Do yourself a favor: travel the world
By Robert Riesmeyer, Travel Agent
The travel bug bit me as a child in the 60’s and 70’s, when my parents would load me up, and we’d spend summers touring the country by car. That sense of wanderlust was further ignited in my college days when I had the opportunity to see Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Mexico for myself. Perhaps, that’s what prompted me to become a professional travel adviser, as there was no shortage of places I wanted to see.
Which is what makes the often-asked question, “What is your favorite destination?” an impossible comparison of apples to oranges.
Every destination that I have visited is distinct, where no two are exactly the same. The experiences that I have gained in each destination have touched me in different ways. So, the only way I can answer that question is to say that every place is my favorite, each is unique and each has provided me a book’s worth of stories and memories that I won’t soon forget.
“There’s a vast world out there, and you do yourself a huge disservice by not exploring it. As often as possible.”
In Germany, I was able to visit the apartment where my father-in-law grew up and see the bunker where they took him as a child during World War II. I also got to explore the area where my ancestors lived before they immigrated to the United States.
In Corinth, Greece I was able to stand where Paul stood trial and shivers crept up my spine.
In Athens, I walked through the Acropolis and Coliseum. In Ephesus (Turkey), I could feel the throngs of people from thousands of years ago coming up out of the port. Places that I had read about (in scripture and other books) came to life and fully into perspective.
In Switzerland, I fed my inner James Bond by visiting Blofeld’s mountain top lair from Her Majesty’s Secret Service at the summit of Mount Schilthorn. That was just as exhilarating but so different than hang-gliding off of one of the Bernese Oberland Mountains into the valley around Interlaken. It is such a thrill to float that high above the ground, watching it come ever closer.
In Peru, there was nothing like standing in one of the temples of Machu Picchu during a rainstorm, looking directly into the clouds and watching the rain fall at my feet. In the Sacred Valley, you marvel and wonder at how the Incas were able to move stones that weighed ten tons from the top of one mountain to the top of another mountain and then fit them together so tightly that, to this day, you cannot put a piece of paper between them. It’s simply awe-inspiring.
In Grenada, from the moment you exit the air terminal, the smell of various spices permeates the air. This tiny island produces one third of the world’s supply of nutmeg, along with mace, turmeric, cinnamon, and some of the world’s finest chocolate.
Then there’s the land of “Yah, mon.” Jamaica has almost become a second home. The people are so friendly and inviting. I can find rest and relaxation on some of the most beautiful beaches found anywhere. Enjoyed Blue Mountain Coffee and experienced all of the processes that take place, before I can enjoy my morning cup. I have made friends with Rastafarians, learning about their culture, religion and lifestyle and have been invited to sit with them as they played drums. And then there is Jamaican Rum…
The more I travel and experience different cultures and destinations, I realize that people are not that much different. We all strive for the same basic things. We all want to survive, improve our lives, raise our families, and leave something meaningful for the next generation. But there’s a vast world out there, and you do yourself a huge disservice by not exploring it. As often as possible. Then, and only then, can you decide for yourself if you have the ability to pick one favorite place.
Robert Riesmeyer founded Travel Unrivaled to help his clients experience the world with customized travel experiences from across the globe. He also helped developed Traveling Aware, a company focused on teaching people how to travel safely and securely, utilizing material developed by the military and other organizations.