I’ve not yet seen Eat, Pray, Love and chances are I won’t until it hits Netflix and I can catch it from my couch. But I know enough about the film to think that its real title should have been Eat, Pray, Love, Travel. Once again, we have a cultural reminder of the importance of travel to the human psyche and, by inference, how important your profession is to people’s lives. Travel is not just a mechanical act of movement from one point to another. On occasion, it helps to be reminded of this small and obvious truth: travel is often an outward expression of something happening internally.
The macro-history of mankind is about a vast, never ending migration. From one continent to another, we have been explorers, adventurers, pilgrims, refugees and travelers. Coiled up in our DNA is the urge to move beyond the horizon. On an individual level, it’s the rare person who has not felt moved and even changed by their travels. We go seeking the unfamiliar and we instead find some hidden part of ourselves in the faces of the people we meet, in the cultures we encounter and in the languages with which we struggle.
We discover that people are the same everywhere we travel.
But we discover we are not.
I raise this point here to remind you of the wonderfully amazing opportunity you have to play an important role in the lives of so many people. Your clients come to you to “go on vacation” or to “take a cruise”. Maybe. I think their request of you might actually be a bit bigger than that.
So step back and take a moment before you jump in on their plans. Take a broader look at the opportunity they have; that you have. You’re the magician that can make amazing things happen for your clients.
Every one of your clients carries a list in their head of things they want to do and places they want to go.
A truly great travel consultant would ask to see that list.
This week, the 365 Guide will feature 5 small psychological shifts that will assist you in better grasping your clients’ needs and helping them explore the possibilities of travel. And here’s an older article to help you reflect on the topic of why we travel.
You have clients who have never seen the Alps, who don’t know about the Inca Trail and who have heard of Prague but don’t know where it is. Help your clients dream a bit. Take them beyond what’s familiar and comfortable, at least in their minds.
A few of them will travel farther for your effort.