Every year the Boston Globe sponsors a travel show in Boston. This year I decided to take the bus down from Portland to check out the 10th annual Boston Globe Travel Show. Tickets cost $10 online in advance or $15 at the door. I made sure to purchase mine ahead of time to save a few dollars.
I wasn’t sure what to really expect of the show. I knew there would be a lot of tourism boards there so I was hoping to do a little networking and also listen to a few of the speakers. Walking through the doors into the exhibition hall was chaos. People started handing tickets telling me to sign up for a chance to win a free trip to somewhere warm. On my right were beautiful women in shiny Vegas show girl costumes dancing at the Aruba booth.
I immediately headed to the right side of the room and started walking down one aisle and up the other. I needed a systemic method in all the madness. SeaWorld had a booth with several animals on display. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about SeaWorld and how they treat their animals, but I do know that I was curious about the animals. They had a very cute lemur and a couple Magellan penguins with their handlers carefully watching their every move. The lemur was quite interested in the small trees and the penguins just napped all day.
There were booths from tropical countries in the Caribbean to Romania to Ireland. I stopped at almost every booth to chat with the people and grab free stuff. I LOVE me some free pens! Seriously, I can never have enough pens. Most booths, especially the tour companies, were offering special discounts for trip packages if you either booked right on the spot or within a specific timeframe.
I listened to a couple of pitches from the hotels and tour companies and, of course, signed up for every raffle possible. I haven’t won anything yet (and probably won’t). One thing that I didn’t like about the travel show was the fact that it was marketed as travel is expensive and a once in a lifetime thing. I listened to one woman try to sell me on an all-inclusive resort on some Caribbean island and the whole time I was thinking was that I could totally do that trip waaayyy cheaper. I get that some people like to splurge on a week-long all-inclusive resort vacation once a year and that’s cool if that’s your thing. My views of travel are very different from most people. I have no problem sleeping on a cardboard mattress or a ripped couch at someone’s house if I can save a few bucks. I’d much rather eat with the locals than at a fancy restaurant. But, I know most people don’t like traveling as a dirtbag backpacker. That’s cool too.
My favorite thing about the travel show was the culinary shows. I discovered them at the end of the day when my feet were tired and I just wanted to sit. I sat down in the middle of the Indonesian food session and got to try a few dishes. As the chef is cooking on the stage, assistants bring out sample dishes for the audience. Free lunch! The Indonesian food was good and reminded me of Thai food. After the Indonesian food sessions there was half hour break before the next session so I decided to head to the other end of the hall to the second stage.
It was perfect timing! People were sitting down as the chef was prepping for the Australian lamb cooking session. It was ah-mazing! The chef cooked several dishes on stage while an Australian master butcher chopped up a whole lamb on the table. I could have listened to his Aussie accent all day long! The assistants brought out 3 different dishes cooked with lamb. One was a simple lamb steak the size of my palm. The meat literally fell off the bone into my mouth. The second dish was crockpot lamb with rice. They saved the best for last too. The last dish was a honey and cumin glazed lamb rack over cauliflower rice. It was amazing! I’m pretty sure I might have died and gone to heaven. The lamb was that good. Those 3 lamb dishes made the $10 admission to the travel show worth it.
Overall the travel show was good. Would I go back next year? Probably if it fits in my schedule. I want some more Australian lamb!