At Context, we live and breathe Deep Travel. As tourism becomes ever more popular, we want to make sure that travel itself is transformative, immersive, and good for places as well as people–both locals and visitors. That’s why we’ve begun building a network of Deep Travelers: bloggers and content creators who understand the importance of traveling thoughtfully and responsibly, and telling great stories to promote and encourage the movement. We’re delighted to introduce the team, and find out a little more about what Deep Travel means to them.
Betsy and Pete Wuebker began their fifth year of location independence in 2015. They’re proof positive that happiness can be found in a simplified, travel-centered life. They’ve road-tripped, sold all their stuff, moved to a tropical island, and now travel the world full-time. Special interests are history, architecture, and off-the-beaten-path. "Deep Travel shares many of the same characteristics as “slow travel,” which is opportunity and time to take in what a destination has to offer to a greater degree than a casual visitor might have. Deep Travel rewards us with greater understanding, not only of differences, but similarities. Travel is truly the last remaining leveler of the human experience, connecting us with each other and our global community. Deep Travel intensifies our connection with and understanding of each other, our history and our world. Context Travel’s mission to create an atmosphere from which interesting and authentic impressions can be made satisfies both natural curiosity and desire for knowledge." Passing Thru
Margherita and Nick are a writer and photographer from Italy and Australia, long-term travellers and lovers of nature, wildlife and the outdoors. Their blog The Crowded Planet focuses on what they love most; nature and adventure travel, with an eye on sustainability. In their opinion, nature and adventure can be found anywhere – on the ski slopes, on a mountain wall or on a hiking path, but also in cities. They write about ‘traditional’ nature and adventure travel, but also about alternative cities, urban nature and street art. There are no limits to what adventure can be, as long as you have an adventurous mind. “Deep Travel isn’t related to where you go, or how long you spend in a destination. You can travel deeply in your own neighbourhood or in the high Himalayas, for an afternoon or for a year. Deep Travel means approaching the world with humble eyes, with a learning attitude, ready to absorb the atmosphere, history and everything else that makes a place unique.”
Craig and Linda are a Kiwi couple who started travelling around the world in February 2006 and got hooked. They’ve been professionally homeless since then, and in late 2006 started the Indie Travel Podcast to share tips and stories about independent travel. Their travel style has changed over the years, from a rapid-fire three countries a week to a slower pace where they often rent apartments and stay in one place for several months. “For us, deep travel means getting to know a destination beyond its monuments — meeting the people who live there, talking about the issues local people face, and savouring the flavours of the region. We enjoy learning how to prepare food from the places we’ve been, and keep falling in love with local beverages!"
Greg Snell is a Canadian adventure tour guide, travel media director and producer, winner of Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition, and a dedicated visual storyteller. Graduating from the College of the Rockies in British Columbia with an honours degree in Adventure Tourism Business Operations, he has worked as an adventure guide in South America, an Island Caretaker in Australia, and most recently a documentary director and producer for the mini series Travel Global Think Local. As an avid writer and photographer he created a travel blog, Greg Goes Global, to document his adventures through inspiring storytelling and award winning photography. Greg is also a regular contributor to Context Travel's media gallery. “I believe we can create a stronger future by engaging local communities who empower themselves for positive change. This mentality behind his travel experiences always inspires me to think deeper and to engage locally as much as possible. Its all about cultural integration and genuine understanding followed by positive action to create a better future.”
Alexandra grew up in Canada and came to Florence in 1999 when she did her Masters in Art History. After a PhD in the same subject in the States (Chicago), she moved there permanently to join her Italian husband. Together, they explore the country's obscure churches and museums, and she makes it up to him with luxurious hotels, great local food and winery visits. Back in 2004 she started writing ArtTrav, which has evolved into a blog about art, travel and life in Italy and beyond. In her day job, she writes for the city's expat newspaper The Florentine, and works for a communications company, Flod, where she helps museums, cultural institutions, universities and other clients pass on the deepest possible information on social media. "For me, Deep Travel means getting to know a destination through various points of entry - be it food, art, history, fashion - so that we come out with a deeper knowledge of the place, and thus we enrich our lives. My own passion is art history, so for me, learning about a country's art is often the best way for me to have that deep experience, so that's what I propose on my blog, which focuses on art in Italy."
Maria is a freelance journalist and award-winning blogger who specialises in travel and yachts. She is passionately interested in the planet we call home; its people and cultures, animals, and the adventures and experiences it offers. Always in search of good wine and creative, local vegetarian food. In addition to her freelance writing, wanderlust and a love of storytelling launched her into the blogging sea recently with the website: Travelling with Hart. This is a space based around a set of values rather than a destination. These reflect those travellers with a heart for connecting with the world around them, for making thoughtful choices, for deep, sustainable and furry travel; people who dare to get off the beaten track, to learn, explore, and laugh. Here you'll find travel inspiration, photos and tips, planning resources and stories of adventure and misadventure. "I'm inquisitive by nature, so it was natural that a love of travel quickly turned into a love of deep travel for me - getting under the skin of a place to discover the real culture, talk to the local people, understand its history, and generally put the destination in context. Only then can the setting be more fully understood. Does it match the media portrayal of the place or is that an isolated snapshot? Is it really the blingy tourist trap it appears or is there more to it? Is it really run-down and antisocial or is there a rich treasure chest waiting to be unlocked? For me, deep travel is the key to that treasure."
Jessica and Laurence are thirty-something travel bloggers who travel the world as a couple, sharing their adventures and travel advice on their two travel blogs. Jessica is the American cat-loving primary author of Independent Travel Cats, and Laurence is the dreadlocked camera-toting Brit who writes and shares his award-winning photos on Finding the Universe. This adventurous couple are currently on a month-long road trip across the United States following along Route 66 and the historic Oregon Trail. Next on their list is a Grand Tour project which will focus on Old World, slow, and culturally immersive travel as they make their way from the United States to Italy via ship and train. While in Italy, they are excited to be taking several Context Travel tours that focus on unique learning experiences in the cities of Venice, Florence, and Rome. As both an avid traveler and scholar (with a PhD in clinical psychology), Jessica appreciates that Context offers the opportunity to engage in Deep Travel via educated guides who are experts in their field of study and unique tours to places that are often overlooked by most tourists. Laurence is thrilled to be getting the opportunity to go below the surface during his time in Italy and leave with both great photos and a better understanding of the places he'll be visiting.
After 30-year careers publishing a weekly newspaper and two monthly magazines in Minneapolis/St. Paul (MN), Tom and Kris began traveling full time. Since 2010, they've visited over 50 countries, focusing on historic sites, arts and culture, food and wine, as well as the wonders of nature and the idiosyncrasies of roadside attractions. Tom specializes in photographing churches. Kris is good at striking up conversations at gas stations or diners. Their experiences with Context Travel include tours in Venice, Rome, Barcelona, and southern France. “We’re guided by curiosity, so Context’s Deep Travel concept is ideal for us. It’s a luxury to listen to someone who really knows and appreciates the subject matter and leads us places we might not otherwise visit. Inevitably with Context’s docents, we find ourselves walking and talking with a friend, a local, who shares our interest in the past and our concerns about the future.” Travel Past 50
Travel isn’t an option for Nancy; it is a necessity. Having two children hasn’t changed this. In fact, the desire to travel is even greater now because Nancy and her husband want their children to experience other countries and cultures. Frequent travel destinations are in North America and Europe, but Nancy and her family will travel to Asia shortly so their top ten destination list may change. “For me, Deep Travel is learning as much as possible about a destination and its people to better understand the world and our place in it.” Luxe Travel Family