What's Hot in Adventure Travel?

What a day! I wrapped up with a meta-seminar called "What's Hot in Adventure Travel?" featuring four destinations, each presented by different representatives. Greece: Colleen McGuire, CycleGreece Bhutan: Dr. Antonia Neubauer, Myths & Mountains Fiji: Steve Markle, OARS Greenland: Jane Whitney, Whitney & Smith Legendary Expeditions McGuire's photos were an enticing testament to Greece's cycling tours, and Neubauer's lengthy presentation seemed as likely to discourage travel to Bhutan as encourage it. She explained, "Bhutan has not very good food unless you like chilis and cheese." Hmmm... sounds alright to me, but it seemed that she intended it as a warning. Unfortunately the first two presentations used a disproportionate amount of time, so Markle offered only an abbreviated sales pitch for kayak tours with comfortable "digs" in Fiji. The photo presentation was intriguing, but the information was too topical to offer much. Too bad. Poor Whitney came last, and began by admitting that she was having problems getting her Mac laptop to work with the projector. Instead she launched into an extmporaneous account of what she referred to as "the old fashioned kind of travel", by which she was referring to camping and relatively primitive conditions. Although the projector was finally fixed part way into her presentation, and a parade of beautiful photos ensued, it was her enthusiasm, rapturous storytelling and memorable anecdotes that kept the audience interested long after our seminar was scheduled to end. Click the link below to listen to my reflections recorded during the long, noisy taxi ride back to midtown.

this is an audio post - click to play

Tomorrow? The whole world will be at the Javits Center tomorrow for the first public day of the Adventures in Travel Expo, but I'm going to offer a couple of recommendations anyway despite the risk that too many people will attend. First off, Costas Christ's "Responsible Travel – How to Experience the World and Give Something Back" promises to be quite good. He participated in two of the seminars I attended today, and it's clear that this man of many hats is sharp, compelling and articulate. Another suggestion is "Best Women’s Adventure Getaways: Why, Where, How" by Marybeth Bond ('The Gutsy Traveler'). Check out my posting earlier today to see why Marybeth Bond is a must-see. And, I remain as enraptured as ever with Alexander Souri and Relief Riders. If you're not familiar with Souri, start by visiting the Relief Riders International website, and then attend "Volunteer Vacations: Relief Riders International" tomorrow afternoon. Although I've communicated with Souri in emails and over the telephone, I was nevertheless surprised by his demeanor during his presentation today. He seemed ill-at-ease bragging about the incredible success that his organization has enjoyed since it't founding in 2004. No mention of being featured in Outside Magazine's "Best Trips 2005" aside from conceding that it boistered RRI's credibility with potential clients. No mention of National Geographic Adventure feature which showcased his organization. He was understated to a fault. And yet the audience was enthralled. You'll be lucky to catch him!