By Celece Seegmiller for The Spectrum, April 12, 2011
We recently held a team meeting in my office in January to kick off the new year. We talked about our goals for 2011 and how we were going to achieve them. One of Lauren’s goals was to travel to an amazing destination for her upcoming milestone birthday. We realized that it will be a big year for all of us, with Lauren kicking off her birthday celebration in November, followed by myself and then Mary. While I won’t mention which birthdays exactly, let’s just say all of them end in zero. Since that conversation, we have committed to celebrating our birthdays somewhere fabulous in the world.
As I have been studying and researching destinations for the big celebrations, I found that there are many women out there, just like us. They are taking some time for themselves and celebrating milestone events in their lives. In fact, there is a tour company that caters just to women called Gutsy Women Travel. Their motto is “It’s Your Life….Live It!”™ Their philosophy is “there is a gutsy woman inside each of us; one who occasionally needs to make time for herself to refresh and renew her mind, spirit and body”. Women are traditionally caregivers who regularly place the needs of everyone else in their lives ahead of their own. Yet it is undeniably important that women take the time to nurture themselves and travel is one of the best ways to do just that!”
For the past ten years, the staff at Gutsy Women has been designing tours that appeal to the nature of women. For some, the tours are the first time women have been on trips without their husbands and children. Because of this, Gutsy Women assures a sense of security and safety by traveling with a small group (20 passengers or less), providing a professional tour escort, and including well-planned itineraries that offer cultural and intimate experiences.
Tours span the globe and range from the Queen of the Nile tour, to a Santa Fe getaway. Gutsy Women itineraries include what I like to call the “Christmas Card” shot. These are pictures that you want to send to your friends and family, post on Facebook, or use as your screensaver image. Envision photos of you and your girlfriends riding camels in Egypt; elephants in India; or coasting on a zip line through the Costa Rican rainforest. Activities vary from : watching the sunrise at the world-renowned ‘Taj Mahal’; enjoying a journey along the famed Amalfi Drive from Sorrento to Positano ( considered by many to be the most beautiful drive in Europe); participating in a traditional henna ceremony in Morocco; to shopping for antiques at the famous flea markets in Paris. Regardless of the destination, the staff at Gutsy Women creates memories that girlfriends will cherish for a lifetime.
When it comes to culinary experiences, Gutsy Women did not leave anything out. After all, their tours are designed just for women, and women know and love food. Imagine gathering with your best girlfriends around a Tuscan kitchen for an authentic Italian cooking class and wine tasting; spending the afternoon enjoying tea and scones in an Irish farmhouse followed by dinner in the stately Ashford Castle; or experiencing the best of Southern hospitality at Paula Deen’s world-famous Lady and Son’s Restaurant in Savannah. Each itinerary embraces the local cuisine and culture and includes unique dining and culinary experiences. This is one vacation where women won’t mind spending a little time in the cucina!
When I look at the Gutsy Women brochures and read their travel blog, I see more than vacation photos. I see women enjoying time together and taking some well-deserved time off. I see women celebrating their milestones in life like birthdays, graduations, and even remission from illness. I see multiple generations of grandmothers, mothers, and granddaughters; best friends; and even new-found friends experiencing unique adventures together around the world. Just remember, travel is more than a vacation, it is a memory. The motto at Gutsy Women is right: “It is your life…live it!”™