Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 43 By Er ika Mailman W e never regret travel. Clothing and expensive dinners come and go, but the memories and insights gained on a trip remain with a traveler forever. is can be especially true when you go outside your comfort zone and gather new experiences. Staying at a resort for seven days straight may sound good, but stretching a little can yield huge rewards. "We try to go off the beaten path and find places that allow people to talk with local people and see things they wouldn't usually see," says Mary Dell Lucas, president of Far Ho- rizons travel in San Anselmo, California. For 35 years, her company has led histori- cal and archaeological tours throughout the world, headed by prominent scholars. Ditch Your Comfort Zone Lucas urges people to ignore travel warnings based on politics rather than facts. "People allow headlines to dissuade them from traveling at times when they should be, because personal contact is a way to help with understanding. I don't recommend going into a war zone, but there's an attitude of fear that isn't based in reality." She points to her company's upcoming trip to Iran, where American visas were in question as a countermove against President Trump's immigration ban. Luckily, she says, the visas were ap- proved because the Iranian government recognizes that it's only through meeting each other that we form connections. "e older I get," says Lucas, "the more I real- ize the similarities between us are much, much greater than the differences." Here are 10 tips to smooth your path and make your journey more meaningful. 1 Sit Get a cup of coffee and sit in a pub- lic cafe. Travel isn't always about how much ground you can cover; it's about witnessing life in another country. Take a tip from the French and people watch. Focus on your breath and soak in the colors and flavors of a world you wouldn't be seeing otherwise. Strike up a conversation with the stranger at the table next to you. You may think, "I didn't spend all this money to just sit here in a coffeehouse," but actually you did. You wanted to relax and be stimulated. 2 Walk Instead of hunting down the local gym, get your exercise by experienc- ing the city firsthand. You can check with the front desk or your host to ensure you don't wander into unsafe areas. Even better, join a walking tour. It's a great way to meet other tourists as you chat during the walk between sites. In Paris, for instance, you can choose from an incredible array of daily walking tours led by a knowledgeable Eng- lish speaker, covering history and architec- ture. Paris Walks tours last two hours and cost 15 euros. Similar tours in more than a dozen other cities are linked on the website paris-walks.com, including some in North America. 3 Meet Locals It is no longer enough to know a few phrases in another language: hello, please, thank you, and good-bye. ese polite expressions open many doors and show your willingness to learn a bit of the language, but for a more im- mersive experience, spend a few months (or at least hours) learning more. Mary Dell Lucas says you can commu- nicate in other ways: "When you come across a woman with a baby, talk to the baby. If you are a photographer, you can connect with other photographers. Or if you are in a restaurant when something Traveling to a destination with a new mind-set can lead to the most rewarding vacation of your life DW Life > Power Trip THINKSTOCKPHOTOS

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