Greetings from Thailand!
Our Samui LiveAway is drawing to a close and soon it's off to Singapore with a portion of the group on our way to spend some time exploring Bali. Overall we've had lots of laughs, fun, and some really great excursions here in Samui.
More than anything, it's been wonderful connecting with so many travellers - and seeing travellers connect with other travellers! Relationships are the foundation of any community, and it's been deeply gratifying to see the 'be well-connected' part of our vision coming to fruition.
More time away = more time to get to know people, and this remains integral to the LiveAway experience, though we'll be making some changes to the structure for 2024.
We decided to put these LiveAways together way back in the first pandemic summer, well before anyone had any idea what was going to take place in the months and years to come. We had to ask ourselves if travel was going to come back at all, and, if it did, what kind of changes could we anticipate?
Ultimately, we decided it was improbable that travel would not return at all. My view on travel is that it is an essential human activity; that the movement of people and ideas through travel is and always has been a key component of human evolution. Since we are both a resilient and adaptable species, we decided that travel would indeed come back in some form or another.
From there our hypothesis was that, if we were in a new reality with a new illness that was going to hang around, travellers might want to take fewer but longer trips, with less bouncing between airports and hotels to minimize risk as much as one could. Thus, LiveAways were born.
Fast forward to 2023...and the tides have turned again. The root of the pandemic has yet to be eliminated, but the risk has significantly declined, and demand for travel has roared back, at a rate that the travel industry is still grappling with.
With this change in fortune for travellers, we have decided to change our LiveAway structure slightly, to be in resonance with this new (and much more positive!) reality. For 2024, our LiveAways will be two weeks instead of four, and able to be connected in a modular fashion so you can spend a few weeks in several destinations should you so desire.
What that looks like is Koh Samui & Bali again for tropical destinations, with Mauritius & Réunion as a new addition, and most of our 2023 temperate destinations (Madeira, Malta, Sicily etc) with new additions of Corsica and Sardinia.
I still think spending a month or more away in the dead of winter in Canada remains an entirely reasonable proposition; but since it's considerably safer to move about more, we should avail ourselves of the chance and seize the day.
We'll put out a calendar indicating the possible modular combinations shortly, in conjunction with a number of 2024 LiveAway itineraries for your consideration should you want to join us for one (or several).
Lots more on the way, including the imminent arrival of our community in both Madeira and Bali. I trust you're staying warm in this cold spell I've heard about, and I look forward to your feedback on our upcoming plans and those in the works.