From Beth Nickel of Far Niente Vineyards, Napa, CA
“I come from a very close-knit family and for my sister’s 60th birthday, I wanted to do something very special. I found it in the form of the National Geographic Expedition “Around the World by Private Jet” that some of my Napa Valley friends had told me about. We signed up last summer and spent the next eight months thinking and dreaming about the astonishing places that we were scheduled to see. Starting from Washington D.C., our destinations were Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Samoa, the Great Barrier Reef, Angkor Wat, Lhasa in Tibet, the Taj Mahal, the Serengeti plain, the Great Pyramids and Marrakech.
We were accompanied on the journey by National Geographic experts in the fields of anthropology, architecture, archeology, ethnobotany and photography. They added a great deal of depth and dimension as they explained the significance of the World Heritage Sites that we were visiting. All 80 of us came away with a new reverence and respect for the forces of nature, the ancient ones and the indigenous peoples who had brought these places into being. Our incredible travels were punctuated by the smooth operations of the highly skilled expedition staff and the charming, refined crew aboard our London-based charter 757. It all went seamlessly and was truly, the trip of a lifetime. My sister and I never imagined that it would be us two Oklahoma farm kids who would be able to go on adventure like this one.”
National Geographic Expedition’s next Around the World by Private Jet trip with openings runs from January 27 to February 19, 2008. They do have openings on their jet trips to Australia and Southern Africa this fall. Rates from $10,490, excluding transportation to and from Australia or South Africa. In U.S. 888-966-8687. www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com
TCS Expeditions, a company that I’ve traveled with on an incredible jet trip also accompanied by fascinating lecturers, will offer an Around the World trip this fall (October 26 to November 19, 2007) with stops in Japan, Vietnam, India, Iran, Egypt, Benin, Brazil and the Galapagos. Rates from $52,950. In U.S.: 800-727-7477; (206) 727-7300. www.tcs-expeditions.com. Melissa Biggs Bradley