Inspiration in Bhutan
I spend most of my time writing about business, but now and then I’ll write about travel. Mostly when Dad makes me.
Backstory: My father, Gene Gilliom, has been an innovator in study travel for more than 40 years. And on each of the 50+ tours he’s organized (to more than 90 countries), he's had a tradition of asking everyone in the group to write about one day of the trip. Back home, he compiles and edits the diary entries, adds photos, and has them printed in a book for each traveler — an amazing and personal record of the trip.
My sister, Julia, and I always said that whenever Dad decided he was organizing his final trip (he’s 86 after all), we would join him for it. And that’s just what we did last September, when he chose a place none of us, nor any of his loyal participants, had ever been: Bhutan.
So why write about this here? Because Dad's tradition is a great reminder of the value of writing not just for business, but for pleasure.
Per usual, Julia and I both wrote about a day of the trip, and dad is almost done with the book. (Sidebar: in addition to being a world-class chef, Julia’s a ridiculously good writer, which makes me crazy. How come some people get ALL the talent?) Just for fun, I decided to post my own entry on Medium so a few friends could read it. To my surprise, Medium is currently featuring it on their Travel section homepage.
We loved Bhutan for its peaceful Buddhist traditions and temples, friendly people, and stunning, unspoiled Himalayan landscapes. (Fun fact: There’s not a single traffic light in the country.) We recommend it highly.
So why write about this here? Because Dad's tradition is a great reminder of the value of writing not just for business, but for pleasure. The act of describing in written word an experience better cements it in your mind, encourages deeper reflection, and provides something to (potentially) share and take pride in. I hadn't written in long-form for myself in months, and it was fun -- not just to get it down, but to fact check it, hone it, get it just right. We don't often have the luxury of revising our work professionally (things move so fast!), but to write something like this, then walk away from it for a while, then make it better and better...it's rewarding.
Anyway, here’s my diary entry, from the morning of our final day of the trip. At this point, I've probably raised expectations much too high for it. Check it out, then try capturing a big day of your own sometime soon, and see how it makes you feel.