Security lines. Passport stamps. Checked luggage. Have you ever stepped back and really thought about why we travel the way we do? In some ways, this industry is—pardon the pun—on autopilot. And that mindset is exactly what author Doug Lansky set out to question.
A project 10 years in the making, new e-book Travel: The Guide is anything but your typical destination handbook, a clarification the intro makes abundantly clear.
Are you traversing the planet in high style? #Goodforyou, but T+L doesn’t want to hear it.
Anthony has checked in to the Armani Hotel Milano. The yacht that Jeremy is on has an awesome diving board, and he posted a photo to prove it. Laura and Jonathan are enjoying a romantic weekend at GoldenEye, Ian Fleming’s Jamaican villa. When one’s own passport has seen less action than a nun, catching up with friends on Facebook can lead to unkind thoughts.
As I listened yesterday to the roll call of 9/11 victims’ names, reflecting so many vastly different places of origin, so many different families and cultures, I was thinking about travel in its broadest sense. Despite 9/11, or perhaps even in some ways because of it, America’s connections to the world have broadened and deepened over the past decade. Though we are a country of immigrants, we are also a country known for turning inward, and for staying within our shores. Despite the fear of terrorism, the ongoing economic crisis, the challenges of airport security, and the wages of wars and geopolitical strife, Americans have fanned out beyond our borders in greater numbers and with a greater spirit of exploration than ever before.
We go farther off the beaten path, to China, India, Russia, and Brazil—economies that not entirely coincidentally are rapidly expanding—and to Africa, Bhutan, and Patagonia. This is the best response to those that have us in their sights: an open mind, an open heart, and the thirst for new experiences of the world.
Nancy Novogrod is the editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure.
Photographed by Richard Phibbs.