Blog Archives - Amazing Journeys
Wanderlust Blog Wanderlust Blog

Here at Amazing Journeys, we’re lucky 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. Check out the most recent entry (at the top) or search by your preferred criteria. Consider it motivation for your next embarkation.

Border

Top Reasons Why Erin Loves the Galapagos

Friday, February 23rd, 2024


When people ask me where my favorite trip has been, I have a hard time answering. Each location has so many highlights and I could always do more exploring in a new city or country, but the destination that is at the top of my list right now is the Galapagos. I’m lucky to have traveled to the Galapagos Islands last year with a group of Amazing Journeys travelers and it was truly amazing. It was such a unique destination with surprises along the way and I wanted to share some of my favorite aspects of the experience.

Wildlife – If you are a wildlife lover, the Galapagos Islands absolutely needs to be at the top of your “must travel” list! From marine iguanas to sea turtles to blue footed boobies to sea lions, there are incredible animals at every turn. Many of these species can only be found in the Galapagos and seeing them in their natural environment is just incredible.

Colors – As a photographer, the colors of the Galapagos Islands had my camera working overtime! I couldn’t get enough of the vibrant greens of the plants on land, the crystal clear blue waters, the contrast of the orange Sally Lightfoot crab against the stark black lava rocks and the wash of colors that were changing by the minute with each amazing sunset.

Activity level – Every day in the Galapagos is different – you could be snorkeling one day, taking a zodiac ride the next, kayaking, hiking or swimming. I love that you can be as active as you want on an itinerary like this, but that you can also enjoy everything that the islands has to offer from the comfort of the ship, on land or riding in a panga. Everyone in our group was able to make their experience exactly what they wanted and needed.

Remoteness – Imagine walking onto a quite beach with only the sounds of the water, the animals and your friends surrounding you – no lines, no traffic, no commotion. The Galapagos Islands are very restricted in the amount of visitors that come at one time, so as you are exploring, you sometimes feel like the only person in the world.

Cruising experience – Cruising is the only way I would want to explore the Galapagos Islands. Getting to sail from island to island makes the experience not only enjoyable and relaxing but allows you to maximize your time. You may explore one island in the morning, come back onboard for lunch and be in a different location in the afternoon. The expedition ship has a small number of passengers but boasts a delicious restaurant, casual places to relax, a dedicated learning space and experts that travel with you.

I could go on and on, but I guess I will stop here. If you’ve ever considered a visit to the Galapagos Islands, I encourage you to check it out! And if you’re considering it in the near future, I highly (highly) encourage you to come with us on the amazing journey to Ecuador and the Galapagos in December. Can you imagine ringing in the new year under the star covered sky while floating in between islands of the Galapagos? Pretty cool, huh? Whether you’re an animal lover, a water sports enthusiast, a photographer, a lover of cultures, someone who is looking for a unique way to celebrate New Year’s, or any other type of traveler, you are in for an experience of a lifetime. To see some of the things we’ll be seeing and doing on our trip, click here to watch a little video we’ve put together for you.

We hope to see you soon in this amazing part of the world!

Erin

Top 6 Reasons Why Stacey Loves Morocco

Wednesday, December 20th, 2023


People often ask my what my favorite travel destination is and I have a hard time answering.  Among my favorites are Vietnam, Peru, and France, but the country that I always come back to is Morocco.  I’m lucky to have traveled to Morocco once in college and have since escorted two groups of Amazing Journeys travelers.  And guess what – I just fall in love with it more and more every time.  I want to share why with you, but while pulling pictures for this email I had such a hard time narrowing it down. Why 6 reasons?  I tried to have my Top 5 but I just couldn’t narrow it down.  And I got lost deciding which of our photos to share with you.  Should I include the bright blue door or the intricate mosaic work?  Should I include an intricate keyhole doorway or detailed golden doors?  The beauty of sand dunes across the desert or the shock of tents with chandeliers inside?  There are just so many amazing things around every corner!


Colors
 – Morocco is filled with colors of the landscape (blue skies, orange sand dunes, green date trees), colors of buildings (bright aqua doors, intricate green and yellow mosaic walls and floors, the iconic blue of the Majorelle gardens), and beautiful Moroccan goods (richly colored rugs, hand-painted pottery, brightly-dyed leather slippers).  The colors of Morocco are anything but neutral, and I’m here for it!  It’s a feast for the eyes and truly a photographer’s dream.


Grandeur
 – Archways taller than houses and grand entry gates, towering brass doors, palaces covered in mosaics – this country is filled with incredible craftsmanship and grandeur.


Food
 – Let’s be honest, who doesn’t experience a new country through their food?  If you’ve never had tagine, you are in for a treat.  Cooked over an open fire in a large clay dish with a pointed lid, tagine looks just as beautiful as it tastes.  Spiced vegetables, flavorful olives and warm mint tea to welcome visitors are just some of the highlights.  But my personal favorite?  For breakfast, there are these small, squarish crepes with lots of layers called msemen.  You can eat them with ham or syrup or peel them apart and eat them on their own and boy are they delicious.
Camping/Glamping
 – Okay, hear me out on this one.  We take a jeep ride far out into the desert when out of nowhere, a small group of tents comes into sight – just like a mirage.  When we get there and go inside our tent, you will discover that they have king-sized beds, gorgeous lights from the ceiling, running water (yes, a shower in each “tent”), and electricity (yes, you can charge your cell phone).  They are amazing!  And in the middle of nowhere.  We will share a delicious meal prepared by the fantastic team who works there, and we will share in a drum circle at night.  I guarantee everyone will be up dancing by the end.  And when we wake up the next morning?  Yep, we get to ride camels across the sand dunes!  It’s a dream come true.

Shopping
 – I don’t typically shop much when I travel but when I come back from Morocco by bags are bursting at the seams.  Hand-painted pottery, brass light fixtures and teapots, vintage rugs, tapestries, colorful babouche (leather slippers) and so many other beautiful, unique, hand-made goods.  Even if you’re not a shopper, you will have fun wandering the aisles of the souk, checking out all of the fun things to see.  It’s quite an experience.

Jewish History – there is so much Jewish history in Morocco.  Did you know that Jews began immigrating to the region nearly 2000 years ago?  Because of that, there are fascinating synagogues and history all over the country.  From a synagogue in Casablanca that operates today to a small one in Fes that dates back to the 17 century with a subterranean mikveh and a blue and white mosaic-covered synagogue in Marrakech, they are all so different and wonderful.  We visit a cemetery which looks unlike any cemetery I’ve ever seen before.  And throughout the trip, we learn about how Jews have operated in Moroccan society and government through to the modern day.  Wherever we travel in the world, visiting the local synagogues and communities are always some of our most memorable visits.

I could go on and on – as I’m sure you can tell – but alas, I will stop here.  If you’ve never considered a visit to Morocco, I encourage you to check it out. And if you’re considering it, I highly (highly) encourage you to come with us on the amazing journey to Morocco in May.  Whether you’re a foodie, an art-enthusiast, a photographer, a lover of cultures, a shopper, or any other type of traveler, you are in for an experience of a lifetime.  To see some of the things we’ll be seeing and doing on our trip, click here to watch a little video we’ve put together for you.

We hope to see you soon in this amazing part of the world!

Stacey

Top 5 Reasons to Cruise

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023

At Amazing Journeys, we love cruising for so many reasons! But if we have to narrow it down to our top five, here is what we can share:

1. Unpack once
Imagine going on a one or two week vacation but only having to unpack one time. On a cruise, that is just what happens! Your hotel floats from port to port so no need to pack up to move to the next city.

2. Cover more ground
Cruising is the perfect way to sample a region. Visit multiple countries in one trip and see the highlights.

3. Everything is all in one place
Not sure where to eat dinner? Looking for a show? Hoping to squeeze in a workout? On a cruise, everything is right at your fingertips.

4. Travel at night and maximize your touring hours
How cool is it to go to sleep in one country and wake up in a new destination? On a cruise, once you fly into the starting city, getting from place to place is taken care of and traveling hours are often at night so you can do the most in each port.

5. Shore excursion options
Want to learn the history of a city? How about hoping on a bike to explore the architecture? Or try your hand at cooking a local delicacy? Shore excursion options give you the choice of how you spend your days in each destination.

Looking to hop on your next cruise?  Check out our current offerings by clicking here!

Our Amazing Journeys Family is Growing

Monday, December 5th, 2022

by Erin

Our Amazing Journeys family is growing and we are excited to share the team with you! No matter where you travel with us in the world, one of our amazing team members will be with you along the way!

And yes, a bigger staff means more amazing journeys! Keep an eye out for new trip announcements coming soon!

Click here to learn more about our crew!

Allow us to brag

Friday, September 9th, 2022

by Erin

For 22 years, Amazing Journeys has been creating vacations that change your life! But don’t just take our word for it – allow us to share some testimonials from travelers who have experienced Amazing Journeys first-hand!


Traveling with Amazing Journeys is like eating potato chips – you can’t stop after one or two. It’s addictive! I have traveled around the world with them, from South America to Australia and New Zealand, Japan, the Galapagos and many countries in between. You are treated like family and make lifelong friends. Every detail is attended to. I am looking forward to my next adventure.
-Sylvia (France River Cruise traveler)

I would travel to the ends of the earth with Amazing Journeys. The trips taken with Amazing Journeys were chock full of eye opening adventures with rocking itineraries. Long after the adventures I am left with memories that inspire me and friends that I treasure. Amazing Journeys makes traveling easy. They think of every detail and provide explicit pre-trip instructions. The team is always open to questions and it is obvious this is more than a business to them, they really make you feel like family. During the trip they are with you to assist with anything you need, are friendly and the good energy they add to the trip is immeasurable. It’s scary to travel alone. But, when I make a reservation for an Amazing Journeys trip I am confident. I know their trips attract high caliber individuals and the AJ team does everything in their power to make the travels easy and enjoyable. I’m so glad that AJ is around and I was lucky enough to hear about them.
-Marla (UAE & India traveler)

Whether you’re an experienced traveler or a novice, you’ll be impressed with the energy, thoughtfulness, and care they devote to making sure you have an exciting, comfortable, hassle-free, and safe experience. With friendly professionalism, they manage to take groups of strangers to strange lands, bring them together, and help each create fond memories and warm relationships that can last a lifetime.
-Bonnie (Israel traveler)

I have literally been around the world with Amazing Journeys and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I get so busy with work that when they post a trip I am interested in, I skim the itinerary and pay my deposit right away as I trust… and they come through every time… to give me a wonderful experience as well as I feel safe as a single woman on their trips. I HIGHLY recommend them. My life is fuller because of my travel with Amazing Journeys.
-Stacy (Greenland traveler)

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the great job they did in making this trip so very special!!!
-Helene (France River Cruise traveler)

The level of detail Amazing Journeys puts into every trip is insurmountable to any other travel company I have experienced. Each trip I have been on was more Amazing (hence their name) than the last. From cruising the Mediterranean, to a Jewish Heritage river boat tour through Eastern Europe, New Years Eve cruise through South America, an African safari, Hong Kong/China… all well planned, wonderful local tour guides, fantastic accommodations, and the list goes on. Travelers can rest assured that all details, big and small, are taken care of. If any emergencies occur, they are there handling it, making sure everything is taken care of. Are Jewish travel groups a bit more expensive than others? Yes. But well worth it. I have met some fantastic new friends from all over!! I have found everyone on their trips to be welcoming, friendly and we create fantastic memories. They are fantastic!!
-Toby (UAE & India traveler)

I have traveled with different companies before I found Amazing Journeys, and one thing I can say, you get what you pay for. Customer service is top notch. Every detail is taken care off. When I come home from an Amazing Journeys trip, I already start looking/planning the next one. I feel like every trip is once in a lifetime, that is how amazing the trips are.
-Reed (France River Cruise traveler)

I met many wonderful people who I know I will remain in contact with. I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel abroad and I could never have experienced the heart and soul of our stops without the expertise of Amazing Journeys. I have not stopped smiling since I have come home reliving the trip through pictures, Facebook, etc. I would not hesitate to travel with AJ again.
-Janet (Mediterranean Cruise traveler)

The level of organization and attention to detail by the group leaders was beyond anything I expected. I always felt like I knew exactly what was happening and if I needed help with any problems, the leaders would be there to help me. I also loved the ship and all the ports we visited!
-Audrey (Mediterranean Cruise traveler)

AJ plans fantastic trips. Once you book, you sit back and count the days till departure. Have questions? Never a problem. Their office phone is always answered in a friendly, warm manner. I can’t say enough positive things about Amazing Journeys!! It is the creme de la creme of singles travel groups. I’m glad I’m part of their family. I’m anxiously anticipating my next trip with them. I know I’ll be booking more in the future.
-Sharon (Africa traveler)

Amazing Journeys is really Amazing! This is a travel group for Jewish Singles – they travel the world and send you on fabulous trips. They take care of everything from visas, to airport transfers and you see everything there is to see in the location that you travel to. Their team is amazing! Knowledge and able to handle all types of situations and problems that may occur. After I have traveled to different locations throughout the world, I feel there is nothing I did not see or do in the particular location. I recommend this travel group for those who want to see the world!
-Lori (Greenland traveler)

The name is fitting. Just returned home from an AMAZING trip to Namibia. With the AJ staff’s attention to detail all I had to do was pack my bag (and find my passport) and head out. This was my 12th trip with my AJ friends. Already looking at the website to plan the next trip.
-Sharon (Namibia traveler)

I would highly recommend Amazing Journeys for group travel with nice Jewish people who are also interested in traveling to fun and new destinations. Amazing Journeys and its staff are professional, organized and bring together a diversity of Jewish travelers for a fun time. They always take care of the important details so I can enjoy a carefree vacation. I also like that they work hard to make sure everyone feels warm, welcome, comfortable and included in all activities on their trips. I look forward to my next trip with Amazing Journeys very soon!
-Lisa (Peru traveler)

I’ve traveled with other companies. Amazing Journeys is the top! They have a great inside staff and trip leaders that really take care of everything. They offer quite a variety of trips. With them I’ve been able to visit all seven continents. I highly recommend them!
-Marty (Antarctica traveler)

I have travelled with Amazing Journeys a number of times and they really do exceed expectations. The trips are well organised, and you feel like part of the family! The added extras, attention to detail and ability to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible means I would not hesitate to travel with them again. They are also just lovely to deal with, warm, friendly and clearly care about what they do. Cannot recommend highly enough!
-Benjy (French Polynesia traveler)

Because of Amazing Journeys, I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world and meet some people I can no longer imagine my life without. Think about your last vacation, did you meet other people or did you just hang out with the one or two other people you came with? I went on my first AJ trip with one friend and came away with dozens more. I keep coming back and now I can’t imagine my life without my new friends. This group is great if you have the travel bug but just can’t seem to find people who want to travel with you. You can sign up for one of the many AJ trips and just go. You WILL meet people.
-Tiffani (Morocco traveler)

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.