Being an Experiential Travel Advisor, I can tell you that business is a little slow right now. So, while I have some downtime, I would like to share with you just what experiential travel is all about.
To put it simply, it is the difference between a traveler and a tourist.
It is having the curiosity and courage to leave behind the confines of resorts and venture out to discover, engage, and learn. It’s about travelers thirsting to understand different cultures, architecture, art, history, cuisine, and life.
A Traveler at Heart
I, just like my clients, like gaining wisdom from meeting and exploring with locals who know their homes better than anyone else.
My husband compares me to Gladys (remember Bewitched?) whereas I am of the mind that I am merely inquisitive.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”– Ibn Battuta
It is impossible for me NOT to travel. There is this persistent voice in the back of my head nagging me to get moving. Life is finite! My father, a career military man, moved the family every few years, and I guess it gets in the blood.
Though I can’t go anywhere right now, I am still travelling albeit through the technology of the Internet.
Over the summer, I am virtually inspecting, touring, and familiarizing myself with small Italian hotels and villas. From centuries old hotels hiding in plain sight in central Rome to quaint seaside village inns languishing on sandy beaches.
You can do this too! Grab your favourite electronic gadget and virtually transport yourself anywhere in the world you hope to find yourself in some day. It is time well spent.
Your mood will instantly change to one of either contentment or excitement. You will forget about this crazy world of ours. The earth is ever evolving – flow with it. Use your imagination!
That Infamous Bucket List
It doesn’t matter what you call your Bucket List. Wish List, To-Do List, Dream List, Life Goals, Life List – whatever. Participation in events, acts of kindness still undone, interesting people to meet or levels of success yet to be achieved are all bucket list worthy.
Just summoning up the courage to step onto see-through floors such as the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Chicago’s Ledge, or Toronto’s CN Tower, could be on your list.
When I’m reading, I keep a pen and paper handy just in case I need to jot down something that requires my further investigation. Sometimes I even email myself. A couple of apps you might want to try are Evernote or Pocket.
Can I share with you a few of my bucket list ideas? Some have already been checked off but many more are still tapping their feet impatiently in my imagination’s waiting room:
- Race the daily tide so as not to get caught on Holy Island when the sea takes over the road;
- pluck a banana from a tree in New Zealand;
- come nose to tusk with a narwhal;
- ride a camel in the Sahara Desert;
- bite into a real Montreal smoked sandwich at the famous Schwartz’s Deli;
- gaze upon the multitude of shipwrecks on the perilous Skeleton Coast and ponder what deadly fates brought them to rest on this desolate beach;
- plant my boot firmly on an Antarctic iceberg;
- rescue a dozen abused or neglected animals;
- raise an enormous beer glass at Munich’s Octoberfest;
- rent a mountain cabin for the whole family;
- cruise the Norwegian fjords stopping in tiny ports to deliver supplies;
- walk along Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway;
- party the night away at the Montreux Jazz Festival;
- feel a Tahitian breeze on my face;
- have an intimate dinner with a famous person (yup, Henry Mancini);
- sail on a gulet in Greece and cruise the Nile;
- hot air balloon over Turkey;
- float down the Zambezi River at sunset with Katherine Hepburn holding my hand;
- circumnavigate Vancouver Island on a Can-Am Spyder;
- golf where alligators stroll across the greens;
- learn to play the piano;
- learn to speak Spanish.
Did you jot anything down for further investigation?
2020 A.D. Will Pass
There is one thing you should exercise every day and that is your imagination! So, what’s on your list? Is there an infamous murderer’s grave you would like to visit?
Maybe brave some Whitewater rafting with the family; tour Russian palaces rather than castles; learn to speak French; float on the Dead Sea; golf St Andrews; work for an animal rescue for a week locally or internationally; tour a famous cemetery with the local clergy; have tea with your favourite writer at the Killer Women Festival of Crime Writing, Covent Garden; or maybe holiday at a dude ranch.
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”– William Arthur Ward
No one saw 2020 coming. But it can give us time to pause, sort out what is and is not important to us, and make a new Bucket List. Maybe it is time to take Grandma and Grandpa on a luxurious train trip to discover their roots. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”