Lindsay Taub

Reflections on a Rocky Mountain Adventure

2011-07-13 by Lindsay Taub

Lake Louise

As someone who has a passion for travel and has always dreamed of doing documentaries for National Geographic, I jumped at a recent opportunity to do some travel writing for My first assignment was a dream — a week-long, adventure-filled, gastronomic-centric, picturesque sojourn to the Canadian Rockies, promoting the new WestJet flight route between Orange County and Calgary. Not knowing exactly what to expect of a travel press trip, I was completely open and prepared for anything, knowing that I’d be recording every detail, taking tons of photos, and talking to as many people as I could so that in the end, I’d have an ample amount of material and anecdotes about which to write.

The full story can be read here. What isn’t included in the article — at least not explicitly — is the sheer pleasure I had on a personal level in the experience. Travel to me is not about the destination itself, but rather what that destination offers for self-reflection. It may sound trivial or even contrived, but each time I travel whether it’s a weekend getaway or weeks or months in a place that takes more than 10 hours to get to, the inherent pleasure is in the change of scenery, altered pace, and ultimately, the unexpected, cherished moments that make us return home with a fresh perspective. We evolve, we change, and we grow…

The first night I made a rookie mistake…At dinner, while meeting the other writers and a couple of our hospitality hosts, we discussed who would be tweeting and Facebooking during the trip, of which I was one. We decided collectively that we should create a hashtag for our tweets. As several ideas were bounced around, the chosen one was “#albertaFAM.” I said, “as in family?”, thinking of course that it was so sweet that we were already “family” in less than five hours together. I realized the next day — in a simple Google search — why no one answered me, and politely ignored my question. I knew there must be some other meaning or acronym for “fam.” In fact, “FAM” is short for “Familiarization” — and it’s used in travel media and public relations as commonly as, say, calling champagne “bubbly.”

As the trip went on, I discovered that media FAM trips often get a bad wrap because some highbrow journalists feel like it negates the authentic review of a place, simply because you are receiving something — like accommodations and food — in return. In my humble opinion, I think this is crazy. While I did feel a particular sense of appreciation for such luxuries, I would absolutely write my honest to goodness opinion, and if something was really terrible or average at best, I’d say so. That’s my job. Of course the hosts and publicists are going to do everything they can to ensure a fabulous experience, but if a certain place or event or restaurant isn’t up to par, then future travelers reading the content need to know or my authority as a writer/reviewer is challenged.

Keep reading on here.


Tags: Adventure, banff, Calgary, Canada, Canadian Rockies, lake louise, mountains, Tourism, Travel

Posted in Travel |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera