The L.A. Travel & Adventure Show – Samantha Brown

imageI thoroughly enjoy visiting this travel show in Long Beach every year. While the booths are fun to visit, I mainly go to hear the speakers and soak up their insights.

I am a Samantha Brown fan and have spoken of her many times. Samantha is the Travel Channel’s sweetheart, hosting such shows as Passport to Europe and Passport to Great Weekends. She is your “Everyman” type of traveler who doesn’t claim to know all the travel tricks. Plus with her down-to-earth demeanor, it feels like you’re watching an old pal tour new destinations. While she humbly reminds us that there is no “right way” to explore the world, she does have some helpful suggestions for your next excursion.

During her talk, Samantha discussed four tips for a well-rounded trip. First,image don’t just live in the past. When we visit places with centuries of great history (um hello, all of Europe!), it’s good to take in the historic sights but don’t forget to be in the present. There are great moments happening in the now and even the modern changes are worth exploring. Secondly, she suggests going for a walk. Wandering a new city with no agenda makes for happy accidents. Finding that dive restaurant with amazing food in a back alley or seeing an old man tend to his garden on a quiet side street. Life’s best moments happen right in the middle of the mundane. Shoot for the comma, she says, not just the exclamation point. Thirdly, she suggests creating a routine. It could be sitting in the corner coffee shop every morning or hitting up the local market every afternoon. Whatever it is, a small routine helps your mind relax (you are not frantically checking your guide map) and let’s you merely observe the world around. Lastly, she urges travelers to talk to the locals. Of course, there may be language barriers but don’t let that stop you from communicating with your fellow man. She shared a story imageabout her search for peanut butter in a foreign land. The kind shopkeepers watched Sam imitate an elephant, then figured out she was talking about peanuts, then Sam grabbed some butter, and finally they understood her request. They didn’t have the spread but they had a nice laugh. And those are the connections that make for a unique vacation. In fact, her four tips work for daily life too. As Samantha says, travel is not just measured in miles.

Photos of Samantha by

For more about the travel show, check out

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