Earlier this month, I attended the Travel & Adventure Show in DC. Generally, I am not a fan of big expo shows because they can be overwhelming. I am the type who must not miss anything, and looking out over the sea of booths seemed daunting. But with a free expo ticket and my pending 30/40 World Tour just over 2 months away, I was willing to go outside my comfort zone.
I wanted to focus on areas of the world relevant to our 30/40 World Tour, but they were disappointingly not well represented. However, the event did have two stages with scheduled speakers. I was able to attend the seminars of Peter Greenberg (Travel Editor for CBS News) and Samantha Brown (host on The Travel Channel).
Peter Greenberg’s presentation was entitled, “Navigating the Travel Process: Tips from the Travel Detective,” which sounded a lot more interesting than the actual talk. He started out with a lot of basic travel information — stuff that would be well known to people who have traveled. Plus, his persona was that of a condescending, crotchety old man. Perhaps that’s just his schtick.
He asserted that the best time to travel is after a political or natural disaster and to disregard State Department warnings. Hum…that doesn’t seem wise to me. If our country is evacuating citizens, perhaps it’s not a great time to travel to that location. When a person in the audience said that he had been planning to visit Egypt but cancelled based on the political instability, Mr. Crotchey pretty much berated him for changing plans.
Peter Greenberg also said that “plans” is the worst 5-letter word in travel. I have a really hard time with that. I’m a planner. I love plans! But I do appreciate the benefits of spontaneity, especially while traveling when you never know who you will meet or what you may find. That’s part of the appeal of the 30/40 World Tour; it’s a chance for discovery, which can’t happen if it’s completely scheduled. We have all our flights since we do have some specific places to be, and have a hard stop at the end of the summer for Mr. HalfFull. But otherwise our schedule is fairly open. I think planning out this type of trip would be too daunting anyway. At least for this trip, our flight schedule is it!
Samantha Brown’s seminar was called, “Lessons from the road and a life on the go.” She was the polar opposite of Peter Greenberg — completely lovable and personable (not to mention amazing legs!!!). I’ve never seen her on TV, but she had quite a large following at her seminar — all seats full, plus rows of people standing on the sides and in the back. She spoke about the emotional value of travel. According to Samantha Brown, travel is an investment in your life. She also talked about the difference between the mentality when visiting places with a lot of old history versus those that don’t have many old buildings and remnants. She said that when she is in Europe, she feels that she is studying the past surrounded by all the beautiful old architecture and museums. On the other hand, she found that in Latin America she was able to relax and be in the moment, while focusing on people instead of architecture. I thought that was an interesting observation, but I don’t think it’s location specific. I think it’s more about the mindset. I’m not particularly interested in history or museums, so that’s not what I seek out in any location. Sometimes I do see those things as a concession to others on the trip, but I prefer just to be and observe. As Samantha Brown said, it’s a “personal driven search to experience an authentic moment.” I hope to experience many this summer…
- Do you enjoy expos?
- Do you think it’s wise to travel after political or natural disasters?
- Should we visit Christchurch, NZ so soon after their earthquake?
- Are you a planner?
- Have you found travel to be an investment in your life?
- Are you drawn to history or do you prefer to observe the present?