Music is your life. It is your day job and your passion. You and several of your close friends – fellow musicians and just enthusiasts – have talked for years about picking a country and trekking through it, to learn as much as you can about its musicians and musical traditions. As familiar as you and your friends may be with the music that you love, though, you have not traveled farther than your last gig, and the idea of planning a trip that involves more than renting a van is beyond your ken.
When you go to an art museum, you read all of the stories on the little plaques and try to imagine the works back in the places where they were created – the painter’s studio (or cave!); the potter’s wheel; the sculptor’s garden (or garage!). You know that there are places all over the world where works of art have been preserved and protected in their original homes – and you dream about traveling to see them. But the idea of narrowing down your interests to pick places to visit alone intimidates you – never mind actually planning the travel.
As a child, you tried to bring home every stray dog, cat, fish, and rabbit – much to your mother’s chagrin. Now you know the name of every pet in your neighborhood and you have more than once won the free case of beer at Trivia Night for your team with a random animal fact (yes, sloths are in fact mammals and not all of them have three toes). Going to the zoo has always made you a little uncomfortable, because you know most of the animals would be happier in their natural habitats, and you fantasize about seeing them there – but you are neither the trek-out-into-the-jungle-on-your-own type, nor the full on safari-expedition type…
Your grandfather was a decorated veteran who inspired in you a lifelong passion for learning about the great battles that have defined civilizations. You have found your way to the site of every major battle that occurred on American soil, and managed to get yourself to some key spots in France and Germany, but the logistics of even finding the locations of battles in other countries leaves your mind spinning – much less planning a trip around them.
You and several of your friends have an obsession with chocolate. It is an unusual obsession, because, while you like eating chocolate in almost any form, what really interests you is the history of chocolate and how it made its way around the world. You take turns hosting parties with multicultural and national chocolate themes. You would love to retrace its steps in a cocoa bean world tour, but you do not have the foggiest notion of how to arrange such a thing – nor do you have the time to figure it out.