Page 16

20621GPf

16 • November/December 2017 Experiential Travel A travel trend that’s gone mainstream over the last year is the idea of experiential travel, also referred to as immersive travel. How is experiential travel different from other types of travel, one may ask? Well, simply the connections made. Experiential travel, defined by Wikipedia, is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture. The opportunities for this type of travel are as varied as the people and places where they are found, they provide insight into the lives of a community through how they work, play, or live either now or in the past. Today’s traveler seeks more than just a trendy hotel and fancy amenities. They don’t want to take part in the “must-sees” or the photo ops. Packaged entertainment is not exciting anymore. Today’s traveler wants real-life experiences where a more personal, emotional connection can be made. They want to speak the language (or try to) and eat the food of a completely foreign country while mingling with the locals to get an authentic feel for the culture. “If we fly to China and have seven days to see ‘the sites,’ there's a pretty safe range of what we can expect to see and experience,” said Elaina Giolando, international program manager and writer. “But if we score an internship in Shanghai and spend four months doing business in China, learn- ing the language, and immersing ourselves in Chinese culture, we gain access to a kingdom of sweet serendipity that belongs exclusively to our hearts and memories.” “This is the kind of adventure that leaves a fingerprint on us for the rest of our lives. This is when the magic happens,” explains Giolando. Traditional travelers will spend a week in Italy bouncing from Venice to Rome to Florence, while experiential travelers will spend a week with a host family so they are able to take Italian classes in the morning and bike to various markets and cafes in the afternoons with the hopes of preparing an authentic meal for everyone in the evening. And what they learn about the culture in that one week far outweighs what a traditional traveler learned visiting the hot spots. “The usual tourist who parachutes into a country for ten days winds up observing how people live their lives in other parts of the world; experiential travelers stop observing from a distance and become part of the landscape,” said Giolando. Experiential travel requires the ability to spend an extended amount of time living overseas, so while it does take a pretty hefty commitment, you will be able to experience the world in a vibrancy like never before – then be able to share it with the ones you love. Sources: www.gooverseas.com, www.thetravelword.com Top 5 Experiential Destinations According to an interview with Brides Magazine, John Spence, president of Scott Dunn USA (who specialize in crafting private journeys around the world), these are the top five destinations of 2017 for a his-and-hers experience: For wildlife and culture: Central India and Rajasthan Go for a visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal along with trips to temples and on a mission to find elusive wild tigers in the country’s best game reserves. His favorite accommodation: the tented safari-ready Jamtara Wilderness Camp, and a charming, rural boutique hotel. For a winter wonderland: Swedish Lapland In a wonderland of snow and ice, spot the truly awesome northern lights, embark on a thrilling snowmobile safari, experience ice sculpting, and snuggle up as adorable huskies pull you on a sled. Romantic overnight options include Loggers Lodge, where trees and streams surround your cabin made for two, and a private chef is on hand to cook top-notch Lappish meals. For history and culture: Cambodia and Vietnam Here you’re advised to start in an unspoiled, rural part of Vietnam, where you can cycle off-the-beatenpath to visit vibrant hill tribes, try local cooking lessons, and maybe kayak and hike before making your way to the jaw-dropping Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. After at least one private temple dinner for two, continue onto the beach, where you can soak up the sun from within the epic, eco-friendly confines of Song Saa Private Island. For wildlife and adventure: Rwanda Only animal lovers need apply for a trip of this sort, where tracking gorillas is a priority. The once-in-alifetime experience of viewing a gorilla in its natural habitat is only matched by the pristine natural beauty of your surroundings at somewhere like Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, which looks over a shimmering lake and valley. For some down time, finish on the white sands of the Seychelles islands. For foodies: Argentina and Chile Argentina and Chile are home to world-class vineyards producing award-winning wines and even luxurious vino-inspired spa treatments. Oenophiles know that where there’s great wine, there’s usually amazing food. And this is no doubt the case whether in the country or in the city of Buenos Aires, where cooking lessons are yet another way to turn up the heat. www.brides.com


20621GPf
To see the actual publication please follow the link above