This past Sunday I attended the 10th Annual Chicago and Travel Adventure Show, the largest travel show in the Midwest. Over the weekend over 200 travel experts, tour operators, tourism officials and travel companies gathered to share knowledge and inspire us all to book our next vacation and discover our "dream trip". As a travel blogger I'm embarrassed to admit I knew nothing about this expo until the wonderful Beth Santos of Go Girl Travel Network organized a meetup. I would have missed out on all the expert speakers, cultural cuisine, travel deals, networking and of course all the FREE GIVEAWAYS!
Once I looked at the lineup of speakers which included experts Rick Steves and Pauline Frommer, one name had me rushing to the convention center,Samantha Brown, world traveler and everyone's favorite travel TV host! Long before I started blogging I loved watching the Travel Channel and following her adventures to exotic destinations, historic European cities and local destinations. Having a career that included traveling over 200 days a year, earned her the title of "The girl with the best job in the world" Seriously!
This is why her face is on my vision board:)
|Samantha Brown in Malaysia at a village of the Orang Asli (www.samantha-brown.com)|
Now a mother to beautiful one year old twins, Samantha has slowed down from her heavy travel schedule and is now host of Travel Channels "The Trip: 2014", travel accessory entrepreneur and creator of her own travel blog www.samantha-brown.com.
At the expo Samantha spoke at length about having more meaningful and authentic travel experiences. She pointed out that we simply just don't travel enough as a culture. On average Americans leave two full vacation days on the table! As I love to do with my own blog, she shared from her past experiences and knowledge to inspire and encourage us all to travel more authentically.
Check out her 5 tips on how to travel better:
1. Get out of the past, put yourself in the middle of the present. Don't just focus on history and culture of European cities and ancient ruins. Destinations in places such as Latin America offer present day experiences and culture that are enjoyable and meaningful.
2. Go for a walk - "Put the map away. Don't refer to an app." - Journey off the beaten path, go to where the people live and be part of everyday life.
3. Create a ritual - Don't rush through a trip and become a victim to the time bully. "Find something to do every single day at the same time." Go to a cafe, park bench to read the paper or have a glass of wine at the local bar. Allows you to enjoy the local scene and zone out!
4. Embrace the mundane - Great travel moments are never in "must sees" but in the mundane. Everyday life in another part of the world is just extraordinary. Connect with the culture.
5. Talk to the locals - There are many ways to get to know the culture, don't be fearful of not being able to fully communicate. Learn how to say hello, please and thank you in that countries language. Be Polite
*Bonus Tip: Take part in the local perspective. - "I don't believe The importance of travel is measured in the amount of miles traveled, you can have meaningful life changing experience one or two hours from your home on day trips"
Search out for the "up and coming" districts and neighborhoods experiencing a resurgence. Don't just rely on the internet, get social and talk to people. Ask local immigrants where they go to get their country's food and discover new ethnic communities that make up the fabric of the United States.
"Travel marks a fresh start, a new beginning and we are all on a journey to understand ourselves and be better than we thought and nothing gives us that opportunity like travel"
~ Samantha Brown
More travel tips from Samantha Brown's You Tube Channel!