Snapshots of Home: Everyone Has a Story

Travel inspires stories, which inspire more travel (which inspires more stories, etc.). And, since everyone has a story to tell—the journey’s all the more interesting. My three days at the Javits Center for The New York Times Travel Show were sprinkled with healthy helpings of awe-inspiring tales, as told by the speakers, exhibitors and fellow trade professionals.

Part of my goal for attending the show and conference was not only to glean information about the latest travel trends and tips that can be shared with all of you, or to plan my family’s next vacation destination. I also wanted to chat with some people and get their “personal” perspective on activities, food and cultural events that take place in their countries. More importantly—I wanted their stories.

Within the layers of information the speakers shared were the stories of their youth—for some, the beginnings of their love for travel.

Adam Richman: Exploring Fork First

There was native New Yorker Adam Richman who hosted Man V. Food Nation. His lively interaction with the audience included shout outs to some of his Twitter followers and a quick picture of attendees, which he later posted on Twitter. He told us of his days as a young Brooklynite wherein his immersion within the global society began with traditional foods (and his mom’s spinach pie) at his home, plus culinary adventures in neighboring areas where he got his taste of dumplings and chicken feet.

Here’s a link to his new show, which he shared airs on June 6, 2012 and replaces Man V. Food Nation.

Julia Dimon: How to Live Your Travel Dreams

There was Julia Dimon, a travel writer and TV host whose adventures have taken her to more than 80 nations in seven continents. It was heartwarming to hear her stories of accompanying her parents to her mom’s latest travel writing jaunts, including the beaches of Cuba when she was just 9 months old and her first cockfight in Venezuela.

Check here for her travel tips, such as booking on a Tuesday and flying out on a Wednesday or Saturday.

Pauline Frommer Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Arthur Frommer Photo courtesy of The New York Times

The laughs, resounding cheers and claps by audience members were a testimony to our enjoyment of the loving banter between father and daughter travel experts and publishers of guidebooks—Arthur and Pauline Frommer. Taking turns to speak to us, they advised against big group tours so that travelers can experience their destination on a more personal level, advocating folks to “sightsee on your own two feet.” Pauline recounted a time when she stayed in a private home instead of hotels, which she said, “are often in commercial areas.” Foregoing the hotels for villas, which meant shopping for ingredients and home-cooked meals has saved her family a lot of money. To this, her dad added that you also wind up eating healthier.

And yes, my favorite part—stories from the exhibitors. After providing me with general information that in all honesty enticed me to want to visit each country and had me asking when my plane leaves (which I kept to myself, of course)—I wanted to get their personal insight. If I had only recorded my interviews on video, you’d all be able to see how their faces lit up when I asked them about their memories of the countries they represented, and the places they recommend to first-time visitors.

As I saw with the other exhibitors when they spoke of their homeland, Armando broke into a wide grin. Beaming with pride, he shared that the Costa Rican government has a goal, “to become a carbon-free country, the first in the world by 2021.” Businesses especially those in the tourism industry, such as hotels, are also striving towards eco-friendly practices by reducing and eliminating their use of chemically laden products.

I envisioned a lush tropical rainforest and relaxing walks along the shore with warm waters foaming around my feet as the sun met the horizon. I imagined my family pedaling mountain bikes through the scenic landscape of Costa Rica—a nation, which Armando shared is 70 to 75 deg F (24 or 25 deg C) year round, and is best “to visit from December to mid-May.” When asked about the food, he added, “While it’s a small country, there are lots of cultures who have moved to Costa Rica.” He explained that the local food scene shows evidence of the Chinese, German, Spanish, French, American and Japanese influences, and thus you’d find sushi and typical meals with rice, beans, meats, eggs and salads.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the stories we’ve shared so far. In the next few weeks, Editorial Creatives will bring you more tales that’ll leave you longing to fill your summer days traversing the beaches of a tropical getaway, hiking to mountain peaks to catch a sunrise or regaling in local carnivals.

For now, we leave you with this video:


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