At the Washington, DC Travel and Adventure Show I had the great opportunity to spend a few minutes chatting with Patricia Schultz, author of the hugely popular book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. I’ve long been a fan and it was great to finally meet and discuss our common love of travel. Rather than just a generic interview though, I put her through a special 10 Questions interview.
I have to start with the predictable; have you been to all of the 1,000 Places To See Before You Die?
No, but I’ve been to about 80% of them and keep adding new ones all the time.
The list is a little fatalistic, isn’t it? What do you do when you’ve finished it?
Not at all, it’s very life affirming actually. You get to experience the joy of traveling to see these places and there’s always much more of the world to see when you’re done.
Have you heard from fans who have completed the 1,000 place circuit?
I haven’t but I do hear from people all the time who say they’ve seen 25 places or 600 of them and they’re so proud. It showed me that everyone has their lists and that people have been thinking about travel this way for a long time. I just put together a resource for them to chronicle them.
We’re in Washington, D.C. and in the throws of a Presidential election. If you have to advise the President to visit any one place, where would it be? Same question for Governor Romney.
Well first I’d like to know more about their travel habits. I’m not sure if this is urban legend or not, but I heard that George W. Bush didn’t have a passport before he became President. Travel is so important I’d love to buy the President and the candidates round the world plane tickets to see as much of the world as possible.
You went to college here in the District, is there one place in town that speaks to you, that you just have to visit whenever you’re in town?
Those were great times. Once in a while, as students, when we were up late and not necessarily studying, we would bike to the Reflecting Pool and sit with the Lincoln Memorial behind us in the moonlight and just think to ourselves how lucky we were.
National Passport Day was a couple of weeks ago and only about 30% of Americans have a passport. What country do you think is the perfect first trip for a first time international traveler?
Well England is always a great choice but so is Scandinavia. It’s not too far away and the cities are just amazing. Plus the people are very approachable and it’s extremely easy to get around as an English speaker. Scandinavia is just a great travel destination and perfect for the first time international traveler.
You’re a travel writer with experience in guide book writing. Where do you see travel information and writing going in the next 5-10 years? Will guide books still be important?
Absolutely they well. Whether it’s a physical guide or digital, people will always need guidebooks. They’re so so important and will always be a resource.
Food and travel go hand in hand, any chance for a ’1,000 Travel Foods To Eat Before You Die’ edition? If you do, I want a cut.
Yes, we’re working on that actually. Look for it sometime in the next year.
Well then you must have been thinking about travel food a lot lately, what is your absolute favorite travel food?
A trattoria anywhere in Italy where the cook has been there for thirty years using recipes handed down over generations. I lived in Italy for five years and I never once had a bad meal.
Huge thanks to Patricia for being kind enough to sit down with me and for all the great work she’s done in promoting travel around the world! To learn more about Patricia and her incredibly popular book series, follow her on Twitter and be sure to visit her website.