I love to travel. When I’m asked to list things that bring me joy – travel is ALWAYS on the list. I’ve been to various places and now I’m looking at not just places but experiences I want to have.
I’m not going to re-invent the wheel so I’m copying a few descriptions directly from the site as they explain it better. There is only one I have used which is Foothills Walking Holidays. These tour companies offer experiences along with travel.
What makes ME to WE trips better than other travel option? We didn’t start as a travel company—we started as a company out to change lives and the world. Through WE Charity and its WE Villages sustainable development model, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with communities in Kenya, Ecuador and India for over 20 years to help empower people with the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. They’ve invited us into their homes and lives, and now we’re honored to call them family. You won’t find tourists or tour buses on our trips—only the open arms and welcoming warmth of community members, and the opportunity to connect with them and their families, and share in their stories. It’s the world through a very different and very personal lens. We offer two deeply engaging types of travel experiences: volunteer and experiential.
I found this site through A Beautiful Mess. I was pulled in as I enjoy doing crafts. Learning a craft with hosts artisan workshops around the world. Well yeah. They employ local artisans to be the craft instructors, enabling them to continue practicing their craft without the pressure to sell the goods they produce. This allows for appreciation of the process, rather than emphasis on the end product.
Travelers are able to learn about traditional craft production in communities where the craft originated or has been practiced for generations. In addition to the arts, Thread Caravan trips offer adventures unique to each destination: sailing, hiking volcanoes, visiting ancient ruins. They have workshops in Morocco (ceramics & textiles), Mexico (ceramics, natural dyes & weaving), Guatemala (textile workshop) and Panama (sailing & embroidery).
The blurb is they travel to incredible places that others overlook. They have a global community of explorers, artists, researchers, and local experts that will grant you access to unique places and incredible experiences.
They divide their trips by regions and categories. A few examples are the Middle East, Europe and Africa. For categories they range from arts & performance, hidden cities, culinary to history/culture. Remember this is a taste of what they offer. Here is an example, realize not for everyone, photographing Chernobyl in Winter. I mean seriously – is this not different? Another one is head to China to explore the birthplace of tea.
They arrange tailor made holidays which are authentic, fun, memorable, and also sustainable. From African safaris to Galapagos cruises and explorations of India, they cover the wildlife, nature Holidays and culture of the destinations offered. They have a travel + protect = philanthropy. They also have a charity – site says booking through them gives back to areas.
The trips are broken down into destinations (pick an country) and holiday types (ecotourism, luxury beach, cultural, walking and family to name some). They have a section offering experiences. Here are a few examples:
- Gorilla trekking in Rwanda & Uganda
- Diving in the Galapagos Islands
- Tiger spotting in India
- Wine, Cheese & chocolate in South Africa.
This is the only one I have used for The Giants Causeway in Ireland. The tour company offers guided and self-guided tours. We did a three day self-guided tour roughly 15-20 K a day. Part of the package is the company books you into a bed & breakfast or Inn whichever is convenient when you end your day of walking. Breakfast and a packed lunch is provided and your suitcase is taken to the next stop and waiting for you. The walking tours are easy to moderate and range from a few days to over a week. We stayed in Dublin and Belfast for a few days on either end. It was such a great combination of city, day trips and the walking tour.
It was fun to see what was out there and the possibilities. If any of you have used these tour companies please let us know your review. If you have others to add please pass them on.
You can always start now!