As I changed in my tent on the backpacking trip in Alaska I heard laughter around the campfire and caught myself smiling from ear to ear. On one hand my cheeks actually hurt from all the smiling and laughter over that week, but on the other, could there be a better feeling?
I felt the same joy reading the heartfelt messages in the group chat after the Peru trip. We’d shed a few tears when it was over and a flood of messages the next day were from attendees sharing how life-changing the experience had been. My heart was overflowing.
That’s how you know you’re onto something good. So far each time I’ve put out the word for a new trip, the most amazing people choose to come. The destination almost doesn’t matter because no matter where we go it’s going to be fun because of who shows up.
That’s why I keep doing these trips. I spend wayyy more time thinking and planning than I ever spend on any of my own trips, but I just love the experience of hanging out with the women who read and connect with the blog. It’s been such a gift to finally get to meet some of you and I can’t get enough.
This year, we’re going to Patagonia (sold out), Iceland and Galapagos. Read on to learn more about the trips and what to expect.
What to Expect on the BMTM Adventure Tours
I know you want to maximize your time off with the best possible experience and with cool people. In creating these tours it’s always been my intention to deliver something that’s different from anything else you can find, and the biggest factors in that has been those who choose to join and the unique itineraries.
In each place we visit, my tour partner, Pete, and I include unique and sometimes challenging new things to try (like surfing in the Galapagos or the 5-day hiking trip in the Icelandic highlands, far, far away from the crowds under the midnight sun). We plan itineraries that are exciting, not boring, that are beautiful, not cookie-cutter, and that will present a completely new experience, even if it’s in a country you’ve visited before. You haven’t seen it like this!
We plan trips that we are stoked to go on and have already experienced firsthand at least once. Why do it any other way, right?
Who comes on these trips?
The group dynamic is so unlike any trip I’ve taken. It’s been nothing but fun and belly laughs with supportive groups of women, many of whom keep in touch and come back again and again. About a quarter of those who have been on one of the three previous trips have chosen to come again (and sometimes, three times!) I feel pretty awesome about that considering I’ve only run 4 trips so far.
The group WhatsApp chats are often still going strong way after the trip with funny shares, chatting about trips and solo travel plans, and inside jokes. The Peru chat is still active almost a full year later!
For a lot of attendees, it’s the first step towards testing the waters of international, solo travel and for others, it’s a chance to kick back and let someone else do the planning and organizing.
Comfort level + how we price the tours
These trips are designed to be on the higher end (though not extreme luxury because we want to keep it affordable). I’m all for the thrill and the party atmosphere of extreme budget travel but these days I like my creature comforts and I want to provide the same standard. We pick companies with good local guides, a commitment to being eco-friendly and treating their employees well, and when hiking, I always have a trained wilderness responder with us. Safety, comfort, and yummy food come first for these tours.
The tours are inclusive of everything apart from personal gear, international flights, and some meals or extra activities that not everyone wants to participate in. I don’t like hidden fees or surprises and I don’t believe in artificially making the tour cheap then charging for each activity later, so I don’t market my tours that way.
The tours are all photography tours as well. They are also specifically for female travelers. You may have noticed that photography tours or women’s tours elsewhere are super expensive, but I don’t believe in artificially inflating prices and I am not down with the pink tax, so I don’t add those costs to my trips.
2019 Tours: Iceland and Galapagos
I will never forget holding my jaw with both hands, gasping at the endless beauty of Iceland about a thousand times every day. Was it even planet Earth anymore? It felt more like Narnia to me.
Between the Blue Lagoon, the highlands which look like a layer cake of warm earth tones and bright gold and green, to the energy of the geysers and waterfalls, Iceland is easily the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to. I have been wanting to go back and do a multi-day hike ever since my last visit, and there’s no better place than the highlands.
The hike we’re doing was chosen as one of the “20 Best Hikes in the World” by none other than National Geographic. In their words, “A quarter of the population of the island claims to believe in elves or other mythical creatures, and after hiking through the lava fields and mountains of this route, you may begin to believe as well.”
After months of planning, researching, and refining the itinerary, I am so, so excited to announce the BMTM Adventures Tour to Iceland this July! Join Pete, a small group of adventurous women and myself as we take in only the best of what Iceland has to offer in the summer. You will potentially see humpback whales, killer whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises; explore the Golden Circle; hike through Landmannalaugar and spend each night of the 5-day hike in warm huts; soak in geothermal pools including the famous Blue Lagoon. Most importantly, you will go home with incredible memories made with 13 other like-minded female travelers. We’ll be sure to do photography tutorials and editing sessions for anyone who is interested, and as always, you get a special set of editing presets as part of the tour.
Now, About Galapagos…
Who else learned that the Galapagos Islands is where Darwin discovered his famous theory? Just like many of you, I’ve wanted to experience the abundance and biodiversity of these islands ever since I first learned about them. For this trip, we’re heading unda da sea for those who are obsessed with scuba diving and snorkeling like me. There’s really nothing like hanging out with the seals, sharks, turtles, and schools of fish in their natural habitat. It’s as close as being a mermaid as we humans can get!
Not many places in the world can top Galapagos when it comes to unspoilt nature, crystal clear waters, and the abundance of marine animals. When discussing the 3rd and final BMTM Adventure Tour of the year with Pete, we both wanted an experience that offers a mix of adventure and comfort, with a lot of diving, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing in between.
Galapagos was the answer, naturally.
This 2-week (you can join week 1, week 2, or both weeks!) trip will begin in San Cristobal, and we will dive in some of the best dive sites in the world, including Kicker Rock, famed for its unique rock formation made of extinct volcano, an area that is heavily regulated to ensure that not too many other tourists will be diving with you. We will swim in a stunning, private swimming hole that only a few locals know about. We will relax on what’s known as the most beautiful beach in all of Galapagos. We will hike up the massive Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the second largest active volcanic caldera in the world. We will get a good night’s sleep at some of the cutest hotels with the best views each night, after a full day of adventure, fun, and laughters. For those on week one, we’ll have a private yoga instructor and daily classes (optional, of course)!
We will have the opportunity to see hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, barracudas, eels, dolphins, manta rays, almaco jackfish, parrot fish, stingrays, eagle rays, barracudas, blue-footed boobies, and so much more.
It’s Galapagos, after all.
Why BMTM Adventure Tours?
When I started planning for the very first BMTM tour 2 years ago, I knew it had to be something I was dying to go on myself: something adventurous, with a huge nature element, that involves ethical and local operators. That hasn’t changed one bit, and I am happy to share that the past trips to Peru, Alaska, Namibia, and Botswana have all been a huge (sold out) success! All tours were joined by BMTM readers who are supportive, genuine, and full of laughs. The group dynamics are open, inviting and non-cliquish. All of us have fostered long-lasting friendships, so much so that groups of girls from previous trips often decide together to repeat!
Click here for more details:
Spots are already starting to fill up. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
I hope to see you there!