Not everything on our Travel To Do list is a “bucket list” destination. Sometimes, it’s a simple necessity, like getting new luggage so we don’t look like destitute wanderers. Other times, it’s something that everyone should do, like attending the Travel & Adventure Show, which we did this past weekend in Dallas.
First, let me say that we attended as travelers; not as bloggers, not as guests of someone or other, not as international men and women of mystery (which is, of course, our favored modus operandi). Our missions: Visit vendors from Italy and Vietnam about upcoming trips, meet a few people we’ve only known through social media, meet other new people we don’t know at all, learn about new places, and make googly eyes at Andrew McCarthy. (Okay, we weren’t all on that mission.)
If you’ve never attended the Travel Adventure Show, we highly recommend it. We go every year and come home reinvigorated every time with new experiences, new friends, and new places to add to our wish lists. In past years, we’ve learned how to make Sushi with Carl Rosa, we’ve met Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer and others, got some Hula practice, and tried zip lines, climbing walls and more. It’s really not just a convention center full of Chamber-of-Commerce types and timeshare salesmen.
We consider this a To Do for four very cool reasons:
- Education, which comes in two varieties. There are several lectures and hands-on demonstrations, but you can also learn a lot from the exhibitors themselves. They are not just marketing interns on booth duty! We spoke with the skipper of a boat that tours Alaska. Nada of Nada’s Italy was on hand. Scott gave us the inside scoop on the ScotteVest. In short, it’s real people with a vested interest in their products and destinations.
- Special Guests truly make each show special. As mentioned, we listened to and met Samantha Brown and Andrew McCarthy in Dallas. Rick Steves was at the Chicago show, Jean-Michel Cousteau in Los Angeles, and Pauline Frommer seems to be everywhere! There are presentations on just about everything from apps for your smartphone to focusing your photo skills or travelling with pets, kids, or all by yourself.
- Entertainment gives you a cultural world tour without leaving the building. I’m a sucker for Hula and Irish dancing, but was mesmerized by the Bollywood and Middle Eastern dance presentations, and wanted to jump in and join the Ukranian Dance Ensemble.
- Saving perhaps the best for last, the Culinary Stage kind of speaks for itself. Local and regionally known chefs teach you how to make dishes from around the world AND give out samples. Score!
Take our advice: Put the Travel & Adventure Show on your Travel To Do list, even if you have a To Do list that’s a million miles long. I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it.
Travel & Adventure Show visits Chicago, Bay Area/Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and San Diego from January to March, 2014. The Dallas edition is usually the first week of November. Complete details are on their website (adventureexpo.com), and they have a great Facebook page.
Edit: while we had a chance to chat with Andrew McCarthy during the show, The Flash List entertainment guide did an actual interview. We SO should have thought of that, but somebody in our party (you know who you are) was nearly drooling and we thought it best to move on. Anyway, you can read their interview here. And yes, he is just as charming and comfortable in person as he seems in this interview.
Dallas Travel & Adventure Show photo by Travel Adventure Show; all others are our own and © 2013 TravelLatte.net