The Past Year in the Boots of our Overseas Guides
As mentioned in our previous blog about our fab UK Leaders, it’s been over a year now since we were forced into hibernating Adventurous Ewe due to the ongoing global pandemic. A year of which all our cherished global tourism partners have had to weather the same storm, but as the saying goes, not all in the same boat.
This year has really reinforced just how important people really are and what the tourism industry means to them. Pulling this blog together and speaking with a handful of our incredible Guides has been extremely emotive. My levels of empathy, compassion and understanding have been amplified and my determination to further support these Guides and their families intensified. Leaders, crew, local accommodation hosts, drivers and all their respective families … people whose livelihoods depend on travel. Not overshadowing the devastating fact that people have lost loved ones during such tough times and the personal impact that this has had worldwide.
However, before embarking on the next chapter of overseas travel, which I welcome with much excitement and hope, I just wanted to take the time to shine the spotlight on our dedicated, talented and resilient team of guides around the globe. I’m in endless awe of their professionalism, enthusiasm and support, how hard they work and the standard they work to. As for so many people, it’s been a tough year for these guys & gals, some of whom have not received Government support, been forced to seek work elsewhere whilst maintaining their respective skills, vast knowledge, fitness levels and taking care of family.
So below are just some of our brilliant overseas based Guides, their stories and what they’ve been up to over the past year…..
Jovial & Jewel in the Crown Juan Carlos (JC)
Costa Rican Mountain, Bike & River Guide
During this year of pandemic I have dedicated myself to doing jobs that I had not been able to do for a long time hahaha. I have finished some projects like building furniture from raw pieces of wood and I have been driving for Uber since unfortunately here in Costa Rica we have been very affected by the pandemic. Thank God all the family is healthy and we have done some things with the family that could not before for different reasons. We have been enjoying the outdoors together and I have been cycling the great volcanoes and landscapes we are so lucky to have here in Costa Rica.
I hope very soon to share with you another new adventure. One full of emotions with a beautiful company and people.
Master of the Mountains, Mitja
Slovenian IFMGA Mountain Guide
Last year for tourism all over the world was a tough year. As most of the year travel was highly restricted, we worked much less than the previous years it felt like early retirement. However, we are quite lucky in Slovenia, that our government has helped companies through these difficult times.
It meant I could easily focus on my own needs and on my family. The past year was really good from that side. Kids being at home for 5 months meant we had much more time together. In Slovenia a good winter season came at the right time. We had snow from early December and there was school from home since end of October till the end of February. So I made the most of it and did over 60 ski tours this season, kids spent over 40 days on an old moped engine ski lift behind our house, we did 15 ski tours together as a family and we went cross country skiing for more than 10 times also. So although ski resorts were closed most of the winter we all together did a record on ski’s this season.
Now kids are back in school, we can work. Some installation of via ferrata work is happening for me too. So I must say that on one hand I am missing the times I was ‘retired’ but I’m really looking forward to welcoming you back to the mountains here.
Super Strong Sofia
Swedish Arctic Guide
So the last year I’ve been home on maternity leave with my son. A good year not having to work as I could be home with my 1 year old, little Loui, who has A LOT of energy. Though when everything around you closes down and you can’t really go anywhere has been challenging. So we’ve been out sledding and enjoying the snow. Playing the guitar and singing has been good plus creating hand woven lampshades and wall hangings.
So do I look forward to work in the mountains again soon? Uhm YEAH! I look forward to be surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, northern lights and all the laughters with great groups of people! Sweden is looking forward to seeing you soon.
Earnest & Effervescent Edwin
Icelandic Mountain, Climbing & Kayaking Guide
For a full year now the sharing of the beauty of Iceland with fellow adventurers from abroad has come to a halt. Quite a sad thing of course but we count ourselves pretty lucky given the fact that the Covid has not been raging around society and at the moment we are very well off compared to the rest of Europe. The summer looks like it will be all right with travel restrictions being less strict, so that is something we are really looking forward too.
We are also blessed to be in a country that has a lot to offer in the outdoors, weather may not always be in favor but there is plenty to do if you step to it, so last year I have been sharing a lot of great outdoor adventures with my 19 year old son Gísli. He‘s been with me on tours since he was very young so great company to travel with. We have been snow-kiting and when there was too much wind we went on the cross country ski‘s, same goes for the summer, we have been finally on a trip on the glacier together, setting up a camp and do some ice-climbing from there. Things that we usually don‘t do as there is no time for it left since we are always at work with the groups. But having said that, it‘s been fun but now definitely time to start out with the groups again, it‘s been great fun enjoying the outdoors ourselves but as John Muir once wrote ‘‘a joy shared is a joy doubled‘‘ certainly has its value and we are ready for that!
Whitty & World-class Whitey
Tanzanian High Altitude Mountain & Bike Guide and Kilimanjaro Commander
Trailblazing & Top-Notch Tony
Great Wall of China Guide
It’s been a difficult past year for most of us in travel industry with constant worry of Covid-19 infection,depression of failures in job-seeking due to age and hopelessness of no income. I have done a few short-term and part-time jobs including National Cencus Officer, English tutor, salesman….but none of them is what I’m passionate about doing.I often think of the Walls, joys of leading Great Wall trips and thirst for the resumption of the industry so that I could quickly quit and go back to the Adventurous Ewe family immediately.
In the past Year and recently, I have managed to go back to our Walls to review the past and explored some new parts to which we have never been cause the Great Wall is already in my blood.I feel deeply I was born for it, I belong to it, my soul always goes back to it. I think the rest of my life will continue to be devoted to Wall career and be with it all the time as I can’t live without it now. We sincerely wish the normality of our life and a wonderful reunion of Adventurous Ewe family on the Wall soon.
Humble & Helpful Hernán
It´s been a very difficult year but at the same time it has brought positive things. Last year I was part of the board of ACOTUR and it was necessary to re-invent the association so that it can survive the pandemic. We started looking into projects founded by International Cooperation Entities, such as USAID, UK PACT, etc. Also, interacted with government officials looking for ways to help tourism companies members of ACOTUR, including some in remote areas of the country. Thanks to all of these work I was nominated by Procolombia as The “Character of The Year” for helping the sector to stay united throughout the crisis. Also, I started looking for an option for income and applied to participate in a Cycling Tourism Project paid by USAID to develop this activity in post-conflict areas of the country. At a personal level, I have never cycled so much in my life until the pandemic came…..since it was one of the few activities allowed and now I´m cycling more than ever…
I’m definitely looking forward to the joy and excitement of operating trips and being able to show how beautiful Colombia is to visitors and particularly the intrepid groups from Adventurous Ewe who will enjoy the beauty of the Lost City Trail, the cloud forests of Minca, the picturesque Caribbean coast, time in colourful Cartagena and exploring a little bit of Bogota!!
Respect to the Robust Rodrigo
Patagonia Guide & Rock Climbing Guru
It has been a shame not to welcome visitors to this beautiful area of Patagonia. We have really missed the visitors and the good times and adventures to share. So I have taken the time to do more climbing which is what I love. We conquered the wild and remote Innominata Summit where good collapses were heard from the Rio Blanco glacier during the climb and we’ve also reached the south summit of the Bifida.
We also had the super pleasure of receiving the visit of boys and girls from the local mountain school in El Chaltén for teaching some rock climbing. Grateful to share alongside these little giants one of their first experiences in contact with the rock…. and very amazed by the tremendous potential we have in the village!! The vibes, the professionalism, were spotless!!
I am really looking forward to welcoming back my Adventurous Ewe friends. Always fun groups and always ready for a great adventures. There is much to experience here in Patagonia.
Nepalese Mountain Guide
What a year! The world stopped, life stopped, the clock turned back. We knew it from time immemorial but finally it sunk in that the world is a crazy place. Am I a better person, a wiser person, a more improved version now from the year since?? I, frankly, don’t know. What I know is I (for the matter, we all) have stronger survival instinct far beyond what I assumed we had. What else I’ve come to know and become??? Umm….. I was a lousy cook before but I can now confidently invite you to dinner at my home! I’ve learned to co-exist without any occasional dramas with my better half! I’ve become a more caring family man. And, simply I’ve learned to enjoy life more. Would you call those achievements? I guess I would. What I’ve come realize is simple things in life are the most important ones. And, I’ve done a good job of making myself better at some of those simpler things in life.
A lengthy stretch of time away from what used to be a hectic life has also presented me with an opportunity to re-pursue a life-long passion of mine (which is to travel & explore, seek the nature) and reinvigorated the dormant adventure seeker in me. I’m going places now and there’s still so much of beauty of Nepal to relish. Before, I had to wait for an opportune moment and I used to wait for the right weather and the right place to venture out but right now ‘NO’. Just to be in a safer place with less people, I’m going to places at the coldest time, with the harshest weather and still enjoying it. A pure thrill and joy of traveling prevails over every odds. What the heck – if it’s new to me and I can see something different, I would even go to hell! Of course, only if I can get two-way ticket!
I’m fresher than I’ve ever been and raring to go and I’m sure my renewed enthusiasm and vigor will rub off on the subtler innovations and wider range of experiences we can incorporate into our Himalayan trips and the way we share out experiences to our fellow travelers and adventure seekers.
My traveling continues unbated – off to the jungles of the less visited wild, wild west of Nepal – Shuklaphanta National Park. Meanwhile, here’s the picture of yours truly from the latest travel to the remote and isolated Rara Lake in the far-west region of Nepal – the deepest (at 167 meters), one of the largest and remotest lakes in Nepal located at an altitude of a shade under 3000 meters.
Here’s to the life and travel – and I can’t wait to welcome our Adventurous Ewe groups back to Nepal.
As for me, I’m so looking forward to the world of travel opening up again in order to meet people from all walks of life to support and share some incredible experiences. Nothing beats giving someone a helping hand to see the happiness generated from achieving their own milestones, witnessing Mother Nature weave her magic or being amidst local people & cultures. And no doubt you’ve guessed it already that I really love working and supporting our remarkable guides and crew worldwide. They’re all such a great bunch and I’ve got to know some of them and their families really well over the years and have since become good friends. Plus I’m also super keen to get over to Iceland and join Edwin on a snow-kiting adventure. It’ll make a change from the freezing waters of kite-surfing in North Wales.
So whilst unfortunately the world of overseas travel is still on hold for the time being, I’m feeling positive to navigate our way back to some exciting global escapades in 2022 and beyond. In the meantime, we’ll crack on with our exciting UK adventures, keep chipping away at improving our website, enjoy creating new and unique adventures and finalise our Climate Emergency Plan to measure every gram of CO2 emitted for each trip and work on reducing our carbon footprint through a specialist consultancy, ecollective.
However, this is all about our tremendous team worldwide, and again I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our entire crew and to all our travel partners who have helped us get to this point. I’m so looking forward to when we can reunite again and together share more incredible adventures across this remarkable planet in a sustainable and ethical manner.
A big thanks for your time in reading this far and hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from such baaaa-rilliant people. If you have any questions about any of these overseas trips, making a booking during such uncertain times or anything travel related, please feel free to get in touch directly. I’m more than happy to chat all things travel (and love it too).
Take care and keep well,