Monday, March 12, 2012

The Art of Travel: Part 2 - Selecting a Destination

Photo Taken at Hotel Teatro - Denver, Co
The Art of Travel: Part 2 - Selecting a Destination

I recently finished reading James Clavell's enchanting novel, Shogun. The epic tale is set in Japan in 1600, and weaves together the lives of multiple characters who are inextricably linked through: deceit, loyalty, treachery, opportunity, sadness and love. I could go on, but suffice to say, this eleven hundred plus page novel held me captive for several days. The novel itself was marvelously written and heavily researched. I won't give away any of the plots (to encourage you to read it yourself), but I will say that if you are reader who likes to be captivated by descriptive imagery, and an involved storyline - this novel is for you.

Some of you are probably wondering, "What does this novel have to do with selecting a travel destination?" Well - everything. It is oftentimes through conversations and simple reading that our curiosity is piqued. While I was reading Shogun I kept thinking in my head, "I have to go to Japan." That is not to say that I've never thought about visiting Japan, but it was intensified by reading the novel.

Selecting a destination sounds simple, but oftentimes multiple factors have to be determined, ie, budget, dates/time of travel, and if traveling with others, you must consider their input in the selection process. Sometimes you just don't know where you want to go, but you may have certain criteria, such as: relaxation, adventure, sailing, spas, shopping, etc. All of these criteria are crucial in narrowing down your final destination. When I am working with clients, some of them know exactly where they want to go, but a few don't have a clue; they just know they want to get away!

When you seriously start thinking about selecting a destination, along with the above-mentioned items, also consider some of the following:
  • Your interest (as well as any traveling companions interests).
  • Time of year. Some places are better (or worse) during certain times of year, so be certain that you consider that in your selection process. Also, some places are more expensive during some times of the year, but are still quite lovely at low season or shoulder season.
  • What do you want to do while you are there?
  • Health constraints. Sometimes it's simply not wise to attempt travel to certain places if you are not in reasonable health. Example - Peru is a lovely place to visit, but it requires some semblance of good health in order to traverse the various ruins, and mountainous terrain.
  • Food can be another important aspect. If you or someone you are traveling with has certain food allergies, or certain foods that can not be eaten (vegetarians, etc), it's best to be aware and select your travel destinations accordingly. That's not to say that anybody can't travel anywhere they would like, but if they won't be able to find foods that they like or can eat, that may put a damper on their trip. Some people are more adventurous when it comes to eating unfamiliar foods, so for those less adventurous folks, it's best to be prepared.
  • What do you want to get out of your travel? Some people travel for relaxation and to "get away." Others travel to explore unfamiliar places, and to gain further knowledge into other people and cultures. Some travel to find their roots. And a lot of people travel for pure adventures sake; to get their hearts pumping by pursuing death defying feats!
 *Photo taken by That Chick Té

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