Los Angeles Times Travel Show…Pouring Rain Not Included
Although I’ve wanted to attend the Los Angeles Travel Show for a few years now, I’ve never gotten the chance to do it. So my chance finally came when my drive back to Reno after spring break was delayed a day (due to weather, more on that later), so I grabbed my mom and dragged her to downtown Los Angeles with me. We drove on the freeways through the pouring rain and eventually made it down, after seeing no less than seven car accidents. Did I ever mention that Angelenos freak out and drive off the road when it starts to rain a bit?
Anyway, we arrived and started looking around. There were booths for every location imaginable. I saw Taiwan, South Africa, Egypt (I’ll be waiting a while for that one), Tahiti, and a multitude from the U.S. It seemed like every bit and piece of California was represented, even areas that I’m convinced no one would ever want to purposely travel to (Bakersfield? Really?) We walked around for a bit, and signed up for many contests to win trips. It got a bit boring after the tenth person tried to sell me what was sure to be an overpriced trip to their particular destination.
Whilst my mom and I stood in the line to spin a wheel to win God knows what, I saw that people were getting stuff, and I decided hey, I like stuff, so I went to see what was going on. It wasn’t anything big, just beach ball globes.
With a globe under each arm, (I got two…I don’t pretend to know how to explain myself), I stood next to my mom trying to interrupt her conversation with some random man (how does she do that?) to get her to follow me to the real reason I dragged her to the show…Samantha Brown.
Samantha Brown was scheduled to speak, and damned if I wasn’t going to listen what she had to say. She’s my idol, when I watch her shows I feel like a 3-year-old watching a Disney movie, totally captivated. Despite the pouring rain outside, she donned a yellow summer dress and scolded us for the uncharacteristic weather, albeit jokingly (I don’t think this woman could ever be mean, seriously). I loved her presentation. She’s incredibly well-spoken, genuine, and unassuming. Despite spending most of her time traveling by air, she was surprisingly grounded. She talked about some of her experiences, what it’s actually like traveling with her show crew, the energy behind travel, and having genuine local experiences.
I had been having a rough few days before I saw Samantha Brown speak at the L.A. Times Travel Show. I thought her presentation was incredibly fitting and it really hit the right spot with me. She emphasized that while traveling, there’s really no other place you can be than where you are, in the moment that you’re there. You shouldn’t be able to fret about the past or worry about the future, because the present has such a strong pull. I completely agree, and it awoke the awkward tourist within me (she’s crying because we can’t go anywhere right now).
So thank you, Samantha Brown, for validating every suspicion about travel I’ve ever had, but was too awkwardly awkward to voice.
Follow Sam Brown on Twitter! @samtravels Follow me, too! @awkwardtourist