My home is in Wisconsin; all but my college years have been spent in the Midwest. I have two grown daughters and two teenage grandsons, and I’m very fortunate that they live nearby and we get together often. Retired now, I have plenty of time for my favorite activities: culture of every sort (art, music, theater), gardening, walking, movies, volunteering in the school where my daughter is the art teacher. But my passion—hands down—is travel! I call it a disease: contagious and addictive.
I truly want to go everywhere
My favorite way to travel is with a small group (perhaps just two people, but a few more is fun, too). Large groups only work for me when I need to take a ship to go somewhere that is only—or best—reachable by ship. It’s wonderful to be a bit flexible and to have a guide who knows what we like to do and makes suggestions accordingly. Off the beaten path is always a goal of mine. One of the many benefits and bonuses I have received from traveling with GeoEx is the number of good friends I've made. Seriously, some of my favorite and closest friends are those I’ve met traveling…because we share the same passion: travel.
My favorite experiences on GeoEx trips
I could go on for pages. My first trip with GeoEx was way back in 1993: Bhutan. When the dates for the Group Trip changed and we couldn't adjust ours, our trip morphed into a Custom Trip for three of us (including my daughter). There were some inevitable mishaps during the trip, but thanks to GeoEx it turned out to be one of my most memorable and favorite trips of all time! We were busy from early morning until late in the evening, and we loved it. Once when we had car trouble, our young guide told us her uncle lived nearby (he was head of the dzong) and we ended up going to his house for lunch. After another flat tire, we learned that her aunt lived in the area, so we dropped in on her for tea. Our guide continued to take us places tourists weren’t yet allowed. It was a fabulous trip—I’d love to go again.
In Mongolia, way out in the boondocks, two young women galloped on their horses into our camp, just as eager to get a look at us as we were eager to see them. In India, seeing a tiger in the wild and finding that the Taj Mahal clearly lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful buildings. In Peru, walking part way up the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu and catching sight of it for the first time through the Sun Gate. Seeing gorillas up close in Uganda and Rwanda.
Surprising Iran, with its beautiful monuments and warm, inviting, friendly people. We had to wear long coat-type dresses and completely cover our hair—we didn’t know what color hair other women had until we were on our plane leaving Iran.
Spellbinding, mesmerizing Antarctica: such pristine beauty is difficult to describe: no camera can do it justice. Being able to see so many types of penguins was a thrill, especially the emperors in the Ross Sea.
Madagascar’s infrastructure is lacking (think poor roads), but the sights are wonderful because of the variety (rain forest, desert, beaches, hills). The lemurs are adorable and the hotels/lodges have loads of atmosphere and terrific food.
Cuba was even more interesting than I thought it would be, and Havana far prettier than I'd imagined. The paladares were fun and many had terrific atmosphere; congratulations to them for succeeding and to YOU for finding them for us! Irene's dance troop blew us all away they were so good. We thoroughly enjoyed the talks by the reporter and the economist, and I enjoyed the trip out into the countryside—the charming village of Vinales and the tobacco farm with its casual owner and animals all over the place. I think I learned more on this trip than on any other, thanks to the lecturers plus our guide and trip leader, Dalia and Tony.
GeoEx, in my opinion, is THE BEST
With small groups, flexibility is possible: many times we have taken advantage of the unexpected and attended weddings, funerals, and other celebrations. I love the fact that GeoEx has its own air department, with employees who are knowledgeable and friendly. Not all travel companies have staff to help you with the travel part of travel…and going the places one goes with GeoEx, experts are imperative.
Working with GeoEx is almost as much fun as going on the trip
Everyone is warm and friendly, and I never feel that the clock is ticking and they wish they could terminate a conversation with me. Many employees I now consider to be my friends. They all know their territories and have traveled to them—they have more than book knowledge.
GeoEx representatives are fabulous: very bright, knowledgeable, funny, warm, terrific people who can handle any situation (trouble or fun). In-country guides are top notch, well educated, flexible, and try hard to anticipate every need.
Over the years I've “challenged” GeoEx, asking them to arrange for me to go to a country or an area not listed in their catalog. Always they have made this happen.