Travel Tribe Journeys – Summer Enticements

The days lengthen and warm and we begin to dream of escape. Where to go – spring break to fall – our Clients are plotting & planning – some have already left footprints on sandy beaches and scoured the souks in Marrakech.

Morocco – it is hot, hot, hot! Spring break found many of the five-star hotels sold out, we prevailed for a last-minute request.  We also have May travelers headed to Morocco. We love La Sultana in Marakech and Kasbah Tamadot in the scenic Atlas Mountains, activities include mule trekking to Berber villages. Side car excursions, hot air balloon escapades, Tagine cooking classes, private visits to Yves Saint Laurent home at the Majorelle Garden.

Mustique – Indigo seas and the year around perfect weather combined with an embarrassment of stunning Villas, make this a superb crowd free destination One advantage, our Villa team can offer many properties for 5 nights minimum- some don’t require a full 14 day stay- 5- 8, 10 days – many owners are flexible.

The Maldives, recent booking for two weeks at The Four Seasons Landaa & Kuda Huraa – my faves! Swim with manta rays hovering above and below you, floating in the gentle turquoise seas. Sail away to the spa across the bay, nothing prepares you for the sapphire seas and sugar white sandy beaches. I’m pining to return!

Four Seasons Maldives Kudaa Hura Resort, the Maldives
Four Seasons Maldives Kudaa Hura Resort, the Maldives

Japan – oh my, take a number – you are certain to run into friends at the sacred temples! A plethora of new offerings, innovative exclusive luxurious experiences; gardening with a master designer, with a long lineage of acclaimed gardeners who is currently entrusted with palace and temple gardens. Visit little known private Kyoto gardens. VIP experiences await fans of traditional theatrical performances. A master of Noh, an ancient performing art known for its fantastical masks and flowing robes has created a contemporary and well-designed space dedicated to the craft in a private theatre in the masters own home.  Long list of unique offerings.

Japan Journey

New York, spring fling at The Whitby, in midtown. Kit Kemp’s most recent addition to the city vibrant color and pattern abound!

France, in particular, the iridescent Cote d’ Azure. You may bump into friends at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc or the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, summer sizzlers! Days spent bobbing on yachts in private coves, followed by exceptional French cuisine.

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, Cote d’ Azure.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cote d’ Azure.

Paris in June- doesn’t it sound dreamy? Le Meurice return guests love their VIP attention.

Le Meurice, Paris Luxury Suite

Oh, a multi generational family of 12 is headed back to The Ranch at Rock Creek – they’ve visited multiple times and can’t get enough of Ranch and Rodeo life, Giddy Up !

The Ranch at Rock Creek
The Ranch at Rock Creek

Peru – Machu Picchu adventure for Spring break- the world-renowned complex, a sublime jewel of Incan civilization, built on a towering ridge of granite and tropical forest. As you enter the Sanctuary see the iconic Sun Gate you will be awed by the imposing and skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences. Adventure awaits. Another smashing stay at Belmond Hotels!

Machu Picchu Belmond Hotels

One lucky dad is cruising with his son, on a Linblad National Geographic Alaska Journey to the Bering Straits wilderness touching coast of Russia Journey. Visit Provideniya, Russian Federation, at the western limit of the rich transboundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is often called “The Gateway to the Arctic”- no Russia visa required!

One of our VV sophisticated art collectors swooned at the latest gallery collections at the recent New York Art Fairs while luxuriating at The Lowell this week!

The Lowell Hotel New York

Big Five – African Safari for eight friends at the VV best lodges with our private safari team. Our fourth African safari and gorilla trek this year.

Rwanda Gorilla Trek mom & baby & toddler
Kenya Safari endless horizons

The eternal city of Rome will enchant a family of summer travelers, ask about our exclusive activities. Practice The Art of Doing Nothing Italian Style: L’arte di non fare nulla.

Hotel de Russie Roma

Tuscany a romantic Journey of exploration and staying at all three Belmond retreats. These foodies are checking off the top trattorias! A romantic honeymoon encompassing Five Luxury Belmond properties throughout Italy and Sicily – The Ultimate Grand Tour!

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo Sicily
Belmond Villa San Michele Florence

Amsterdam – always a great add on following Italy, Anne Frank, Van Gogh – private boats to cruise the canals.

We are plotting a fall Munich, Paris, London and Paris Journey for a group of eight friends – in memory of a dear friend and family member, an intrepid traveler who passed away this year. A Toast to a Well Lived Life and Enchanting Travel.

Paris

Last but not least, Punta Mita Four Seasons was chock a block full of our spring break clients!

Four Seasons Punta Mita

The globe is whirling with exotic options – days are lengthening, plan a Journey!

Riley Fitting – Peace Corps Volunteer

I had the supreme pleasure of meeting Riley on my visit to Ranch at Rock Creek last year – he was my expert fly fishing guide. http://www.gwenbooks.com/category/forbes-five-star-lodge/

Meandering the stream banks with Riley, guaranteed my fishing success! During our conversations, he confided that he was leaving soon for South Africa to become a Peace Corp Volunteer – he wants to help eradicate Aids in Africa.

Riley is surviving the challenges of living in Jane Furse, Limpopo province, South Africa.  He has been there for 8 months, and leaves in March 2018.

I subscribe to his blog posts and am always so impressed with his endeavor and his descriptive colorful interpretation of his life – working to help others. Latest post is below.

Riley, you are my hero!

God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time~

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Well, yesterday was hot, like it was next time.  But today was cold, a cold whose wind sears through your yesterday’s tank top and sandals and tightens your skin.  Catching you off guard and unprepared, making you wonder, ‘Damn, why is it so cold today? Whats happening, am I not in Africa?’  A cold that can only be described as, ‘Africa Cold.’

A cold like early fall in Montana.  After too many days of an Indian summer, with nothing but midges and pseudos and overwhelming terrestrial patterns left on the luke-warm rivers.  When the first blue-winged olives hatch and a single Hecuba ignites the ancient instinct of cutthroat that must have been painted in heaven.  A cold like a perfect day of fall fly fishing in Montana.

Today I wished I was back in Montana.

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A week ago I sat on a couple cinder blocks, stacked the best way I could stack them to have an even seat.  I ripped a grease stained Roman’s Pizza box in half and gave the top to my friend so we could both have a cushion and keep our pants clean.  We sat on our blocks and talked about our histories and current lives.  We were on the side of the street just outside his cement Lego-block of a shop where he fixes cellphones and sells electronic accessories. Two sketchy, visibly neglected young men with hollow faces, shaky legs, holey clothes and tiny shoes approached us and tried to sell us ‘cool-times.’  They had clearly bought them in the grocery store at the crossing and were trying to flip them quick to a white guy and his ‘must-also-be-rich’ friend.  They were dumb, high and clumsy and my friend wasn’t going to entertain them so he shooed them away.  “Nyaope guys,” we both sighed to each other after they spun across the street.

You know? you’re not going to be able to change them, brotha..

I know, you want me to stop trying?

No, I don’t mean stop trying… but seriously, why are you even trying?

I’m trying so that maybe their parents or siblings or children can see that I’m trying, and maybe get some hope or assurance that somebody in this damn town cares about them.

Ok, brotha, I get you..

Why shouldn’t I beat the rot of homesickness and throw myself at impossible challenges?  Challenges that people talk about, but nobody does anything.  Why can’t I want to be the next Gandhi?  If we do not dare everything, to change the world, whose to say that old slave song about ‘the great flood’ is only a child’s warning?

Today I choose Jane Furse over Montana.  I choose this place not unlike millions of other stuck, miserable hoods overtaken by taverns and drugs, exhaust fumes and burning garbage heaps.  Invaded by low-level thieves and professional crooks.  Called home by smart and beautiful people who keep tidy yards and cleaner consciences.  Played in and laughed in by innocent children who think all schools and soccer fields are surrounded by razor-link fence and broken glass.  Sure, I could choose Montana and help people there too, I like to think I used to.  But if I’m going to dare everything, how could I?

How could I escape with privilege back into comfort, possibilities and freedom?  Back into a life which thinks that prevention most righteous.  A life that is twisted into prioritizing unknown lives as if it is possible.  If I’ve affirmed any belief of mine, it is that people are people no matter where they are, we all do the best we can with what we have, and none of us are equal.  How could I leave?  When others cannot.

Brotha, I’ve lived here a long time and.. you really care too much about this place.

Do I care too much? How could I care too much about people, man?

I don’t know, but you’re going to get to let down.

Yeah? I’ll feel that when it happens, I’m going home man, see you tomorrow.