Who’s Who in Travel: Patricia Schultz

We are so thrilled to interview Patricia Schultz for this month’s Who’s Who in Travel!

Patricia Schultz interview1,000PlacesFlatCoverUPDate

Patricia Schultz is the ultimate “Global Adventuress” authoring international #1 bestsellers, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE (with over 3.5 million copies in print in the US alone and translated into 25 languages) and 1,000 PLACES TO SEE IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA BEFORE YOU DIE.

Patricia Schultz interview Patricia Schultz interview

For 30 years, Patricia has been travel writing about global destinations. Her passion for travel has taken her around the world multiple times. She’s gathered insights from locals, travelers, colleagues, travel agents, and compiled all of them into her tomes about the best places to see in the world both world renowned and unknown.

What helped her select the 1,000 Places? She shares that each place offers visitors, “…some sense of the earth’s magic, integrity, wonder, and legacy. And sometimes places are just plain fun.”

Patricia Schultz interview

Forever curious, Patricia emphasizes that one needn’t venture far afield to discover adventure or new places and says, “I can walk around my mid-Manhattan block and come home with a carton of milk and stories to tell. In the end, the number of miles covered has nothing to do with the real pleasures of travel–the inherent beauty of the world and the discovery it promises are all around us at every turn.”

Patricia Schultz interview

Patricia believes life is rich with the beauty and experience this world offers if we only open our eyes.


Questions & Answers:

  1. Your book is a #1 International Bestseller, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”, is on the nightstand of many avid travelers.  What was the genesis of this book?  What inspired you to write it?

Patricia Schultz:  I had been traveling as much and as far as I could since post-college days. Personal travel and travel as “work” gradually merged, providing me with an immensely rewarding profession that paid next to nothing but provided experiences worth a million dollars. Being broke was my life style, one that never undermined my conviction to keep doing something I loved, and to do it as much as possible. I was the go-to source for family, friends and complete strangers for all things travel related. I imagined a book that would compile all of the best places and experiences in the world, from the iconic and well-known to the humble and unsung. I never actually realized how herculean a project it would be – I just thought it would be awesome to share with the world this incredible Wish List between two covers. I had previously co-authored a book with Workman Publisher, and we both embraced this new idea and ran with it. They gave me one year – and it took me 8 – to write the original 1000 Places book, published 2003. I have since updated and revised it numerous times. I see my life as pre-1000 and post-1000. In some ways it has changed my life greatly, but the fundamental things have stayed the same – family, friends and my insatiable love for travel.

  1. How young were you when you got the “travel bug”?  Who or what experience influenced your desire to travel?

Patricia Schultz: My earliest memory ever was when I was four. I was in the back seat of our family station wagon with the window down. We were on our way to Atlantic City – it was the pre-casino 50s – and I felt like the luckiest kid on the block. There is a wonderful expression “How important it is to pick the right parents.” We had a very modest life and that annual pilgrimage to the Jersey Shore was a luxury but my parents made it happen. They were my biggest supporters and cheerleaders, always: they never traveled themselves, but were inherently aware that I had found something in life that brought me great joy. My father always said “Follow your heart, but bring your head with you.” He was German, and the odd-couple DNA match with my mother’s Italian heritage manifests itself regularly in my life! His stick-to-it-iveness helped me finish a 1000-page project. My mother’s Italian brio encouraged me to embrace every moment while doing it.

  1. Do you notice how travel transforms people’s perspectives on life, shifts perceptions about other people & cultures?  In what ways?

Patricia Schultz: Aldous Huxley once said “To travel is to discover that people are wrong about other countries.” I buy guidebooks (yes, the old-school “tree” books) and get lost in pre-trip on-line research, and I still never correctly or fully understand a destination until I arrive. Once there it is always like a year back at school – life lessons abound, from profound to incidental: they are countless and invaluable. The most modest trip can move us as much as an extravagant one – a friendship made, an epiphany experienced, a sunset or random act of kindness that stays with you for life. Different places resonate with each of us in different ways. But what is a constant is that travel changes us and it makes us better people.

  1. Do you see a growing trend in travel where travelers want to connect with the local people and “give back”?

Patricia Schultz: Giving back in a structured way is a niche market that is clearly gaining traction. But the traveler in each of us has always wanted to make a connection, and leave something behind. It is the reason we stop and talk with a local, bring school supplies, sing songs with the children you meet, tip a little more than is customary in a family-run restaurant – the list is long. All small attempts to show appreciation and respect to our host destinations for the memories and experiences they regale us – it is one of life’s most rewarding give-take possibilities. Every time we walk out the front door we become representatives and ambassadors of our home, building bridges and investing in the world’s future as well as our own.

  1. Seems like you’ve seen everything in the world.  Is there any place you haven’t been too that’s on your future travels list?

Patricia Schultz: People commonly think I have been to the moon and back. I may have visited China or India – but it hardly means I can sit back and feel like I’ve seen it all. Many are the places that fill my Wish List: I have never seen Romania, Chile and New Zealand for example. And I will be going to Iran and Korea for the first time this year – that is very exciting to me!

  1. What are the 3 most important lessons you’ve learned in your travels?

Patricia Schultz: Don’t resist serendipity and detours – they commonly provide the highlights of your trip. Everyone smiles in the same language – body language is important when there is a cultural barrier. Travel light – really! Too much stuff weighs you down and is a hassle – it is liberating to bring just the essentials.

  1. What’s your favorite item you take with you on your travels?

Patricia Schultz: My pillow. No, really! It’s small and light and I squash it into a corner of my suitcase. I am convinced it helps me get over jetlag (if that is even possible – I think it just needs to run its course) because I sleep with a little bit of home.



Patricia Schultz is the author of the international bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (now with over 3.5 million copies in print with an additional 25 translations around the world) and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die.

Patricia Schultz interview

A veteran travel journalist with 30 years of experience, she has written for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Everyday with Rachel Ray, and guidebooks such as Frommer’s and Berlitz. She is a contributing editor at Travel Weekly where she writes for the Masters Series. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on her book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

She is a popular speaker at travel shows, museums, associations, cruise ships and organizations both in the U.S. and abroad and hosts international trips multiple times a years. Her home base is New York City. For interviews, please contact Publicity at Workman. For speaking engagements, please contact the Workman Speakers Bureau. And for information about her speaking events, hosted trips or to sign up for her newsletter visit www.1000Places.com.



Are you day dreaming about the next place to travel or maybe looking for direction? You’ll want to read these books for inspiration and to help you plan your next trip.

In 2003, her first book 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE was published, introducing a new concept of travel book as both wish list and practical guide. A second full-color revision came out in 2011 with hundreds of new places and 28 new countries; it has since been updated in 2015. The 1000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, first published in 2007, will be released as a cover-to-cover update in late 2016.

Order Patricia’s books at this link, click here!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.