In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we catch up with Wade Holland, an adventure personality content creator, and travel explorer from Montana. We chat with Wade about what inspires him to travel, what makes Montana such a special place, the special reason he recently traveled to Scotland, and much more. Check out his tips on things to do in one of his favorite travel destinations and find out what his next adventure will be!
How did your passion for travel get started?
I was lucky to have been raised by very adventure focused parents. Growing up in Montana, we’d always go on wild backcountry travel trips. When my friends were traveling to Hawaii and Disney Land with their families, I was retracing the steps of Lewis and Clark and exploring remote sections of wilderness with mine. That got my enthusiasm started for exploring new and off the beaten path places. Then in college, a few friends and I decided to travel around the state of Colorado for 500 days making a video a day featuring a different weird and bizarre adventure in the state. Needless to say, we saw and experienced a lot in a short period of time. It wasn’t until I traveled and lived overseas in Spain when I truly became enthralled with exploring all the wonderful sights, smells, and sounds of international travel.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
I really try to travel as much as possible; if it can fuse it into my work and brand, even better! I’m lucky that I have a partner (Abby) who is on the same page as me. Therefore we’re constantly on the go. It’s usually 2 /3 weeks out of the month we’re traveling. We both love to visit places that are a little more off the beaten path. Don’t get me wrong, a beach resort and gourmet meal is always a treat, but I’ll always choose those off the beaten path adventures connecting with locals and finding those experiences that take a little more effort seeking out. Those ones stick with you forever.
You are based in Montana but will soon move out to Los Angeles. What makes Montana such a fun and unique travel destination? What should people do when they go there?
I should say Montana is the worst place ever, as we still like to keep it a secret. Montana is called the last best place and I truly believe that. It is the 4th largest state in the country by size but has barely a million people total. So it truly is Big Sky country. It’s a special place because it still retains an authentic wild west feel with remote wilderness in all directions. Wildlife is abundant: Bear, fish, wolves, mountain goats. It’s the real deal. The state’s slogan used to be Get Lost…in Montana. So if you want to lose yourself in nature, Montana is the place. The people are real and genuine. If you go to Montana, support local. Go to local diners, dive bars, and get off the beaten path so you can sleep under the stars in the wild.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I want audiences to be inspired to live a full and exciting life. You have one life, so make it the best possible life, right? I also want to teach audiences about off the beaten path adventure experiences. There are so many amazingly weird and funky experiences out there, and eclectic people and stories that go along with them. You just have to seek it out. I also want audiences to care more for outdoor preservation and conservation. It’s an issue that one-way or another will affect all of us in the near future.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
- Chiapas, Mexico
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
- Hike deep into the jungle to explore lost ancient Mayan cities. You can hire a river guide to take you up the Usumacinta River and drop you off at the deserted Mayan city of Yaxchilan. It’s network of buildings all tucked away deep in the jungle.
- Hike to Misol Ha. It’s a huge waterfall less touristy than the other famous waterfalls in Chiapas. The water is out of this world blue and perfect temperature for swimming. This is a great experience to immerse yourself in the natural environment of Chiapas.
- Try Pox! Pox is the local drink to the area. It’s similar to tequila and mezcal but WAY stronger. It’s pretty much jet fuel, so buckle up!
- Stay the night at a local farmers oasis. There are farmers in the area that live adjacent to the rainforest and rent out their guest houses. It’s probably the most authentic local experience you can have. You’ll most likely come in contact with monkeys, parrots, lizards, and you won’t get better food anywhere else. Fresh handmade tortillas, mole, frijoles, vegetables right from the garden…it’s an incredible local experience. Brush up on your Spanish though because they ain’t speaking any english here.
- Take in Dia de los Muertos in the small village of Chamula. This is the indigenous version of Day of the Dead. It’s intense with various animal sacrifices so you won’t see many if any westerners, but it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
You recently traveled to Scotland with your girlfriend Abby to explore your Scottish ancestry. What was that experience like and what is the most significant thing you took away from it?
It was a project called “Not Your Grandfather’s Scotland.” My great-great-great-great grandfather grew up on an isle of Scotland so Abby and I went back to the old country to explore his old stomping grounds. But the goal was to seek out all the new and not so stereotypical stodgy Scottish experience and instead the wild vibrant ones. We went to underground dance clubs, stumbled onto hobbit style homes, and I even wake boarded the North Sea. It was pretty nutty! The country is way more electric than I would have thought and the people were so incredibly cool. That experience made me realize, if you look a little deeper, you might be surprised at what you find.
In addition to being a world traveler, you’re also quite the adventurer. You often go on “Dadventures” out into the wilderness with your father. What has he taught you about travel and adventuring?
My dad is a unique breed. He first and foremost has taught me about hard work. His tough as nails attitude has pushed me to endure uncomfortable experiences and in the process has strengthened my will power to explore deeper and harder. He also has taught me to appreciate the moment. Take in the birds singing and the simple joys around you.
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
- Shrimp Tacos
- Carnitas Tacos
- ALL TACOS
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
In the southern Spanish town of Granada, I went to a restaurant that was more or less some guys house. He opened up rooftop seating literally on his roof. It was on a hill on top of the city so it overlooked everything. The guy was so hospitable and made you feel like you were an old buddy catching up. I think it was called LA CASA DE PEPE. I ordered the Paella, which is a staple to Spanish food. It was delicious!
What is your favorite travel movie?
This might be a little cheesy but Joe Rogan has a quote, “be the hero in your own movie.” So I always want to push myself to do things that I would want to see happen in a movie. That takes things to a whole other level and opens the door of possibilities. But in regards to an actual travel movie, I’d have to say The Beach. It’s a classic from my adolescence (plus its LEO)! I’m a huge fan of it because it’s all about taking risks to find those gems and the secret travel locations that not everyone is willing to put in the effort to go find!
What is your favorite international airport?
I’d have to say Villahermosa outside of Tabasco, Mexico. It’s situated outside the jungle so it’s in a unique geographic region of Mexico and one of Mexico’s low budget airlines, Interjet, is based out of there. The reason this is so cool is because on any Interjet flight, you get free beer and they play old reruns of The Pink Panther lol. That’s right. The original pink panther combined with some Negro Modelo…count me in!
Which city had the friendliest people?
San Cristobal, Mexico
Who is your favorite travel companion?
Without a doubt this is my lifetime partner, the queen herself…ABBY RUHMAN! She is an incredible adventure babe, loves to find all the same kinds of travel experiences as I do, and is frankly the coolest person I know!
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Go to a local pub. Having a beer at the local watering hole sometimes leads to the most interesting conversations and travel experiences. It gives you a chance to interact and connect with locals.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
The interior of Fiji.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to embark on a life of travel?
Look what all the other travelers are doing and do the opposite. Make it your own. That’s what’s beautiful about traveling, you can customize the experience to exactly what you love and make it an original experience that will live with you forever.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
- Camera /Drone
- My Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century shirt
- My arrowhead bolo tie
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Indonesia and compete in Water Buffalo Racing!
What is your favorite travel quote?
“The master in the art of living is the one who makes little distinction between his work and play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide if he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.”
Where are you headed next?
We’re currently in Montana and are packing up to get ready for our move to LA. In the next few weeks we’ll drive out to Los Angeles from Montana, and on the way down explore through rural Nevada. We’ll jump on the extraterrestrial highway and take in all the weird and bizarre roadside attractions. Those are always great!
Wade Holland is an adventure personality content creator and travel explorer. Originally from Montana he grew up with a thirst for adrenaline competing in adventure sports and exploring the frontier west with his dad. He traveled to Fiji to compete in TNT’s survivor reality show, 72 HOURS. After getting out of the jungle and winning the show, he began creating lifestyle and adventure video partnering with brands, travel organizations, and production houses. He is currently developing several original series and moving to Los Angeles with his life time partner, Abby Ruhman and their dog Chance. He loves the outdoors and 90’s pop culture.