Recently I was talking to an otherwise enthusiastic world traveler who was experiencing what I’ll call, “Bucket List Fatigue.” She’d brainstormed all of her dream destinations and had been energetically checking them off: the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, the Great Pyramids of Giza. The first trips were filled with wonder and joy, but as she made her way down the list, she was starting to feel burned out. Her natural love of travel was starting to seem like a chore.
She said that she imagined that people like me—people who work in the travel industry—must feel that way, too. I admitted that the logistics of travel could get to be a drag (I’ve never met a line that I wanted to stand in). But the trips themselves never did. I then let her in on something I’ve learned over the years. “If you want to rediscover your love of travel, then stop thinking about it in terms of the destination, and start thinking about it in terms of people,” I said.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for having a bucket list if it motivates you to see the wonders of the world. And places like the Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, and the Great Pyramids of Giza are all must-sees. But when I think about my favorite travel adventures, they’re all smaller, more intimate experiences. It’s the conversations, stories, jokes, confessions, even awkward silences—it’s those human moments where I’ve connected with a person I never would have otherwise met. Read the rest of this entry »