Lex and I walked through 7 continents including Antarctica. We also skydived over the Colorado River, rode on a gentle camel, and were mesmerized by two South Korean characters who beckoned us to the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games.
We did all of this in only one day at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show which took place at the LA Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles show (the show travels all across the United States) took place on the weekend of February 18 and 19. We got complimentary tickets through Goldstar and had to pay for the service charge of only $4 each. Parking is quite expensive in downtown Los Angeles but you can take the Metro as there is a stop right nearby.
The exhibition hall is so massive and colorful that we had a difficult time figuring out where to start. Since Lex and I are planning to make a road trip later this year, we opted for North America first. We visited the National Park exhibits and sampled some watermelon with goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette from Arizona. There was rock climbing and Lex tried the VR skydiving experience. The exhibitors gladly handed out a bunch of pamphlets and a ton of valuable road maps.
There was a Global Stage that had wonderful Hawaiian and Tahitian dancers. The dancers were graceful and we enjoyed it very much.
Asia was a big presence with South Korea hosting the Winter Olympic Games next year. Such exotic places such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Uzbekistan were represented. I loved the colorful costumes of Taiwan and the cherry blossoms of Japan. China was also represented with its terracotta warrior statutes of Xi’an.
Lex and I took a little break when we rode on a camel with a bumpy back. It was a surprisingly gentle ride.
Before we left, we visited Great Britain, Ireland, Armenia, South Africa, India, Colombia (their coffee was delicious!), Jamaica and of course, Mexico. There were so many more left to visit but we were exhausted and had to go home. Perhaps next year!
It was a wonderful experience to attend this travel show but it was important to meet friendly people from all over the world who want visitors to come and enjoy their country.
We arrived early at the Los Angeles Convention Center on a Sunday, which enabled us to get really lucky and find free street parking. That’s a real rarity in downtown L.A.! It was a little rainy outside, as it usually has been this winter, but this was the last day of the L.A. Travel & Adventure show, so we weren’t going to let that stop us.
The room the event was held in is enormous, which is a good thing because there are literally hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world showcasing their countries and states. Neek, Sar and I decided to start our journey looking at what the other states in the USA had to offer. Arizona looks very promising, there are a number of different wineries that have recently opened that I am curious about visiting. Plus, it really whetted my appetite to use the Samsung VR to do a virtual skydive over the Grand Canyon!
One of the things we love about the Travel and Adventure show is some of the fun activities exhibitors have set up to promote travel to their place. Sometimes it’s spinning a wheel to win prizes, like pens, tote bags and sunglasses. But sometimes it’s a fun physical activity. One year I rode a zipline, which was quite exhilarating. This year, I was amazed that there was a camel ride! I believe it was sponsored by an African exhibitor, as the promotion for it asks you to imagine yourself trekking through the Sahara Desert. So Neek and I got in line and got on board. What a unique experience – kind of like riding a horse, but higher off the ground and a much smoother journey!
After that, we decided to have our sandwich lunch we brought. There are plenty of vendors that sell lunch too, plus plenty of tables and chairs to relax and enjoy it. Then we walked to the other side of the auditorium to explore international destinations. All of the booths were decorated so ornately! I enjoyed a lot of complimentary snacks and drinks being offered, such as Yakult from Japan or some very strong coffee from Colombia that had a long line, but was very tasty. The booth that probably blew my mind the most was the one for Antarctica. They were offering expeditions there taking off from the southern tip of South America. So all seven continents were represented at this show!
We ended our time there taking in a Travel Theater presentation by Johnny Jet titled How to Travel Like a Movie Star (Without Movie Star Money). He gave a very entertaining talk but also very informative about ways to save money traveling, particularly in regard to booking inexpensive airline tickets. We left the Convention Center feeling inspired about all the wonderful possibilities to explore for future travels. There were so many great places that we saw, I’m sure at least one of them will be on our itinerary in the years to come.