Over the Top

The game of year-end lists is no dis­trac­tion for those trav­el­ers who know what they truly want

Business Traveler (USA) - - WORLD WISE - By Ross Atkin­son

Best of this,‘Top’of that,‘Travel Trends’for what­ever— ho­tels, where to go, and the year! And—wait for it—trends that will change how we travel in the fu­ture. Wow! Who knew that from De­cem­ber 2014 to Jan­uary 2015 travel would be re­made through tran­scen­dent acts that will af­fect our lives hence­forth and forever­more, only be­cause the clock ticks over from the last day of the pre­vi­ous year to the first day of the next!

All kid­ding aside, there are many lists that are in­sight­ful. How­ever for me re­flect­ing on the year gone by is some­thing that is a short­lived, al­beit im­por­tant, ex­er­cise; to take stock in the past year’s trav­els, peo­ple I met on the road, des­ti­na­tions that opened my eyes and even re­count­ing aha mo­ments. Yet I truly find the fu­ture to be more in­ter­est­ing.

When I say fu­ture, I’m not talk­ing about far dis­tant dreamy-eyed fu­ture con­cepts of travel; I’m talk­ing about the year im­me­di­ately in front of me.

There are two cat­e­gories I take a spe­cial in­ter­est in, the first be­ing the lists of fu­ture trends. I en­joy con­tem­plat­ing what oth­ers are seek­ing from their jour­neys, from ex­pe­ri­en­tial and nov­elty-seek­ing travel, top des­ti­na­tions and off the beaten path ad­ven­tures, to tan­ta­liz­ing culi­nary jour­neys. Fi­nally, there are al­ways the shiny new baubles and toys – like wear­ables and whiz-bang travel gad­gets – com­ing from the world’s largest as­sem­blage of what’s-next-in-tech, the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Ve­gas.

The sec­ond fu­ture glimpse I truly en­joy is comb­ing over read­ers’ ‘Bucket Lists’from those shar­ing on Busi­ness Trav­eler’s fo­rum. Orig­i­nat­ing from the phrase,“kick the bucket,”it is sim­ply the list of those things one wishes to do be­fore dy­ing.

By its very na­ture, it is a list of things that will in­her­ently en­counter de­tours, in­volve changes and of­ten may be a“work in progress.” Some­times it could be to learn a dif­fer­ent cul­ture or a new lan­guage. It could pos­si­bly even take the form of chang­ing some­one else’s life by giv­ing back. It is less a quan­ti­ta­tive, tick-the­box ap­proach, since it in­volves judg­ing suc­cess by the pas­sion one has for the bucket list item it­self.

Spe­cific des­ti­na­tions are al­ways on the top of the list, es­pe­cially ex­otic or off the beaten path, or per­haps modes of travel such as train ver­sus air. This kind of dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence is al­ways the first and most popular re­sponse.

In­ter­est­ingly enough, there are al­ways those that make you won­der. Some of those I found most in­trigu­ing in­clude learn­ing a new skill; be­com­ing more ed­u­cated and experiencing the wines and au­then­tic dishes of Chile, Ar­gentina, and South Africa; ex­plor­ing the cul­tures of var­i­ous coun­tries – Laos, Colom­bia, Mozam­bique.

Those on the more ad­ven­tur­ous side seek to ex­pe­ri­ence a go­rilla sanc­tu­ary in Uganda, ele­phant or­phan­age in Chi­ang Raj or wildlife in their habi­tat in Zam­bia, the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands or In­dia. The Mo­tor City Mo­town Mu­seum in Detroit even made one trav­eler’s bucket list.

As you can see, trav­el­ers are ad­ven­tur­ous souls. They take their busi­ness of travel se­ri­ously and pair that with ex­plor­ing them­selves, oth­ers and the world around them. Peo­ple like th­ese don’t need a ‘Best’ of this,‘Top’ of that,‘Travel Trends’ for this, that or the other thing list to let them know what’s on their bucket list. BT

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