How I Design a Trip
My intention is to design travel experiences for people who do not wish to travel on their own, nor do they wish to travel with a large tour group. My groups usually have from 22-32 people. We travel often as the locals travel, and the traveler has the sense of exploring the area without the homogenizing effect brought on by large numbers.
I feel the design of a trip is my personal art form and creation. I love art and literature, and I approach the design of a trip in much the same way a writer creates a story or a painter paints a picture. I want my trips to tell the story or paint the picture of a region or place we are exploring.
I begin the process by seeking to get to know the area as well as possible. I go there, travel to the cities and countryside, and let the essence of the area sink in. At the end of this learning process, I think through the “composition” of the trip from a physical and spiritual perspective. Once I have done this, I begin the design of the itinerary.
When I design the itinerary, my guiding concerns are pace, tempo, location and experience. While I may have traveled to ten places, I try to determine which five tell the essence of the region’s story and give the greatest visual and spiritual experience. I would rather experience and immerse myself in five places than “see” ten places at a hurried and frantic pace.
Once I have determined the sites to be seen, I then give attention to an itinerary which allows us to see the region at a tempo and pace which allows us not to just see the area but to experience it as well. I try to build in blocks of time when we explore together as well as free time which allows individuals to make exciting discoveries on their own.
In the end I try to create a tour which not only allows a person to travel through a region but to experience it, and allow the trip to affect the traveler’s daily thoughts and lifestyle.