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The Intrepid Traveler: Are you?

It just may be how most people who know me would describe me…brave and fearless, perhaps to a fault.  And I coach my travel clients to adopt a similar mantra as they plan and embark on their own adventures.  I have always lived with a comfortable trust in the unknown and have the belief that much (if not all!) of the good and most memorable experiences we have had (or will have!) in life are those that outside of our comfort zone.

So, it seems reasonable to assume that if everything remains the same, and if you visit the same place year after year for vacation, then the same stuff happens.  Of course, travel is also about who you are with.  Taking time with those you care about can be magical and memorable.  Taking your grandchild on the same hike you did with your son at his age; that sort of experience is priceless, of course!

Webster defines the word intrepid for us.

intrepid

adjective in·trep·id \ in-ˈtre-pəd \
: feeling no fear : bold

Are you BOLD in your travel choices?  I’ll share with you some ideas and companies that can provide unique experiences in fascinating places around the world.  Perhaps one of these will resonate with you, prompting you to take action by marking your calendar and contacting an adventure travel professional to make it happen.

INTREPID TRAVEL

www.activetravelpro.comYou will enjoy this brief video about Intrepid Travel that offers small group travel all around the world.  Get away from the status quo, enjoy bold experiences with like-minded people, and make memories that will never leave you.  Be empowered by it.  Stay tuned…hoping to be chosen for a trip to Jordan or Turkey this fall by them!

The Intrepid website is a joy to browse through.  In their own words:

“We get it – travel’s a big decision. It’s not every day you fly across the world to wander the souks of Marrakech or enjoy a dreamy Angkor sunrise. But for us, it’s been our everyday for the past three decades (whew, we’re old). Let’s just say we know what travellers really want: a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, an authentic real life experience.”

“Our leaders are born and raised in-country, and they know their destination better than anyone. So you’ll do more than just see a place, you’ll live it. Small groups, big adventures and responsible travel – that’s our thing. With 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries, we’re sure you’ll find something you like.”

STAR CLIPPERS

This is small ship sailing like no other.  Check out my past article to learn a little bit more.  I am leading a small group in January 2019 on a 7 night from Barbados thru the Grenadine Islands.  What a wonderful escape from the winter cold on Ohio this will be!  The Royal Clipper is the largest and only five-masted full-rigged sailing ship built since the tall ship Preussen was built in the early 20th century.   42 sails!  She carries just 227 passengers in luxurious style.  There are two other ships in the fleet, with another on the way soon.

These ships can anchor in small little hideaway ports of call, all over the world.  Spain, Morocco, Sicily and the Amalfi Coast, Canary Islands including Casablanca, Cuba for non-US passengers (for now), Bali, and the Dalmatian Coast Venice round trip are just a few of the exciting itineraries.  Here’s a link to the website so you can choose the one you want to add to YOUR must-do list.

G ADVENTURES

www.activetravelpro.comIf you follow my writings, you already know this company speaks to me.  I have a private group going to Peru in May 2019 to hike the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu.  They don’t believe in putting travel inside a box.  There is no single supplement on their small group tours.  (They will match same sex).  100% guaranteed departures, great value, and local experiences are built in that allow you to interact with locals, and the company has a wonderful “give” called Planeterra.  G even has a division of travel dedicated to those 18-39.  I recently chose G Adventures to Galapagos for a “young” grandmother and her granddaughter, and she said, “best trip EVER”!  And she has traveled all over the world, but never with G.  Now that’s a great testimonial, and they are a wonderful partner to work with.

ALEXANDER+ROBERTS

Since 1947, this luxury company has been leading small group tours as well as customized private tours just for you and your travel companions.  In 2019 and 2020 they are adding Cuba (in full compliance with US regulations), Bolivia, Tibet, Mongolia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Canada and Greenland.  Groups have no more than 16 guests, allowing a more authentic, caring and sustainable way to travel the world. And, oh my goodness, their brochure called Journeys is a beautiful coffee table-worthy publication.  Check out their website if you would like a wish book!

I encourage each one of us to consider our travel footprint and take measures to reduce where possible.  We are seeing changes in our fragile planet at alarming rates!  More and more animals on endangered lists, shrinking glaciers, violent storms and fires…it’s a bit overwhelming.  A recent article in this week’s Travel Weekly publication made me even more aware of my responsibility as a travel professional.

Christina Beckman, the senior director of strategy and impact at the Adventure Travel Trade Association, recently attended an expedition to Antarctica hosted by the famous polar explorer Robert Swan.  In her article, she shared some of his words spoken in a podcast about his mission of building climate change awareness.  She also shared some statistics that were fascinating to me.  Did you know that tourism is believed to account for 8% of global emissions?

By itself, that statistic alone might cause me to want to stop traveling altogether.  Yet she goes on to say that “people in the industry also know that travel has many benefits.  Not only does it contribute significantly to global and local economies, it can also deliver increased awareness and engagement for wilderness and wildlife conservation and a range of social issues.  In the adventure travel industry, we consider carefully how to balance the negative impact of our air travel emissions with the important positive benefits our industry brings.”

www.activetravelpro.comWe are seeing a trend in travel towards experiential…and it doesn’t require a trek in the Himalayas to have an epiphany.   Intrepid travel is increasingly veering to the softer side with nontechnical, non-strenuous one-of-a-kind activities that lead us to interact with our environment.  This serves to educate on the need to make a change in our own life that will, in some small way, help to change the world for the better.  It might be a little thing but consider the next time you order a drink to ask for them to hold the straw!  It can make a huge difference if all of us do.  Let’s have that dialogue with each other, shall we?  Be bold.  Feel no fear.  Be INTREPID!

I am your active travel pro.  Peace, Bobbie