WHAT ARE WE DOING DURING THE WINTER?

Ahhhh, we’re in the heart of the offseason here at TFT and the summer adventures through distant lands with our groups of teenagers seem like distant memories.  Comparatively speaking, the winter season (for those of us that are full time TFT’ers) is a bit uneventful…or is it?

Lots of you kids ask us what we do all winter and I’m about to give you a quick roundup of what’s been happening around the office since we last saw you all in August.   After our trips ended, we all had some time off to enjoy adventures of our own.  Johnny spent some time chilling out with Phil up in the remote beauty of Maine, while Nic and Ned took some down-time in California’s wine country.  I went my own way and visited my family in Colombia and traveled to several cities including Medellin, Bogota, and Cali.

 About six months have passed and our laundry list of things to do has included researching our NEW TRIPS!  Nic and Johnny have both written about their adventures to Costa Rica and Thailand and I was lucky enough to have gone to Amsterdam, Sweden, Denmark and Portugal.

Of all my years traveling, it’s hard to believe that this was my first time in Amsterdam.  It was kind of what I expected and I was instantly charmed by the canals and thousands of bicycles everywhere!

Two days later, I landed in Stockholm and was amazed at the relative diversity of the people.  This city of islands is an old, interesting place that is comprised of a series of lakes, rivers, canals, foot-bridges, parks, old cobblestone roads and really modern shopping centers.  It’s a city of high fashion, super friendly people and lots of activity!  I had blast running around looking at all the major sights and museums.

My next few of days were hectic as I flew to the middle of the Baltic Sea to explore Gotland Island and then to Copenhagen in Denmark.  Gotland is a Swedish summer resort known for its medieval capital city of Visby and the medieval festival that happens every August (WHEN WE’RE GOING TO BE THERE!!).  I traveled via ferry on a four hour journey from the coast of Stockholm and arrived on the island at about 3:30pm where it was already the dark of night (luckily, in the summer, the light has the opposite effect as the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm).  It was a Sunday evening and walking the narrow, winding, cobblestone streets gave me the feeling that I was navigating a movie set.

Two days later, it was off to Copenhagen, Denmark where I explored the Danish way of life by bike, crossing canal after canal en route to learning the city.  Copenhagen is another progressive place with vibrant harbors, museums and an impressive palace that boasts one of the world’s oldest monarchies. 

My final stop was Lagos, Portugal where we will end our Spain and Portugal 1 trip.  It had been since 2001 that I had last been to this relaxing little town on the western-most tip of Portugal.  Unlike the rest of the Algarve (southern Portugal), it has managed to avoid being overrun by the towering resort hotels that are so prevalent in other parts of the region.  I was able to meet a bunch of really laid back locals and ex-pat Aussies and English guys who will be helping us run surfing and mountain biking excursions when we return in July.

Since my research trip, I’ve returned to the office where we are now in the middle of our sales-season.  From December to March, we travel all over the U.S. telling people why we’re the best teen travel company available.  In the last month I’ve been to New York and Connecticut and I leave for San Diego and Los Angeles tomorrow.  Fellow TFT teammates Ned, Nic, Johnny, Trish have been leaving tracks all over the country as well covering Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Texas, St. Louis, Chicago, Seattle and Florida.

As you can see, even though we don’t have 30 high school students in tow every day, we still have plenty to keep us busy during the long winter months.  Don’t forget to check our website to see where we’re going to be during the month of February.  If you see us coming to your town, let us know so we can say hi.  In the meantime, stay warm and remember, only five months to go until we pack our bags to start yet another summer full of adventure and knowledge!!

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