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May 13, 2011
Recognizing the value of travel in troubled times …
“‘I was there. I saw it all.’ The traveler’s boast, sometimes couched as
a complaint, is that of having been an eyewitness and, invariably, this experience—shocking though it may seem at the time—is an enrichment, even a blessing, one of the life-altering trophies of the road.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself, but I must give credit where it’s due: I “borrowed” this enlightened quote from a recent New York Times article—Why We Travel, by travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux—because it so closely echoes my own experience as a traveler, especially recently.
Alan and I believe in stepping out of our comfort zones. And as world travelers—for both personal and professional reasons—our “comfort zones” often extend across oceans and beyond borders into regions, and even situations, that many travelers wouldn’t consider. Last month, our family enjoyed an eye-opening trip to the Middle East—including Egypt, Syria, and Israel—where we had the rare opportunity to see three nations at differing levels of transition. As a result, we were reminded of something that, again, Mr. Theroux put so eloquently:
“Travel … has never been to me of greater
importance, more essential, more enlightening.”
Grand Circle is still offering trips to Egypt—and our travelers who’ve joined us have shared that they love the fact that they’re among the only tourists at famed sites like the Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx, and Valley of the Kings. And we remain confident that our travelers are safe—though, understandably, some travelers have reservations about visiting the country during this time of transition. That’s okay, because we want our travelers to make the decisions that are right for them. But remember, wherever and whenever you travel—Egypt or otherwise—not only will our dedicated regional associates welcome you with warmth and enthusiasm, but you just might witness something truly amazing.
Have you ever traveled out of your own comfort zone? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. You can share your thoughts and experiences with others by posting your comments below this Journal entry, or you can email me directly at email@example.com.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be spotlighting Spain and Portugal. If you’ve explored any—or all!—of these fascinating destinations with Grand Circle, I hope you’ll send your stories and pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.