Stop Travel Planning feat. William D. Chalmers

Professional traveler shares the profound effect of leaving the guide books behind.


What would you say to three week around-the-world adventure where all of the destinations are a complete mystery to you?

There is something so magical about not knowing where you are going. There is a thrill in heading to destinations unknown – the possibilities are endless! Plus, when you get there, you are likely to have a more amazing and authentic traveling experience. For us, traveling without a rock solid plan or not really knowing our destination has countless benefits, including:

  • Lowered or no expectations
  • No pre-conceived ideas of what ‘should’ happen leaving us open to ‘whatever’.
  • More interaction with local people and culture
  • An ability to stay present in the moment and the experience of the place
  • A better partner experience as we figure things out together, and, we can’t prove this but,
  • A high propensity for phenomenal things to happen.

For us, travel is about the journey, not necessarily the final destination. That’s why we were so thrilled to have professional traveler and kindred spirit, William Chalmers on the show.

This guy is impressive. He’s circumnavigated the globe thirteen times with over 100 countries visited. In 2002, National Geographic Traveler dubbed him the “World’s Greatest Traveler.” He’s also authored three books (see below) and countless articles on travel.

He also created and coordinates an annual trip around the world, technically a contest, called Global Scavenger Hunt. He calls it a ‘blind date with the world’. Select participants jet off on a 23-day adventure that Bill has put together for them. When they get on the ground, there’s no shuttle to the all inclusive resort – it’s time for them to explore, interact and complete challenges in their scavenger hunt before they jet off to their next location.

If you’re thinking that this sounds a little bit like The Amazing Race, you’re right except without the cameras, the chance you’ll get booted back home and panic and mayhem (okay, maybe a little mayhem – it is traveling after all!)

In this episode, Bill shares his veteran travel philosophy, gives us tips on how to really experience a place (not just check it off our bucket list) and reconnect with ourselves and humanity. His fervour for authentic travel experiences is so tangible that we should probably warn any recovering travel-holics that this will definitely get that wanderlust burning again!

At the end of the podcast, we issue our biggest spontaneity sparker ever. This is our epic

challenge but we think you’re ready for it. After all, you ARE The Spontaneous!

Did you take the challenge? Tell us about your adventure! Got something to share (like an idea or an opinion about the show). Connect with us on Facebook Page or on Twitter. We love to hear from The Spontaneous.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your desire to be more spontaneous, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll be happy to send along some gentle reminders. We all need a nudge once in awhile and remember – it doesn’t always have to be epic (like this week’s challenge) it just takes a sprinkle of spontaneity to help happiness happen.


Twitter: @wmchalmers


Bill’s Books:

America’s Vacation Deficit Disorder: Who Stole Your Vacation?

On the Origin of the Species homo touristicus: The Evolution of Travel from Greek Spas to Space Tourism

A Blind Date With The World: The Great Global Scavanger Hunt

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