Thanks to the internet, we’re living in an age where it’s almost impossible to take a road-trip without scouring Pinterest for the latest travel blogs on your destination. Of course it’s all very informative, but it’s easy to miss the real gems hidden within a city if you’re depending on Yelp reviews to guide your way.
This is where Wildsam Field Guides comes in. Through their city guides, Wildsam documents your destination through historical stories, myths, local interviews, literary memoir and hand-drawn maps. They’re a must-have for any traveler looking to find more than just the typical tourist areas within a city. We had the chance to sit down with Wildsam Founder, Taylor Bruce to learn a little more about him, his background, and the future of the brand.
What is home to you?
Taylor: For me home is Robin and Booker, my wife and one-year-old son. And Coop, my 80-pound Goldendoodle.
How does your environment impact your craft?
Taylor: As the publisher of a series of field guides, books based around stories and heritage and a deep sense of place, being on the ground in a city or region is paramount. Simply walking down the street gets the creative engines going.
How did you get your start? Who are your mentors?
Taylor: Right out of college, I took a magazine internship that opened up the world of writing and travel. I lived in that world for about 8 years before Wildsam. I don’t know if I have a true mentor (though I wish I did). The closest thing would be the writers that inspire and challenge me to do work with heart and soul. John Steinbeck and Joan Didion come to mind first.
How would you describe your personal style?
Taylor: I’m a creature of habit, so if I could wear the same jeans, grey tee, desert boots everyday I would. I’m also a collector of mementos, so I love things with a story sewn into them.
House is burning down, what is the one item you would grab?
Taylor: I have a first edition of The Old Man and the Sea. So I’d grab that. And if for some reason my family ring were off, that too. It’s the Bruce family coat of arms.
If we were in your hometown for one day, how should we spent it?
Taylor: We’d wake up and walk around the farm I grew up one. We’d grab a burger and cheese dog at Charlie Joseph’s, a 110-year-old greasy joint that I love. And we’d go see the high school football game at Callaway Stadium. Go Grangers.
Where is Wildsam headed next? What new projects can we look forward to?
Taylor: We’re excited about the new series of American Road Trip Guides. Starting with the Desert Southwest and New England, these field guides share stories that hopefully bring new life and depth to my favorite form of travel – packing up the car and hitting the backroads. We’re also looking forward to releasing a special box set of our 8 city guides this fall.