“Travel opens my eyes to how the rest of the world works.”
Travis Redden has what one might call a serious case of wanderlust. The NAP Project Manager and his wife have a pact to plan two trips a year to different destinations around the globe. “We have this philosophy that you never know when your time’s up, so you need to start working on the bucket list,” he says. “Go places, see new things, meet new people, experience the world.”
Five years into the plan, Travis and his wife have managed to work their way around the Caribbean and Mexico, as well as Canada and New Zealand more than once. They’re headed to Zurich later this year and have designs on the rest of Europe as well. Wherever they end up, they prefer the “stay like a local” experience: less sightseeing, more just being. “We go and sort of disappear into the crowd and become one with the country,” Redden says. “We like to really relax and pretend like we live there.”
These excursions aren’t just downtime however. Travis’ adventures allow him to bring back a lot more than just photos to NAP’s Dallas office. “When I travel to these places I also look at what the real estate is like there, what land costs, and see how people live. I’m often checking out whether they buy single family homes or something else,” Travis explains. From his observations, he feels that the US tends to be walking a few steps behind the rest of the world, and is just now leaning toward a desire for density, more multifamily buildings and communal living. “Consolidated cities,” he calls the trend. “Environments for people to live in close quarters and enjoy walkability.” It’s a style of living that has been the norm for much longer elsewhere in the world. And Travis feels like we can—and should—look beyond our borders for insight.
Consider the modern architecture of newly built properties in New Zealand, for example as a potential benchmark for building smarter, more efficient, cost-effective homes while still providing a higher-end feeling product that people love. “In the US, labor costs are going up. Material costs are going up. And because there’s all this work to be done, it hasn’t brought in more competition, and therefore prices haven’t fallen,” Travis explains. “If we simplified our projects, we could save money and attract residents to the unique high-end design. Minimalism is the answer to rising construction costs, limited labor, and a world of diminishing resources. Less is more, as they say.”
Redden hopes to use his globally inspired viewpoint to modernize the multifamily offerings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he lives. “We’re putting more effort into creating a product that is unique and responds to the way people live. At NAP, we like to create places that are unlike any others and stand above the rest. And this is a way we can do that.”
“The bottom line is, I bring a lot of perspective back from these places I go. And it’s great to be able to share that and start to put it all into practice at NAP.”