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To help us all feel a bit closer while we’re physically apart, we’re sharing letters to and from those who made their adventures extra special. Today, we’re sharing letters dedicated to the magic of family travel. #BeTogether

Dear Gung,

My daughter Elena and I took our first dream trip to Thailand with Intrepid and you were our amazing guide. We were slightly anxious about taking such a long trip, but you were welcoming and inclusive from the very first meeting, going out of your way to do everything to make our father-daughter experience so special.

You made sure Elena had the right pants to wear when visiting a shrine…and bought her a special elephant backpack she had her eye on that she still treasures today. You were kind and light-hearted and funny and always with an easy laugh and warm smile.

When our hotel in Chiang Mai didn’t have a pool, you arranged for the hotel down the street to open their pool for us to spend an afternoon there by their pool.

You guided us to experience so much of the Thai warmth, hospitality, and welcome. I would love to return again and again.

Thank you, Gung, for your part in creating such a special father-daughter experience!
Mark

Dear Carolina,

You welcomed us into your home in Sarapiqui for dinner with your family in July 2019, when me and my two boys were on our Intrepid family vacation in Costa Rica.

Lani and her kids at Carolina's house, cooking dinner.

Lani and her kids at Carolina’s house, cooking dinner.

My youngest son is not too much older that your granddaughters who were there that evening, and even though they couldn’t speak each other’s language, that didn’t stop them from preparing food together. The world needs a little more of this kind easiness, and what better place to start than within the comforts of a home?

I don’t think either of my boys knew what to expect, but I want you to know that the time that we spent with you is one of their fondest memories.

About a month ago, my oldest suggested that we make plantain tortillas – your showstopper patacones – for dinner. He’s 12, and you know as a mother yourself, many things go in one ear and out the other at this age. But he remembers and he cares. And that tells me that you are part of his story now and that his world is a little bit bigger than it was before. This warms my heart.

Thank you for a wonderful experience,
Lani

Dear Akanksha,

On our mother and daughter trip to India, one of our must-dos was to visit the Taj Mahal at dawn. But unfortunately, it was closed on the morning we were there.

We were so disappointed but you, our beautiful tour guide, overheard our disappointed conversation and promptly arranged for us to have a personal driver pick us up and take us to the riverbank on the side river opposite the Taj Mahal to view the sun rising over this magnificent building.

Sharon and her daughter in India.

It was just so beautiful, it made our trip.

Thank you Akanksha, you are amazing.
Sharon

Dear Mustapha,

Mustapha

Intrepid Travel leader, Mustapha.

I hope you and your family are well since the world has been put on pause last month. We think about you often and our amazing time in your beautiful country last summer.

I keep flashing back to the time you took us to the fish market in Essaouira. Without warning, you told the kids in our group they were responsible for buying fish for our lunch from local vendors. “But how are we going to do that? What kind of fish should we buy? How do we know how much to get? Wait, we can’t talk to the sellers, we don’t speak Arabic!” I loved your calm response to their adorable anxiety: “I will translate everything for you, but the rest you have to figure out on your own.”

This wasn’t a part of our official itinerary. It was a great experience of the local culture, but what was even bigger and more important in value: that morning our kids practiced being resourceful, creative, they used their problem solving and teamwork skills, all in a way no classroom could give them. And for me, this was a gentle reminder not to hover over my kids and push them out of their comfort zone to experience the world.

As we ate our incredible seafood lunch later that day, I observed the kids’ happy faces. They were beaming about the fact they “organized” this meal for us. The fun they had at the market and their sense of accomplishment you gave them is one of my favorite memories from our entire trip to Morocco.

Thank you for the unforgettable experience. Until we meet again,
Vera

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