Where To Go Next? Ask Patricia Schultz, 1000 Places to See Before You Die


We Said Go Travel interviewed Patricia Schultz,

author of 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

(INTERVIEW #100 in our travel series!)
Patricia Schultz in Papua New Guinea
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)

It was my first passport and my first stamp: I was 15 and was invited to visit a high school friend who lived in Santo Domingo, the capital of the DR. It was total and glorious immersion in the vibrant and rich Latino culture which was something pretty heady for a New York teen leaving her ultra-American comfort zone for the first time. That flung the door wide open for me!

Do you want to travel with Patricia Schultz? She has hosted small-group trips from Uganda to Iran, and Chile’s Patagonia to the Balkan countries. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter HERE!

Patricia Schultz in Khiva, Uzbekistan
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?

 I would rent a big old hilltop ‘casa colonica’ (farmhouse) with-a-view in the heart of Tuscany for the summer. There would be a revolving door for all my family and friends who would come and stay for a few days or a few weeks. I used to live in Florence, so we’d go into town to wander around my old neighborhood, and visit nearby Lucca and Siena. We’d explore small sleepy towns and villages for their daily markets and enjoy long lazy meals of local wines and homemade pasta.

Patricia Schultz in Palawan, Phillippines
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?

I set off on some of my earliest adventures after university alone – not because I wanted to but no one else was available or interested. The first many times I was scared out of my wits – but convinced myself that knot in my stomach was excitement and not fear, and that the dread of what might happen was instead anticipation for the great adventures that awaited. Depending upon the destination, I sometimes prefer traveling with others, but my real joy still remains striking off on my own.

4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?

 I use Flight Tracker and TripIt, Seat Guru and Kayak and those for various airlines. Of course Facebook where I have a huge following of incredible travelers from around the world and Instagram where I am a new arrival. What can I say? Better late than never at all.

Patricia Schultz in Iran
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?

Iran. It reinforces that there is often a wide and deep divide between a government and its people. The Iranian people love Westerners, and absolutely shower Americans with kindness and curiosity in a way I have never experienced before. I had studied its architecture and history, but what I saw still blew me away – from the UNESCO site of ancient Persepolis to the 20th-century structures created during the glory days of the Shah. The food was both exotic and complex, the result of countless Silk Road caravans passing thru who influenced the local people in ways both great and subtle.

Patricia Schultz on the Great Ocean Road outside Melbourne, Australia
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?

My extremely supportive German father, who secretly wanted nothing more than for me to finish college and come home and teach grade school, once said “Follow your heart, but bring your brain with you.”

Patricia Schultz in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
 7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?

 Every trip, every time. I am always aware that people appreciate that you have traveled – sometimes from the other side of the world – to experience their home and want to make you welcome. We had hired a driver in Casablanca when our 5am flight was canceled – we were starved and told him we wanted to taste the best couscous in town – but not in a place popular with tourists. We wanted to know where he would go to eat with his wife and children. He took us home to his mother! She still sends me a Christmas card every year.

Patricia Schultz in Uzbekistan
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?

With life, families and work obligations, it is not easy to linger in a destination for more than the usual drive-by visit. But if you can organize it just once in your life – during a gap year or sabbatical – the experience of immersion is a life-changer. I took my Junior Year Abroad in Madrid and now see it was a true luxury to learn its rich language and age-old customs. I studied close-up the heritage of one of the world’s most important cultures – it was an invaluable education and a gift and it greatly influenced how I saw European – and as a result, world – history. 

9.)I travel because…

I can. We forget how much of the world has to wait sometimes for months and even years to get a visa that we can get in 24 hours – if we need one at all. Many people cannot get a passport and if they can, cannot afford to leave the country. It is my life’s greatest privilege and I travel as much as I can and as far as I can. I know there is no guarantee that I will still be around when I’m 80 – or next week. Carpe diem.

10.) My favorite travel or business book is… 

 I always buy 3 or 4 guidebooks about the destination I am visiting to peruse before I leave home. And then bring just one with me. When I return it is interesting to read them again – so many things take on an entirely different meaning or importance having just experienced them in the three dimensional.

11.)  How about hotels?  What’s your favorite or one you’d recommend?

I have become very fussy about hotels and when I find certain things in modest and small hotels that you usually pay big money for in 5-star hotels I feel like I’ve won the lottery – genuine hospitality, a warm welcome and good service, attention to detail, and welcomed freebies like complimentary coffee and free, strong reliable WiFi. Of course cleanliness is paramount, and a location in the heart of the city – whether large or small – always augments the excitement of being in a new place.

GET THE BOOK: 1000 Places to See Before You Die

Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with 30 years of experience, she has written for guides such as Frommer’s and Berlitz and periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and Travel Weekly, where she is a contributing editor. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Her home base is New York City.

Connect with Patricia on Facebook and Instagram

Lisa Niver and Patricia Schultz Feb 2018 at the Travel and Adventure Show
Lisa Niver and Patricia Schultz Feb 2018 at the Travel and Adventure Show

I loved meeting Patricia Schultz at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show and when she spoke for the JNTO.


Lisa Niver, Patricia Schultz, Richard Bangs and Andy Bender at JNTO event March 2016
Lisa Niver, Patricia Schultz, Richard Bangs and Andy Bender at JNTO event March 2016

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

2 responses to “Where To Go Next? Ask Patricia Schultz, 1000 Places to See Before You Die

  1. Super inspiring! I love the story from Casablanca, what a kindness 🙂 Such moments are worth traveling for. I hope I will be able to see all these amazing places (Iran included) one day.
    Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We Said Go Travel

We Said Go Travel