First of all, I told the writer, as founding owners of Wildland Adventures, we qualify as members of the elite 50+ boomers to which she is writing about. (See the profile article about Kurt and Anne Kutay in the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine). In fact, the majority of our guests are 50+, many of them professionals and active retired boomers who are enjoying their time on the road with us!
|Kurt and Anne Kutay hiking on our Turquoise Coast Odyssey in Turkey. Our gulet awaits us anchored below.|
"My wife and I have been doing serious travel adventures out of the country for the past 30 years. So we didn't have an abrupt arrival at 50+ as rookies. We have taken 8 trips booked with Wildland Adventures because they have spent their lives hand picking incredible locations as well as one of a kind places to stay. South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Panama, Patagonia, Antarctica, Costa Rica, India, Egypt, Jordan, Peru.... Incredible adventures. We both retired 4 years ago at age 65 with a deep desire for more time to immerse in places we were interested it. In addition, we got jobs working 4 different 3 month stints in Yellowstone National Park in their central reservations office, living right in the park. So between our travels and keeping up with 4 grandchildren, we're thinking about going back to our old jobs to get a rest. This retirement thing is hard work!"
(Note: We hired an Indian filmmaker who made an amazing 27 minute documentary video of our Wildland Adventure in India.)
Personally, what we enjoy most about working with boomers like myself is creating personalized and meaningful adventures similar to what we all did as more independent backpack travelers 30-40 years ago--although now we are more educated, wealthy and prefer a higher level style of travel. Many of our guests seek our travel planning services either because they are still working and very busy, or otherwise because they appreciate--and can afford--the better experience with good guides and unique itineraries that bring us close to the people and places where we travel. Not to forget the added comforts, charm and character of the lovely boutique accommodations that we seek out and incorporate into our adventure vacations. So, it is our challenge and opportunity at Wildland Adventures to make sure our travelers have the kind of spontaneity and close-to-the-ground real-world experiences they enjoyed when they had more time and to allow their adventurous spirit to unfold and guide them on their journey with us. It's also why as specialists in the 50+ travelers market, we cater to many discerning travelers by designing custom private trips according to their dates, style, budget and interests.
Peter and Kay Kaplan requested a private tour of Turkey with another couple the Thulins, their long-time Princeton alumni friends. Together they asked us to design a trip that not only explored the history, culture and Mediterranean coast of Turkey, but also special cuisines, several extra in-depth days of guided exploration in Istanbul, and traveling overland in western Turkey to small villages and ancient sites off the popular routes. Throughout their Wildland Adventure we arranged opportunities for them to meet with students, scholars, business people, artists and villagers from a cross-section of Turkish society to learn about contemporary political, economic and religious matters not only from their Wildland guide, but through their own, direct connections with people they encountered along the way.
This is how Peter captures the spirit of what we do for boomers like them:
“Wildland Adventures made this custom trip one of a lifetime. The itinerary was a constant adventure with unparalleled opportunities to experience the Turkish culture, history and archeological ruins. You made extraordinary efforts to introduce us to local people, to identify wonderful local hotels, and to arrange for excellent meals that allowed a full sampling of local dishes and specialties. Transportation was first class and our guides were among the best we have ever had. We were able to make last minute changes to our itinerary that allowed us to tailor the experience as it occurred. An unforgettable adventure.”
|The Kaplans and the Thulins on our Turkey tour of Ephesus.|
Here is the post-trip advice after the fact from Leigh Hudgins:
"Train seriously to get into shape ! The daily statistics of miles and elevation gains and losses, while accurate, did not prepare me for the reality of the ruggedness of the Jordanian landscape. However, I wouldn't "dumb down" this route. I loved every bit of it."
|Leigh Hudgins on the Bedouin Trek to Petra in Jordan.|
Read Part 2