Where We Are Going In 2020
You may have already suspected this, but we love to travel. That may be an understatement; we’re bordering on obsessive. From imagining through researching and planning, the new connections we make along the way, and the discoveries while on the trip—it all pours into future itineraries filled with everything we have learned to make your trip exceptional. Here’s where we’re headed next.
South Africa and Mauritius
Jean-Paul Tennant, CEO
“I love cities for the influx of cultural diversity they attract, so I’m really looking forward to spending some time in Cape Town for art, food, and people, as well as checking out the wildlife outside of the city. I have family ties to Mauritius, and the last time I was in South Africa [visiting family] I was about 13 years old, and apartheid was still in place. It made a big impact on me as an immoral and broken system. Much has changed since then. I am greatly looking forward to experiencing modern-day South Africa firsthand.”
Scott Montgomery, COO
“My plan for 2020 is to get to Rwanda. After hearing for years from friends and colleagues about their amazing experiences with the mountain gorillas, I am finally going to follow in their footsteps. Rwanda seems to have lots to offer beyond just those incredible gorillas, so I look forward to spending time in Kigali, and in other parts of the country.”
Bhutan and Japan
Tina Liadis, Sales Team
“I’ll be returning to Bhutan to explore remote Eastern Bhutan on our Off the Map trip. While I’m there, I’ll revisit some other places like Punakha and Phobjikha to see what’s changed, check out some new hotels, and research some new experiences.
I’m also planning to return to Japan. I’m very interested in spending time walking the Nakasendo Trail—an Edo-era post road that passes through numerous old post towns and the forested Kiso Valley. Also high on my list are Naoshima, Teshima, and other nearby islands, which have become known as the art islands due to the many open-air sculptures and museums. I’ve arranged these for guests several times and they have piqued my interest to see them for myself. While I’ve been there before, I plan to explore Tokyo in a little more depth than I have in the past.”
Namibia and Patagonia
Corinne Edwards, Sales Team
“I’ve yet to set foot on the continent of Africa, so my goal for 2020 is to change that. Wild landscapes appeal to me for photography purposes, and with the touch of exotic wildlife, I think Namibia will be an incredible intro to all that Africa offers!
I’m an avid hiker who has explored trails on 5 continents, so time in Patagonia is overdue! In addition to the incredible scenery and epic trails, I’m looking forward to experiencing the various types of accommodations, ranging from dome tent glamping to former estancias [ranches], and luxury lodges.”
Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti
Wen Minkoff, Marketing Team
“Ethiopia has been on my travel wish list for years and I’m finally going! I’m perhaps most enthralled by the opportunity to visit the Omo Valley; I was fortunate to meet a member of an Omo Valley tribe this fall, and talking to him about his family, village, their traditions, and way of life has me eager to visit and learn more.
I’m also heading to Eritrea; the border with Ethiopia had been a site of conflict for many years, and the 2018 peace agreement has brought the beginnings of intrepid traveler interest to the area. A friend who is from there has, over the years, regaled me with talk of pristine coastal waters, mischievous baboons, and the return of elephants to their former stomping grounds.
My last stop will be Djibouti, which I strongly suspect will start showing up on all those ‘new and exciting’ places to go in the next few years. I am preparing to be blown away by uncrowded hiking through craggy canyons and at the base of green mountains; leisurely photographing salty crater lakes dotted with otherworldly clay chimneys; and, if the timing is right, swimming with whale sharks.”
Glenn Ringer, Purchasing Team
“I’m always inspired to delve into areas of the world that haven’t seen many outside visitors. Saudi Arabia certainly falls within that category—at least for now. With the government recently opening the country up to tourism, big changes are sure to follow. I’m most interested in digging deeper, beyond the main sites the Saudis want you to see; I’m most excited about meeting the local people, learning about traditional customs and crafts, and eating plenty of authentically prepared fare. That doesn’t mean I’m unenthused about the main attractions; in fact, I can’t wait to explore Meda’in Salah, the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site that was second only to Petra in importance to the Nabataeans, which has been closed for renovations for two years.”
Katie Stoyka, Marketing Team
“I’ll be heading to Central Asia in 2020. Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and frankly every other ‘stan seem so remote and unheard of, yet major arteries of the Silk Road passed right through them for centuries. I want to step back to a time when camel caravans were the main mode of travel and rediscover the charms of these once-famous and now-mysterious places.”
Jenny Velasco, Special Projects Team
“I’m headed to Chile! I fell in love with the gleaming peaks of Torres del Paine in Patagonia years ago, and this long and slender country has been calling me back ever since. This time, I’ve got my sights set on the northern end of the country and the Atacama Desert, with its lunar landscapes, sputtering geysers, flamingo-dotted lagoons, and shimmering night skies.”
West Africa with São Tomé & Príncipe
Alysa Pakkidis, Marketing Team
“I’m finally going to West Africa, specifically Benin, Ghana, and Togo! I’ve been fascinated by voodoo for many years and getting to visit Ouidah, the spiritual capital of voodoo, will be a dream come true. I’m excited to dance with local villagers while witnessing the Gelede and Egun mask dances, go to a traditional voodoo ceremony, and, most importantly, learn about the grim slave-trade history in the region. I also can’t wait to see all the colorful fabrics, local crafts, and the modern happenings of West Africa.
I’ll also be exploring the unique islands of São Tomé & Príncipe to research new opportunities for GeoEx guests. As all of Príncipe is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, I anticipate hikes in the jungle, walks on remote beaches, and boat expeditions.”
Northern India and Mexico
Danielle Garland, Communications Team
“First thing this coming year I’m heading to Mexico’s Yucatan. Stationed in Playa del Carmen for several days, I’ll be seeing better-known sites like Chichen Itza (it’s been on my list for years!) and Tulum, but also hoping to explore some places off the beaten path (secret cenotes, anyone??).
I’ll also be visiting India for the first time, so it will be a great mix of the must-sees and off-the-beaten-path experiences. The plan is to focus primarily on the well-traveled cities of the North, like Jodhpur and Jaipur, plus Ranthambore National Park, and the lesser-known city of Lucknow. The food, music, architecture, and spirituality of the country all fascinate me. I know it will be a truly sensational experience.”
Kelly Sellards, Frontline Team
“In 2020, I’m excited to finally be setting foot on the African continent for the first time as I travel to Uganda! As an animal lover, an African safari has always been at the top of my list of travel dreams, and I can’t wait for this experience. I’m looking forward to the country’s beautiful scenery, game drives full of wild animals, and perhaps most exciting—trekking to see the chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in their natural habitat!”
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To start planning your adventure to these 2020 travel destinations or any of GeoEx’s other far-flung locales, give us a call at 888-570-7108.