As a company that’s in the business of arranging travel to far-flung regions, we rarely think of any destination as too far away, or any idea too far-fetched. So in what amounts to a slight reversal of our usual M.O.—that is, figuring out where our adventurous clients would like to go—we thought we’d ask some of our longest-serving (and best-travelled) staff members what dream trips remain on their bucket lists. Their responses might just inspire you to revisit your travel wish list for 2013.
Marya Dumont, Trip Planner
Since I live on the quiet, wild, natural island of Corsica, opposites attract: I can’t wait to visit Stockholm and Copenhagen. Big cities, yes, but both are highly organized, thoroughly green in attitude, full of chic style and gracious, intensely travelled bike paths. I want to see how the Nordic city folk stay happy without 340 days of sun and sparkling azure coves. I can’t wait to meet a bike designer passionate about her creations, and to taste the intense innovation of Nordic cuisine. (It’s easy to eat locally in a sunny climate with year-round growing season—how do they do it at that latitude?) And I want to see how high population density and high quality of life coexist and thrive.
Simon Elliott, Sales Director
In 2013 I would love to visit Iceland. It’s been on my list for some time and I still haven’t made it there. I would love to visit Reykjavik and party the night away, and then tour the land of boiling mud pools, spurting geysers, glaciers and waterfalls. My soundtrack? Sigur Rós, of course.
Jonathan Lansdell, Trip Designer
The Yukon to me is the Patagonia of the North, representing Canada’s most impressive wilderness. From Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak, to countless rivers and lakes, capped with the imposing Beaufort Sea. The geography is enhanced by the human stories that have played out there, from the voyageurs opening up trade routes to the Gold Rush. The Yukon Quest dog race and the Dawson City Music Festival are modern day embodiments of a region that still shouts out wild frontier. If not the Yukon, British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii archipelago is just as cool—plus there’s surf!
Kathy Stewart, Media Relations/Trip Designer
It depends who I’m going with. I currently have a few dream trips. I would love to take my middle son to Ecuador. He is obsessed with the Galapagos and the wildlife there, particularly the turtles and at all of nine, it’s his “lifelong” dream to go. I have also been thinking about a girls’ getaway to Colombia—escaping the harsh Toronto winter for some sun, sand and adventure activities in this still relatively un-touristy destination. We’d check out the boutique hotels and historic streets of Bogota and Cartagena, hike around coffee plantations, bike through colonial towns and stay at haciendas.
Anne Zakula, Trip Designer
My ideal vacation has an excellent mix of action and roughing it with some truly boutique properties. I’d start in early July, by boat—Colin’s Pacific Yellowfin comes to mind—for a spectacular meander up the British Columbian coast to the Great Bear Rainforest, where I’d kayak, hike and experience the wildlife, all while immersed in the native culture and traditions. From here, I’d fly up north to Dawson City, Yukon at the end of July to catch the annual music festival there before making my way east to the Atlantic coast province Newfoundland for more kayaking, this time among icebergs and whales as part of a luxury-tented safari. Next I’d be Europe-bound for the Dolomite mountains with the Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa as my base, though I would surely do at least one hut-to-hut experience. Then it’s off to the historic—but still extremely vibrant—crossroads of the world, Istanbul for a few nights at the A’Jia Hotel. Here I would enjoy guided walks, market explorations and a cooking class or two before finishing my trip at the end of August in Stockholm. Ett Hem is my kind of place in this chic, art- and design-focused city, where I’ll bike along the paths and streets like a local, shop and eat sensational meals before disappearing into the archipelago to feast on the crayfish. A small rental cottage on one of the thousands of islands composing the archipelago is where I’ll spend the final days of my dream vacation sailing, swimming, reading and cooking!
Georgia Yuill, Trip Designer
One dream trip would be a long weekend spring getaway to the island of Procida (near Capri—logistically possible given my Italian home base, but a girl can dream). Fly to Naples then hop on a Vespa rental and ferry over to Procida, which is easily explored on two wheels. Stay at one of the boutique hotels overlooking the Marina di Corricella (where much of the Italian film Il Postino was filmed) and relax on island time, eating freshly caught fish and sipping local Campania wine. Another would be Easter on the slopes of the Alpe di Siusi in the heart of Italy’s Dolomite mountains. It’s home to an excellent variety of terrain (with routes that link up to the largest ski area in Europe), superb local cuisine and wines, horse-drawn sleds, an extensive network of Nordic walking and cross-country ski trails and a ton of sunshine given its elevation base of about 2,000 metres.