photos courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara and Danielle Methmann
|A toast to Santa Barbara tourism|
The upscale luncheon event, held May 4, 2016, at the seaside Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club in Montecito, also starred The Rivvies. These Annual Destination Awards honor community members who've made a positive impact on the local tourism industry. The '16 Rivvies went to Morgen McLaughlin, Executive Director of Santa Barbara Vintners, and Susan Jang-Bardick, special events supervisor for Santa Barbara's Parks & Rec Department.
The star attraction at this year's luncheon, however, was keynote speaker Pico Ayer, the admired travel writer known as much for his unattached lifestyle -- he doesn't own a cell phone and lives part-time in rural Japan, car-free, and a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur -- as for his accomplishments. The prolific essayist and author has been traveling full-time since the mid-80s and is well-known for his inspirational TED Talks.
|Mr. Iyer signed copies of his book, "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere"|
Among the quotes that inspired me most:
· "Santa Barbara suffers from Charlize Theron Syndrome: it's so gorgeous, it's easy to underestimate its depth, talent and sophistication."
· "Every time I come back to Santa Barbara, I feel as if I'm seeing things with fresh eyes. Aside from being home to world-class vineyards... Santa Barbara is home to remarkable people."
· "A destination is much less important than the eyes we bring to it.”
· "More important than the sights is what's between the sights, and between the lines."
· "In Santa Barbara, even the everyday things take you to places of such beauty."
· "If there's one place for which the notion of the staycation should have been invented, it's Santa Barbara."
· "One of the great riches of Santa Barbara are the tourists, who open the eyes of the locals, who in turn open the eyes of their neighbors."
· "When you live in a place, you notice what may not be quite perfect... But if you're attentive, you notice the new developments that are making that place even more special."
· "It takes someone visiting our town to remind us of the treasure we're sitting on."
· "These days, people are so bombarded by information that what they're aching for is liberation."
· "Luxury is a function of scarcity. Nowadays, that's simply having a lot of time... and being able to let one's mind off the leash."
· "These days, you have to go to the ends of the earth to do nothing at all."
· "We travel not to leave our homes but to leave our habits. It's about what I call the three 'trans:' transport, transcendence, transformation."
|If it's not in a Shelby Sim selfie, it probably didn't happen|
Guests were treated to a lovely spring meal, a sparkling wine toast, a fun doling out of gifts (from sunglasses to complimentary attraction passes) and copies of Mr. Iyer's book, "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere," which he signed.
For more on Pico Iyer, click here.
Follow Visit Santa Barbara on social media: @SantaBarbara.