I Am Sam Viola
FEB 23, 1992
I’m the best in the world at planning a kickass trip.
I’ve always believed that the world isn’t meant to be explored through a screen. It’s meant to be experienced with your whole self. Breathed in through your lungs, seen with your eyes, and felt with your hands and feet. Dopamine and adrenaline from a real-life experience will always dwarf the bursts you get from your phone or from a picture.
And yet I’ve spent the duration of the pandemic doing just that. Reminiscing on thoughts of travel – beaches, mountains, oceans; anything but the walls of my apartment. After a year spent in quarantine, a year in which we all saw how much we took our freedom of movement for granted, aren’t you tired of living life through photos?
I. How can I help break down barriers for people through travel?
II. In what ways has travel changed my life that can inspire others to follow suit?
III. How can I showcase my travel stories to ignite the inner desires of others?
Everyone wants to travel. But few know how to do it right.
You don’t represent yourself in court, you don’t repair your own car, you don’t do your own taxes.
Why should travel be any different?
My innate passion for travel started as a youngster. Growing up, my family liked to road-trip. A LOT. Every year between 2002-2009, we did just that (and for better or for worse, we were the family in matching t-shirts). Across 8 two-week trips and by the time I was 18, I saw all 48 continental states across the US – don’t worry, we are still plotting to hit Alaska and Hawaii! The idea was always to map out routes that would allow us to maximize our time. While other suburban families were summering in the Hamptons, we were driving across the country and camping in national parks along the way. To put it simply, we chose adventure over comfort.
During my time abroad, I have discovered how to travel wisely, intentionally, and meaningfully. I have learned how to appreciate the connections, moments, and energy I find along the way. When I travel I am in what I call full discovery mode. Of the hundreds of places I’ve been, the coolest thing I’ve discovered is myself.
When you plan a trip with me, you discover a part of yourself you didn’t know before.
CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
To travel is to learn
and to learn is to live.
Above is me on the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile walk across Northern Spain. I went on this journey by myself and here I am on day 7 of 25. I was in the middle of nowhere with solely my backpack.
To the untrained eye, I was alone, I was lost, and I had nothing. When prompted to think about one of the happiest memories of my life though, this is the exact moment that first came to mind. At this moment, I was in the middle of appreciating taking the leap to travel and I was lost in thoughts of gratitude and glee.
By intentionally pulling myself miles and miles out of my comfort zone, I stumbled upon an experience of a lifetime – and potentially the happiest moment of my life! When you plan a trip with me, you will find joy beyond your comfort zone.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think they’re underestimating. Sure, this is a gorgeous sunset, but the story behind the photo is much more beautiful.
From this picture alone, you can’t piece together that I’m in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. You can’t touch the chair I’m sitting on that I made with my bare hands. You can’t hear the hooting and hollering of howler monkeys in the trees above me. You can’t smell the ocean breeze coming off the Pacific. You can’t taste the coconut I‘m sipping out of in my left hand. After a hard day of slicing down brush with a machete to make a hose line for a sustainable garden, I took a load off and raised my eyes to the horizon. Yeah, talk about a view.
While this picture is world-class, it will never evoke the emotion of a first-hand story. Would you rather say you had taken this picture or would you rather have experienced the moment I just shared with you? In a world full of filtered photos, wouldn’t you rather experience something real? When you plan a trip with me, you will have an amazing story to tell.
I’ve worked diligently over the last two years to transform all of my travel experiences, thoughts, and emotions into a vehicle to help others reap the benefits travel has given me.
I have been working towards finding a way to make travel accessible to people and to inspire them to get out of their comfort zone.
The last 15 months have been spent housebound. We have all been waiting for the world to open back up. We’ve been missing the green lights that allowed us to travel freely in the past.
I need to meet people hungry for new experiences. I need to meet people who are tired of living their life through the lens of a hamster wheel. I need to meet people who are willing to sacrifice comfort for growth. They need to meet me because I can make the trip they’ve dreamed about a reality.
Moulding Uproute Travel into a full-time career to help people see the world.
I’m a trusted travel expert who changes the way you look at adventure.