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Wanderlust Blog

Here at Amazing Journeys, we’re lucky to have the best jobs in the world—and we think our good fortune is worth sharing. So, when your next journey seems like a distant dream, take a few minutes to explore our WANDERLUST blog—it’s chock-full of engaging tales and helpful tips from our travels around the world.

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What a summer!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

by Erin

It has been an amazingly full, fun and fabulous summer here at Amazing Journeys, and we want to start out by saying THANK YOU!  We know that when the pandemic started and travel came to a screeching halt, many of you were not sure when you would feel comfortable traveling again.  But we are happy to share that so far this year, 218 travelers have hopped on planes, cars and cruises to embrace their wanderlust and get back out there!  It means so much to us that you trust us for your re-entry into the travel world and we are thrilled to have had so many incredible experiences since travel has become an option again.

Spring had us bouncing from Costa Rica to the Music Cities of New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville to Croatia to Morocco!

In June, our amazing travelers ventured to Israel – many for the first time.  From hiking around the top of Masada to floating in the Dead Sea, experiencing the nightlife of Tel Aviv and learning the history of Jerusalem, we took on Israel head-first. We tasted local flavors in the market, shopped for crafts in the shuk and celebrated Shabbat at the Kotel. We opened our eyes, ears and souls to new experiences and Israel did not disappoint. And half of the group ventured to Jordan to check Petra off their bucket list!

In July, our expedition-minded friends were Arctic-bound and explored the incredible country of Greenland. This was such a remote location, filled with unparalleled and unexpected beauty.  From the icebergs to the mountains, the colorful sunsets and rainbows, the nearly perfect weather, fjords and glaciers, we couldn’t have asked for more eye-candy. Our brand new ship was filled with wonderful people taking care of us, science projects, lectures on culture and daily life in Greenland. Each day was filled with hiking, taking Zodiac rides through the Arctic waters, walking through towns, playing games onboard the ship, swimming in iceberg filled waters and so much more!

Then in August, we were off to France. From seeing the Eiffel Towel sparkle at night, to visiting the synagogue in Rouen, to biking to Giverny and seeing the famous water lilies this river cruise had highlights at every stop.  The river cruise experience was new to many of our travelers but now everyone knows why we love this method of traveling so much! We explored the picturesque town of Honfleur, visited the landing beaches at Normandy and tasted chocolates, cheeses and calvados, giving us memories that are sure to stay with us for a lifetime.

We have a slight break in travel now, giving us the chance to unpack from the summer, spend time with our families during the Jewish holidays and most importantly, gear up for our next amazing round of travel!  We are busy finalizing more trips for the 2023 calendar year and nothing thrills us more than being able to share a new trip and see who is going to be joining us.

Keep your eyes open for new trip announcements coming around the corner, but for now, we take a deep breath, smile, and say “Wow – what a summer!”

We’re traveling again!

Friday, March 18th, 2022

by Malori

Amazing Journeys is on the move and we couldn’t be happier!  It’s been a long road going nowhere, essentially.  It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and here at Amazing Journeys, we have done just that.  So here we are, two years later, stepping out into the world once more. While some borders are still closed, we have scheduled, re-scheduled and re-scheduled again, in order to provide you the trips to destinations you have waited your entire lives to experience.

Every day, country borders are reopening and protocols for entrance are becoming less cumbersome. As of today, the UK has lifted all Covid restrictions, dropping the lengthy forms necessary upon arrival.  The CDC has dropped the restrictions on cruising from a Level 3 to a Level 2 with no testing required upon return to the US from “closed loop” itineraries such as the Caribbean and Bahamas. New Zealand is reopening for tourism in the coming weeks. Aruba, Hawaii, Italy… they are all lifting restrictions and day-after-day, the outlook is getting better. This is all great news from an industry that has been stuck in a holding pattern for two years.

Still, there are contingency measures in place, should variants come into play. Pandemics, war, fuel prices, financial markets, diplomacy, earthquakes, tsunamis – our industry is a volatile one. We are taking baby steps to return to our “new normal.”  But just like we are experts in our field of travel planning and logistics, so are we adept in patience and being able to change plans at the drop of a hat. It’s nothing new… only this time the changes went on for two years and continue to do so.

We’re now ready to put the past behind us and venture out once more.  We’re excited that our first tour of 2022 just returned!  With Stacey leading our group of 24 amazing journeyers, we hit the road to lush tropical jungles, cloud forests and beaches of Costa Rica.  There, we zip- lined, hiked across hanging bridges, and enjoyed time at the thermal waters of the Arenal volcano-fed hot springs.  We saw indigenous wildlife including sloths and coati, whales and dolphins, butterflies and hummingbirds… oh, and the occasional lizard and huge spider in our rooms!  The group was so happy to be traveling again, seeing the sites and traveling with a fun group.

Our first cruise in over two years is happening in two weeks!  Can you hear the excitement in my writing?  We’re headed to Nassau in the Bahamas and Key West on the beautifully renovated Celebrity Millennium.  Still, just yesterday we had a change of itinerary, so like every industry, it is not in 100% “working order” just yet.  But our ports of Nassau and Key West will still be visited and we can’t wait to get this party started!

We just announced a cruise to the Panama Canal & Caribbean over New Years and in just 10 days, we had over 40 people sign up.  Our travelers are ready to hit the road.  And at Amazing Journeys, we couldn’t be happier!

Traveling into 2022

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

by Malori

We’ve all had our Covid stories and how it has interrupted our lives for the past 21 months. Each day brings with it new challenges, new surprises and situations totally beyond our control. My life as the owner of a travel company is no different.

I’m in the happiness business.  I satisfy the wanderlust in people, introducing them to cultures outside of our own, provide an understanding of religions different than what we know, showing them the world’s most amazing sites, breathtaking beauty sometimes found in the farthest reaches of this earth and escorting them to cities, countries and continents across the globe while providing an ease of travel, sure to deliver memories as well as friendships to last a lifetime.

It’s deflating, day-by-day, to have all your cool planning, excited passengers and revenue depend upon a situation where you literally have no control. Admittedly, I like to be the pilot… to be in control… the type where others depend on me to lead them to faraway places, keep a watchful eye on a myriad of situations, keep them happy, comfortable, and secure, before returning them home safely.

My job description has changed over the course of the pandemic.  It was business owner and consisted of wearing many hats including my favorites: experience crafter and itinerary planner. Part of my new job is interpreting legal disclaimers, dispensing medical advice including testing necessary, deciphering in-country entrance and exit requirements including types of testing, whether antigen (laboratorial or proctored or at-home proctored or self-tested), PCR (NAAT test) and more. I have been asked to collect valid Covid vaccine cards and to determine whether they are counterfeit or real, and to decode serial numbers and types of vaccines according to how effective they are as well as the number given.  Some countries require forms which live on apps needed to be downloaded and information uploaded, which I have now become an IT Expert as well as the IT Help Desk to teach my travelers how to access this new technology. And mind you, there are different apps for each destination in the world… sometimes several!  I have become an proficient in QR codes and how far to stick a swab up one’s nose. My favorite new job is predicting which countries will open their borders and when.  Since our crystal ball has been broken since March 2020, it has become increasingly less predictable, but my educated guesses have been pretty much on target.

If you thought taking off your shoes and emptying your water bottle to get on an airplane was difficult, be prepared for the new reality.  Travel is not for the faint of heart.

As we head into the busiest travel season of the year, please keep in mind, when someone who works in my industry asks you to follow a rule, whether on a plane, train, cruise or hotel, we aren’t trying to make anyone’s life more difficult…we are only helping you to get to a destination you have selected. These protocols were put in place to make your journey that much more pleasant and to hopefully allow you to start traveling the globe safely, whatever obstacles stand in the way.

We wish you bon voyage and G-d-speed, whether you are traveling globally, over the meadow and through the woods or down the street to celebrate the New Year with friends and family. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2022!

AJ Fun Facts: Michele

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Did you know these travel fun facts about Michele, Amazing Journeys Operations Director?

1. My favorite travel year included zip lining, whitewater rafting, swimming with dolphins and a climb to the top of Machu Picchu.
2. I always try the local cocktail and then try making them at home.

3. I love finding waterfalls.

4. I don’t buy souvenirs for my daughter but find an age appropriate book about the area so she can learn about new places and be inspired to travel.

5. Can’t go away even for a weekend without first printing my packing list.

AJ Fun Facts: Malori

Friday, August 13th, 2021

Did you know these travel fun facts about Malori, Amazing Journeys Chief Amazement Officer?

1. I’ve been known to stop my tour to play with dogs.
2. My favorite restaurant is The Rock located off the coast of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean!

3. I take pictures of signs with funny translations

4. I travel with a reusable flower vase and pick up flowers at local markets to brighten my hotel room.

5. My most amazing journey has been heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies.