When Todd Julian Has Grown a Beard …

… you know he’s been on another adventure

Published in 2018 Southwest Super Lawyers — May 2018

Whenever I travel, I try to combine some aspect of history, culture and adventure. 

There was a time when I would do anything; I didn’t have a family—a wife or kids, anyway. When I ran with the bulls, a guy was killed the year before. In Nepal, 18 were killed in an avalanche on the same day I was hiking out in the snow. I was in Egypt just six months after the Arab Spring. 

I was pretty lucky to be able to travel with my family in high school. I spent a summer in Spain, and that really introduced me to exploring new cultures and taking greater risks.

In college, my dad died, and my mom became a travel agent. Over Christmas break we would travel someplace warm—like Rio or the Cayman Islands. When I graduated law school, I had to take the bar exam. So I went through Europe for a month, and then I got my results.

I started work as an associate at my firm, and for a while I thought, “I don’t have the money to travel, and I can’t take time off of work because I’m trying to impress the bosses.” Then I got tempted by one of my fraternity brothers; he was going to run with the bulls in Pamplona in 1996, and I said, “Sign me up.” When I got back to work, people were still doing their jobs and didn’t realize I was gone.

When I realized that I could take more than five days off in a row without getting fired—they often don’t realize I’ve been gone until I show up at a partners meeting with a beard—the next trip I took was to Zimbabwe for a photo safari. It was a camping trip, and I spent three days canoeing on the Zambezi River, seeing hippos and crocodiles. There were people at work who asked me how I could afford to go to Africa for three weeks, and I said, “It’s costing me less to go to Africa than for you to take your kids to San Diego for a week.”

The next big one I bit off was Nepal in 1999. I spent a month trekking in the Khumbu region, which is basically the trail that goes to Mount Everest’s base camp. I didn’t go all the way up, but I scaled a couple of 18,000-foot peaks. Nepal is one of the most enriching countries I’ve ever visited: The natural beauty is stunning, and the people are so genuine and kind and spiritual. 

In 2006, I went to Bali and, from there, to Borneo. I arranged to have a guide take me in a motorized canoe 200 miles upriver to the Dayak villages. They’re the old tribal ancestors, and a generation ago they were headhunters. It was just me and this other guy, and it took us three days. I’m reminded a lot of Apocalypse Now: We went deeper and deeper into the jungle. It was really bizarre to be the only white person there, and to think that a generation ago my head might have been on a stick. 

My bucket list is about the size of a swimming pool. I have a bunch of different places I still want to go. I got married recently, so I’ve dialed it back a bit. I’m coming full circle to do the other things with the family. It’s a new adventure.

Other Featured Articles

Dustin Snipes

The Calm Man in the Arena

For Ron Makarem, it’s about righting wrongs while enjoying the journey

Featuring Ronald W. Makarem

Jeff Cravotta

The Reconstruction of David Rudolf

The verdict in the Michael Peterson case shook his very foundation. Now, thanks to Netflix, …

Featuring David S. Rudolf

Don Ipock

The New Kid on the Block

From the Philippines to LA to St. Louis to KC, and now into new digs in …

Featuring Jose M. Bautista

See More Articles Featuring Lawyers »

Page Generated: 0.15133619308472 sec