I Just Am Not Sure About Travelling with a Small Group…..

Peru RiverMany of you have expressed a certain degree of trepidation about travelling with a small group.  Sometimes it is the cost- sometimes it is the fact that you are not sure if you will get along with everyone…..always it is the uncertainty. In one of my posts I talked about excuses people give for not travelling……

First of all the cost…..and this is one that is incredibly subjective- and a matter of priorities.  If you make just above minimum wage, it is going to be pretty hard to put money towards a trip unless you save long and hard…..not impossible, just difficult.  Some people manage to do it by keeping their eye on the prize, so to speak- that is they specifically look at a trip, then set up a weekly contribution to their trip account.   Trips offered by companies for those with low budgets and the 18-35 crowd meet this criteria…..G Adventures and Intrepid both have inexpensive trips.

Of course- keeping your eye on the prize applies no matter your budget. Perhaps upgrading to a $1000 TV can be put off a year…..or buying a new car.  Eating out a few times a week every week means you won’t be eating in another country for a few weeks……again- a matter of priorities. Does stuff matter- or does experience matter to you?  Only you can answer that question!

Now what about small groups in general?

If you travel on your own, you certainly don’t have to worry about getting along with others on your trip, as you can always up and leave…..on the other hand, you don’t have anyone to share the view of the sunset over the Taj Mahal, or the chance to go on a winery tour in Italy, or ride through Burgundy country in France. You can do it on your own, but with whom else can you compare notes- raving about the blue sky and the white buildings of the Greek Islands….I can go on and on about this aspect.

As well, travelling in a large group may mean heading to places that can only handle large groups.  No heading to a small village and touring homes, playing cricket or soccer with the locals….or any of those experiences that give you a chance to interact with the local people. You will normally have to use chain hotels (usually Western based as opposed to locally owned) with the majority of their profits heading into the corporation coffers- not back into the community. Travelling with large groups means travelling on a local bus or train is out of the question…..and so you miss out of more experiences- and after all, isn’t that why you travel!?

The final question- what if I don’t get along with anyone?

And I only want to travel with people my age…..then this is not for you. You should be a person that travels with an “adventurous spirit”.  Embracing new experiences means embracing variety and all that goes with it.  That means uncertainty, and stepping outside your comfort zone.  On the other hand, you cannot beat the feeling of accomplishment that comes from experiencing something that is so beneficial and restorative in every sense of the word- it does give you perspective on your life.

One other perspective to consider- look at the pace of the trip.  If you are a person that finds it difficult to get moving in the morning, consider that some mornings this will not make you a popular person….. If you don’t want to visit a different place every few days (or even every day), consider some tours that may simply explore an area. Many of these are by foot or bicycle however, so consider what kind of shape you are in physically. And moreover, when considering the pace, remember that small group tours may do more walking to which you may not be accustomed.

Finally, I have had clients use trips as a springboard to getting into better shape! One just needs to be realistic, and consider all of the options available.  One trip may suit you better than others.  And that brings me to my final point- if you don’t see a trip that suits you, send me some specifics, and let me see what I can offer.

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Exploring Canada- Visit Haida Gwaii

I promised some more options of exploring Canada. After my excellent trip to Vancouver Island, I decided I needed to see Haida Gwaii. In the past, the islands were known as the Queen Charlotte Islands- off the coast of British Columbia. Not easy to accces, but part of exploring Canada for every Canadian if they should get the chance.

I have now updated this trip- and I switched to August…..in hopes of definitely travelling with vaccinations in place. I am crossing my fingers!

There are limited ways to explore these islands, and I chose a small group expedition trip with Intrepid Travel. Their description pulled me in immediately- I was hooked.

“Journey to Canada’s most remote and stunning region on this 8-day expedition. At the heart of this trip is Haida Gwaii – an isolated and wildlife-rich archipelago continuously inhabited by the Haida Nation for over 10,000 years. Discover the beauty of the ‘Galapagos of the North’ and search for ancient totem poles and the remnants of colonial life among evergreen rainforest. In addition to the splendid nature of Haida Gwaii, this takes you on a rare voyage into Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, where you will cruise through the waters of a protected area very few people are permitted to enter to spot wild grizzlies, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. This trip is a breath of fresh air for nature lovers.”

Itinerary to the Haida Gwaii Islands

Why you (and I) will love this trip

  • Traipse the rugged islands of Haida Gwaii, the isolated heartland of the Haida people. Archaeological evidence suggests they have called the islands home for 13,000 years.
  • Spend a day on Louise Island. Take a guided tour among ancient totem poles being swallowed by moss and vines in Skedans, then enjoy a lunch of fresh-caught salmon and venison.
  • Explore the Naikoon Provincial Park. This mixture of rainforest, sand dunes, wetlands and more than 150 kilometres of beach that features heavily in traditional Haida stories.
  • Encounter behemoth grizzly bears in the wild during a trip to Khutzeymateen, a bear sanctuary and protected area where few human visitors are permitted.
  • More inclusions, a slower pace and hotel accommodation along the way – this trip is a comfortable way to explore Canada’s remote wilderness.

Is this trip right for you?

  • “There are trips, and then there are adventures. This expedition falls into the latter category. As we are travelling to incredibly remote areas, expect mobile and internet reception to be spotty and some convenience items to be hard to come by.
  • The diversity of the seasons here makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be unpredictable. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. This trip involves multiple excursions in open-air boats, and you can expect to be cold when on the water. As they say in Masset: ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes.’
  • Some of the best scenery in Canada is found on hikes. So, while this trip doesn’t require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities.
  • For going ashore at uninhabited islands, it is necessary to use a Zodiac boat (panga). You will need to be comfortable climbing in and out of one during wet and dry landings.”

I am so looking forward to this trip in August of 2021. This trip is only offered twice per season (June and August), and is priced from $3740 plus flights. Add on a few days on either end in Vancouver, and one has the perfect trip! For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me…….

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