My Stupid Sunday Afternoon | Ben’s Musings

Ben Bressler February 14, 2010 2

Hi Friends,

I have a friend who takes issue with the concept of travel operators claiming that their trips are life-changing. “Who are we to tell our guests to ‘change their lives’,” says Sven Lindblad, the esteemed founder of Lindblad Expeditions, the world leader in ship-based expeditionary travel. He claims we should strive to make our trips “life-enhancing” rather than trying to change someone’s life.

Good point. By claiming that our adventures are “life-changing” we really are saying to our clients that, “Your lives are miserable, you are having no fun and your mother dresses you funny, so why not join us on a trip and change all that?” I don’t really like how that sounds and now I’m somewhat embarrassed that I’ve thought of our trips as “life-changing” for so many years.

And here is the really confusing part: Deep inside, I’m pretty sure most people—me included—need a little changing in their lives. Simply put, life isn’t perfect so a little changing is probably in order.

Man, that leaves our marketing department in a bit of a quandary, doesn’t it? We don’t want to tell people to change their lives, but we also know that most of us could use a little changing. Furthermore, travel, by nature, does in fact change the way we look at things, the way we live, the way we do things. In short, it changes “us” so why sugar coat it with words like “life-enhancing” when the truth is that it is “life-changing?”

Here’s an example: The fact that I am spending my Sunday afternoon writing about the semantics of “changing” versus “enhancing” illustrates that my life needs a little changing (or is it enhancing?). And if my life needs it, isn’t it likely most people (or everyone) needs it?

And here’s some proof: This is, by far, the worst blog posting I have ever entered, which makes me think that it’s time for me to go on a trip. Perhaps some travel will change me and enhance my next posting. It can’t hurt.

I hope to see you out there,

Ben Bressler
Founder & Director
Natural Habitat Adventures


  1. peter szuch March 8, 2010 at 8:14 am - Reply


    Either there is a really impressive other side to you or you pulled together an assortment of related artivles form National Geographic.

    QUestion for you – Molly and I are trying to plan a trip to Costa Rica from Dec. 26- Jnauary 2. there are 6 of us. Do you have any suiggestions whether your outfit or another one could find a package for us that won’t break the bank, and give us a good time?

    Hope all is well.

    Peter Szuch

  2. jennifer February 22, 2010 at 2:59 am - Reply

    ok good point ben. it is a little cliche and presumptuous to say “life changing”. but, every trip has changed my life sometimes small, sometimes big. in truth, i’ve never been the same after coming home. one trip spurned a huge interest in star gazing and then a valid interest in astronomy. another trip (salzburg) gave me an insight into classical music. i ended up taking music lessons for several yrs. i could write more but u get the point. so i guess “life enhancing” is the better choice of words…but i personally don’t mind the life changing claim because i welcome outside influences. i would guess many nathabbers feel this way…

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