I’m taking some time off around the holidays, staying close to home, though I have spent a lot of time thinking about travel. Perhaps that is because I spent much of the last three months on the road, or perhaps because we have had a lot of house guests, or maybe because of all the tourists I see in DC these days (DC is an underrated Christmas town, by the way, the attached photo was taken at the Botanical Gardens near the Capitol).
Maybe it is because most of the Christmas movies I’ve watched these past several days include some component of travel (did you know that “Love Actually,” a fun movie with a Christmas theme, begins and ends at the airport?!?! Like so many other great experiences!).
Anyway, it seems like people have a yearning to travel. They like the freedom of it, the people they see and meet, the experiences they have. Mark Twain once said that travel is “fatal to prejudice.” I think (and hope) he has a point!
This led me to think of the places I visited this past year. If you are reading this it means you probably either like to travel or make your living in the industry, or both, so I’d guess your list looks much like mine. I may miss a place or two, but in 2011 I traveled to:
For vacation: Iceland.
To visit family and friends: Champaign, IL; Toms River, NJ; Sayreville, NJ (my hometown and the hometown of Jon Bon Jovi and Dule Hill); Cincinnati, OH; Tucson, AZ; Cape Cod, MA; Columbus, OH
For work (you will see I need better work-life balance!):
Overseas destinations: Lisbon, Portugal; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Marrakech, Morocco; London, UK and Abu Dhabi, UAE
In Canada: Montreal and Ottawa (note to self: go to Canada more often in 2012, use that NEXUS card!)
In the US: Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Phoenix, Tucson, Dallas, San Antonio, Kansas City, St. Louis, Louisville, Lexington (KY), Boston, Denver, New York, Chicago, Portland (OR), Memphis, Nashville, Savannah. This doesn’t count places I drove through or airports I may have used to get somewhere else.
There were other places I went to along the way that don’t fit neatly into those categories, for example I went to Marion, OH driving home from a family visit and to Abilene, KS and North Bend, OH while in those areas for work, to visit presidential grave sites (Harding, Eisenhower and William Henry Harrison respectively). I went to Charlottesville, VA to go to a football game and visit the University of Virginia. While traveling to the cities listed above in the various categories I did visit ballparks and dead presidents. An especially moving experience was to visit the Civil Rights Museum at the old Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Martin Luther King was killed. And, yes, on that same trip we did go to Graceland!
No one loves a quiet day at home more than me, I’m having one right now! I always have more than enough to read and it is almost always either baseball or football season so there is almost always something to watch. But nothing beats getting out and seeing new places. And I find that when visiting old ones, it is like one of those movies where you get more and more of the scenes each time you watch them.
I’ve already booked trips in the first three months of the year to New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Hong Kong and Geneva (Switzerland), with much more to come, so 2012 will be at least as busy. While business travel is not terribly glamorous, contrary to popular wisdom, I am lucky to experience so many places. And even luckier to work in an industry that makes so much travel, and prejudice eradication, possible.
Happy New Year!