Brett Tollman, the CEO of The Travel Corporation and Founder of The TreadRight Foundation on learning to be a global citizen
Though Brett Tollman lives in Los Angeles, the CEO of The Travel Corporation travels about 225 days a year. His most memorable destinations have included Okavango Delta in Botswana, Maasai Mara in Kenya, Croatia, the Balkans (recovering thanks to tourism), London (his favourite city), Moscow, Cairo, Madrid, São Paulo, Lima, Prague, Budapest, Havana, Sydney, Darwin, Fiji, Tasmania, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Auckland, Namibia, Tulum, Vancouver and Lima. “There are still countless places I am yet to enjoy with my family, even in our own backyard,” says Tollman.
We asked the founder and director of The Treadright Foundation (TreadRight.org), a not-for-profit organization which supports projects around the world that foster sustainable travel and tourism, about how travel has shaped his life.
What travelling means to me
I grew up in a travel business with two very dedicated passionate parents, who taught me how to respect and engage with the people I work with. Travel has given me the opportunity to fly around the world and engage with people in so many different cities and in so many countries, which makes me a better, more informed person. Many of these people I meet become friends and make my life richer and better.
Travel allows me the opportunity to show my wife and children so many different, diverse and wonderful parts of our world, which in turn makes them also better, more informed individuals. I am always inspired, motivated and excited when travelling, though it does mean I’m away from home more than I’d like to be.
What travel has taught me
Travel has taught me that our perceptions and views of others are almost always different from the reality, which is almost always so much better than what we originally perceived. Travel has taught me to be more accepting of others, myself and my own community, and to appreciate how blessed I am, how much I have and how fortunate I am compared to so many others around the world. Travel opens my heart to visit other communities and see how happy they are, how much they appreciate what they have, how creative and inventive they are and how they adapt to their realities.
Travel has taught me that I am a global citizen and that is more important than the passport that I carry. While I am proud to be a dual American and South African citizen, I’m equally proud to be a human being involved with and supportive of many other human beings around the world.
Travel makes me happy to be alive and to appreciate what it is to be a human being living on our planet earth.