Have I mentioned lately how much I love what I do? ‘Tis the time of year when I received one of my most coveted press passes…a pass that leads to planes, trains and automobiles (river boats and luxury cruise ships) as well as every continent on earth. The New York Times Travel Show consistently satiates my wanderlust! It is a three day feast with photography of the most beautiful sites on earth, music, art, dance, cuisine and some of the best travel adventures offered at discounted prices.
Walking through the exhibit floor, I tasted bubble tea, learned how to salsa with Danza Fiesta, heard the spiritual sounds of the Himalayas from Sonam Adventures and received a sample of a new product, “LiveLeaf Traveler Protect and LiveLeaf Traveler Rescue” which provides “fast, natural relief from digestive distress”. Christmas came early! Seriously though, this company has also developed a program called “Lifedrops” dedicated to saving children’s lives by reducing the burden of diarrhea in developing third world countries and have very interesting technology behind their products. I will let you know if it is yea or nay on my upcoming trip abroad.
Some people speed date, I speed travel! Delving into intimate details, one exhibit to the next, I gathered every brochure, postcard and pen in site. This time around, the Asian continent won my heart. I want to walk (and dance) along the Great Wall of China, photograph the world’s oldest and most historically important trade routes known as The Silk Road and not just watch the wonderful PBS documentary entitled, “In the Footsteps of Marco Polo”. I want to explore Malaysia with a video camera showcasing their healthcare and be one of the many tourists now allowed into Myanmar. If exotic and far off places are calling to you but a fear to explore on your own is holding you back or if you realized that some of the most memorable moments of travel are when one goes off the beaten path with the locals then Tours by Locals.com should be your next click on Google!
Armed with the maps and collages of my dreams, I then spent the afternoon in the travel seminars taking in the sage advice of experts in the travel field. The Frommer’s revealed their top destinations for 2014. Joseph Rosendo, award-winning travel journalist and Emmy-winning director, had an eloquence that wove together philosophy, mysticism, reality and a La Joie de Vivre! Joseph captured the soul of many beautiful places around the world. Having been in India, I sat in full agreement with him when he described this land in the following way: “India is waiting to grab you with its color and humanity. It shakes you up and delivers gifts. It is a constant invitation to live with joyous , unexpected life changing experiences around every bend.” Andrew Evans , National Geographic’s Digital Nomad, detoured from the common held creation of a “bucket list” but rather suggested that, “Travel shouldn’t be a list we are working through but rather it should be a constant surprise!” “Spontaneous moments occur when we put ourselves out there and let things happen!” He spent 300 days on the road last year and had amazing stories about moments…still, adventurous, scary and beautiful. These moments are creating a life so well lived.
Mr. Rosendo began his talk with something I will use to end this piece. “If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” (Thoreau). The New York Times Travel Show establishes the path of beginnings; beginnings of dreams to travel, to gain wisdom and insights about the world and in my case, to photograph. If held close, then I think we will live a life far greater than we could have ever imagined.