The world’s top luxury travel specialists want to know: Where does our new website make you want to go and why? The person with the most convincing response as to why and where our site makes you want to go will be awarded with a luxury journey in Thailand, where we got our start 24 years ago. Explore select entries, below, and don’t forget to send in your own! Click here for complete contest details.
Christian, April 16, 2013: Upon entering the new site, one of the first images I saw was a map, specifically the continent of Africa, smack dab in the middle, practically calling my name! I have been sponsoring a little boy in Africa, through a group called Heart for Africa, for about 7 years now. I have always wanted to visit Africa because I have watched this little boy grow up in extreme poverty and a war torn environment. I think I have a twisted point of view of this continent because all I ever hear it what devastating things occur here. I tend to forget that there is also extreme beauty on this continent. Your website reminds me that even with all the evil in the world, Africa is still a thriving continent with fascinating culture and breathtaking landscape. Let’s go! The picture attached is the one from your website that inspired this email!
Taylor, April 11th, 2013: “What’s that?” I said, pleading into my computer, praying Skype from Ouagadougou to Afghanistan would last a bit longer. I heard his voice, “Say that again babe.”
“I deeply wish you could experience this with me.”
“This” was my mission in Ouagadougou, bringing vision to cataract patients in Africa. I dreamed only of sharing this journey with my amazing boyfriend, stationed in Afghanistan.
When he returned safely, we began searching for philanthropic travel opportunities, leading us to this amazing website. We cultivated dreams while exploring these inspiring and colorful journeys on your website, particularly the adventure to Cape Town to interact with locals running social development projects.
We were apart…
And then we were together….
And now we want to make our dreams come true with philanthropic travel to South Africa through Absolute Travel.
Maxine, April 11, 2013: “I am a great believer in the ability of travel to not only broaden the mind but also to help you understand different cultures and make you aware of the threats to their communities. With the growth of eco-tourism it means you can help in some small way either by getting your hands dirty or enabling money, jobs and resources to be filtered to smaller communities which without this could potentially disappear.
I would love to go to Cambodia on your philanthropic journey – why? – the opportunity to see some many aspects of conservation in one trip is very rare by patrolling with the forest rangers you get an understanding of the habitats, the animals that are endemic to the country and why it is important to keep it safe and also get an understanding of what life is like working as a forest ranger and the threats involved. Visiting a wildlife rescue centre makes you understand what the situation is for native animals and you get a chance to see animals that you would potentially never see such as Sun Bears. Equally as important is meeting local communities especially when they have changed their lives from being potential poachers to sustainable farmers, a unique opportunity to talk to them about this change and what the challenges still are with doing this.
As a photographer this would give me the unique opportunity to document my trip and also ensure that when I came back from it that I could still help the communities I met in some small way by highlighting my trip on my website and encouraging other people to look at how travel can be used in a positive way.
Alexis, April 3, 2013: Your site and your excellence make me want to go everywhere and anywhere with Absolute Travel. But, having to choose, please find my entry below. The stunning images and tantalizing descriptions of exotic locals on the Absolute Travel website have me glancing at the faded post-it note above my desk where I scribbled the aspirational Emerson quote: Live in the sunshine, Swim the sea, Drink the Wild Air. Vivid, traditional shoes makes me crave the Indian sunshine while browsing a colorful market;
The tribesmen of Papua New Guinea have me anxious to explore the culture and vibrant reefs of the South Pacific;
and misty images of sacred Bhutan have me thirsty for the air that has carried ancient prayer skyward for millennia.
Janis, April 2, 2013: It always begins with a map. My first trip oversees began with buying a map at the airport when I arrived. I was immediately entranced with the red and blue roads, the autostrades and the nationales, and where they would take me. Each morning began with the map, a tour book, and a cup of coffee, deciding which route to take to our next stop. Maps pique curiosity and make me want to venture down roads to see what is along the way. Absolute Travel’s website begins with a map, a beautifully rendered map that looks more like art. Clicking on one region brings you to another map with more detail, more to peruse and get lost in. Enticing images pop up when you hover over each country on the map. Clicking these images brings you to all the amazing adventures that go there. As the map tells you: Start Your Journey (Click Here)
Lindsey, April 1, 2013: “The Absolute Travel website has inspired me to travel to Africa and Thailand to expand my recent experience with voluntourism. The main reason I know I want to travel to these two destinations is due to my strong desire to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary. I discovered the “Philanthropic Experiences” section of your website and came across the article “Spend the Day with an Asian Icon at the Elephant Nature Park.” I spent the Fall of 2012 volunteering at a wildlife refuge in Ecuador and learned/practiced environmental conservation on an organic farm in the Galapagos Islands. Volunteering abroad proved to be a highly invaluable travel experience that I will continue in every country I travel to and will educate fellow travelers on the truly significant effect voluntourism has on humanity.”
Charlotte, April 1, 2013: “Where does our site make you want to go and why?” That would be….Thailand. Absolute Travel has me DREAMING of going there. Whenever the relaxing scenic pics I’ve seen on Absolute Travel’s site appear, I am drawn to it’s warm ambiance. The accommodation in the picture attatched looks like absolute simple luxury…how good it would be to go there and restore one’s well being by soaking up indoor and outdoor paradise. This year I have chosen to really take care of myself- Absolute Travel reminds me that even if I can’t physically be there, I can always envision a selected picture in my mind during stressful times to unwind.”
Adib, March 29, 2013: “I love your new website! It is visually striking! Which is what sets you off other travel agencies!!Well done! I also like the ease of navigation on the site. It is smart… unlike the other sites! The image that intrigued the most is: LUXURY TRAVEL IN BORA BORA… I screen grabbed the pic and am attaching it to the email. Wishing me luck to win the luxury trip to Thailand!”
Roxana, March 29th, 2013: “Your site is so well organized it teased me to jump from one Continent to another. Then from one special interest to the next. I started with a desire to go to Laos. At the end of my site perusal my list grew to:
Beth, March 28th, 2013: “It always starts with a picture. A picture of a place I’ve never been, a place that looks like nowhere I’ve been before. A place that enters my daydreams and refuses to leave. That’s how all the best of my trips have started – with a picture. China was no different. While I was planning our trip I saw a photo, and I was smitten. From the moment I laid my eyes on the terraced hills of Ping An, I couldn’t get them out of my dreams. Here’s the irony. The day we visited Ping An was foggy, and we never did see the terraced hills the way we had hoped. But our resourceful guide took us to see a local school and a villager’s home. Even more than the landscape, these humble buildings were like nothing I had seen before. The juxtaposition of ancient and modern was breathtaking. It was one of the most memorable days on a trip that included the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta warriors. Where to next? The world is full of wonderful places to explore. And your website could inspire me to spend the rest of my life doing just that. But the photos from Ethiopia made me catch my breath in the same way as those of Ping An. A stunning landscape that goes on forever. An exotic festival that celebrates the baptism of Christ in a way I’ve never imagined. Isolated monasteries, a walled city and churches cut from rock. And in the end, maybe that moment I’ll never forget will be something that I could never imagine until the day I arrive. The dreaming has begun.”
Joellen, March 28th, 2013: “All of Absolute’s India inspires! The colors, the people, textiles galore, the food, reaching the heavens… Seeing this photo makes me want to pack my bags, leave tomorrow, setting out on a textile exploration of India!”
Jen, March 27th, 2013: “I am intrigued by the photo that came up first on your home page….well, I’d like to go just about anywhere that you feature but I did actually draw in a sharp breath when I saw that shot. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find out exactly where it is and I don’t have more time right now to keep looking. Why do I like it? I love islands, I suppose. The Na Pali coast of Kauai (and the gorgeous view from the former Princeville Resort/current St. Regis). Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora. I like the attached shot because of all the little pops of land cropping up in front of a larger range emanating from the ocean. Just looks very intriguing and beautiful.”
Craig, March 27th, 2013: “the new site is wonderful, easy to get around and so many pictures that just make you want to be at all these destinations I am inspired by the site to travel to places besides Europe, where I have spent more time and wish to discover the rest of our amazing planet with my camera. i have attached a few of my photos to show you that I mean business when I say I love to travel with my camera. i also would love the chance to go to Thailand, because my step-daughter and family are there and I haven’t seen her and two grand-daughters for over four years. she is there working to help young girls and their families from falling into the harm of prostitution in these innocent females. thank you for the chance via this contest, and mostly for your company working to show the world to folks who will grow from seeing not only the environment, amazing vistas and architecture, but to learn of the cultures and people of his giant globe that we all share.