Relentless and Reluctant about Travel



Lisa Niver Rajna at Uncovering Jewish Morocco Travel talk
My travel talk last week could have been a total bust. That was essentially what one Rabbi told me on December 2, 2010, 
What is the worst-case scenario? Can you live with doing this talk if you have a small group size? Of course, the best case is your talk is to lots of people.
I felt at the time that he was trying to discourage me from giving a talk without the sponsorship of a specific group, but I think he was being realistic. What would make people leave their home on a rainy night when they could watch news about bombing Libya, the “American Idol” results show or the new “Gray’s Anatomy” on television? I wondered last week, would any of the people show up?
During the process of getting a room, creating publicity and writing my talk, one or two of my friends called me relentless, but I prefer the label tenacious. A different rabbi told me that I am “relentlessly tenacious.”  Maybe that is what is required in our society to do something really different. When my husband and I were away for a year in Asia on an eleven-day trip, camping in tents, called Gers to the Gobi Desert, a few of our companions said, “We just don’t want to go back home and watch television every night. While we are traveling we do such interesting things. We want to find a way to do that at home also.”
Now that we are home from our travels, I want to share my experiences and reluctant foibles of traveling. My Uncovering Jewish Morocco travel talk had 37 guests and well over 75 on the list of yes and maybe RSVPs. I spoke to so many travelers on the phone. It was really incredible!


One email about my talk (which was sent to my parents who were out of town): 

Lisa did a fantastic job…she was charming, very enthusiastic, well prepared, delivery excellent, truly created a desire to see HER Morocco…..we loved our trip but must say she did it in depth with a purpose…we were tourists…and she introduced me to a taste I cannot believe I never enjoyed…CINNAMON sprinkled on orange…anyway, she was awesome…the photos George took were quite good too! So puff out your chest and take pride in knowing you have a very dynamic daughter.
I had great responses on the written survey we handed out at the end of the presentation. Many people said they would even come to another talk! How exciting! 
Another email reminded me how so many cannot even imagine speaking to a group:
Just thought I’d let you know we thought you made a very good presentation and spoke confidently and warmly.  I guess speaking to a classroom every day gives you the background to speak to a room of adults, too.  They say that speaking before an audience is the thing that frightens people most.
I think that not traveling frightens me the most. I just love to be on the road exploring and learning. I look forward to sharing the video of my talk with you soon. Negotiations are in process for our next talk. If you want to be part of making that happen, contact me at this email.
I often have to remember everything starts by taking the first step, and even though I seem relentless at times, I am frequently reluctant. “Taking a risk and a deep breathe, I said yes.” That is the line I wrote in our book about choosing to go with George on a yearlong career break in Asia. He asked me to quit my job, leave my condo and travel for a year in South East Asia. I said yes, but I had so many objections. It took a lot of negotiating for me to actually go.
Then last year he wanted to go to Morocco, where I said adamantly at first, I am not going there to mingle with those people.  As a place I did not want to visit at first, I did my research and realized the trip could be great. Usually when George wants to go somewhere and I don’t want to go, I end up having the time of my life. Poor expectations are good for something, I realize! An open mind is even better.
One survey respondent at the end of the talk said:
You were so confident and had a lot of interesting information. So glad I got off my couch to come.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and think about your dreams and get ready because, We said GO travel! I hope that you will rise from your couch and take a first step today. I am soon going to book a flight for my next adventure. How about you?
Michael and Adam setting up the video….we will share the video with you soon!


Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. 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-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

11 responses to “Relentless and Reluctant about Travel

  1. From IU "Hello Lisa!
    I am so happy for you! I wish i was there for your talk! Hope all is well!
    I am sure you already have the plans for your next trip!
    Big hug!"

  2. I want to share some of the comments we have been getting:

    From DP "Lisa !

    Loved reading this article, especially,
    – I think that not traveling frightens me the most.

    – Usually when George wants to go somewhere and I don’t want to go, I end up having the time of my life. Poor expectations are good for something, I realize! An open mind is even better.

    Beautiful ! I'd love to hear this series… over lunch, or at your next gig….. Go girl ! You have to push for what you want, to make your realities happen – You could be passive, but, what would be the satisfaction?

    Mazel tov !


  3. From Down Under in OZ:

    This is awesome!!!!!! So glad you sorted out the video thing too

    The Morocco trip looks awesome!!!!!!

    You should put a ‘dating’ twist on it and do a trip for singles nest time"

  4. From KH,
    " Very cool Mrs. Relentless. Tenacious is for vacations. Relentless is your work speed."

  5. From JT
    "It was GREAT seeing you and George the other night! I LOVED your talk and the pics and we enjoyed your knowledge and insight. I will pass on the dates of your trip to friends and hopefully some will be interested.

    I would love some suggestions esp. re: Marrakesh (it seems that we have more free time there) and good but not very expensive places for dinner, where to shop(any city) because our shopping time is very limited, and/or whatever else you think is important.

    Thanks in advance for your info. and I really am impressed with your research, your technology skills and your poise and delivery. Wow, what a joy to know you!! I would be interested in other trips you might lead!!"

  6. From LJ
    I love your attitude! You are absolutely correct in that when we travel we are invigorated by amazing new experiences by just not watching tv or turning to the "comforts" around us! When my husband and I travel we talk more to each other than we ever do. We delve into the cultures, food and art that surrounds us. We actually find ourselves looking and talking to more people than we ever do in our own town. From hiking Macchu Picchu to buying art in Haiti those experiences have stayed with us forever. The best part is coming home afterwards, rich with new experiences of the world and new experiences of ourselves. You are right! Sometimes we have to just GO!"

  7. Hi! I'm also a member of TCC and lived in Cartagena from new year's to April 5 when I sailed the San Blas…GREAT post!

  8. Hi! I'm also a member of TCC and lived in Cartagena from new year's to April 5 when I sailed the San Blas…GREAT post!

  9. Really great article with very interesting information. You might want to follow up to this topic!?! 2012

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