Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Planning Your Travel For 2017; Or: Why Matthew Brumley Hates Lists

Composite image
Various sources
Some of the places and people we visited in 2016 on "Going Places." Travel expert Matthew Brumley says we should make our own lists for 2017, and then "just go!"

Knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley will not give you a list of places to go in 2017. It’s not you; it’s him. He hates lists.

“I don’t know who’s writing them. I don’t know who these experts are,” he said. “To be honest with you, I think it’s a bunch of baloney.”

There are a few reasons for this. Let’s, uh, put them in a list:

1. If everyone says to go to a certain place, it’s probably not going to be much fun to visit. “Flights are going to be more expensive, and you’re going to get there and … it’s going to be overloaded with everyone from your country,” Brumley says. Look at the list of what’s hot, and then go somewhere else.

2. Travel is individual. Sure, we travel with people, but where one has a good time depends a lot on their tastes and preferences. “It’s kind of like a glass of wine, or a piece of art, or some music,” Brumley said. “We’re all different.” Some of us like to be busy and take in a big city with art and architecture and museums. Some of us want to relax, bury our feet in some sand, open a good book and not speak to another soul for a week. Know what’s right for you, not what someone else says is right.

3. The best travel advice comes from word of mouth. “That’s one of the ways I learned,” he said. “Even as the ‘travel expert,’ I’m always asking all my friends.” Listen to friends. Make your own list by writing down the things you’d like to do in 2017. (We'll keep offering advice Brumley's stories about destinations around the world, too.)

So, OK, Brumley's not going to give you a list. But you can create your own. What’s on your list? And why did you pick those places? Share in the comments below.


“Going Places” is 88.5’s weekly exploration of travel. Matthew Brumley is the co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including knkx. 

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.