New Trips - Favourite Five
Exodus staff are passionate about adventure travel and our product team just love devising exciting itineraries in all corners of the world. Being surrounded by images and information about amazing places inevitably leads to some wanderlust setting in. It’s not unusual to find Exodus staff trying out a trip or two! Here, Jim Eite - Exodus’ Head of Product - enthuses about his favourite new trips, all launched in the 2010/2011season. With destinations as diverse as Reunion, Sierra Leone, Syria, Indonesia and Austria, we are left wondering if we are going to see much of Jim in the office!
1. Trekking in Reunion
Ever since a friend returned from their year out placement at Saint Denis University in Reunion with amazing photographs and stories, I have been fascinated by this African island. I have no idea how they managed it when others on their course were going to Lyon or Paris, but they filled most of their time (between 6 hours of lectures a week!) with searching out the island’s amazing endemic flora and fauna, active volcanoes, sleepy villages and endless sandy Indian Ocean beaches. I am pleased that we have now managed to get the right itinerary together to add this perfect trekking destination to our portfolio.
2. Discover Sierra Leone
Another destination where someone’s pictures inspired me! Dan Cockburn, our Long Haul Product Manager went there on holiday early last year and came back with superb images and anecdotes of an emerging African destination. After sending him back a few months later to create a new trip, Exodus are again innovating and leading the way in new Product development. The trip has already attracted a good few enquiries, caused debates on Facebook and prompted 4 of our sales team to plan their own visit later in 2011. Be amongst the first to explore this wonderful country with Exodus!
3. Kids Club in the Austrian Tyrol
There must be something in the water here as so many Exodus staff are starting families! As such, a gap was spotted where those who want to do an active and adventurous holiday can’t easily do so while their children are under 3 or 4 years of age. Mix the ingredients of a good child friendly 4-star hotel, qualified childcare and crèche facilities, a flexible itinerary allowing easy walks, spectacular mountain scenery and good food and you hopefully end up with a successful trip. If this works well, expect more options for ‘infant adventures’ in 2012.
4. Indonesia’s Islands
Designed by one of our clients for you and the winner of our 2010 Adventure Pioneer Competition - Indonesia’s beguiling mix of culture, active volcanoes and beautiful beaches (is there a theme here?) has spent far too long out of the Exodus portfolio. After an absence of five years we have returned with a superb and unique two-week itinerary to Java, Sumatra and Bali. Mt Bromo at sunset is high on my list of must-sees – hopefully 2011 might be the year I get to see it!
5. Ride the Road to Damascus
Get fit! 2010 saw me get on my bike to work, cycling across London’s crowded and busy streets from Crouch End to Balham – Gateway to the South (for those who remember Peter Sellers). I’m inspired to cycle more, and where better than on the Road to Damascus? Swapping Elephant & Castle roundabout for the waterwheels at Hama, Farringdon station being ripped apart for the ruins at Palmyra and Arsenal’s old stadium at Highbury for the Crusader castle, Krak des Chevaliers. I know which I would prefer.
By Jim Eite - Exodus’ Head of Product