Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wally Byam's Travel Philosophy

"Adventure is where you find it, any place, every place, except at home in the rocking chair"                        - Wally Byam                                                                                                                              

      Wally Byam believed in adventure. He believed that the trailer should be used as a mode of transportation and travel rather than a stationary home. He believed that everyone - even those who hated to leave home - should tap into their sense of adventure and go out onto the highway in search of new experiences. His dream for the Airstream Company was to create a lifestyle in which people could do so without leaving the comforts of their home. In fact, he didn't think that anyone should ever stop traveling, so long as they were physically capable of it. Wally believed that there was something to be found and to be seen anywhere in the world, even in places that weren't too far from home at all. When asked by one of the caravanners what they should do while he's in the hospital, he said:

"Don't stop. Keep right on going. Hitch up your trailer and go to Canada or down to Old Mexico. Head for Europe, if you can afford it, or go to the Mardi Gras. Go someplace you've heard about, where you can fish or hunt or collect rocks or just look up at the sky. Find out what's at the end of some country road. Go see what's over the next hill, and the one after that, and the one after that."

To Wally, trailer travel provided their owners with freedom - four freedoms, to be exact, that he laid out in Trailer Travel. 

  1. Freedom from arrangements - reservations, schedules, taxis, tips. "You don't have to worry about reservations in the next town or where you are going to sleep that night. You have all your accommodations right there with you. Home is where you stop."
  2. Freedom from the problems of age - "For some, checkers, clubs, gardening, and grandchildren is not enough. Out of this boredom, ailments are born."
  3. Freedom to know - "You meet people on a train or a plane and the next day you separate. When you travel in a trailer, you meet people in their homes and they meet you in theirs."
  4. Freedom for fun - "To relax and lose yourself mentally."
                                                                                                    (Airstream, p.42)

"To place the great wild world at your doorstep, for you who yearn to travel with all the comforts of home"

                                                                                                           - Wally Byam

Burkhart, Bryan, and David Hunt. Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2000. Print.

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