Have you ever felt that your love of travel was misunderstood by family and friends? Have you ever gushed about your most transformative travel experience only to be met with blank stares? Or if you are a travel entrepreneur like me with a passion for disruption, has it ever felt challenging to articulate what you do?
There are a lot of misconceptions about travel and working in the travel industry, from presuming that frequent travellers are running away from something to thinking that working in the field must automatically mean you book and sell travel.
The industry is changing so much and our reasons for travelling are so personal and unique. It can feel tough to navigate these conversations with people who haven’t travelled as much. However, we want to use the topic of travel to engage in more meaningful exchanges, as opposed to widening a divide and creating an (often unintentional) undertone of elitism.
So the next time you talk to your aunt who has never left the state about how your latest trip changed you or how you’re working on a regenerative tourism project for your business, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Talking about travel.
Firstly, think about the key elements that make travel special. To get some inspiration, look back on your travel photos or reread some old diary entries from your time on the road. You may notice some common themes that stand out, such as connecting with others, taking in beautiful scenery, or doing something that pushed you out of your comfort zone.
Secondly, ask yourself: what are comparable experiences in people’s lives? When we think of life-defining moments, some common ones include getting married, having children, getting a dream job or even losing a loved one. At the core of it all, our most memorable experiences can be traced back to how they shaped our identities, impacted our relationships or allowed us to engage in the world around us.
Lastly, keeping the goal of having a common ground in mind, ask open-ended questions that ignite reflection. If you are telling a story about the time you met your international best friend on the bus, ask the other person about the best interaction they’ve had with a stranger. Do they still keep in touch with that person to this day? What was so memorable about that conversation? Keep the discussion reciprocal and engaging. In addition to bonding, you may also learn something new about the other person!
Overall, travel has this incredibly powerful way of connecting people. When we understand why it is meaningful and how to talk about it, we can engage in better conversations.
For information on how we can help elevate your travel business's services and products in meaningful ways, get in touch via social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.