Our travel advisor, Jessica, is a wizard.
Dealing with 14 people’s plane tickets, visas, room bookings, and dinner reservations, and then getting us room upgrades with views overlooking the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
, the Bosporus in Turkey, or Table Mountain in South Africa – I honestly don’t know how she manages it. Plus, we always get Champagne and chocolates in the rooms and a guide who somehow hits it off with everybody in our group. It’s not an easy feat!
As a therapist, I’d say the secret to group travel is respecting other people’s needs:
Someone needs to be alone, leave them alone; two people feel like hiking, let those two hike. There’s something really wonderful about getting to know people morning, noon, and night and figuring out when they get grouchy, what makes them happy, what their rhythms are. We grow and learn together.
The best travel moments come when you can get involved and give back.
In February, Jessica put us up at Ulusaba
, Richard Branson’s South African safari lodge, and connected us with Pride ’n Purpose
, which helps disadvantaged and impoverished people living next to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. It’s minblowing to see the changes and improvements they’re making in these communities.
The crazy times?
In Iceland our driver veered off the road to avoid running over a bird, and then, when we pursued it, the bird projectile-vomited on us. My husband put regular gas in a diesel car on the way from Nice
to San Remo, Italy, and the car broke down. I think that was the same trip where we had a family bread-throwing fight on a monotonous car ride through the South of France, and we all ended up laughing hysterically with bread in our hair. This is how memories are made.
I always have a small travel bag ready to go.
There’s a Dopp kit with Band-Aids and medicines. I pack rice cakes and nuts from Trader Joe’s for when the airplane’s delayed. We have a couple of Uniqlo jackets that fold up tiny in case you need an extra layer. There’s a collapsible suitcase in there too, for when we overdo it on purchases.
Where next? Portugal
in July and Panama
in September. I haven’t been to Australia
and New Zealand
. And I’d love to go back to Africa.