We sat down with renowned author and Trafalgar’s Global Ambassador, Patricia Schultz before she joins us for a series of exclusive night of travel events in Australia. Find out what led her to write the New York Times Best Seller 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, and the impact the book has had on people’s lives.
1. What inspired you to write 1,000 Places To See Before You Die?
PS: I wanted to compile all my favourite places and experiences around the world so that I could remember a lifetime full of adventure and something I could share with others. I wanted to inspire those who might not understand – or have forgotten – the importance of travel, the happiness it brings and how it can change your world. We live on a beautiful planet, so we should get out there and see it.
2. Have you visited all the places featured in the book?
PS: I’ve probably been to 80% of the destinations in the book. I’m always mixing up my travels with places I love to return to with those I’ve been longing to see.
3. Where would you like to travel next?
PS: I’ve never been to New Zealand, so it’s been on my shortlist forever.
4. It took you to eight years to write the book? Did you ever feel disheartened or want to give up?
PS: A lot happened during those eight years! I had a contract to write it, but as with any book, there is never a guarantee that it will sell. However, I continued because I love to travel. The process was daunting at first, but once I started, it became less overwhelming.
5. The founder and CEO of Barnes & Nobel told you the book would never sell – but you have now sold well over 3 million copies, plus 25 translations around the world. Were you worried when you first heard his opinion?
P.S: He felt that the word ‘die’ should not appear in the title without understanding that the book is very much about living life to its fullest. By the time I was aware of his comments, the book had already landed on the New York Times Best Seller list where it stayed for more than a year. The moral of this story? Always follow your heart and take criticism with a grain (or pound) of salt!
6. What do you hope to achieve with this book?
P.S: I hope to inspire more people to travel and more often. It’s a fascinating, diverse and beautiful world, and much of what stops us is of our own making. You won’t know what awaits until you get out there and explore.
7. Where did you last travel to?
P.S: I just returned from a remarkable three-week journey around the Balkan nations, which has stunning scenery, lovely people and great food. Its ancient and complex history goes back way beyond Josip Tito, former President of Yugoslavia and the Ottomans to Alexander the Great.
8. Tell us something about you that no one knows about?
P.S: I hate to fly. Obviously, it hasn’t stopped me, but the very thought of turbulence has me reaching for the hand of the stranger sitting next to me.
9. How did you find a Trafalgar trip? How did it differ from your other trips?
P.S: I was extremely impressed with how professionally and smoothly everything was run as it takes a lot of work to organise of that scale and make it look so effortless! Our Travel Director was a perfect blend of knowledge, enthusiasm, and fun and the restaurants and hotels were wonderful. It was an exciting itinerary, which allowed us free time to explore. The ‘Be My Guest’ event experience on our last evening was the perfect way to end such a special trip.
10. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and where?
P.S: I used to live in Florence, Italy and would endlessly wander the palazzo-lined piazzas and cobble back streets, imagining life in the Renaissance when Florence was considered the most important city in the world, the centre of the universe. I’d love to come back as a Medici and sponsor the great master artists of that time.
11. What travel quote do you live by?
P.S: “It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”