Events like the Travel and Adventure Expo this past weekend are both fun for the kids and educational for me. 2016’s show had definite highlights but also seemed less attended than previous years. In addition to the Deal Kids zooming around on Segways and burning off energy on the rock wall I took away 5 bullet points to share with you:
- BYOE (Be Your Own Expert): With one huge exception I was underwhelmed by the speakers. It just felt like I was hearing the same inane advice I read on blogs everyday. Any number of the FT4RL speakers (or most of my friends) would have blown them away.
- Iran REALLY wants you to visit: Everywhere I looked another Iranian tour operator wanted to chat with me about the splendor of Iran. Glad to see our Persian neighbors opening their doors but it felt a bit premature, especially considering how…
- Everybody LOVES Italy: Every speaker featured Italy prominently in their talk. My guess is that none had traveled to Italy as a single woman! I loved a lot about Italy during my two weeks there but I’d hope for a bit more variety at a travel show. And in all of the Italy talk, no one mentioned Matera– the spot I gush about given the chance.
- I wanna be Phil Keoghan when I grow up. Hands down Phil’s talk was the highlight of the show. Not only were his Amazing Race stories and behind the scenes photos hilarious, his philosophy of NOW (no opportunity wasted) is both simple and profound. I’m adopting it NOW.
- The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The thing I learned the most about at the Travel Show was actually Deal Girl. She’s been watching The Amazing Race since she was in utero and was DYING to meet Phil. To her great disappointment she was next in line to ask a question during the Q&A and missed her chance. We waited over an hour and upon reaching the front of the line heard “Phil’s gotta go, so he’s going to walk by and you can get a 5 second photo”. 9 year old Deal Girl was NOT going to take no for an answer! Phil had walked around the front of the table to leave and she marched up to him for an autograph while asking her first question (about how they recruit the local challenge judges and participants). He graciously stopped to answer it (basically they have an advance team) but she didn’t stop there. She then asked him about how far in advance the show is filmed to figure out if we were in Mexico City at the same time. (They were in Mexico Nov. 20 for a Feb. air date). She then kept chatting with him until he exclaimed “You need to be in PR!“
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