Name: Barrett Caldwell
Location: Tough to say where I’m based….I’m roaming about the world on a mission to discover people, culture, and places ensuring that life stays fun and full of surprises. I’m from Charleston, South Carolina and have most recently called Nashville, Tennessee home before setting off around the world.
Favorite Waboba product:
Ohh, what’s not to love about the variety of products?! As I’m always on the go in and out of airports, train stations, border checkpoints, and even ferry crossings---I’d have to say the “Dark Side of the Moon” balls because I keep several on me to occupy the time during inevitable delays which come with travel and I am always looking for a group of kids to gift a Moon Ball to---so the Moon Balls are always at the ready!
How did you first discover Waboba:
My two nephews in Charleston, Banner and Anson, wanted to play catch one day in their backyard when I was home for a brief stopover between Asia and Europe. I told them we’d need to be careful tossing a baseball and they joyfully told me we didn’t need to be careful with a Moon Ball because it would go sky high and bounced enough so it wouldn’t hurt if it hit you, hah.
Favorite Waboba playground / place to play:
The world is my playground! I travel extensively and Waboba is always with me. That’s the truth. In my most recent jaunt across Europe, I played along the Camino de Santiago hiking path between Portugal/Spain over 10 days with a Moon Ball as I walked. Further along my trip, I played along the English Coast, French train stations, an airport in Morocco, and a Ferry in Austria before gifting my Wadoba products to kids in Istanbul and the country of Georgia as I departed back for America!
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
My childhood in Charleston, South Carolina was all things outdoors and sports! I grew up building forts with friends, fishing in the neighborhood, and sprinting out the house to sports practice. We had one rule---be home before the street lights came on!
A favorite memory was the collective fun we had as kids who set out to make our own adventures, explore the world around us, and seek to find friendships with all the kids we crossed paths with. It’s a lost art these days in a world of connectivity, screentime, and fear of the unknown.
How many countries have you traveled to?
I’ve roamed around the world in 70 countries and I’m addicted in every sense of the word to making friends, trying any food on the planet, and deep-diving into cultures that are nothing like the own bubble I comfortably grew up in.
Why do you pack a Waboba when you travel?
I pack Waboba as a tool to starting conversations. Who doesn’t love tossing a ball around? I’m always carrying multiple products in my bag as a means of meeting locals. The FUN of playing transcends language barriers and it is instant smiles and connection when you can engage someone with an activity you can share. I carry extra Waboba products with me on each and every journey as a source of gifting people with the FUN that comes with making new connections and sharing JOY with those I meet in my travels!
What inspired you to travel so much?
I didn’t grow up traveling. I joined the U.S. Coast Guard upon finishing college at Clemson. My call to serve as a Military Officer was a gateway to seeing new destinations and parts of the USA I hadn’t seen before. I ultimately landed a role in which I led training teams across the globe to foster diplomatic relationships on five continents and this sparked the love of travel that has now become my passion.
Which country has your favorite food?
Oh wow! So tough. Is it the Mango Sticky Rice of Thailand or the Bunny Chow of South Africa? What compares to Empanadas in Argentina or Turon in the Philippines? Who can pass on the crêpes of France or the Pintxos of northern Spain? Why must one choose when life is meant to be a journey of discovery and food is my perfect excuse to keep seeing more of the world.
Where's the coolest place you’ve bounced a Moon Ball?
The coolest place or the coldest place? I’d say nothing rivals my Moon Ball journey to the white continent of Antarctica and while the penguins were confused and it was verified that a Moon Ball doesn’t bounce on snow. A Moon Ball was just what we needed for entertainment with days spent onboard a ship crossing the perilous Drake Passage between Argentina and the bottom of the world!
What is one destination that’s still on your bucket list?
I have so much more culture to experience and so many more people to meet around the world! My routine is simply being on a “break between trips” if I’m not traveling and with that, I’m always plotting another adventure. If picking ONE destination that is yet to be discovered…hmmm, I’ve found myself eyeing airfare and reading up on the Azores, a collection of islands nearly 1000 miles west of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean!
If you could play Waboba with one famous traveler/explorer/adventurer, dead or alive, who would it be??
I’d bounce Waboba around the Holy Land with Jesus! I’d be a witness to His ministry, I’d travel across the Middle East as He did, and we’d surely have adventures in every sense of the word when it came to sharing the Good News!
How have you shared the Waboba lifestyle with the world?
I have taken the Waboba lifestyle globally! I have shared encounters on my social media and the intention I make in gifting out Waboba products to kids I meet in countries around the world. Some of my best memories as a kid was time spent playing catch with my Dad and brother. Simply slowing down to notice people, strike up a conversation, and play a Moon Ball game to foster connection is what Waboba looks like for me as I travel. I wouldn’t of been able to share near as many stories with cultures and people if it weren’t the fun factor that was initiated playing with Waboba around the world.
What has been your favorite Waboba interaction whilst traveling about?
I have a particular memory of playing catch with some kids in Fez, Morocco. They were only used to playing football (soccer) so the concept of using your hands to catch a Moon Ball was a whole new experience and with that came laughs for all seven of the kids who had gathered around. We played for over an hour as a crowd from the Medina (neighborhood) gathered around to watch the fun unfold. The kids ultimately bounced the Moon Ball so high it landed on a nearby roof---only to have myself and one of the kids climb the house to find the Moon Ball and two goats! The kids kept the fun going long after I was gone and having left them with two Moon Balls that I hope are still bouncing around Fez today!
Lastly, where in the world are you off to next?!
I head out to Southern Spain in 2 weeks!