Becoming Wanderers in Residence with Gap Adventures

Over the weekend, we alluded to the fact that we had been selected as inaugural members of the G Adventures Wanderers in Residence program. We were introduced on stage, we called it out on Facebook and Twitter, people congratulated us.

Then the phones started ringing. The back channels lit up. So did the front channels. Everyone was asking: “Sounds cool. Now what does this mean again?
Wanderers in Residence
We’ll be partnering with G Adventures in a number of ways. As we continue our travels, we’ll have the opportunity to take several Gap Adventures tours a year so we can experience what G does best. We’ll take the opportunity to meet G staff in offices around the world. We’ll offer ideas and advice based on our own experiences. There is even talk of Wanderers in Residence designing their own tours or leading their own groups in different parts of the world.

If you ever wanted to travel with Dan and Audrey, this just may be your chance.

Why did we say yes?

As you are probably aware, we usually travel independently, on our own. Although we pick up local tours from time to time, we value our freedom. So partnering with a tour company may sound out of character.

Let us explain.

As we’ve gathered travel experience, we’ve become discerning, casting a sharp eye on the tourism industry. We’ve come across companies who throw around words like “eco” and “sustainable” because it’s both fashionable and a facile means to tug on the heartstrings and jack up the price while doing little to mind the environment or local communities.

But on our Antarctica tour with G Adventures, we noticed a few things: the dedication to sustainability and environment in action (not just in word), passion across the board, focus on education and learning, flexibility to adjust when needed (we were thrown off course 16 hours by bad weather and our tour leader had to turn the tour upside down), and an entrepreneurial spirit to work with us as bloggers at the very last minute.

Most importantly, these are good people. These are people who care. These are people who share our values.

Basically, these are people we’d like to work with.

We also recognize that we were chosen for this program because we are independent and entrepreneurial spirits. G Adventures doesn’t want us to ditch that – it’s who we are. Instead they’d prefer to work with it. This is forward looking; it takes a special kind of company to recognize the value in cooperating like this.

And heck, any company that throws a costume party with such vigor as part of their annual company event is one we want to work with.

Any guesses as to our costumes? Theme=famous dead people

So why us?

G Adventures is about changing lives and providing opportunities for people to grow through the travel experience. The five members selected for this first Wanderers in Residence group – we join Nomadic Matt, Gary from Everything Everywhere and JD from EarthXplorer – live and embody the spirit of travel.

We are all long-term travelers dedicated to sharing what we experience and learn of the world so that others may be motivated to do the same.

Consider us travel evangelists, travel ambassadors.

And as a traveling couple, we are a living example that your traveling wanderlust need not end once you make a commitment to a partner or say “I do.”

OK, OK, Enough of the group hug and happy talk. What’s going to change for Uncornered Market? You guys selling out?

Basically, we’re going to keep doing what we love and what we do best: traveling, meeting people, exploring new cuisines, adventuring, working with microfinance and other organizations, and learning about ourselves.

We’ll continue to go places that we are drawn to, whether or not G Adventures offers tours there. But it is true that you will likely see some more G Adventures advertising on our site and more updates related to experiences we’ve had with them.

What’s up next for us?

From Canada, we fly to Europe (Vienna and Prague) for a few days before departing for Bangkok in mid-November.

After some time in Thailand and Southeast Asia, we’re planning for Bangladesh next. And after that, we have East Africa and the Middle East on the brain.

The not-so-fine print: this is subject to change.

Our lives are about leaving open space to seize the opportunity. So stay tuned for more exciting times ahead.

Enjoy this?

Then sign up for more travel wisdom & inspiration from 7+ years of traveling the world.

Comments

  1. says

    Lindbergh and Earhart, of course.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing more about what, exactly, this relationship means for you. And hey, congrats!

  2. jose says

    lucky people, wish all that money spend go to people that really need it and don’t have a place to sleep or food to eat, what a waste of money!

  3. says

    Congrats guys!

    great selection of bloggers and an awesome opportunity for u! forget the selling out chat, everyone would jump at the chance! good luck and looking forward to hearing about ur adventures!

  4. says

    @Pam: Pretty close on the costumes. Amelia Earhart (I was the easy guess) & Howard Hughes (of TWA & bizarre behavior fame – hence, the peas).

    Thanks for the congratulations! We’re also excited to see where the program goes! When we first were invited, it sounded like a relatively straightforward partnership with a few free trips a year but after this weekend at Gap Stock and hearing ideas it sounds like this could be a whole new way for companies to work with bloggers (and value their independence). Stay tuned!

    @Johnny: Thanks for your kind words and support! Hope all is going well with your travels in India.

    @Jose: I can see how this could be seen as a frivolous waste of money instead of putting money towards helping people in need. However, Gap Adventures does have an NGO side called Planeterra that works with communities around the world on development programs to help local people get jobs and grow. We hope to work with them in sharing their work to get more volunteers and programs going.

    Also, travel bloggers like Pam above have started Passports with Purpose that use the passion, social media skills and blogging strength to raise large amounts of money. Last year they built a school in Cambodia; this year they are raising money to build a village in India.

    So, there are ways when travel, travel companies and travel bloggers work together to do just what you say – raise money for people and communities who don’t have a place to stay or regular access to enough food.

    @Andi: Thanks for your excitement and support!

    @Johnny: There is always going to be “selling out chat” when something like this happens. Actually, we were told that several angry travel bloggers were in contact with Gap wondering why they weren’t chosen instead of our group. It’s a shame when people have sour grapes instead of thinking about the possibilities for them sometime in the future. Thanks for your support!

    @Kate: The world’s a small place, so hopefully we’ll cross paths in BKK or elsewhere in Thailand! Glad to hear your travels are going well!

  5. says

    DnA,
    Thanks for filling in the blanks for us… and thanks mostly for posting the video! I am now much clearer on your core values ;-) Seriously, looks like a fun group to be involved in. See you in few weeks in Thailand.
    ynoT

  6. Adam Grossman says

    Did I ever tell you two that you are the coolest people I know? You definitely carry a hero card around my family.

  7. says

    Congratulations once again! They couldn’t have picked a more deserving pair. Looking forward to more dispatches as usual. This definitely looks like the future of bloggers & companies working together.

  8. says

    We are so proud of your guys! We are jealous, yes, but you deserve it after many years of traveling and blogging, learning languages, meeting people and taking great photography. Congratulations.

  9. Vaniah says

    Would love to travel with you guys – just tell us when and where… Though it may have to wait a couple years until baby (on the way) is old enough for us to cart him around behind us :)

  10. says

    @bigpappa: Glad you enjoyed the video! Even more great is that it was all taken with iPhones & handheld cameras. See you on the other side…in Thailand, that is.

    @Shannon: Thanks for your support & congrats! We already have a back log of photos & stories from past travels & have so much more planned for the future – lots of travel tales to come!

    @Adam: Given that I know some of your family who are uber cool, that’s quite a compliment. Thank you. Hope all is well with you all!

    @Lola: Thanks for your support! When I mentioned that we weren’t going to TBEX Europe, this was the reason…but I wasn’t allowed to say at the time. This partnership has some really interesting opportunities for both the bloggers and Gap Adventures – it’s definitely the beginning of a new way of working together.

    @Jason: We really appreciate your support! Yes, it’s been a lot of work (and fun) being on the road and blogging all these years. That’s what makes it great to get recognized and become part of a great partnership like this.

    @Vaniah: Well, my parents traveled with me when I was a baby so it is possible! Congrats and we’ll keep you posted if any tours come up.

  11. says

    I just saw this over on Matt’s site. Very cool idea from Gap and it seems like a great opportunity for all of you! Congrats!

    If you manage to make it to East Africa before mid-April, let me know. Enjoy Bangladesh too… that place is pretty amazing.

  12. says

    @Andrew: Thanks! Should be a great year ahead!

    @Kirsty: Gap is definitely leading the way with this program to show how companies and bloggers can partner in non-traditional ways. We’re super excited!

    We hope to make it to East Africa in the spring, so hopefully our times will overlap. I’ll keep you posted. We’re really looking forward to spending some time in Bangladesh – it’s one of the countries we missed last time in Asia that we really wanted to visit, so decided to make a stop this time around.

  13. says

    As a fellow travel enthusiast, it’s hard not to love people supporting the addiction. They chose well with you two – congrats again & see you in a few weeks!

  14. says

    Yep, I love the idea! It’s cool to see companies embracing blogging as a way to spread their message. I really think this is only the beginning of these types of opportunities.

  15. says

    @Bessie: Hope we’re able to live up to the role of helping people keep up their travel addiction! Thanks for the congrats & hope to see you & Kyle soon.

    @Kirsty: I do hope that this type of mutually beneficial partnership becomes more the norm. Gap Adventures has led the way on other travel-related initiatives, so it’s great to see them take a leadership role in working with bloggers and social media. Let’s see what happens!

  16. says

    Excellent stuff and seems like quite a perfect match for true independent travel ambassadors as yourselves! You both seem like a natural choice for this program.

    Glad to hear you’re heading to the Middle East in the relatively near future (subject to change of course)!

  17. says

    @Earl: Thank for the congratulations and for marking us as independent travel ambassadors! Yes, all is subject to change at this point, but Middle East is firmly on our radar. I’ve loved reading your stories from Syria & Lebanon.

  18. Azza says

    Well done Uncornered Market, you have achieved the dream of travelling for free! GAP adventures is tapping into the power of influential bloggers for their own benefit..smart marketing. Unfortunately, I believe it will remain hard to have an unbiased opinion of your experiences when GAP is paying for journeys!

  19. says

    @Azza: We’re still very far from traveling the world for free – haven’t figured out how to do that yet :)

    We very much enjoyed the free trip we received from Gap Adventures to Tanzania – it was a great experience. However, it is important to note that even if a tour is provided for us for free, we are still responsible for paying for visas, tips, food, etc. – we have spent more than a thousand dollars of our own money on tours. So “free tours” end up being an financial investment from us as well.

    The debate about whether it is possible to give an unbiased opinion of experiences that are provided definitely has been an ongoing one for bloggers, journalists and any kind of writers. Perhaps the best thing is for you to take a look for yourself with our Tanzania posts.

  20. says

    Really cool opportunity for you guys! I realize your last comment here was a year and a half ago. I’m curious how your relationship with G adventures is now. I’m also curious about the selection process. Were you nominated for a place as a Wanderer in Residence by G or did you submit yourselves?

  21. says

    @Laura: Our relationship with G Adventures is great. They are a partner of ours and we continue to cooperate in various ways, not only on trips, but we also integrate our experiences with them (pure travel as well as business and social media, and advocacy in areas like sustainable tourism) into our speaking engagements at travel and tourism conferences and also into inspirational keynotes and speeches. We feel its entirely natural because we’ve enjoyed our travel experiences as well as G Adventures’ overall approach and our shared values around responsible and sustainable tourism, placing value on the human dimension of travel and also work done by its NGO arm, Planeterra.

    G (then Gap) contacted us about the program, but as we mentioned above, we had prior first-hand experience with their product and delivery on a trip we took with them to Antarctica

  22. says

    @Daniel: Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I really enjoy your site! Hoping to visit Antarctica ourselves in the near future.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>