There’s something about face time that can’t be equaled. It’s the main reason that two years ago, I decided to start a monthly local gathering…internet searches, social media and picture sharing are all great fun and can lead to fertile connections, but face-to-face connections can’t be beat.
Interview: Canadian Outdoor World Seekers
Traveling the world with your Meetup Group
Last year, the Canada Outdoor World-Seekers (COWS) were beginning to plan a group trip to Peru! Well, the COWS are back now, and have had several other journeys since then. I decided to ask the Organizer known as the ‘Holy COW’ a bit about these trips and how they’re planned.
In addition to exploring local landmarks, COWS take longer trips: Meetups in the Himalayas and Latin America! How did you all finally get the guts to put that on the calendar? What response were you expecting?
COWS have been hiking in Ontario for years. We needed to explore new destinations and fulfill our outdoor dreams. Lots of our fellow COWS told us about their desire to visit popular hiking destinations like Costa Rica, the Grand Canyon, Peru and Nepal.
Longer trips are exciting and a little tricky…Nevertheless we thought it was worth the effort. We are very dynamic group, so we were expecting a high response rate to our international events. We were very selective with the attendees. At the end, 19 COWS went all the way to the Everest Base Camp and the Taj Mahal. I am proud to say that we all made it!
What are key points to planning a trip of this nature? What parts were a group effort, and what aspects were left up to individual members?
Hiking to the Everest Base Camp is a long trip. It takes eight days to go up and four days to come down. We also added visiting the Taj Mahal to our adventure, so COWS had to spend 20 days together. Key points to planning a trip of this nature:
- Understand the expectations and deliverables.
- Start as early as possible: It took us 8 months to finalize this trip.
- Work with professionals: We worked with a professional travel company located in Toronto and a flight agency for the air travel to arrange our flights to Nepal and India.
- Be selective with the group members: This is an adventure so we wanted to make sure anyone joined this Meetup can go all the way to Everest Base Camp.
- Train, Train, Train: We have organized 10 training hikes and 3 social gatherings to make sure all the members are good to go!
- Put the principles: we set certain rules to make sure everyone has a fantastic time, i.e. love and respect each other, etc.