felt safe. I think this is the main thing that stops people from traveling. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of our daily lives and get stuck in our own comfortable environment. There’s nothing wrong with this – most of us need some consistency and pattern in our lives. The important thing is to avoid getting caught up in the monotony. Every once and a while we all need a little reminder that there is an entire world out there, and we should be experiencing as much of it as we possibly can.

Through this film, I want to inspire people to get out there… to overcome these excuses that hold us back. I want to disprove any travel misconceptions that convince us that traveling isn’t worth it, and to show the truth and reality behind traveling. We won’t let fear or excuses stop us anymore, and we hope we can inspire you to do the same.


BWY Guest Writer Bio:

Garrett Martin

Garrett Martin is a landscape/nature photographer and documentary filmmaker based in Virginia. His biggest passion is traveling and gaining as many experiences as possible through travel.

He has a love for the outdoors and exploring lesser known places. Garrett started his own production company, VentureLife Films, in the beginning of 2016 and plans to release travel documentaries and TV shows in the near future.

You can follow Garrett’s inspirational photography and documentary films on Facebook & Instagram.


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