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?”
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 G 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.
Update October 1, 2016: The Wanderers in Residence program has come to an end.
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 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.
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.