At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the last year, we’ve been introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.
Barrett Caldwell landed at Ker & Downey after roaming the world with purpose for the last 4 years. As a diplomatic nomad of sorts, Barrett served as an Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and led teams on international training missions to developing nations while fostering partnerships between foreign allies and U.S. Embassies abroad. As an International Team Leader, he spearheaded efforts to build cross-cultural ties and expand the United States presence overseas.
Upon finishing this assignment and 6 years of service, Barrett resigned his commission as a Lieutenant and began backpacking around the world using social media and freelance writing as a conduit to foster friendships, experiences, and adventures across the globe. His expanding social media presence and penchant for popping up in different locations around the globe almost overnight caught the eye of Ker & Downey and his experiential style of traveling incorporated its way into a Brand Ambassador role with the company. He now serves as Regional Sales Manager for the American South. His new role will have him engaging our travel partners, presenting the unique experiences of the Ker & Downey brand to clients, and leading trips abroad.
Favorite place you’ve traveled: Impossible! Travel has become the pursuit of experiences, people, and cultures for me. Having set foot in 50 countries, I’ve long stopped looking for favorites and instead focused on the people and cultural vibrancy that make a destination unique. I’ll set a quest for the best street foods in Asia, the most remote beaches in the Caribbean, or the undiscovered romance of Europe vice labeling a favorite destination. Travel is a lifelong pursuit and journey to discover instead of define!
What is the best thing about traveling: Settling into a window seat, conversing with the passenger next to me, immersing myself in music & travel magazines at 35,000 feet, AND then…waking up in an entirely different setting with new people, new places, and an opportunity to explore.
Travel accessory you can’t live without? iPhone….music, currency conversions, translator, trip reservations, photos, a camera, social media outlets for storytelling, and FaceTime!
Favorite plane ride activity: Listening to the band Explosions in the Sky while cashing in on a First Class upgrade complete with lay-flat seats, an ice cream sundae and a drink!
Top of my travel bucket list: A Ker & Downey luxury safari followed by a trip through Oceania.
Two weeks + and unlimited budget, where are you going: The hideaways of Eastern Europe!
Beach or mountains: New Zealand
Your Most “Far Flung” Passport Stamps: Togo, Nigeria, Rep of the Congo, Suriname, Sri Lanka
How do you take your coffee? Never. You should see my face when I try coffee. It’s happened no more than 5 times & it’s a kick for those who’ve witnessed it. Coffee is a staple in the military and as a Coast Guard Officer for six years, I was constantly hassled for never coming around to coffee OR tea.
If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Caution! Extreme Extrovert.
My theme song is: Sitting tops on my “Most Played” list in iTunes is my all-time favorite travel jam. It’s in my ears on the start of every trip at takeoff: “Home” by Explosions In The Sky, my all-time favorite band out of Austin, Texas. Try them out next time you’re taking off, driving at night, falling asleep, studying, relaxing, wanting to think deep about life, etc….shoot me an email and tell me what you think. Really!
Any pets? Nope…limits my ability to roam.
If I were a super hero, I would be: Carmen San Diego…well, CarMAN San Diego.
Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Visit Croatia before my Honeymoon. Sorry future wife.
Two things I can’t live without are: My faith in the Lord and the frequent travel adventures with my group of guy friends.
It’s Sunday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: At church
One thing I love that everyone else dislikes is: Having a local pick the wildest/most crazy/most unthinkable item off a menu in a foreign country!
The first thing I do when I wake up is: Read Morning Marni emails and check what’s trending across the globe.
One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I wear a size 16 shoe and I’ve never met someone in person with bigger hands than me!
The last concert I went to was: Country Music Awards Festival (CMA’s) in Nashville, TN: Darius Rucker, Eric Church, and Keith Urban together at LP Field from Row 3!
My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: Curious George
If I could instantly learn a new language, I would learn: French…I took classes for five years & it frustrates me so much that I lost it!
Guilty TV pleasure: I honestly don’t watch any TV at all unless it’s football season. (Never invite me to pop culture trivia nights!)
On my nightstand: “Scary Close” by Donald Miller and the latest issues of AFAR Magazine and Popular Science Magazine.
What’s inspiring you lately? I’m inspired by stories of millennials making a difference in their fields. Some are shining with medical breakthroughs. Others are transforming the sharing economy of AirBnB, Lyft, and EatWith. I applaud those taking great strides to better developing nations through humanitarian initiatives & goodwill. It’s a mindset that this generation is nurturing via the social connectivity of online networks and peer groups—an expression and desire to make the world healthier, more efficient, and better understood across cultures. I’m all about it! Primarily, I draw inspiration from TED Talks and watch them while on the move.
Life mantra in four words: Go. Do. Explore. Nonstop.
Check back next week to learn more about another Ker & Downey team member! Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.