The Joy of the Unexpected

I read an article the other day that said that the latest trend in Mexico City is the opening of cafes dedicated to Korean pop music By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

I read an article the other day that said that the latest trend in Mexico City is the opening of cafes dedicated to Korean pop music. Apparently, K-pop, as it’s called, has a big following in Mexico City and cafes have sprung up to give devoted fans a place to gather and discuss their favorite bands.

The article made me realize that, no matter how well you think you know a place, there is always something new and surprising to be discovered. And that unexpected discovery is truly one of the great joys of travel.

Twenty or so years ago, through a set of complicated accidents and random encounters, I found myself in a small Belgian town far off the typical tourist trail. In this town, I came across a bar that had as its theme, of all things, American rock and roll. There were Bruce Springsteen posters on the walls, Tom Petty songs on the sound system and a large sign that said, “Welcome to the Hotel California.”

Naturally, I had to let them know that I was a native Los Angeleno — and the rest of the night I never had to pay for a drink. I became good friends with a few of the people I met that night and still talk to them to this day.

Those kinds of completely unexpected encounters make for the best memories.

In this issue’s cover story, “Extraordinary Mexico,” we present some unique and perhaps surprising suggestions for travelers who think they have done everything there is to do in Mexico. If hovering over the ocean with a jet pack, eating grasshoppers or taking a Lucha Libre tour doesn’t give clients stories to tell back home, I’m not sure what will. At the very least, offering these kinds of suggestions to your customers should reinforce your expertise on that destination and show that you are truly in the know when it comes to the latest offerings.

And, if your clients are into K-pop, you can thank me for that tip.

On another note, there is still time to cast your vote in our 2014 WAVE Awards. Vote for your favorite supplier and let your voice be heard. You can find a link to the ballot at TravelAgeWest.com/Wave.

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