Last fall, Canada’s G Adventures reached out about joining a new programme called Wanderers in Residence, whereby the Wanderers (a group of fellow long-term travelers) would partner with G Adventures to promote learning through travel and experiencing far away places and foods. Their new (super shiny!) Wanderers in Residence blog has just launched and I’ve confirmed my first trip with the programme: two weeks in Morocco in mid-October.
What does being a Wanderer in Residence mean?
The programme provides opportunities for the Wanderers to join G Adventures on a trip per year to destinations of our choice, as well as promoting travel and spirited adventures through other channels – their sustainable tourism arm (Planeterra), conference opportunities and branding panels, as well as writing for their site occasionally.
Does this mean I work for G Adventures?
I’m not a G Adventures employee, I’m a brand ambassador. I’ll be able to share my experiences from their trips with their audiences, and with mine. And I will help them promote their core values, ones that I agree with: to inspire people to see the world sustainably.
Why G Adventures?
Well, for starters – they’re Canadian! But apart from this initial bias, they’re also a great company and I’ve been recommending them to friends and family alike for years now, long before the days of the Twitter and their new push toward social media. My own cousin Bradley joined a trip in Asia last spring as it was his first foray alone, and then continued onward for a few months after the trip had ended, having already gotten his “travel legs” in place. I’ve spent time at their offices and their emphasis on sustainability, respect for the environment and flexibility within a tour’s framework is impressive.
But most importantly: they value travel as an entrepreneurial, educational experience. The company is full of people who both care about travel itself, and travel as a way of bridging gaps (see what I did there?) between countries and people. Instead of hiring celebrities to endorse their brand, they went with real travelers who have years of gallivanting to back up their core values.
But you’re a solo traveler – why work with a tour company?
This is a very good question. I want the platforms I use to be ones I respect and can stand behind, and if they go far toward inspiring others to travel, then they’re ideal for my needs. As I said in my 3-year anniversary post, I decided not to monetize Legal Nomads because I wanted it to be a place for me to share the things I loved, and sponsored posts or text links detract from that. This is the same reason that I’ve been very selective in choosing which press trips I join, because I genuinely want them to be experiences that I want to do regardless, and ones that I can write about here with authentic enthusiasm for the destination.
In associating with G Adventures, I not only get to write about the places I visit, but do so with a company I like. And in sharing my experiences, my aim is to hopefully demystify the idea of travel to exotic places in a way that inspires people to go out and get there themselves. Whether it’s a group tour or a backpacking trip with friends or a solo trip, seeing and living (and eating) is what matters. As a WiR, I hope to impress upon the people I meet on the trips or those who read my posts on the WiR blog, that even within the framework of a tour there’s a huge amount of room for independent discovery.
Will things change here at Legal Nomads?
Negative ghostrider. When posting from a G Adventures trip, I’ll include a disclaimer at the bottom, the same way I did with my travels through Jordan, and add a new category for WiR. I will be primarily posting on their blog, however, and my fall plans – Morocco then a stay in the country for an additional week, and a trip to Turkey – will be done independently. I suspect some of those posts from Morocco and Turkey just might involve edible items. I know you’re all surprised.
That’s it for the moment! Back to regularly scheduled programming with more to come from Newfoundland, Chiang Mai and my hometown of Montreal.