Meet the Speaker: Bestselling Author Patricia Schultz
Patricia Schultz, television producer and author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” is set to headline the Travel and Adventure Show this Sunday in Santa Clara, California. The two-day event, held January 25-26 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, brings together some of the top names in the travel industry, along with tourism boards, chefs, and cultural performers, to inspire attendees to see the world. We got the scoop from Patricia about why she thinks traveling is important and what insight she plans to share with travelers at this weekend’s show.
Q: When and how did travel become a significant part of your life?
A: Mentally and emotionally, travel always occupied a lot of my life. Although the reality of rent payments and grown-up obligations meant I did a lot of my travel in my dreams, an alternative lifestyle (I had a very kaleidoscopic resume) would allow more getaways than that of the average person. After college (where a junior year abroad turned my life around), I lived in Florence for three very transformative and exciting years. They were fodder and foundation for my first travel writing assignment in 1985 for a travel guide about Italy. I remember that assignment well; I thought there had been some mistake, and I was ready to pay them.
Q: Why do you think traveling is important?
A: This is a very complicated answer because travel is a personal thing, something that impacts and influences one’s life in countless ways both subtle and profound. I can only speak for myself: Travel has made me a better person, more respectful, tolerant, curious, and inquisitive. And it has made me more humble. Travel has us return home with a new appreciation and understanding of what we’ve left behind, wherever we call home. There’s no downside to travel, apart from a little jetlag and a slight dent in one’s bank account.
Q: What topic(s) are you speaking about at the Travel & Adventure Show?
A: I have put together a great mix of my favorite places from around the world, with tales and descriptions of them mixed with anecdotes about memorable experiences and people I have met along the way. I pull from a lifetime of things I’ve learned (did you know Europe’s smallest capital city is Ljubljana in Slovenia?) and share travel tips (for example, enjoying off-season discounts won’t make much sense if you arrive in Thailand during monsoon season).
Q: How do you hope to inspire future travelers who attend the show?
A: I think my book, “1,000 Places,” helps open up your head to so many new possibilities to add to your bucket list. Not just with the introduction of new places in remote corners of the world like Central Asia or Africa, but also those little-known gems right here in the United States, Canada, or Europe. Travel has always inspired me with a passion to know the world, and I like to think everyone who comes to the show shares that passion—both veteran travelers and those who are just getting their feet wet.
Q: What is one piece of advice you wish someone had shared with you before you set off to travel the world?
A: I heard it all, advice that was always well intended and timeless. Be careful, curious, respectful, and enjoy yourself. I marvel that my parents slept at night in those days of no e-connectivity; they rarely knew where I was though I wrote a boatload of post-cards. Remember them? My mother kept every one of them and reading them now let’s me relive that young me.
Q: Do you have one destination you find yourself visiting over and over again? What makes this place so special?
A: I join the legions that return time and again to Italy; by some accounts it is the most revisited country in the world. And little wonder: For a country approximately the size of Arizona (which makes it wonderfully manageable) it is positively chockablock with natural and man-made beauty and an incredible diversity of culture and history. And can you get a bad meal?
Q: What was one of your most memorable travel experiences in 2013?
A: I just returned from Antarctica in December; I am still exhilarated and suspect I’ll stay that way for a good number of years to come. It is beautiful in a pristine and otherworldly way that is hard to describe. One can never truly be prepared for it, and that is part of its magic.
Q: Do you have any travel predictions or trends you see happening for 2014?
A: River cruises in Europe will continue to enjoy an increasing popularity, as will many South American destinations such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil, which is hosting the international soccer championship in 2014. Maybe it is even time for tiny Uruguay to shine. As travelers avoid much of the Middle East due to a perceived risk factor, stable and hospitable Turkey and Morocco may absorb a lot of the numbers.
Want to see Patricia and the other headlining speakers at the Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show? Get tickets for just $8 with the promo code “JETSET” and be sure to stop by booth #619 to say hi to the Jetset Extra team!