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On the Road with Indagare

The Indagare staff is made up of 70 passionate travelers who seek out authentic experiences and transformative moments around the world. Whether snorkeling among schools of fluorescent fish in the Great Barrier Reef or striding across the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, our staffers are indelibly changed by these remarkable adventures and return home motivated to inspire members to travel even more. Here, a handful of Indagare specialists celebrate moments from their journeys that illustrate the life-changing nature of travel.

Contact Indagare to speak with a travel specialist about planning a journey with a customized itinerary.

“One of my favorite children’s books is Leo Lionni’s Frederick, about a little mouse who gathers the light and colors of summer (instead of grains) to share with his fellow mice during the long winter. I think of this image when I’m traveling, when I myself become a collector of impressions—sounds, scents, tastes—that nourish me long after I have returned home. At Indagare we often muse that we are our best selves when we are on the road: more openhearted and keenly curious than when engaged in our everyday routines. Equally powerful and transformative is the sharing of those experiences with our community, perhaps planting the seeds for future trips. This cycle of inspiration is, in fact, one of the founding principles of Indagare. I am grateful that my own journeys are woven into the fabric of our company, now ten years old, and I look forward to the many more we will make together, gathering light and color and bringing it back with us.” ~ Simone Girner, Creative Director

“I had never been able to pinpoint exactly what travel did for me or why I sought it so avidly until I went scuba diving in Australia. I was on a boat sailing around the Great Barrier Reef for five days, and we went diving twice a day. The first few times I submerged, I felt like a stranger in a foreign land. Everything was as alien to me as it was when, as a kid, I held my breath underwater at the beach and caught a flash of some unidentifiable creature or object before surfacing to the familiar. But the more time I spent down there among the sharks and eels and coral, the more I felt at home in an environment decidedly alien to my usual surroundings. The underwater world was mine, if only for 45 minutes at a time. Travel does that for me as well, making another world mine for a week or two.” ~ Colin Heinrich, Travel Specialist

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: Honeymoons

“I travel to constantly broaden my knowledge. That’s why I started working at Indagare. I never want to stop learning and believe that the key to transformative travel is expanding what you know about other people through cultural immersion. One of my most memorable travel experiences was at Angkor Wat. On my first visit, I came across two monks walking along the temple’s edge. I asked if I could take their picture because they looked so vibrant in the setting. I quickly learned that they were as interested in speaking with me as I was with them, and they couldn’t wait to practice their English. Although we exchanged only a few sentences, we communicated in the universal language of smiles, which lit all of our faces, something I will never forget.” ~ Missy Weil, Travel Specialist

“As I arrived at the bleached gates of Copacabana Church on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia last year, I seemed to sense the presence of my late grandfather, a devout Catholic, a traveler and master of nine languages, one for every decade of his accomplished life. His stories of terracotta soldiers in China, clouds over Machu Picchu, crisp baguettes in Paris and flightless kiwis in New Zealand instilled in me an insatiable curiosity about the world. I traveled initially to create my own stories full of unfamiliar landscapes, little-visited side streets, foreign traditions and bartering tactics. I travel now for the addictive pleasure of unexpected moments like witnessing the dance of daylight on tiled rooftops or meeting a local who recommends a hole-in-the-wall restaurant they’ve been frequenting for years. I travel to remember. I travel to connect. I travel to grow. On my favorite day of last year, I stood in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flats before a line of poles, framed by the harsh, ethereal landscape, from which hung the flags of different countries, whipped violently by the salt air. Who had left them, I wondered, and where are they now?” ~ Elise Bronzo, Membership Director

“I travel to see foreign landscapes, to experience unfamiliar traditions, to learn about different cultures and to interact with people whose ways of life starkly contrast with mine. I travel to deepen my understanding of the world, its history and the small role I play in it. I travel to broaden my perspective and to live, if only temporarily, as the best version of myself: open, honest and in the moment. I travel to better experience senses—touch, smell, sight and sound—that can become lost in the bustle of our everyday lives. My recent trip to Rwanda and Uganda provided much of what I value most about travel: education, transformation and adventure. Trekking through dense African jungle to see the world’s most endangered and enchanting primates in their natural habitat is a surreal experience. When such unique (and well-earned!) wildlife viewing occurs in a place of breathtaking natural beauty and is combined with deeply organic interactions with local people, as it can be in Rwanda and Uganda, the effect is incomparable. I will never forget hearing and then laying eyes on my first Silverback gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Nor will I forget the pickup soccer match we played that same afternoon with a group of kids from a local village we passed on the drive home. The view of verdant tea plantations and imposing volcanoes coupled with the smell of burning firewood, the sight of big smiles and the sound of laughter and tribal songs are forever etched into my memory. They will always take me back to that moment in time, one of purity, joy and supreme appreciation.” ~ Sasha Feldman, Travel Specialist

Related: Top 10: Road Trips

“I grew up in love with the world of make-believe—of enchanted forests and pirate shipwrecks—and I feel that travel allows us to live out our childhood fantasies. I experienced this childlike wonder on a recent trip to South Africa during which the line between reality and fantasy became blurred. Heading out into the bush, I hung on the guide’s every word as we bounced over rough terrain and spotted giraffes and hyenas on the distant horizon. All my senses were engaged and sharpened as I listened to the choral hum of the wilderness and gazed at magnificent animals, including a leopard—graceful, gorgeous, terrifying—lounging several feet away. I reflect on this moment often, especially when the chaos of daily life becomes overwhelming. I close my eyes, slow my breathing and return to a time when I felt supremely excited, fearful even, but mostly like a kid again.” ~ Blair West, Associate Content Editor

“Having loved Christo’s Gates in Central Park, as soon as I heard about his Floating Piers exhibition on Lake Iseo in 2016, I wanted to go. I booked a flight to Milan, gateway to the Italian Lake District, and after a night there, I spent a hazy, hot, yet memorable day on Lake Iseo. It was amazing to cruise in a beautiful, refurbished Riva boat and explore the orange floating piers on foot, walking from mainland to island to mainland and back. I travel to see and, in this case, experience a live art exhibition. I travel to spend time on the water, whether the sea or a lake. I travel to immerse myself in different cultures, to try new foods, to meet new people and to learn our world’s history. I travel because it challenges and enlightens me.” ~ Rose Allen, Associate Bookings Manager

“Most of our lives, we follow a routine. While I love my job and daily schedule, I appreciate travel because it transports me to another world. When I was in Colombia this year, I visited Cartagena and found it enchanting. The city is historic and romantic, its streets plied by horse-drawn carriages and lined by bright houses whose balconies overflow with flowers, its museums and markets full of ornate crafts, its restaurants serving inventive cuisine. As travelers, we thrive on novelty. We break with the monotony of our daily lives and are rejuvenated by discovering new people, cultures and landscapes.” ~ Sarah Levine, Bookings Coordinator

Related: Next Stop: Up-and-Coming Destinations

“My first day backcountry skiing in Colorado last season was daunting. But, after pushing off on my first run, everything fell back into place. It was impossible to worry about my form as I glided through the untouched snow sparkling in the morning light. Each time I looked around and saw the Rockies jutting dizzyingly into the sky on one side and the snow-covered pines on the other, I was reminded of why I travel. Travel is my classroom: each new destination teaches me about lifestyles and cultures and imparts wisdom. Travel broadens my perspective in ways impossible at home. By being taken out of my comfort zone and forced to find my footing and adapt, I become more confident. Each trip prompts more questions about the world and makes me more determined to seek out places that hold the answers.” ~ Ramona Bass, Membership Coordinator

“Traveling enables me to find release. Physically, it produces a feeling of weightlessness, but mentally, it brings the recurrent epiphany that the world is very big and has much to offer. Often when I’m traveling, I experience a sense of freedom and independence that I can’t seem to find in my day-to-day existence. On a steep and brutal hike to the peak of Mount Bealey, one of the most beautiful alpine areas in Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand, I felt all those things. I experienced a sense of empowerment and conquest upon reaching the top, but I also felt serenity and comfort. The views from the summit served as a reminder of my humble place in the world, which my frantic city routine and lifestyle often lead me to disregard. Such moments keep me grounded and yearning for more discoveries. That is why I travel.” ~ Caroline Barry, Travel Specialist

Related: Why Go Now: Bolivia

“Being in nature, whether hiking along a ridge line or swimming in a mountain lake, has always been a way for me to shed not only the trappings of civilization but also those of my daily life, my identity and all the nonsense and expectations those entail, like slipping off a heavy coat. I allow myself to be cracked open, to be vulnerable and curious, to exist in a state of pure awareness in which I watch, listen and pay attention. When I am alone in a wilderness landscape, nothing I am or have matters. I am simply one part of this beautiful, infinitely complex web of life. In the words of American painter Harold Weston, wilderness allows us to ‘preserve large tracts of freedom within ourselves.’ That is why it is so important to protect untamed places.” ~ Eliza Harris, Chief Operating Officer

“In the four years I’ve worked for Indagare, I’ve traveled to 30 countries on behalf of the company. Whether in the wilderness of Patagonia, the crowds of Tokyo or the midst of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, I am reminded of the beautiful, bursting and sometimes bewildering life that exists outside the narrow scope of my everyday New York City existence. It is a privilege to experience and stand witness to the world’s diversity and richness, and I am immensely grateful for every opportunity to expand my horizons.” ~ Janine Yu, Senior Travel Specialist

Related: Seven to Know: Australia

Contact Indagare to speak with a travel specialist about planning a journey with a customized itinerary.

– Indagare on December 1, 2017

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