Greetings from Toronto!
I've spent a wonderful few days visiting family and friends since I got back to Canada, including some much-needed downtime in nature. It reminded me that some of the many joys of travel happen after you come back home, and that, once again, connecting and re-connecting is the key.
If you've ever joined us for one of our webinars, you may have heard me say that our goal for this community is to bring travellers together to become well-travelled, and well-connected.
This is essentially 'what we're up to around here,' and it's an essence I've been trying to accurately capture for some years now, with varying degrees of success...you could say it means 'more countries and more friends' - and it does - but I'm trying to get at something deeper than that.
Becoming well-travelled is fairly straightforward, though I mean it in a much deeper sense than simply how many countries one has visited. When we talk about being well-travelled, we're talking about all the ways that the act of becoming so enhances the richness of your life.
To be well-travelled is to be a sophisticated, worldly, cultured, curious, intelligent and interesting person...lofty goals perhaps, but all just a process of expanding and becoming that is infinitely better when you're with others on the same path.
And there we come to the second part of our goal for the community, the more challenging, more interesting, more rewarding goal of becoming well-connected.
Here we mean anything but the modern malaise of digital connection - meeting and connecting with new traveller friends in the W&A community, those serendipitous connections with locals in the destinations we visit, and connecting with the natural world in some places we visit. The real life, full colour, full of surprises kind of being well-connected.
I am truly blessed to have many friends in this world, but without a doubt the list of friends that I can/want to travel with is a small fraction of the whole. Most of them don't identify as travellers in the way we in this community do, and even among those that do it's a relatively small list of people that enjoy the kind of travel I do.
To me this makes the value of finding likeminded friends to travel with astronomically high; it's the key to getting invited to places I'd never thought of, laughs and banter while on the road, and an emotional dimension to my memories that's distinctly different from all the trips I've taken by myself.
Connect connect connect...we need to connect, with each other as Canadians, beyond that as global citizens, and beyond that as life forms that are part of a greater consciousness on this whole planet.
I view travel as one of the best 'vehicles' to all this connecting, and this, then, is what we're really about beyond the trips themselves. If you're reading this I'd wager there's a good chance you might agree...and if you do, by all means join us and let's do it together 🙂
On that note, the three trips featured this week all happen to be rather excellent trips for connecting with other travellers by virtue of the fact that they all involve time on boats together.
We don't do any big ship cruising - too many people, too much everything, not the vibe - but we do occasionally do smaller ship cruises or charters, as these ones do fit the goals we have for the community.
Some are very small, like the 6-8 person boats on our Canal du Midi program, others in the 26-30 range when we charter ships as we do in Croatia and Scotland, and others are in the middle as with Egypt.
The ship experience is undoubtedly more conducive to getting to know your fellow travellers when compared to travel by coach or plane;
being on the water makes it difficult to escape the pace and common areas lend themselves perfectly to long conversations over drinks and scenery 🙂
All three of these sailing adventures are happening in 2024, with the Canal du Midi part of our France triad in May, Scotland happening midway through September, and Egypt being our second sailing of the program next year in November. You can find the full itineraries in your most recent newsletter should you be intrigued, as well as a bunch of webinars for these and other upcoming programs.
I'll sign off here as we slowly roll into the August long weekend - I trust you're well and I look forward to connecting on these or one of our other trips in the future. Stay tuned for lots more on the way, and please do reach out with any questions or comments.