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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More than Just the Destination

In the line of work we are in, the most emphasized part of any itinerary is the destination. This is partly just what makes sense, you have to decide where you’re going, before we can help you get there – but at the same time, this very way of doing things can sometimes be antithetical to the journey itself.

Part of the reason that I love my job so much is because of the travel, but if travel was my only motivating factor, I would definitely be out traveling more and in the office less. The main thing that has truly let me know that this is the job for me has been getting to know all of our amazing clients. We get to talk with some of the most interesting people, and while a lot of what I talk about is where they are going – sometimes I get lucky enough to learn about why they want to get there. That’s the good stuff.

I’m still new to this job (relatively, as my father has been at it for about 30 years now) but each of our clients, and their willingness to share why they are traveling, amazes me. The ones that make this job worth doing know that their trip doesn’t begin the first day on the trek, when they arrive in country or even when they get on the plane – it all starts with the dream to go. Earlier this year I read an article in the Health section of the New York Times called How Vacations Affect Your Happiness, it focused on the impact that planning and anticipation had on ones overall enjoyment of a trip. While I don’t totally agree that planning and excitement alone are enough, I fully agree with the idea that preparing to yourself for the trip can make or break the entire experience.

The destinations don’t change, and there are plenty of pictures of Mt. Everest, Torres del Paine, the Taj Mahal and everywhere else in the world that people want to go; however, there are no words to describe the trek, the climb, the aroma, the feeling or the journey it takes to get there. Born from desire, the journey needs to be treasured. Reading up, getting fit (both physically and mentally) and getting ready to disconnect from home are all apart of getting “there”. I think they’re some of the best parts.

There are few things that a summit can teach us, but we can all learn so much about our world and ourselves if we just look at how we got there. I once heard that, “the best journeys answer questions you didn’t even think to ask.” We all get a lot out of going, seeing and doing – but I think we could get even more of out of it all if we were to focus a bit more on how we got there, and value the journey in and of its self.

~Lisa K. Conlon
Above the Clouds

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