Travel Agents Vanished? A Pessimist's View of Next 10 Years

January 5, 2011 in announcements, Economy, Pop Culture, Travel Writers

Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.netWhere did all those travel agents go?  Remember those friendly people who would sell you fabulous tours and excursions?  You would sit down, tell them what you want and voila! … a seven-day cruise to Mexico.  However, certain jobs, like travel agents, are dwindling, since we are our own travel agents with websites such as Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline.

This is just one point made by novelist Douglas Coupland.  His series of 45 tips entitled “A Radical Pessimist’s Guide to the Next 10 Years” was recently published in the Toronto Globe & Mail. The list is definitely radical.  Coupland says it’s all going to get worse, extreme weather patterns will take over, expect less, stupid people will be in charge and the middle class isn’t coming back.  Ouch.  That’s a lot of negativity for the next 10 years.

But he does speak some truths.  And in regard to extreme weather, won’t it be nice to travel to places that have consistent weather?  And what about all those long lost travel agents?  They’ll float into the abyss, never seen or heard from again.

Coupland’s list actually brings up a good point.  How do we stay positive for 2011 and beyond?  In a time of negativity, it’s hard to stay positive.  On the news, all we hear is “the recession is getting worse.”  We’re at a 10 percent unemployment rate.  Job creation seems nonexistent.  Where’s our FDR and where’s our change we were promised?

I once read an article about how the real entrepreneurs come out in tough economic times.  Creativity blossoms.  Hard work wins out.  That’s how I approached a tough 2010 and how I’ll approach 2011 and the next 10 years.  I look back to 2010, an arduous year financially, when I enjoyed literary travels to San Francisco and a luxurious cruise on the Queen Mary 2.  I’m in the final draft of my novel.  I interviewed Joanne Harris, international bestselling author of Chocolat.  And I met Bill Bryson.

And I already expect much more for 2011.  My goals are set much higher, including my financial ones.  Coupland may have his points, but for me, it’s all about positivity.

~ Jennifer, Network Editorial Director

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