I have a friend who takes issue with the concept of travel operators claiming that their trips are life-changing. “Who are we to tell our guests to ‘change their lives’,” says Sven Lindblad, the esteemed founder of Lindblad Expeditions, the world leader in ship-based expeditionary travel. He claims we should strive to make our trips “life-enhancing” rather than trying to change someone’s life.
Good point. By claiming that our adventures are “life-changing” we really are saying to our clients that, “Your lives are miserable, you are having no fun and your mother dresses you funny, so why not join us on a trip and change all that?” I don’t really like how that sounds and now I’m somewhat embarrassed that I’ve thought of our trips as “life-changing” for so many years.
And here is the really confusing part: Deep inside, I’m pretty sure most people—me included—need a little changing in their lives. Simply put, life isn’t perfect so a little changing is probably in order.
Man, that leaves our marketing department in a bit of a quandary, doesn’t it? We don’t want to tell people to change their lives, but we also know that most of us could use a little changing. Furthermore, travel, by nature, does in fact change the way we look at things, the way we live, the way we do things. In short, it changes “us” so why sugar coat it with words like “life-enhancing” when the truth is that it is “life-changing?”
Here’s an example: The fact that I am spending my Sunday afternoon writing about the semantics of “changing” versus “enhancing” illustrates that my life needs a little changing (or is it enhancing?). And if my life needs it, isn’t it likely most people (or everyone) needs it?
And here’s some proof: This is, by far, the worst blog posting I have ever entered, which makes me think that it’s time for me to go on a trip. Perhaps some travel will change me and enhance my next posting. It can’t hurt.
I hope to see you out there,
Founder & Director
Natural Habitat Adventures