It is my dream to travel and blog full-time. THERE I said it! Saying it makes it more real and putting it out there makes it more scary because that means that I have to actively chase that dream instead of passively allowing it to come to me. But it’s funny how things like dreams and intentions work once they are spoken because sometimes the mere intention itself creates the opportunity you never knew existed. This was my experience when I was invited to attend the Travel and Adventure Show in Long Beach California.
Heralded as the largest travel show in the nation the Travel and Adventure show was held over the weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center this past February. It is THE place where travelers congregate annually to dream, plan, and book their next vacations. Inspiration and ideas on where to travel and what to do when you get there are at would be travelers fingertips, along with the top travel experts from reputable travel companies.
Armed with my program, a map of the convention floor, and my little brother (who was acting as my personal photographer for the day) I set out to find the travel destinations that spoke to the adventurer in me.
My little brother and I both have a love affair with Asia and headed for travel destinations in that region first. Aside from the esthetically inviting booths and welcoming smiles of the vendors there were a ton of day trips and adventures to choose from in these countries. Having previously traveled to Japan I have to say (at the risk of sounding like a lazy American), the luxury of having an interpreter made it easy for me to enjoy myself. The fact that the guided tours offered, were all given by natives who not only spoke the local language but who also spoke English was one less thing I had to worry about and really allowed me to fully immerse myself in the experience. While I understand people who choose to live like locals and forgo these types of luxuries, if you’re traveling internationally for the first time or by yourself they are safe and highly recommended.
Among the private, professional tours I learned about, TripleLights was a standout. It is the easiest way for tourists to plan their trip and buy the best, professional tours anywhere in Japan. On TripleLights.com, tourists can browse over 21 locations in Japan, make a trip itinerary, buy various tours and easily get to know professional guides through their videos, blog posts and customer reviews. TripleLights has 160 professional guides, and the number of guides continues to increase each day. To add to a travelers comfort level, each guide must pass a national certification exam administered by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Travelience also has plans to expand TripleLights to Hong Kong by mid 2015.
To add to the massive list of travel activities, the convention also had dining seminars, cultural performances, and hands on activity adventures. My little brother took full advantage of the rock climbing wall with the Yosemite Experience Pavilion while I was all over the pad Thai cooking seminar put on by Ayara Thai. If you’re a regular reader of the blog than you’ve most likely seen me talk about this Thai restaurant on the blog here and here.
More than anything, the Travel and Adventure Convention allowed me to see that travel is no longer exclusive, but rather an inclusive adventure that can be created and enjoyed by anyone with the desire. Gone are the days where you have to spend a ton of money to experience cultures from around the world. With the creativity and cost-effective choices the travel industry has created, it’s not a luxury afforded only to the rich but an opportunity for all who choose to take advantage. I found that one need not spend thousands of dollars to have the life changing experiences that travel brings. You need only be open and aware of the possibilities. Attending The Travel and Adventure show you realize they are endless…
To attend a future event head over to http://travelshows.com/
Are there any destinations you’ve been dying to travel to? What has held you back from traveling in the past? I’d love to know in the comments below!