How to Plan Your Perfect Summer Travel Through Curiosity and Wonder with Author Jenny Herbert, Episode 82

Whether you’re in a lockdown (as we are in Sydney, Australia during our winter season) or contemplating how to plan your summer travels after 17 months or so of travel hiatus, you’ll want to listen to this timely conversation with Jenny Herbert.

Jenny is a veteran tourism industry expert who has figured out how to fill her soul with tantalizing local adventures. This interview is filled with fascinating multi-sensorial ways to scratch your itch to travel along with stories from people around the world who have found ways to explore their cities and towns, as well as finding the natural beauty they never realized existed until it quenched their wanderlust souls 

Not only a tourism veteran, Jenny Herbert is also an author. In her recent book, “The Art Of Being a Tourist at Home: Expand your world without leaving your hometown,” Jenny celebrates ‘staycations’ at a time when the world is grappling with the future of travel. She takes us on a journey through our neighborhood streets and our local parks, through museums and libraries, art galleries and bookshops. 

You see, there’s so much wonder to be found around us that doesn’t even require holiday planning.  The key question Jenny helps us reconsider in her book is: “why do we travel in the first place?” Indeed, it’s an urgent question at this time of the pandemic, climate crisis, and global instability. 

Definitely tune in and get ready to reimagine what’s possible when it comes to going on your next best adventure.

Meanwhile, have you ever explored your local town like a tourist? What are your favorite local spots? I’ve found so many local treasures but I’d love to hear yours and to know your name too. DM me on Instagram @melissallarena.

About Jenny Herbert

With over 20 years working in the tourism industry, and as a keen traveler herself, Jenny Herbert knows tourism from both sides. Her 2008 book, The Intelligent Traveller was a guide to travelling well, how we might distinguish real travel from ‘McTourism’, and how we need to be respectful and responsible travelers. Much about world tourism has changed since 2008 and Jenny recognizes the need to revisit the reasons why we travel as well as the urgency to consider alternatives without foregoing wonder, excitement and adventure. With a PhD in writing behind her, Jenny has turned her attention to demonstrating that much of what drives wanderlusts can be satisfied right here at home – and without costing the earth.

SHARE this episode with your three favorite travel buddies or fellow lockdown denizens because either group will appreciate the insights in this episode.  Encourage them to tune in for creative tips on how to explore the world and still metaphorically return with stories of adventures.


  • Action: Jenny’s original intent for writing her book was to make a call to climate change action. One of the things we need to consider is what we’re doing to our planet when we’re flying to different places.
  • Overtourism: Large volumes of people coming in can undermine people’s way of life. 
  • Curiosity: Curiosity could be practiced anywhere. You don’t have to necessarily board a plane in order for your imagination to flourish. Nor does it take large budgets or novel sightings to find something new. Consider visiting your old stomping grounds – this time with a new set of eyes. 
  • Culture: Familiarity doesn’t mean mundanity. Why would we go to a foreign country to look at a foreign culture and not understand the basics of our own? There are so many things you can do to explore your own culture.
  • Awareness: Consider shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, a Japanese practice where you simply slow down, feel the breeze, and smell the resin from the trees or notice the chirping of the birds.
  • Wonder: There’s a mystery about it that we can’t get to the essence of, but it means so much to us – and this is something we get in nature and music. Wonder is something we’re losing so we need to bring it back in because it also feeds us in a very special way. 
  • Courage: Consider why you travel and whether your reasons are true to the person you’d like to be in the world. Or do you find any conflicts between your ideal of protecting the planet and visiting places to shop or plunder?
  • Mindset: We can explore locally with a wanderlust mindset that replicates all the reasons why we go away.
  • Creativity: Boredom is not a bad thing. It can be a gift to our kids and an opportunity for them to use their imagination and create their own fun experiences. 
  • Choice: Consider your career choices and your consumerism choices, and come back to something more basic that gives your time with your family and friends, and just enjoying your home. 
  • Simplicity: There’s so much pressure in travel pages in terms of budget for most people. Wouldn’t it be great if they put on some simple and beautiful things that don’t require spending a fortune to do it?
  • Profitability: Campfires, cooking marshmallows and collecting mussels on the beach used to be an example of perfection. Nowadays, the way we see a holiday has changed. Sadly, we have been driven to a new way of seeing for the profitability of others. 
  • Lessons: Travel contributes a huge amount of global emissions and the pandemic has taught us that we can live without it. None of those problems have gone away, they’ve only been paused. But hopefully in that pause, we’ve learned some lessons and we can apply them through our choices.
  • Authenticity: We have this rise in intolerance around the world with racism but if we can be inclusive in our own communities, that is much better for the world. Get to know people genuinely rather than just as tourism slideshows.

Links to continue to learn from Jenny Herbert:

Continue to listen to An Interview With Melissa Llarena podcast episodes 

Continue To Explore My Other Binge-Worthy Episodes

Books mentioned

Want to continue the conversation?

Find me on Instagram! You can read my daily mini-blogs centered on the same three topics that my podcast features: creativity, courage, and curiosity. I believe that without all three it would be impossible to solve the challenges we were each uniquely made to solve. Wouldn’t you agree? I’m easy to find on Instagram @melissallarena

Rather keep it professional?

Let’s connect on LinkedIn. I encourage every single podcast listener to connect with me.




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Melissa Llarena

Melissa Llarena is an author, imagination coach, consultant, speaker, and contributor to ForbesWomen articles that have garnered 4 million + views. She is also the host of Unimaginable Wellness, the podcast for entrepreneurs, founders, and creators who are also moms. Featured guests include GaryVee and Beth Comstock. Melissa holds a psychology degree from New York University, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a Transformational Coaching Academy certificate. She is training to become a meditation practitioner. Melissa lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three sons. Visit

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