Announcing the first Annual Travel Symposium!!!

THE Event for Travel Inspiration

November 6 & 7, 2021

Spend the weekend alongside travel experts, writers, photographers and exploration trailblazers, their stories and expertise will inspire your next travel adventure.  You will be able to select the sessions that appeal to you. This online event will offer opportunities to connect with other travelers and to learn from experts on a variety of travel topics. 


  • Attend educational seminars to help you plan, organize and get the most out of your travel dollars and schedule
  • Plan your trip one-on-one with experienced travel experts 
  • Meet travel authors, experts, tour guides and experienced travelers
  • Discover new destinations and curious travel experiences from around the globe
  • Explore dozens vacation options
  • Exclusive show-only specials and giveaways

Click here to register: https://www.eventcreate.com/e/travelcollectivesymposium


Kauai – 100 words- recently I interviewed Sharon Caren a Spiritul Coach on her travels to Kauai a place that very much resonates with her–
Even though Kauai is a place I would recommend to visit in Spring- like the months of April or May… it is a part of the Hawaiian Islands and as such relies almost entirely on tourism… and the months of September/October can be very favorable for nice weather.
When Sharon mentioned Kauai I thought back to Kauai as a choice for a destination wedding which also might make sense– and it makes a wonderful choice for that- there are many places of beauty on the Island nicknamed “The Garden Isle” , gardens, beaches, and quiet places for small gatherings or larger ones as well. Allerton Garden in fact has been named one of the 50 Places of a Lifetime, its plants intertwine with works of art in a harmonious place.
With Airbnb you might be able to secure a place for yourself or some of your closest guests as well. Consider adding on some days and having some suggestions for your guests.
Airlines that now fly to Lihue include Southwest Air, Alaska Airlines and of course Hawaiian Airlines. https://lnkd.in/gayuqcrA
Be sure if you are looking to stay on the beach you read the descriptions and look at google maps carefully. Double check the fine print on rental properties, and hotels for additional fees. All of these “fees” can be negotiated you just need to get on the Phone and speak with someone. Contact a sales manager if you want to “hold” a block of rooms for guests.
Whether you decide to celebrate a special occasion or make it just a destination for yourself– please take a moment to meet Sharon Caren and her impressions of Kauai-

Scenic Spine Alaska 2024

Duration: 7 days/7 nights

Availability- August-September 2024 (contact for exact dates and meetup location)

Embarking on our Alaska tour means immersing yourself in a world of awe-inspiring natural wonders and extraordinary encounters. As a seasoned traveler, you understand the value of exploring in a small group. Our intimate gatherings foster a sense of camaraderie, allowing you to forge meaningful connections with fellow enthusiasts who share your passion for discovery. Led by experienced guides who are both photographers and experts in Alaska’s diverse landscapes, this journey promises to be an enlightening experience for photographers and artists of all levels.

Highlights include- Aurora chasing – as Summer fades away more hours of darkness allow us a chance to witness the moving spectacle of the Northern Lights painting the sky.

Animals- as temperatures start to dip the animals sense the need to gather and we will be watching for bears, dall sheep, moose, and majestic eagles just to name a few of the Land animals we may see

Scenic Landscapes- the Miles stretch out before your eyes, water, sky and land a palette of blue tinged with the colors of Autumn.

For more information and to secure your spot on this amazing trip of a lifetime http://www.yourphototravelguide.com

Maine Coastal Scenic Photo Tour

assorted map pieces

Duration: 7 days / 7 nights

Availability: Oct 1-7-2023


Your Photo Travel Guide

Indulge your senses on an unforgettable small group tour of the mesmerizing Maine Coast!

We will take time to capture Sunrise views of small harbors, lighthouses, and the colors of Autumn tinging the trees.

Feel the cool, crisp air caress your skin as you explore charming coastal towns, and listen to the soothing sound of crashing waves along the rugged shores. Let the flavors of Maine’s local delicacies dance on your palate, and immerse yourself in the rich maritime history and stories of this coastal wonderland. Join our intimate group of adventurers, where every day brings new sensory delights and treasured memories that will linger long after the journey’s end.

Fall in love with the magic of the Maine Coast through an extraordinary sensory experience like no other!goes here.

Included: All local breakfasts.

Private rooms with ensuite bathrooms no single supplement

Optional Sunrise Photography outings.

Personal Portraits to remember your trip with.

Local tours of places that were frequented by creatives like Andrew Wyeth and others.

All state park, and historic admission fees included.

Looking for places to stay in Maine?

Mystery Italy- May 2024

assorted map pieces

Duration: 10 days/10 nights

Availability: May 8-18, 2024


Erica Pollock-Return Refreshed

What is a Mystery Road Trip?  It’s the next big thing in travel!
We’ll tell you the airport to fly into (in this case, Florence, Italy), and the airport to fly out of (again, Florence, Italy).  And you trust us with the rest!
You’ll delight in the unexpected as we take an old-fashioned road trip with just a handful of new friends!  
This intimate 11-day journey is for a maximum of 10 guests, as we want to assemble a very small group that will mesh well together – perhaps making friends for life!  (Booking a group?  Contact us directly for group rates.) Thinking of going on YOUR OWN? Get some ideas on WHERE to stay here

What to Expect

There’s lots of mystery here.   And you can trust that we have phenomenal experiences in store for you!  Some examples may include:- nature therapy- wine tasting & winery tour- local cooking class- nature walks / hikes- discovering ancient Etruscan architecture- sipping limoncello at the seaside- exploring Medieval villages- Vespa tour- oceanic day-cruise- Italian cultural rhythms- Italian wellness practices. . . and so much more!While many of these experiences are pre-arranged, some of the best delights in a road trip are spontaneous.  Let’s be curious together!  

A Week in Uzès -A Culinary Vacation in Southern France

Duration: 7 days

Availability: September 23-30, 2023


Let’s Eat the World

Your culinary vacation in southern France includes:

  • 7-night accommodations in a beautiful French country guesthouse
  • French continental breakfasts each morning
  • Welcome dinner expertly prepared by Chef Eric & including select French wines 
  • Private wine tours with a WSET certified wine educator
  • Private tastings, culinary & cultural excursions
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners including dinner at a select restaurant chosen by your chef, unlimited tastings
  • Transportation to and from the guesthouse & school and for all organized excursions
  • Exclusive guided French market tours
  • Hands-on French cooking experience including, bread-making, soups, salads, stews, Provencal dishes, French desserts
  • Small group sizes (maximum of 8 students), with up to 2 non-participating guests per session*
  • You don’t have to be a chef! All cooking levels welcome
  • You don’t even have to cook! A non-participating guest is welcome when traveling with a participant in a shared room. Please inquire.
  • Learn expert techniques from a professional chef in English in a convivial and friendly atmosphere
  • Your own Week in Uzes recipe e-book to recreate your recipes at home
  • Private transportation to and from Avignon TGV on arrival and departure date

For the Culinary Vacation of a lifetime. View a sample program below.

*We can accommodate up to 2 non-participating guests sharing a room with a participant. Please ask us for more details.

Babes in Bali

Duration: 14 nights

Availability: Oct 22 – Nov 5, 2023


Babes in Bali

(14 blissful nights in Bali – all four hotels are quite different from one another, and we’ve purposely chosen them for you to have a unique Balinese experience.) 
  • 6 nights in Ubud at a boutique hotel, nestled amongst the rice terraces with a stunning roof top pool
  • 3 nights at a beachfront resort in Lovina, complete with a zen-like spa and Bali’s best snorkelling  
  • 2 nights on the southeast coast of Bali in Candi Dasa, at a gorgeous ocean front hotel complete with swaying palm trees in a coconut grove 
  • 3 nights at a luxurious hotel on Legian Beach, in the heart of the action and steps from the best sunsets in Bali

The Vermont Epic

Duration: 6 days / 5 nights

Availability: Jul7 23, 2023


Blaze Adventure Tours

The Lowdown

Boasting the lowest population density of any State on the eastern seaboard, Vermont is a hidden gem for cyclists and nature lovers alike. Enjoy the green mountain forests, pristine rivers, and rolling hills as you cycle along Vermont’s quiet gravel roads. This 6-day tour will give you a taste of everything Vermont has to offer; and we aren’t just talking about maple syrup.

What You’ll Love

Simply put, Vermont has the best low traffic roads in the country. Drivers are polite and there is a strong cycling and outdoors culture. As we cross the state and pass through idyllic small towns, you will get a taste of classic New England living. Climb to the summit of Mount Mansfield, taste at the plethora of craft breweries, and soak in the welcoming nature of long-time Vermonters. This tour also boasts some of the best meal options we have on offer. From Mad Taco to wood-fired Folino’s pizza to local cheese and apple cider, Vermont does not disappoint when it comes to food! The Vermonter truly has something for everyone and will make you want to come back to the Green Mountain State year after year.

The Night Before

Riders will settle in at the Doubletree by Hilton on the east side of Burlington. Enjoy a day in Burlington and hit some of the highlights before setting off on our grand adventure. Meet us at Weird Window Brewing for a get-to-know-us drink! These will be the people you’ll spend the next 6 days touring with, so the bonding starts now. We will have a beer (or whatever you prefer) and get excited about the epic trip awaiting us. Don’t stay up too late, because we will have an early start in the morning!

The Tour

Day 1 – 48 miles – 3,740 feet of climbing: Day 1 starts with some gentle riding out of Burlington and into the country. We will utilize the cross Vermont trail and some excellent gravel roads on our way to Waterbury. There we will have lunch at the exceptional Prohibition Pig brewery and restaurant. If you’d like to grab some beers to go or from the shop across the street we are happy to drive them to camp for you. We continue up to Smuggler’s Notch and our cozy campground. Smugglers Notch, aptly named for the history of smuggling leading up to the war of 1812, is a gem for hiking and outdoor activities in the shadow of Mount Mansfield.

Day 2 – No Riding Day: The second day of our trip will be an off-bike day in the Smugglers Notch area. The group will hike up to the summit of Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont! On a clear day there is no better view in the whole state. After the hike, the group will have a free afternoon where you can do more hiking or pop down to the nearby town of Stowe which has several excellent breweries, eateries, and shops.

Day 3 – 23 miles – 1,824 feet of climbing: With one of the gentler elevation profiles, Day 3 should be a more laid-back day. We will ride back through Stowe and then Morrisville on our way to our campground at Lake Elmore. There we will have a chance to play on the water a bit with our rented kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Get your legs ready because the next few days are a bit more challenging!

Day 4 – 55 miles – 2,770 feet of climbing: Day 4 takes us on parts of the Lower Vermont Rail Trail and Cross Vermont Trail on our way to the Capital of Vermont, Montpelier. As we follow the Winooski River we will ride through small towns like Cabot, the namesake of the famous Cabot Cheese! Tonight we sleep comfy in a soft bed at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. Riders are free to explore the Vermont Historical Society Museum, Capitol Building, and numerous local restaurants in the area. You won’t want to miss our big group dinner at the Three Penny Taproom; our guides’ choice for the best meal on the trip.

Day 5 – 42 miles – 3,650 feet of climbing: Get ready for the best riding of the trip! The first half of the day is tame as we wind along the Mad River. Lunchtime features the infamous MAD TACOS as the group fuels up for our biggest challenge yet. After we hit the town of Warren, the road starts to climb as we tackle Lincoln Pass. This gravel mountain will test your legs as we hit gradients as high as 20%! A quick descent will take us to our campground where you can put your feet up and relax by the fire or play some campground games. Keep your appetite for our famous s’mores to cap off our last night of adventure.

Day 6 – 42 miles – 2,705 feet of climbing: Our final day on tour takes us back to Burlington. You’ll want to soak in all the gravel and gentle terrain as our route winds its way through farmland and forest. Our last lunch will be at Fiddlehead Brewing and Folino’s Pizza. A beer and a pie will set you right for our final dash back to where we started. Well, maybe a stop off at Sister’s of Anarchy ice cream will set you up for the final dash, but who’s counting?

Blue Ridge Parkway Bicycle Tour

Duration: 9 days / 8 nights

Availability: Jun 17-25, 2023


Blaze Adventure Tours

Rider Level

Distance, Parcours, and Accommodation

35-65 miles daily, 9 days, mountainous terrain, paved surface.
3 Hotels, 1 Cabin, 6 campsites

What’s Included:

Hotel day before and night after trip
Daily baggage transfer
Fully guided tour with two (2) guides
Free pre-tour consultation to make sure you are ready to go
All meals included for duration of trip
Gear checklist
Sag support and water stops
Blaze Adventure Tours tri-blend T-shirt and water bottle
French Press Coffee every morning
Free photos and trip video

What’s not Included:

Bicycle – Recommended touring or road bike with 23mm-32mm tires. (Need help bringing your own bike? We will handle the logistics and can facilitate bike rentals)
Camping gear – Recommended gear list included. We also facilitate rentals and will pick up your gear for you.
Alcohol and souvenirs

The Lowdown

The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park, spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It connects Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, VA (Milepost 0) to Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC (Milepost 469). Littered with gorgeous overlooks, breathtaking views, and winding scenic roads, the parkway is a highly sought-after destination for East Coast cyclists.

To make transportation to the start easier, this tour will begin in Asheville, NC. If you wish to complete the whole parkway, we highly encourage you to start a couple days early and meet us in Asheville!
What You’ll Love

The magic of the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to put into words. Every morning there is a more beautiful sunrise and every evening there is a more stunning sunset. Evenings are best spent recounting the day around the campfire with your fellow riders. If the clouds behave at night, you might even get to see the Milky Way. Embrace the ride, embrace the experience, embrace your companions and leave the parkway with memories that you’ll never forget. Join us for a guided Blue Ridge Parkway bicycle tour!
The Night Before

Riders will settle in at the Marriott just a mile off of the parkway. Enjoy a day in Asheville and hit some of the highlights before setting off into the Mountains. Meet us at Highland Brewing Company for a get-to-know-us drink! These will be the people you’ll spend the next 9 days touring the Blue Ridge Parkway with, so the bonding starts now. We will have a beer (or whatever you prefer) and get excited about the epic trip awaiting us. Don’t stay up too late, because we will have an early start in the morning!

The Tour

Day 1 – 43/53 miles – 7,335 feet of climbing: Day 1 starts with a bang! The group will assemble outside of our hotel to pack up and head out. The first half of the day is uphill toward the highest peak east of the Mississippi. No blue ridge bike trip would be complete without Mount Mitchell which sits at an elevation of 6,684 feet. The air is a bit thin and the climb is steep, but the view is more than worth it. Our route takes us directly to the mountain. Riders will have the option to tackle the 4.8-mile climb up to the summit. The rest of the day is mostly downhill to our campsite at Crabtree Falls. Once we get settled in, the group will hike about a mile to stretch our legs and check out the gorgeous waterfall.

Day 2 – 46 miles – 4,443 feet of climbing: The second day of our trip will be a bit shorter with less climbing to let our legs recover from our assault on Mount Mitchell. We will cross the Linville River, home of the beautiful Linville Falls. The falls are 45 feet tall! A short hike will lead us to a gorgeous view for lunch. At the campground we will go for an easy kayak! A gentle paddle on the tranquil lake marks our departure from populated Asheville and our transition to the quieter and more remote parts of the parkway.

Day 3 – 40 miles – 3,951 feet of climbing: With one of the gentler elevation profiles, Day 3 should be a more laid-back day. Our series of ups and downs takes us past Meditation Mountain on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. This section of the parkway reveal some beautiful meadows and grazing pastures. The Northwest Trading Post is a must-see a few miles before our campground. They carry crafts from North Carolina’s Northwestern counties, as well as some delicious snacks. We end at the lovely Raccoon Holler campground. Don’t worry, we haven’t yet had any run-ins with overly “friendly” critters!

Day 4 – 59 miles – 4,899 feet of climbing: After an easier third day of our trip, Day 4 will cover some solid mileage. As we enter Virginia, we pass the Blue Ridge Music Center; the center is dedicated to music of all types especially old time music. We’ll end the day at the Fancy Gap/Blue Ridge Parkway KOA Journey Campground. You’ll enjoy the cute cabins and very hot showers! Dinner tonight is hot pizza or barbeque that riders can order from the awesome campground kitchen. note we will all be sharing cabins to stay out of the weather tonight

Day 5 – 47 miles – 3,602 feet of climbing: Day 5 takes us through Floyd, VA. This unique town of about 700 people will give us a taste of civilization. We’ll enjoy lunch at the historic Mabry Mill. The mill was operated in the early 1900’s and has since been converted to a historic demonstration site. The restaurant serves pancakes until noon, so pedal fast! After lunch we stop at the Villa Appalachia winery and enjoy the incredible view from their Villa. A stop in Floyd to peruse the cute shops will end the days’ activities. Then, we will work our way down to the 200 acre Floyd Family Campground and enjoy the views from the sprawling hillside.

Day 6 – 36 miles – 2,521 feet of climbing: The sixth day of the tour takes us all the way to Roanoke, VA! It’s a shorter day, so riders will have the opportunity for a great afternoon excursion. The guides will lead a group trip to Tuco’s Tacos and Big Lick Brewing Company. Even better, you’ll get to rest your head on a real pillow tonight. We will be staying at the Springfield Suites!

Day 7 – 40 miles – 4,352 feet of climbing: Say goodbye to Roanoke! But don’t worry, this is one of the most beautiful days of the trip. All of the climbing will be well worth it when we roll into Peaks of Otter Campground. The three peaks have been a vacation destination since the time of Thomas Jefferson; we doubt he arrived by bicycle. Relax by the lake, grab dinner and a cocktail at the bar/restaurant, or take a hike in the hills. The breakfast and coffee in the morning is to die for.

Day 8 – 63 miles – 6,711 feet of climbing: The penultimate day of the tour won’t leave you disappointed. This might just be the toughest day of the trip. From Peaks of Otter, we climb to the highest point in Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway: the top of Apple Orchard Mountain. Enjoy the views at 3,900 feet, because we immediately descend to the lowest point of the parkway when we cross the James River, at only 650 feet above sea level. Rest your legs on that long descent because the next section takes us back up to ridge height. After your long day’s ride we will shuttle everyone to Devils Backbone Camp! Dinner (and drinks) at the world famous devil’s backbone brewpub will be a short walk from the campsite.

Day 9 – 35 miles – 4,500 feet of descending: After breakfast, riders will be shuttled back up to the parkway. Our final day begins with a pleasant morning ride across one last bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As we descend from the ridge we pass the cookie lady’s house. If you have never heard of her look it up. June Curry gave shelter (and cookies) to thousands of bicycle tourists as they passed by. The house still operates as a stop off for weary cyclists. We will spend the afternoon gently descending toward Charlottesville, VA. Our lunch stop at King Family Vineyard just outside of town will be the perfect way to cap off an epic trip! From there we will shuttle to our hotel in Charlottesville. We hope that the memories you made on this trip outweigh the sore butts and tired legs.

Congratulations, you just cycled the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Blaze Adventure Tours

Blaze Adventure Tours

David Miller 

Dave has been racing endurance sports for over a decade. In 2015, he heard about bicycle touring and has never looked back. Whether he is cruising across the French alps or racing triathlon across the USA, Dave feels that there is nothing more exhilarating than exploring the world powered by your own two legs. David’s favorite aspect of adventure traveling is getting to see the world at human pace.

“There are so many experiences you miss in a car or train; on a bike or a hike you can really immerse yourself in the world, and take a piece of it with you forever”

Babes in Bali Tours

Babes in Bali Tours/
Erawan Travel Ventures

Cathy Gotfried

With 37 years in travel and tourism and a lifetime of wanderlust, Cathy Gotfried has a tough time choosing her “favourite place on the planet”. Her dreams have always been ‘remote and exotic’, while her focus and passion for depth of experience and local understanding has fuelled her love for all things Asian.

Holidays as a child were always spent camping but once Cathy got her first job at 14, she saved her money for bigger dreams, where airline tickets, back packs, language translation and guide books were essential ingredients. She took her first solo trip at age 17, spending 6 months exploring Europe using Frommer’s ‘Europe on $15 a Day’ as her guide.

Her travel dreams were fulfilled 1986 when she entered the travel business. Cathy has owned her own business for 33 years and now specializes in creating life-changing travel experiences through her Babes in Bali Tours, for women of all ages and from all walks of life. To date Cathy has organized and escorted 25 Babes in Bali tours with over 400 women and has another tour scheduled for October 2023. After 35 journeys to the “Island of the Gods” Cathy still loves this wondrous destination as much, if not more, than her very first time!

Having travelled to 37 countries, Cathy has a vast knowledge of staying healthy while travelling, which she will be sharing with you today.