what's your return on life?™

What's your return on life?™ is a trademark of Virtuoso, the luxury travel consortium. The phrase alludes to "return on investment" (ROI), one of the key financial ratios that investors use to evaluate the performance of their portfolio. Unfortunately, for most of us, the ROI of our stocks, bonds, and real estate over the past six months has been pretty dismal.

But what about our ROI from travel? While the value of securities can rise or fall, nothing can ever take away the rich "return on life" that travel provides. Travel broadens our horizons. Travel opens us up to experiences of different cultures. Travel brings us face to face with incredible natural beauty. Travel makes possible serendipitous encounters with unforgettable people in faraway places. Travel creates indelible memories.

I'll never forget my first trip to Europe after my high school graduation. Though not luxurious in any way, the memories have stayed with me always: listening to orators at Speakers Corner in London (see my 1969 picture above), seeing many of my favorite Impressionist paintings at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, waking up in a field outside of Zermatt to the sight of the Matterhorn in a cloudless sky (see my 1969 picture at the top). These are experiences that enrich our lives, the return on life that travel alone can offer.

Especially in tough economic times, we shouldn't avoid safe investments that guarantee a lifetime of rich memories. They say buy low, sell high. This is the right time to buy low; there are travel bargains in every corner of the world, compelling values for every budget. This might be the very best time to plan that trip of a lifetime.

As a Virtuoso luxury travel adviser, I can advise you that past [travel] performance is indicative of future results.

Virtuoso luxury travel adviser (search here on Google)

copyright (c) 2009 by David J. Ourisman. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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