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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.

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We Show You the World and You Mean the World to Us

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

by Michele

Vacations That Change Your Life, originally, a tagline when created, was with the thought that the travel experience alone would be what changed your life.  What we have come to understand and have witnessed for decades, is that in addition to that, our journeys are changing your personal life here at home as well.


As we are now spending time at home and riding this wave together, we have felt the strength of our Amazing Journeys family.  Since we first received the “shelter in place” orders, one of our top priorities was to continue to share the power of positivity and what better way than to continue our time together even if for now it is virtually. Trivia, Lunch and Learn, Ice Cream Social, Happy Hour, Art Gallery Crawl, Shabbat and the list goes on.  We have even seen new faces online who we can virtually welcome into our AJ family until we can welcome them in person somewhere in the world.

I know from hundreds of calls I have had over the years, no one ever truly expects how their life will change when traveling with a group of AJers. Oftentimes, I find myself telling the first-time caller that I am personally still in touch and friends with several from our very first trip in 1993. We form special bonds and they have changed my life and I know have impacted many others.

After speaking with one of our newer AJ friends recently, he said something very poignant as before he traveled with us, he really didn’t know what to expect.  His personal observation was there have been some wonderful “unintended consequences”!  He thought he was just signing up for a tour but what he came back with was new friends that enhanced his world.  Looking back on many conversations from the last 20+ years, we hear all of the time:
…I met my best friend on my trip.
…All of my fellow Broadway goers I met through AJ.
…So many that celebrated my milestone birthday were my friends from AJ
…Going through a challenging time, when I looked around, I realized most
were my travel friends from AJ.


As we navigate these uncharted waters, I have learned now more than ever, there is so much to be thankful for.  Although we show you the world, we want you to know that you mean the world to us and also to each other.


Please feel free to share with us one moment or friendship that has changed your life as we would love to hear from you and be thankful together!

The Wandering Jew

Friday, August 28th, 2020

by Malori

Traveling around the world, I’m so fortunate that I get to see a plethora of amazing sights. And the experience that I hold close to my heart is sharing our Jewish heritage with our travelers in faraway lands throughout the world. Whether joining a local community for Shabbat services, creating our own community for holiday observances or bringing back prayer to a synagogue that hasn’t seen Jewish life for years, or sharing the Hora with those who may not have ever experienced it, these are the moments treasured by myself and our groups alike.

We have had the good fortune to see many of Europe’s Synagogues. The largest and most magnificent I’ve experienced is Budapest’s Dohany Street Synagogue. Built in the mid-19th century, the architectural style is Moorish Revival and is truly remarkable.  With seating for 3,000 participants in its main sanctuary, it also houses a museum, a graveyard, and sits on the site of Theodore Herzl’s home. But in addition to the glorious interior, it’s the experiences one has that is the most memorable,  Being brought up to the bima and away from the crowds of visitors, we pre-arranged the opportunity of having their world famous Cantor lead us in prayers, together as an Amazing Journeys community.  Our voices rang to the top rafters of this massive interior structure.  Just outside the doors to the most beautiful synagogue in the world, we were taken to the site where thousands of Jews were murdered during the 1930’s and 40’s.  Anyone who has been to Budapest will have vivid memories of the stories of the atrocities that happened along the river dividing Buda and Pest and elsewhere in the city.

While most of our Jewish experiences are pre-planned by our Amazing Journeys team, some are bashert or, just happens because they are meant to be. When headed to the Azores, a remote group of islands located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 930 miles off the coast of Portugal and 2400 miles off the US coast, I received a call from a would-be traveler.  She said her dad was on a business trip a few years prior, along with a business associate, a Catholic woman who was born in the Azores. They asked about a run-down building they saw while walking down the street and were told it was a hidden synagogue from the 1800’s.  For over 30 years, the two had decided to raise money to restore the synagogue, and took trips to Ponta Delagada on the island of San Miguel until they had restored the Sahar Hassamain Synagogue into its original look.  They also created a museum and included details of Jewish life in Ponte Delgada. Upon hearing the story, we wanted to take our group to visit as well as have Shabbat services there.  In advance of our Amazing Journeys visit, we asked employees at the museum, those running the fundraising organizations and were told it was a museum and was not used as a synagogue for nearly 60 years. We asked different times and in different ways, and still the answer was no.  We arrived in the Azores, visited the museum as part of our tour and later, at the end of our day of touring, I mentioned to the guide we had been hoping to have our Shabbat services inside the synagogue.  She said, “why not?”  I told her we had already had a long line of “no’s” from everyone we spoke to and she said, “I work for the Mayor… I can make it happen.  Give me until tomorrow (Friday)… I am certain I can get this approved.”  Sure enough, she did and we kept our secret from the group.  Later that evening, I asked everyone to meet in the hotel lobby so we could have Shabbat services together, followed by dinner.  We walked the 4 blocks to the synagogue and had a private service in this 130 year old space.  We all realized the specialness of this experience, and that we were bringing voices of prayer to these walls that had not heard songs for decades.  Many of us cried.

Sometimes synagogues appear in the most random of places, nevertheless, they are houses of prayer.  Cochin, India was once known as ‘Jew Town’ because they were located along the Spice Route and had many Jewish families who settled there.  Cochin is filled with many synagogues, some being currently brought to their original beauty as houses of worship by congregations in the US and other countries who want our Jewish history not to be lost forever. We visited several synagogues in the once bustling area.  My favorite was one synagogue visit where we had to pass alongside of several aquariums filled with fish to reach the entrance of the synagogue.  Not very fitting for a house of worship, it reminded me that having a defined prayer space is a gift.  People in different parts of the world will make sacrifices so that they can pray as Jews.  While in Cochin, we met Sarah Cohen, the last Jew in Jew Town.  We spoke to Sarah, then in her 90’s, who still produced handmade challah covers.  Sarah recently passed away at the age of 95, leaving the former Jew Town devoid of Jews.

We have celebrated Shabbat in synagogues in Cuba where in Havana there are still two shuls, and as always, there is the one you “don’t go to.”   We have prayed with 400 visitors and Jewish business people living in the area in Shanghai, China and said prayers in a tiny underground hidden shul at Auschwitz in Poland.

 

One of the most sobering was in Linz, Austria where we had Shabbat services at The Linz Synagogue.  This meaningful symbol of our Jewish religion and our heritage sits just one block away from the balcony where Hitler gave one of his earlier hate speeches.  On the tiny balcony in front of the Rathaus in the main square in Linz, Hitler proclaimed the Greater German Reich on May 12, 1938.  He called Linz “my home.”  It was so important that here, we came together to pray as one.  This reconstructed Synagogue was both architecturally meaningful and hauntingly spiritual. Our voices during services were loud and proud as we aimed them to reach the heavens.

Whether one is Jewish or not, most likely a Jewish wedding is associated with dancing the Hora to Hava Negela.  On our travels, we have created the fun and fervor of the hora in many spaces and places on earth, including the most remote spots imaginable. We taught a local dance troupe in Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal in an archipelago comprising four islands off the northwest coast of Africa, to dance the hora.  Even more remote, our Amazing Journeys travelers to Antarctica did an impromptu singing of Hava Negila around an Israeli flag, after doing the Shehecheyanu blessing, a common Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions. On a recent trip to Tanzania, we met the Hadzabe people, an isolated tribe who still hunt for their meals with poison arrows and spears. They live under bushes and move about Tanzania, following the game. Here, after this tribe taught us their dance, we showed them ours!  Although we couldn’t communicate through verbal language as they still use the “click language,” the language of dance was our connection. Although we weren’t 100% sure our movements would translate favorably, we’re still here to talk about it!

In India, just outside of Varanasi, the holiest city in all of India, we celebrated Tu’ BiShvat, the New Year of the Trees.  I asked our guide to provide me with a space under a tree, so that we could say some prayers and experience this holiday. He was proud to bring us to the Bodhi tree where Buddha was enlightened. Nearby, we found a tree we could sit under as a group and celebrate Tu’ BiShvat.

Sometimes it’s the remoteness and serenity of nature that connects us most to God. In my favorite spot on the planet, our heli-hiking lodge in the Bugaboo Mountains in eastern British Columbia, Canada, our group celebrated Shabbat with a setting filled with glaciers, mountains and granite spires. It’s the most majestic backdrop to a memorable Shabbat.  Equally so, perhaps my favorite Shabbat ever was facing Uluru, formally known as Ayers Rock, in the Outback of Australia.  Here, we perched ourselves on a large, red rock, indicative of the landscape of this desert area, complete with challah, wine and candles as I led the group through Shabbat services. As the sun set and the colors of Uluru changed with the changing sunlight, surrounded by our Amazing Journeys community in song and prayer, it brought us to tears.

Of all the exploration we do on our Amazing Journeys, it’s our visits to explore our Jewish heritage, see synagogues and visiting Jewish communities throughout the world, and  it’s the Jewish celebrations in which we participate that are always the most memorable part of the trip and our travelers remember for years to come.

What Happens When Tourism Stops

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

by Malori


Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and is included on any list of the Top 10 Employers globally.  It’s hard to fathom just how large this industry is until you begin to break down the numbers.  In 2019, travel and tourism directly contributed nearly 3 trillion dollars to the GDP.  And in the US, it was the largest contributor to the GDP with a total of over 580 billion US dollars last year. Tourism employs 330 million worldwide.  Sometimes these numbers can be difficult to understand until we break it down further.

Tourism is on the brink of disaster.  Tour guides we have been working with for years in India, Africa, China and Vietnam and have developed friendships with are looking outside of tourism for other work.  Imagine, when we visit Tanzania and hire a Masai Mara guide, the ones we love to jump with and who takes us into their dung huts to show us life on the Mara– this one-day guided experience will feed 10 others in his community with this one encounter.  We recently visited Thailand.  The absence of visitors can change the life of vendors who are on the streets with their food carts, t-shirt sellers, elephant sanctuary workers and tuk-tuk drivers who cannot see their way to bringing home payment so their family can survive another day.  The Moroccan carpet sellers, the mustache-festooned doormen at our hotels in India, our Jewish tour guides in Rome, the jovial bartenders on your last cruise, the ferry captain in the fjords of New Zealand, hiking guides, olive oil tastings in Greece… it all shuts down.  Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with the Vice President of a major worldwide hotel chain who told me 50% of his hotels will shut down in Europe next month… and they currently have occupancy rates in the single digits. Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of people will be out of work in that scenario? Only a handful of cruise ships are sailing.  That’s another 1.1 million out of work employees from around the world. Add to that, it is expected that 50% of the more than 60,000 travel agencies just in the US will be out of business by September.  When tourism stops in its tracks, the ability of millions of people to put food in their mouths stops, too.

As the Chief Amazement Officer at Amazing Journeys, I take my job very seriously.  Because I know that not only am I crafting tours that include highlights within each destination we visit, I am also taking care of the locals… small business owners who can provide experiential memories, sure to make your trip that much more enjoyable, while feeding their local community at the same time.  Whether it’s a surprise tuk-tuk ride to see the sun set over the Taj Mahal, a food tasting tour, shopping at the local market before attending our cooking school in Vietnam, wine tasting in Israel, tasting whiskey in Ireland and scotch in Scotland… it’s all part of putting money into the local economies and more specifically, the individuals who are feeding several members of their community.

At Amazing Journeys, not only do we take great pride in creating a tour that you will remember for the rest of your life, we also take seriously our responsibility to take care of those who take care of us.  And we do this by generating opportunities for local populations.  We know that tourism is a force for good. Those of us working in tourism and those who travel… we are all in this together – we are one community.

What Do I Miss Most About Travel – Barry

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

by Barry

This blog should actually be titled: What I Miss Most About Malori NOT Traveling!


My life with Malori runs at about 70 miles an hour… on a slow day.  When she’s away from home, traveling with Amazing Journeys, I’m able to slow down a bit and can turn our house into my personal (but temporary)  “Man Cave”.  I’m able to do things when Malori travels that I just wouldn’t attempt when she’s at home.  Take a look at some of the things I look forward to when Malori travels:

 – I eat some of my meals right out of the pot I cook them in.
 – I make a big pot of chili and have it for dinner EVERY NIGHT for the week!
 – I read the entire Sunday New York Times every week (with a pot of coffee).
 – I’ll have a cigar if I want to.
 – I go to sleep with the television off.
 – If my socks don’t match, I’ll never know.
 – On the weekends, I never have to change out of my gym shorts and t-shirt.
 – If I want to scratch, I can.
 – I do the dishes when I run out of clean ones… sometimes.
 – I don’t have to separate laundry into light, medium and dark… they’re just dirty or clean.
 – Iron clothes?  What’s an iron?
 – One pot meals are the rule.
 – Why should I take the clothes out of the dryer and move them to my dresser, they just end up back in the laundry anyway.  I use that as my closet.
 – Nothing is better than a book, a Scotch and a cigar while swinging in a hammock for hours in the backyard.
 – I don’t have to worry if the toilet seat is up.
 – I can go to sleep as early as I want.
 – Chips and salsa are a food group, right?
– I have time to do some of my many projects.
 – I can take all day Photo Safaris if I want to.
 – I can hop in our boat and take my own cruise on one of Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers.

As you can see, when Malori’s not at home I’m not bored.  I just run my life differently.  But, if you want to know a little secret, my life is more fun when she’s in town… but don’t tell her that!

What Do I Miss Most About Travel – Erin

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

by Erin


One of the many things that I have inherited from my father is a love of photography – capturing the life of a country, the beauty of nature or the fun of a situation.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have still been taking a lot of pictures in these months where we have not been able to travel, but it still feels like something is missing.

To be able to go to a new destination and experience it is a feeling like no other.  To be able to remember all of the amazing things that you did is nearly impossible.  That’s why I try to document as much as I possibly can, knowing that when I come home, I will be able to re-live all of those moments again while going through my pictures.

Before digital photography, I would average about a roll of film a day, taking pictures of the things I saw, but limiting myself to the number of shots available.  Now, I click, click, click all day long and go through the pictures after the fact, allowing myself to be more in the moment and try to capture everything.

Like many of you, my pictures usually just live on my computer and I don’t do much with them.  But one of the projects that I have committed myself to during this pandemic is to go through my years of travel pictures and print a few that I want to feature on the wall in my living room.  Rather than just going through them on my screen, I want my pictures to come to life.  Not only to brighten the walls of my house, but also to bring a smile to my face.  Each picture is a memory and a moment in time that I remember fondly.

So even though we may not have the opportunity to take pictures of new countries and cultures for now, that is no reason to put away your camera (or cell phone).  Keep snapping away to recall what is happening in your daily life now, and know that one day, your pictures will start to be of new things and they will bring new memories and stories, as well!

What Do I Miss Most About Travel – Malori

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

by Malori

From the time I was a little kid, maybe 10 years old, I had a fascination with everything travel. I used to ask my parents to take me to our local airport (LAX in Los Angeles) which thrilled me to no end.  The hustle bustle, the sights, sounds and smells.  Hearing announcements in languages I couldn’t understand. The luggage stacked up on the runway, waiting to be loaded into the belly of the planes. The board announcing arrivals and departures for sites unknown. People gathering from all different places on earth, traveling to countries far and wide.

 In the international terminal, as I walked from gate to gate, I was virtually transported around the world, hearing different languages as people headed to what I had imagined to be all places wonderful. I used to imagine why they were going to wherever it was they were headed.  I’d make up probable scenarios in my mind.  Some were most likely off to explore an exotic destination that one day I’d like to visit myself!  I’d see lots of travelers, perhaps returning home after a visit to our country, or maybe meeting up with family they hadn’t seen for a long time. I would listen closely for different languages being spoken, an occurrence  that still fascinates me.  To this day, when hearing someone speaking a different language or with an accent, I enjoy engaging them in conversation and eventually asking where they’re from and most likely, I’ve been there.  The fact that I have seen their country which they miss and are certainly proud of, breaks down many barriers and we enjoy knowing that much more about one another.

I remember being at the airport with my parents, picking up my Aunt Shirley and Uncle Marv who had just landed after a once-in-a-lifetime dream trip to Hawaii.  As passengers started arriving with their individual boxes of souvenir coconuts and pineapples in hand, each passenger was adorned with flower leis made of orchids picked and strung just prior to their five hour flight from Honolulu to LAX. The airport gate was laden with orchids and everything smelled so sweet! I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to travel to Hawaii.

I am in love with the design, art and architecture of airports. Each one is truly unique and each were considered modern at the time in which they were built.  I love how the logistics work both inside airports and coordinating all of the flights internationally.  I love the individual airlines logo, colors, uniform design and everything about them as I scurry through airports worldwide. When I graduated college, earning my degree with a focus on Commercial Interior Design, I wanted to design airports or hotels.  But living in Mobile, Alabama at the time of my first job post-graduation, there were no architectural or design firms in the city building airports…or hotels.

My favorite airport?  I love all the features designed into the Singapore Changi Airport. Having won the Best Airport Award seven years in a row, you quickly learn why.  With relaxing forested areas and the world’s largest indoor waterfall, a butterfly garden, a movie theater, swimming pool and world class restaurants and shopping, this airport earns the top spot.  My favorite domestic airport is Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Built in 1980, I was one of the first passengers coming through this modern airport and they have kept it growing and modern ever since.  My favorite feature is the art galleries placed all over the airport, each with different themes and always changing. My favorite artwork is between Concourses A and B. Besides interesting sculptures in the center of the underground walkway, and murals lining the sides of this 450 foot passage, most people don’t look up to see the most interesting ceiling covered in art, an installation called Flight Paths. This walkway has sounds of rain, simulated lightning and thunder and is missed by most travelers. The worst airport?  In my opinion, it’s Charles de Gaulle in Paris.  It’s so spread out, it’s larger than most cities in Alaska.  Maybe all of them!  You have to allow hours to navigate between flights and it always seems to be under construction. Terminals and gates are labeled nonsensically and you’ll find gates and terminals labeled with F12H and KA12T and the like.  I’ve been through CDG a plethora of times and I still don’t get it. You have to leave and reenter security at least once per plane change and typically, your terminal isn’t on the train system and they shuttle you from terminal to terminal, using back entrances, stairways and alleys.  What a mess!

While I realize most travelers look at airports as an inconvenience, and the length  of time spent mid-air as a “boring part of travel which must be endured” to get to the destination which is the real excitement, just know that for some of us, “it’s the journey and not the destination.”

What Do I Miss Most About Travel – Stacey

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

by Stacey

What do I miss about travel?  The food!  Churros con chocolate in Spain, empanadas in Argentina, tagine in Morocco, pho in Vietnam, samosas in India – my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  There’s nothing better than sitting down to a meal and enjoying the local food, the surrounding, and the company.

Actually, the only thing better is popping by a street vendor to grab something on the go so I can keep exploring.  One of my favorites was a simit that we grabbed from a cart in Kusadasi, Turkey – imagine a huge, puffy, flatish bagel, covered in sesame seeds.  Yum!  Or there was that time in Mykonos, Greece that we got crepes with nutella and ice cream!  Okay, that sounds like a great idea until you really think of eating a hot crepe, on the go, in hot Greece.  I think we left a trail of melted ice cream behind us as we walked and tried to eat it as quickly as possible.  Sitting on a bench in Budapest enjoying a huge, doughy pastry, curled into a coil and covered in cinnamon sugar.  Using my rusty French to order a baguette and munching on it while walking down the street of a small town.  Grabbing a pint at a pub’s outdoor seating in Dublin.

These are moments that pass so quickly; decisions that are made in a split second – “I must eat that” –  but they just stick in my mind and make me smile.  I can’t wait to pick up where I left off.

What Do I Miss Most About Travel – Michele

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

by Michele

EVERYTHING!  Having been in the travel business my entire life, I can honestly say there isn’t anything about travel that I don’t miss.  I started dreaming about flying and sailing all over the globe at a very young age.  I vividly recall playing “pretend airplane” and “pretend ship” with my cousins when I was a very young kid.  The moment I had an opportunity to pack, you didn’t have to ask me twice, I was ready!

One aspect of travel that I can say I miss the most is the people.  Whether it is the locals I have the opportunity to meet and learn about; their country, culture, and cuisine or if it is the special group of individuals I travel with, it is the people that make every destination… amazing!

There isn’t anything that brings a place to life or can ingrain the experience more than the people that love it and take pride in it the most.   The locals have a unique way of sharing their knowledge with you that opens your heart and mind in a way that can’t be matched.  Tell me about your community and family, tell me how you came to do what you do and why, tell me about the beautiful architecture and the history behind it.  I love hearing it all while on tour or over a coffee at a neighborhood cafe as we people watch together.  Nothing can bring a place to life like a local.

And YOU – our group of amazing travelers.  Sharing the experiences with you is what makes travel special.  You may consider yourself a client when you first call, but you become part of the family rather quickly.  Everyone has their initial call and their first trip sometimes calling with questions and maybe a splash of hesitance?  What I always share with everyone is that within minutes, you will feel part of something special.  This isn’t just a feeling our passengers get, it is what we feel right along with you!  We certainly form bonds and those have truly enhanced my life.

Moving Forward – One Step at a Time

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

by Malori

I’ve been working in the travel industry since I was in college.  I took a few side jobs while studying, in order to be around the world I love. While performing the tasks at hand, I would daydream, seeing myself in all of those exotic locales and enjoying people from other cultures. So it should be no surprise that during my first full-time travel job after graduating college, I earned the nickname, “I’ll Go Anywhere Asman” because I truly would go anywhere!  If there was a learning opportunity in Houston, I’d be the first to volunteer.  Visit Nashville?  Yes, please! Lead a group of country western fans from a radio station to Las Vegas? Sign me up! That was actually my first group, leading me to a career in escorting over 10,000 people around the world! I’ve dedicated my career to travel, as have our amazing team of Erin, Stacey and Michele.  Each one of us never imagined ourselves doing much of anything else and each of us started on our “dream job” path during our teens.

How is Amazing Journeys and our devoted team coping during this crisis?  I’ve seen crises in the past.  9/11.  The Gulf War.  The Financial Crisis of 2008-09.  Each one had a huge impact on travel, and as an industry, steps were taken in order to re-start travel and help those with trepidations, to travel once again. But this time is different.  What we thought would be a few weeks turned into a few months. Through it all, we are reevaluating next steps, all while taking care of our business, customers, employees and families.  While some areas of the world are beginning to open to tourism once again, there are still challenges to overcome before we are ready to take those first steps to board a plane.

Here at Amazing Journeys, we’ve been keeping busy.  Since the very beginning, we’ve been able to entertain and keep our travelers connected with engaging online programs such as Travel Trivia, Lunch and Learn, Happy Hours, Shabbat and more.  We’ve hosted hundreds and hundreds of cheerful participants and have enjoyed the engagement we have been missing so much.  While it hasn’t replaced our need to be with our travelers in person, it has fulfilled a need for our community to all be together, laughing, talking and interacting about that which we love…travel.

This pause in travel has given us an opportunity to reset our priorities, thinking about what’s really important including health, safety and our collective well-being. We are of the opinion that we would rather cancel a trip than cause undue concern for anyone’s health and safety and so we have done just that.  We’ve focused on what we can do moving forward in how to best serve your travel needs.  Changes have been made to the number of travelers we will host on any given trip for the comfort and safety of our travelers through 2021. In addition, we have been working with suppliers who can offer us more lenient cancellation terms, or insurance programs which allow cancellation with little to no penalty, closer to the date of travel.

For nearly 25 years, I have traveled over 100 days a year for work, and adding to that, traveling to visit family.  But I’m really enjoying being home much more than I thought I would!  When I’m not planning new trips, proofing contracts and reading industry journals, I’ve rediscovered what it’s like to have time to relax. I’ve rediscovered what it’s like to have down time in some of my favorite nooks and crannies of my house and yard, and time to sit in my favorite spot on a side patio with a book or catching up with friends and family. I set a goal to do at least three active activities each day and so I go for long walks, hikes, bike rides and have several fitness routines I can do at home.

We spend time in nature and on the three rivers in Pittsburgh, visiting with family and recently, adding visits with friends, socially distanced of course. This pause in travel has taught me I’m certainly not ready for retirement any time soon and I am ready to hit the road as soon as we are comfortable doing so.  And it’s definitely taught me while I am comfortable alone with myself, I love being around people and that includes all of you!  I really miss our time spent exploring and discovering our world together, and having a great time while doing it!

Amazing Journeys Update

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Dear Amazing Journeyers,

I hope this message finds you and your family members well. We have enjoyed seeing and hearing about all that our travelers have been doing while staying home to keep themselves busy. Whether you’re baking, exercising, cleaning out closets, finding entertaining things to binge watch or creating things to make others smile, we hope you’re all healthy and finding comfort during this unique time in our lives. If you’re like us here at Amazing Journeys, you can’t wait to hit the road and get back out there, seeing the world. We hope you’ve been enjoying our multitude of online opportunities to gather together, whether it be our Lunch & Learn, Trivia, Happy Hours or Kabbalat Shabbat programs.

While the world is repairing, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your thoughts and concerns for us, our families and our business. I am confident that travel will one day resume… when it’s safe to do so, and when it does, Amazing Journeys will be right there to offer you the amazing travel programs you have come to expect from us. Those of you who had signed up for trips that were postponed or cancelled know that Amazing Journeys was there for you, and offered to refund all of your money… no questions asked. At a time when there was so much worry over potential loss of income, loss of value in the markets and threat of illness, we wanted to lessen that stress as much as possible. When the time is right, we want our travelers to be excited about their upcoming vacation plans, rather than being apprehensive in any way.

Never before in history has the entire world been closed off to tourism. There will be many changes in the world as a result of COVID-19 including travel, with regard to social distancing practices, protective gear and procedures followed by airlines, hotels, tour groups, cruises and more. We recently outlined some of these things during an online zoom presentation we offered last week. If you were not able to join us, we invite you to click here to watch the recording (password is AJ2020/2021 and it is set in two recordings that will play one right after another).

We have also recently offered a survey so that you can tell us what’s important to you when traveling. We’ve had a great response with over 200 participants. We’d love to hear from you and know your thoughts.  If you have not yet filled out the survey, please click here.

At this time, we will plan to resume our trips, starting with those scheduled for the Fall of 2020. In addition, we have recently announced our 2021 line-up. With social distancing in mind, Amazing Journeys will be offering travel opportunities to take you to off-the-beaten-path destinations, where you can learn about the countries and their people, their culture and take in the beautiful landscapes. We have lots of experiential components built into the itineraries as well. We’ll offer smaller group experiences, allowing for a more intimate experience on the road, with our guides and with other Amazing Journeyers on your tour. We will be partnering with companies who allow us greater flexibility in our terms and conditions, whereby we are able to lessen our penalties as much as possible, should the need to cancel arise. Finally, we are working with global suppliers who offer a “cancel for any reason travel waiver” which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before the start of your trip and get all of your money back. Very few tour operators offer this, but we are partnering with these companies so that at least 50% of our upcoming trips will offer this option. Because of all of this and more, we believe our upcoming line-up will offer travel in a way you, our clients, want to experience travel at this moment in time.

We would like to share our 2020/2021 line-up with you below. If you have interest in a specific destination, click on the link below the trip for more details or to be placed on an Interest List. Once on that list, you will be the first to know about any of these upcoming trips before the general public.

We miss traveling but most importantly, we miss you. Our team is looking forward to the day when we can all leave our nests and fly. And when we do, we hope it will be on an Amazing Journey with you.

Stay healthy and wishing you all the best,

Malori

Malori Asman, CTC, MCC
Chief Amazement Officer, Amazing Journeys
412.571.0220 (phone) | 412.344.3937 (fax)
733 Valleyview Road | Pittsburgh, PA 15243 (address)
www.amazingjourneys.net (web)

 

Upcoming Amazing Journeys

National Parks of the Southwest (Arizona, Utah, Nevada)
October 2-9, 2020
Click here for trip details

Australia & New Zealand
October 29 – November 14, 2020
Click here for trip details

New Year’s Cruise to Cozumel & Key West
December 28, 2020 – January 2, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List 

Adventures in Croatia
April 28 – May 8, 2021
Click here for trip details

Morocco
May 14 – 23, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List

Israel
June 6 – 15, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List

France River Cruise
June 30 – July 6, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List

Norwegian Fjords Cruise
July 11 – 18, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List

Ireland
July 24 – August 1, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List

Scotland
August 1 – 11, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List 

Greece by Land
September 27 – October 10, 2021
Click here to be added to the Interest List

Polar Bears in Churchill
October 15 – 19, 2021
Click here for trip details