Back in April 2004, I took my first big trip overseas. I visited Costa Rica with a small company called Gap Adventures. To this day I still don’t remember how I stumbled across them but I’m glad I did. That trip infused me with the travel bug and set my life on the path it is now. After Costa Rica, I was hooked. Travel was all I wanted.
Since starting this website, I have spoken about Gap frequently. This year, I gave away the same trip that changed my life. When writing about tour companies, I use them as a good model for mixing a structured environment with lots of personal time to explore on your own. I’m not a huge fan of tour companies but they have their purpose and are right for some people and, to me, Gap Adventures is the best one out there for those not looking to be shepherded around in giant tour buses.
So it was a great honor when they chose me, along with Gary from Everything Everywhere, J.D. Andrews, and Audrey and Dan from Uncornered Market, to be part of their new “Wanderers in Residence” program. We all flew up to their annual meeting this weekend as it was announced to the whole company.
What does this mean for me?
Well, even before this occurred, I had some partnership plans with Gap. This just formalizes the process. Things that will happen for me:
- Jump on and off tours as I please.
- Take two fully paid tours anywhere in the world. (Antarctica anyone?)
- Visit local Gap offices.
- Attend travel and tourism events.
- Possibly get speaking and consulting gigs.
- Have a featured page on their website.
- Possibly design a few Gap Adventures tours too.
- Attend events with the other Wanderers in Residence.
What does this mean for you?
Well, not much. The nature of this website won’t change. It’s still about independent and budget travel. However, a few things will happen:
- You’ll get special offers on Gap tours.
- You’ll get first access to the tours I lead.
- As I’ll probably take their tours a bit more (especially to expensive places like Antarctica), you’ll be reading about them more.
- Expect to see a few more banners around the site.
Overall, not much will change with the site but this opportunity will open a lot of doors for me and help give this site greater exposure in the travel industry. I work with companies I believe in. Gap does tours right and they have strong, strong commitment to local economies and protecting the environment. That’s really important to me. What good is travel if we ruin the places we visit? Now, I’m excited to be forming a close relationship with one of my favorite companies in the world. This adventure just got a lot more exciting.