It’s an iconic American image – the endless expanse of the open road. And just like Australians can’t drive more than a few hundred kilometres before coming across a giant mango or something, Americans have their own quirky fondness for bizarre roadside attractions.
Maybe it’s the broadening of existential horizons that comes with seeing how different folk dwell – or perhaps it’s just long beach-bound days perfectly suited to naval-gazing – but overseas travel has a habit of bedevilling the professional ambitions of even the most career-satisfied.
You know the score: one week you’re perfectly content toiling away in the sensibly chosen industry of your sensibly completed qualification, the next you’re in Cuba ruminating that your true calling may be as an antique watch-repairer. And while such whimsical wanderings usually last no longer than the evening’s final mojito, overseas adventurings can on occasion herald vocational redirections of the most drastic variety. Take Charles Darwin for instance.
Always wanted to go to Vietnam? Jeremy Bookman explains why he gives it the thumbs up…
“This journey was a long time coming, but even with all the anticipation my Intrepid adventure still exceeded my wildest dreams. I finally found myself on the Vietnam Express trip going south from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. After a day or two adjusting to life in South East Asia, we left the kinetic pace of Hanoi behind for the serenity of Halong Bay.
Ahhh…the Road Trip. It’s as American as apple pie, as Canadian as maple syrup and as Alaskan as…bears catching salmon? But if you’re wondering why North America will always be the Road Trip’s spiritual home, it all goes back to a guy named Henry Ford.
When Ford rolled his first Model T automobile off the production line in Detroit, Michigan, way back in the early 1900s, it changed the way regular Americans thought about travel. Sure, caravans, chariots and carriages (and even a few super-expensive cars) were already roaming around the continent well before Mr Ford came along. But these options were either too slow, or too expensive for most people. Ford’s Model T made the automobile affordable, and made travel accessible to all. Instead of catching a train or boarding a crowded boat – motorists can now begin to explore this massive continent on their own, and visit cities and National Parks that they had only read about in books.
In October, Bruce McPhie clocked up 15 years full-time tour leading with Intrepid, making him the longest-serving Intrepid Group Leader in the world! This means that since 1997, ‘Lemon Juice’ Bruce has led 250 Intrepid trips, and shared the wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia with some 2,484 travellers from all around the world. In his words “I hope I’ve passed the apprenticeship”…
“When I first joined Intrepid I had no idea how long this new adventure would last. Looking back, I am amazed at how quickly the years have passed, how many diverse and interesting people I have met along the way, and how many incredible experiences I have had. It still feels surreal just to be here, still living this amazing life, and I have no wish for it to ever end!
Travelling to Africa and choosing a camping trip that crosses vast savanna, overnights in jungles and introduces you to fascinating cultures, is stepping out of many people’s comfort zone. For Peter Wicks it was a leap of faith in many ways, but it proved to be the trip of a lifetime…
“Road to Zanzibar is very high on the must-do-again list. Being in our mid-50′s, my wife and I were both a little concerned about taking on a camping tour (the last the time we camped was pre kids), but our worries were very quickly laid to rest. The tents provided by Intrepid were clean, very easy to put up and just as easy to take down.
Ever wondered who would win a fight between Batman and Superman? Imagine then what might happen if Spiderman, the Green Hornet, Wolverine, Hans Solo, Xena and Jackie Chan all stepped into the ring.
If you said it would be the ultimate rumble, then you’d be right. But as with any tight tussle, contenders need their own fans and supporters on their side. Intrepid is stepping into the ring in the TourRadar Most Amazing Tour Competition, up against every other global tour company, and we’d love to know – are you in our corner? Will you help cheer us to victory?
More than 100 Intrepid travellers have been quick to join the special club of early visitors to the young nation of Timor-Leste. Act fast and you too could enjoy the unique experience on our trip departing 15 July, 2012, when we have a handful of discounted places available. This is a wonderful time of year to go – the rains have mostly cleared but the hills are still green and spectacular, making every bend in the road open out to a magnificent vista.
Jane Crouch was Intrepid’s first group leader in Timor-Leste and she now has a longstanding and close association with this remarkable country. Jane recently caught up with our latest group and discovered that this new nation continues to captivate and charm its visitors…
Sometimes we have the luxury of planning months in advance and being away for weeks, but then there are times when we suddenly have a few days off work and don’t want to waste them. Dr Peter Bryar found himself in the latter situation, and it wasn’t long before he was headed to Cambodia…
“Last year I had a week to spare and didn’t know what to do. I visited Intrepid Travel in Melbourne and within a half hour was booked to travel to Siem Reap (and the incredible Angkor Wat) through a 3-day Short Break Adventure. My head was spinning the whole time because there was so much to see and experience.