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Wanderlust With: Tom Bartel and Kristin Henning of Travel Past 50


Tom and Kris on the highest mountain they've ever climbed: Pichincha Volcano.

Life's an adventure and this couple is living it.

Tom Bartel and Kristin Henning are a couple who have done it all. After decades in the publishing industry, their love for adventure and international cultures took over, taking them to all corners of the planet. Together they've hiked mountains, explored international cuisines and camped in the woods. And, having been in the publishing industry, have shared all their experiences on their blog Travel Past 50.

Despite children and grandchildren, there seems to be no stopping this active couple from chasing adventure and the great outdoors.

We sat down with Tom to see where his thirst for travel has taken them.

Q. What's the last holiday you took?

A: The last pure holiday we took was to Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail in Northern Minnesota. We went with our children, their partners and our grandson. We canoed around the lake, hiked in the woods and had a family of black bears amble through the backyard of our cabin. And the best thing about the whole thing? We were so far back in the north woods, there was no Internet.

Q: What about the first holiday you took?

A: When we were children we took long driving trips to the Western United States. The ones I remember were camping in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with my father and brothers. We'd pitch a tent and my brothers would immediately tear off into the woods. I'd usually sit at the picnic table and read a book.

Q: What's your favourite destination in the world?

A: It's hard to pick only one, but if you're going to make me, I'm going with Spain. There's just so much there: diverse culture, lots of interesting history and the best food in the world.

Q: And your top three things to do there?

A: The obvious answer is eat and drink. You never get tired of Spanish food, especially since it changes so much with the region. Same for the wine. Second is visiting the museums and churches to get a look at the thousands of years of Spanish art. And the third is repeat numbers one and two.

Q: How about the top three items you can’t leave home without?

A: Camera(s), a Kindle full of books about where I'm going, along with some pure entertainment readings, and earplugs.

Q: Lastly, if you could only pick one – beach, city or mountains, which would it be?

A: Mountains, because I love to hike, especially when the world around me is so pretty to look at. Although I do love cities, especially ones with theatre, live music and great museums. Beaches bore me.

Q: What's your favourite travel photo?

A: That's awful hard to pick since I am a travel photographer. I've shot over 50,000 photos since we started travelling full time in 2010. But, if I have to pick one, I'll go with this one of a Bedouin boy building a fire in Wadi Rum, Jordan. Staying with the Bedouins in the desert was a wonderful experience, and this is one of my favourites because it reminds me of that good time.

You can follow all of Tom and Kris' adventures on their Instagram: @travelpast50.

finder's Wanderlust With is a monthly series featuring travellers and bloggers from around the world. Check back every 10th of the month to be inspired for your next journey.

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