Connected by travel
We think travel has a special power to connect people. To make friends of strangers, lovers of friends, to bring cultures together. To make this big world feel a little smaller. We want to hear your stories. Have you met anyone special on the road? Shared a special connection? We want to create a groundswell of travel love, so we can prove just how connected this big world really is.
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New friends in fellow adventurers
Small group travel is a fast-track to new friendships, whether you’re hitting the road with your dad, an old bud or riding solo. And not just the Facebook variety either: we’re talking the deeper, more lasting kind, forged in the fires of adventure, long dinner conversations and trip theme songs.
Because of our small group size – usually around 10 people per tour – there’s no way you’ll return home with just a vague recollection of ‘that French guy at the back of the minibus who really got into the slow part of Bohemian Rhapsody’. Not on our watch. You’ll get to know people with all sorts of life stories, area codes and karaoke abilities. We’re not saying you’ll be soul mates with everyone you meet, but we’ll be damned if you don’t meet people with a bit of soul.
Amanda and Lee
“I met my husband, Lee, on a three week Intrepid trip through Vietnam over Christmas in 2003. We had an amazing group of people on that trip, and Lee and I became very close friends. We arranged to meet up again in October 2006 on an Intrepid trip through India, and the friendship turned to romance. We took a three-month break and travelled through Africa, Thailand and Laos, including another Intrepid camping trip in Tanzania. Lee proposed in 2009 and we got married in 2010.” -Amanda
Eliza and Bori
“I booked my first Intrepid trip to Italy a few years ago. It was my first group tour, and needless to say I was a little apprehensive, especially about who I’d be travelling with. But at the welcome dinner on the first night I happened to sit next to a hilarious Hungarian girl called Bori. We became the best of friends within just two weeks. A few months later I flew to Hungary to surprise her for her birthday. We haven’t seen each other for a few years now but we’re still such good friends.” – Eliza
Lucy and Ella
“Ella and I found ourselves trekking up Mount Kinabalu together in what turned out to be an utterly inspiring but physically gruelling feat. It takes a lot of mental focus to stay upbeat when every shred of you is aching to lie down and sleep, so the people around you become your emotional support, your cheerleaders. Having a friend to share that with means you form a much deeper bond, and when you return home, you never forget the things that you experienced together while travelling.” – Lucy
Sharing moments with locals
You know that friend who gets a kick out of introducing all their pals to each other, all the time? That’s us. When we travel, we want our new friends (you) to meet our old friends (the locals), because we think you’ll get along great. Meet Hussein (aka ‘Mr Action’) of Ait Benhaddou, Morocco. He’s been an extra in countless Hollywood films and makes killer couscous. Over in Nepal, there’s Pemba, a local guide who’s finished in the Top 10 of the Everest Marathon. We’ll share tea with Mursi tribes in Ethiopia, play farm with gauchos in Argentina and visit Inuit communities in Greenland.
We don’t cross the world to visit museums: we do it to meet the people the museums are about. Because when you’re back from your trip and the dust has settled, those are the memories that stick.
Home is where the people are
Home can be a Rajasthani palace passed down through 10 generati ons, or it can move across the Central Asian steppe on the back of a donkey. What makes a home is the people in it, whether they’re descendants of Indian royalty or hardy Mongolian nomads. And we want you to meet them.
Helping a Quechua woman dice carrots in her mudbrick house on Lake Titicaca, joining a Dusun family for dinner in a Borneo village – however the table is set, Intrepid homestays open doors you didn’t know were there. Swap stories about your cultures over homemade meals, help out with daily chores or fall asleep to the sounds of snoring in the Mekong. Authentic, welcoming and always fun, a homestay is going to be the highlight of your trip. Trust us.
Meet some of our homestay familes.
Country: Suji Village, China
Motherly advice: Walking into Wenzhi’s home is like taking a trip back in time. Her house, which belonged to her ancestors, feels like it’s been untouched for 100 years. The rooms are filled with antique photos and little family heirlooms. The whole place is like a shrine to times gone by. It’s a beautiful reminder of the importance of family, of knowing where you come from and taking pride in your cultural heritage.
Trip: Meet Wenzhi during a community visit on our 12-day China Real Food Adventure
Country: Ikh Uul, Mongolia
Motherly advice: Khandaa and her family, like half of all Mongols, are completely nomadic. They move with the seasons (around four times per year) to allow their livestock to graze and the grass to replenish. Khandaa teaches us how little we truly need to be happy. Her entire home and life can be strapped to the backs of a few donkeys. Her family live only with the essentials, and find happiness with only a handful of physical possessions. Lesson learned.
Trip: Meet Khandaa on a homestay on our 15-day Wild Mongolia tour
Country: Canocota, Peru
Motherly advice: Mama Julia is a strong woman living in a remote 600-person village, high in the Andes Mountains. She owns a big property and grows all the food for her and her family. She teaches us how disconnected we’ve become from our food and its origins. How many of us ever see the path of our food, or know how to tally the cost? Peru’s alpine communities need to be self-sufficient, and their footprint is smaller because of it.
Trip: Meet Julia at a homestay on our 21-day Peru Encompassed tour
Who travels with Intrepid?
Ever heard the term ‘melting pot?’ Of course you have. Thing is, it doesn’t just apply to cosmopolitan cities like Cape Town or Bangkok; it applies to our groups, too. Take a wildlife fiend from Alaska, a gaggle of college students from Kyoto, sprinkle with some vino-loving Kiwis and voila! You’ve got yourself an adventure mixed bag. But different doesn’t mean unrelatable. In fact, our passengers have a lot in common: a love of travel, a curiosity about the world and a respect for local communities, cultures and the environment (basically, all the important stuff). Just a hunch, but we think you’ll get along.
Many who travel with us agree:
“Intrepid care for the people who book with them. The tour was like a family. Outstanding organisation.” Nonah Dalwood, Classic Peru
“Was an amazing trip, made some unique friendships along the way…The overall experience was very memorable and also educational. Can't wait to choose the next Intrepid Family holiday.” Harvey Farrington, Comfort Vietnam Family Holiday
“My first trip with Intrepid was an absolute blast. With an amazing group of like-minded travellers and an exceptional tour leader, I was really privileged to experience the best of the beautiful country of Morocco!” Eleanor Paxman, Best of Morocco
How old are Intrepid travellers?
You know the saying – the life in your years is far more important than the years in your life. Nowhere is this more applicable than travel. Our trips are for all ages, from the 19-year-old rookie backpacker to the retired couple living out their second adolescence through world travel (an excellent life choice). That being said, our Basix trips generally attract the younger crowd, Comfort the older and Original, well, all and everything between. It’s up to you, really.
Stories from the road
We’re on the lookout for photos of travel pals and best buds you’ve made on the road. Just tag your perfectly filtered shot with #connectedbytravel.
Traveller stories: an Amazon adventure at Shiripuno Lodge
Posted on Tue, 5 Jul 2016
There's only one place you need to stay to experience the real Amazon. This is it.Read more
One minute and 37 seconds of pure, unadulterated wanderlust (video)
Posted on Thu, 19 May 2016
Anyone who's travelled knows that a real journey is measured in memories, not miles. That sounds like a cat poster, but it's true.Read more
The results are in: American travelers are obsessed with their phones
Posted on Wed, 11 May 2016
We surveyed 1,500 American travelers about their cell phone use on vacation. The results were...interesting.Read more
Mothers of Intrepid: 3 amazing women you’ll meet on a homestay
Posted on Wed, 4 May 2016
Whether it’s a Mongolian Nana or a Peruvian Mama, homestay cooking, hospitality (and life wisdom) are simply the best.Read more
The 20 connections you’ll experience on your travels…as told through GIFs of monkeys and great apes
Posted on Mon, 2 May 2016
Just go with it.Read more
Look up: why travel makes the world smaller
Posted on Wed, 27 Apr 2016
When we travel we learn quickly that everyone has a story. And it’s often those that you least expect that have the richest and most amazing stories of all...Read more