Sunday, August 1, 2010

Why I Travel to the World's Haute Spots

Why I do it? Travel writing takes me beyond my comfort zone and into parts of the world that many people only dream about. I hear it all the time—I wish that I were in your shoes… traveling to exotic destinations, staying in 5-star hotels and resorts and dining at some of the best restaurants in Paris, Acapulco, Vancouver or wherever my travels take me. An added plus, I write about spas and luxury travel so I also experience decadent spa treatments as part of my story research giving birth to the “glamorous life.” But for me, there’s nothing glamorous about it.

I’m a story teller and I love to write. Travel is just one subject that I write about. I’m also a speech writer and communications strategist. But for me, travel is a lifestyle. It’s part of who I am. I’m very clear about what I want my life to look and feel like… so I set it up to include traveling to the world’s most beautiful places (even if the destination is ugly to others) and meeting people who add perspective and provoke thought about the world that we all live in.

My travels have helped me appreciate life in its many forms… like the solo trips that I take to the Bahamas or other parts of the Caribbean where I spend my days capturing life with my camera. No matter where I am, I always find something unique or different about that place and its people that I take home with me. I remember one summer in Paris when I took a photography class with people from all parts of the world.

On a recent trip to England, I learned a little bit about the people of Manchester and their support of President Lincoln’s efforts to abolish slavery. Who knew that in a far away land, there were people who (also had a vested interest in the cotton industry) felt that slavery was wrong and spoke out against it no matter the cost? The moment that I heard that… I felt a connection to the people of Manchester, particularly since I’m a southern girl.

As a little girl, travel for me was that quarterly road trip to grandma’s house in the country. But it shaped my curiosity about the world beyond my front door. Today, travel is a way of life… giving birth to inspiration, creativity, and passion! I just wish that every little boy or girl that I pass by on the way to grandma’s house gets to experience a life without limits and appreciation for other cultures. 

As I unpack my bags and plan for my next trip, I’ve created yet another memory of a place beyond my hometown. But more importantly, I’ve gotten to experience something that holds great value… and can’t be bought at Neiman’s.

What are you passionate about?