Almost every US state and most foreign countries have adopted a logo or slogan as part of their marketing strategy to entice prospective visitors to come to their locale. You maybe familiar with catchphrases such as “Virginia is for Lovers” for the state of Virginia, “Live Free or Die” for the state of New Hampshire, and “The Last Frontier” for Alaska just to mention a few. I am not aware of a survey that quantifies how many tourist actually visit a country or state based on the logo or slogan they may have seen or heard. Even though a slogan may be recognizable, I firmly believe that it is not what draws tourist to a particular place. It is not even given consideration when planning itineraries. In fact, many may not even know of the country’s tourism campaign until they arrive at their destination.
On some of my trips they have been a few logos and slogans that have caught my attention, mostly because they resonated with me in an appealing way. Either the slogan captures the essence of what their country is all about in just a few words, and I get it, or the graphic is clear, effective and accomplishes its task in conveying the intended message.
If you plan to visit the World Travel Market in London on November 6 – 8, you certainly will get to see many logos and slogans, as well as, meet country representatives and possibly receive giveaways that will bare their subtle messages of enticements. It is estimated that 51,000 travel professionals will attend this year to promote their country’s tourism vision. Over 5000 exhibit booths will display and showcase all things travel related. Other regions worth visiting for the three day event that brings together the travel industry and trade networks are: Africa, Arabia Travel Market, Asia, and Latin American.
Freelance travel blogging for companies or just blogging about my personal travels is something I’ve always dreamed about. One day I went to my former manager for advice on becoming a blogger. I thought I had potential and maybe a little talent too 😀. So, I got my courage up and went to his office. I knew I was placing myself in a vulnerable position as I outlined my personal interests and reasons why I wanted to become a blogger.
My boss was an accomplished writer and communicator. His work was respected and his opinion valued. The meeting was scheduled on his calendar for more than a week. As the date drew nearer, my anticipation rose to levels of excitement that I could barely contain myself. I sooooooo looked forward to that meeting. I thought for sure I would get some rock solid guidance and a firm nod of approval. After all, we both worked in the communications field.
His secretary offered me a seat in his conference room. We exchanged pleasantries until I felt it was time to introduce the main reason for my being there, which in my opinion, was to seek his expert counsel. In retrospect, it took some courage for me to express to him my interest in pursuing a different type of communication.
What if he didn’t think it was a good idea. What if he fired me on the spot. I had not considered these scenarios and I’m glad I didn’t. Ignorance is truly bliss. I had placed complete faith and trust that my manager would be encouraging, would catch my vision, would possibly be my mentor or recommend one, and would give a tip or two on how to get started as a blogger. Instead, what he said to me caused my excitement to sink like lead in a hot air balloon.
“Blogging has become nothing but a lot of noise, he said. It is hard to hear anything worthwhile with so much noise.” I’m sure much more reasons were given that I can’t recall now, but after those fateful words I began to have second thoughts. Usually, I am not easily dissuaded. However, I was thrown into a capability funk which I could not shake for a few months. I was completely disappointed to say the least. You see, in actuality, I was questioning my skills and talent as a writer and needed some validation. Bad mistake. Since he was a seasoned communicator, and I believed, a visionary, I did not anticipate such lousy advice coming from him.
Suffice it to say, I have gotten over that inept counsel and have since become a blogger, a travel blogger at that, and loving it. Yes, my dream was deferred because of second guessing myself after that meeting. I do not share his views on equating blogging to noise, but he is entitled to his opinion. My blog is a way for me to express myself, share my opinion, and offer my expertise as an itinerary planner. Therefore, just so you know, I’m going to be making a whole lot of noise using my blogger’s voice.
Here are a few lessons learned from this experience:
1). Be careful whom you share your dreams and aspirations with, they may turn out to be nothing but dream-dashers.
2). Believe in yourself and your God-given skills and talent
3). It is okay to defer your dream but never give it up
4). Pursue your dreams and ignore the naysayers
I have many travel stories to tell so blogging is the perfect forum for me. This month I will begin a blog series where I will highlight a country I visited, back in the day, before all this technology was available to me. I may be dating myself here, but that’s alright. Thank you for reading my blog and listening to my brand of ‘noise.’
As I write, the longhorn state of Texas has been undergoing adverse weather conditions for a few days now, and which has already claimed the lives of two persons.
What should you do if you are a visitor with a young family and caught in the throes of such a natural disaster? It may not be possible to pick up your bags and head home immediately. You may have to hunker down and wait it out until all immediate dangers are passed. So how should you respond in these circumstances and how would you pass the time with your family?
Constantly watching the local channels to keep informed may become overwhelming or alarming for everyone. Therefore a responsible person, possibly Mom or Dad, should listen to news updates and report to the family the latest forecasts, alerts and evacuation notices.
Engage the younger children in the preparation activities. Organize your personal effects like change of clothing, food items that can easily be carried and does not need reheating, flashlights, batteries, etc. into your backpacks. Secure everyone’s identification documents and important papers which may be needed later on. Find a shelter and cooperate with local authorities.
Allow everyone to participate in the planning process which will help to keep them calm and focussed on the family’s safety plan. Information should be disseminated to younger members on a need-to-know basis to avoid distress or panic. Throughout the entire process, the adult’s goal should be to reassure their children that their security is their number one priority. A well executed plan will ensure that the entire family remains safe.
Everything is big in Texas, and no doubt at a time like this, it is seen in the genuine way Texans show their generosity, kindness and helpfulness to strangers who may need a helping hand.
I am praying for everyone’s safety there. This too shall pass.
I love to travel and want to share how very important itinerary planning is to inexpensive travel.
From a very young age I became fascinated with other parts of the world and determined I would some day travel to these exotic destinations. Magazines such as “National Geographic”, “Conde Naste” and “Traveler,” contributed to my high hopes and dreams of visiting these picturesque places which I can proudly say have since become a reality.
Coming from a working class family background, proper planning has always been considered a key ingredient to ensure success. So, I decided that I would limit my overall spending to $1,500 and not a penny more for international travels. Time and time again it’s thrilling to see my budget succeed and vacation plans accomplished. Careful planning has enabled me to visit every continent except Antarctica which is by choice (it is simply too cold for me there), and to find creative ways to see epic sites and wonders of the world that are simply to spectacular for words.
At http://www.traveltinerary.com I will share my opinions, recount my experiences, offer travel itineraries/recommendations and tips to enhance your overall travel experience. Should you choose to take advantage of my expertise in itinerary planning, you will be ensuring the start to an enjoyable vacation but spending considerably less than what most people may pay handsomely to see.
Whether you are a first-time traveler, solo traveler, millennial traveler or some-time traveler, my goals in creating affordable travel itineraries are to help: reduce your stress level, keep more of your travel dollars in your pocket, expand your vacation options, offer possibilities which may appeal to your spirit of adventure and give you a well thought out plan that you will love.
I am here to help you plan an itinerary of memorable vacation experiences which you will want to later tell your children, grand-children, friends and family about one day.
Let’s get started with the form below. You will not regret it.
I like to read all the must-haves, travel essentials, top tips, do’s and don’ts related to making travel life easier. I believe that everyone out there when planning a vacation would love to have all these travel tips in one convenient place, right at their fingertips.
When I travel to the tropics, among the many items I carry in my suitcase are 10 of my favorite must-haves. Considering that the weight limit for carryon luggage is approximately 20 pounds, what I choose to carry is very important. The selections must meet my three standard packing requirements: be lightweight, be compact and be trendy.
So here goes. I must have:
The mentioned 10 items are not the only items in my suitcase, but without them I would be miserable. Obviously, other items like my binoculars, camera, cosmetics, laptop, etc., are very important to me too. By following my three packing requirements whenever I travel, I have always managed to carry what’s needed and never had to use any of my spending money on items I would have otherwise left at home.
Do you like to hear a good story even when you are on vacation? If you do, then start digging. You are bound to discover a memorial or a museum that will enlighten you. I think of the historical pair as first cousins in purpose: honoring people of the past and preserving things.
Memorials honor the memory of someone or event where people died. Museums, on the other hand, preserve tangible artifacts worthy of mention and stored for posterity. Both honorary houses tell real life stories. The stories maybe intriguing and bittersweet. Recounts of acts to mankind maybe sad, tragic and even unthinkable. Pre-historic items may be old and fragile. Beautiful works of art may be priceless and untouchable. They all have a story.
Whenever I travel, I feel compelled to visit a museum, but more so, a renowned memorial site. The more I visit, the more I realize the lingering effects on me. I can nonchalantly stroll through a museum ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ but may not recall much of what I viewed earlier on in the day (thank God for photography). For example, when I toured the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, the frescos were very beautiful, until after staring at so many for so long they all began to look the same to me. No disrespect. That day I may have been suffering from a ‘to much condition’ I will call bias: to much beauty, to much information, to much art syndrome.
Not so with a memorial.
Let me tell you why. Memorials are unforgettable, inspirational, impactful and in my opinion, worth the time taken to visit. Oh and did I mention, filled with story you will find interesting too? Hours maybe even days after attending a memorial location I can recall the history as reported to me by the tour guide. Obviously, the personal factor is what I relate to and which draws me mostly to them.
Some of the remembrance places I visited include: The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa; Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel; Pearl Harbor in Hawaii; Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Cu Chi Tunnels & Vietnam War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Raj Ghat(Gandhi)Memorial in New Delhi, India; Taj Mahal in Agra, India; 9/11 Memorial in New York City; The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial both in Washington, DC, just to mention a few. Every visit has left an indelible impression on me. For sure, I am not the only one affected. Crowd ambience is often palpable and the sense of loss profound. But that’s to be expected. Commemorative locations are usually quiet and reflective.
You may think any tour guide worth his/her salt should do an exceptional job of retelling a melancholic part of their history. I agree, after all, it is in their best interest and may make a lot more cents (pun intended) for them. Seriously, to gain a deeper respect for your host country’s people, culture, struggles and history, I strongly advise adding to your travel itinerary a memorial site visit as a must-do. The story alone is all worth it
I began my travels in high school. My first trip abroad was to the United Kingdom. This was an auspicious occasion for me, leaving a third world country for a first world country many times larger than my homeland Barbados which is 166 square miles, 21 miles long and 14 miles wide.
It was my first time on an airplane too. From that time of wanting to see places that I had only seen in pictures and coupled with the desire of always wanting to know what lay beyond the horizon gave birth to my wanderlust beginnings.
I have visited over 80+ countries and every continent except Antarctica. I travel mostly solo. From my travels I have created several scrapbooks that recount these trips in detail. I’ve acquired a menagerie of refrigerator magnets that have become a focal conversational piece in my home for all first-time visitors and traveling friends. They are often amazed at the places I have visited and listen intently to stories/experiences of my travels. Usually, their final question is, “Where are you going to next?” and my enigmatic response is, “The world is my Oyster!”