Looking for Some Inspiration for Where to Go Next?

Article by: Chip Conley|@ChipConley

Tue January 15, 2013 | 00:00 AM


High school counselors ought to teach students how to look for “collateral benefits” when they consider a career path. Being a florist might mean you always have lots of fresh flowers at home. Working for a pro sports team means free tickets for the family. For me, being a boutique hotelier gave me access to free stays around the world in all kinds of stylish hotels and resorts that my friends had created.

I’ve always thought being a professional travel writer offered some fabulous perks. And, now that I’m traveling the world experiencing exotic festivals, I have some time on my hands while transiting between airports. Recently, I was given two travel writing books for Christmas: “The Best American Travel Writing of 2012″ with William T. Vollman as editor, and, “Conde Nast Traveler’s Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places, Volume II.” Have enjoyed devouring and digesting them.

And, I recently read famed travel writer Paul Theroux in the New York Times Sunday Travel section write a column about how to satisfy the person who’s seemingly been everywhere. Of course, we tend to imagine that travel writers have been to every nook and cranny of the world, but I come to find out there are a handful of states in the U.S. that this New Englander, Mr. Theroux, still hasn’t been to as well as a variety of well-known countries. But, what I love about this particular piece of writing is that Paul reminds us that just because you’ve been to Vermont doesn’t mean that you’ve been there during that particular autumn week when the trees turn technicolor. This is particularly true for how communities can blossom during a festival. Siena, Italy and Pamplona, Spain have completely different energy during the season of Il Palio and Fiesta de San Fermin (the Running of the Bulls).

If you’re looking to create a new travel wish list of places you haven’t seen or experiences you haven’t had in places you have been, I’d suggest you pull out this article by Paul Theroux as you can’t help but be inspired to lengthen that list once you read this article.

Photo: Fiesta de San Fermin by www.viajar24h.com via Wikimedia Commons