There’s one big unexpected thing that frequent traveler Susan Kipers carried away from her March trip to Morocco—and it wasn’t a rug. (Though she did bring home one of those too.) Instead, it was the heartfelt outpouring of happiness that many people she came into contact with had at her very presence in the country. “The hotels, our guide, our driver, everybody expressed gratitude that we were there, but Tarik [a Classic Journeys host who owns a farm near Fès] was particularly sincere,” she recalls. “He told our group multiple times, ‘I'm so happy, I'm so, so happy to see you.’”
“And we weren’t a huge crowd coming from the U.S. during Covid-19; we were just three people—and I felt like a rockstar,” she goes on to say. “With Tarik, you could tell it was coming from a deep place and that he really missed making connections with people.” That experience, she believes, was such an illustrative moment demonstrating that it’s not just travelers themselves that are energized at the return of tourism; guides, hosts and everyone involved in making those trips a success truly miss those interactions too.
Our tour operations team is talking to local and federal governments and our local guides and hoteliers in every one of our regions daily. And we’re seeing border updates and new destinations available every time we check.
For information on Classic Journeys tours in the 'new normal,' click here.
Daring to travel multiple times during a global pandemic has given the Robinsons a new appreciation for small group tours, wide open spaces, and the joy of connecting with others.
They stayed grounded in their hometown of Nashville, TN for nearly all of 2020, but by the year’s end, the Robinsons felt wildly stir-crazy. Like so many others who place a high level of importance on travel—this family of three trades off picking yearly trip locations—they were pandemic-weary and travel-hungry after seeing their 2020 getaways moved, moved again, and then canceled outright. So as many countries began opening their borders to Americans, the Robinsons leapt at the chance to travel internationally as carefully as possible. They’re an example of the travel enthusiasts that are kickstarting a safe return to tourism—and this trio didn’t exactly start small. With Classic Journeys, they first traveled to Costa Rica in December, then booked a March trip to Galápagos Islands (a place they’d planned to visit in the spring of 2020 with another company, which was eventually cancelled), and now even have a third trip to Iceland planned in June. All in all, the Robinsons are traveling internationally three times during a global pandemic...albeit, what we hope is the end of it.