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Zicasso’s Trips of a Lifetime Series - Part 2

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Watching the sun set behind the mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand

Watching the sun set behind the mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand

The world is full of wonder, and as travelers, we are all longing to step out to visit the world’s highlights, lounge on a secluded beach, or otherwise find a change of scene. Our pace is slower, and as we sit with our current reality, we have likely re-examined our favorite trips, or traced our plans in our minds for the trips not yet taken. Above all, we have asked ourselves, why do we travel? No matter your reasoning for the trips taken and the trips yet to come, your trip of a lifetime will be possible once again, and in the hands of a local expert, this new chapter in travel will bring more connection with people, more authenticity, and more personalization.

Quechua indigenous women with a young traveller sit together on a wall in Cusco, Peru

Quechua indigenous women with a young traveller sit together on a wall in Cusco, Peru

Travel breaks down misconceptions and preconceptions of other cultures and allows us to see the world from a different perspective. We leave our home behind to embrace connection both with the old and the new, finding the point at which the comforts of home call to us while the allure of different heritages, religions, and landscapes inspire us to keep moving forward. Travel cements our connection to our home by instilling in us a larger sense of community through our relationship to the broader world where the barriers we once found incredibly concrete easily and quickly melt away.

Part 1 of our Trips of a Lifetime series focused on how the experience of travel is ours alone. Each of us is affected differently by experiencing the allure of the extraordinary scenery of Patagonia and Antarctica, accomplishing your long-held dreams of visiting Europe, or understanding the classic glamour of an African safari. You can explore all of these tours on our Trips of a Lifetime page.

Each of our first three trips displayed the unfettered splendor of travel, but the world’s unique majesty emerges unexpectedly in these next three Trips of a Lifetime. This second set of three journeys invites us to change our perspectives to find something new, and experience how even the world’s sharp contrasts can seem warmly familiar.

Travel globally, learn locally

Sunset over Uluru in Australia

Sunset over Uluru in Australia

Dreamy and surreal embody the ancient wonders of Australia and the dramatic nature of New Zealand. A trip of a lifetime in Australia and New Zealand plunges you into the dynamic beauty and cultural significance Down Under, where heritage transcends tens of thousands of years. “Both countries offer unique indigenous culture,” David, a travel specialist for Australia and New Zealand says. “Aboriginal in Australia, Maori in New Zealand--history [dates] back 50,000 years in Australia with spectacular scenery ranging from the desert Outback to the tropical Great Barrier Reef, and New Zealand’s spectacular rugged Alpine regions.” Scorched desert sands to lush rainforests, crystal-clear azure waters to white-sand coral beaches capture the dream-like nature of Australia while New Zealand brims with snowcapped peaks and sparkling glaciers, dramatic fjords and hissing springs.

David’s Oceania Trip of Lifetime: Best Australia and New Zealand Tour, is the prime way to truly experience the mixture of culture, history, and immersive scenery in a new way. The landscape of Australia encompasses the rich jungle terrain of Daintree National Park and offers a peaceful respite amongst the radiant sunshine of Uluru at the Red Centre with the diversity of the biospheres giving way to intimate connections to the ancient local cultures. David says, “It’s a sad fact that ninety-percent of visitors to Australia never meet an Aboriginal person, but almost one-hundred-percent of our clients do! This allows our clients to connect with the local people and helps more of our clients’ money stay in the local economy.” Beyond heritage, Oceania flows with incredible wine and food, as well as inspiring wildlife experiences with koalas nibbling on eucalyptus, kangaroos hopping across open plains, and the birds of New Zealand from the famous flightless kiwis to the remarkable eight-foot wingspan of the albatross.

Immersive travel does not just take you to the mainstream cities of a country and instead can bring the ultimate thrill of discovery and adventure with a combination of the traditional and the uncommon. A travel specialist who understands the importance of traveling easily and safely with experienced local guides will make this type of vacation possible. David says, “Tourism was a huge industry in both [Australia and New Zealand] pre-lockdown and the only way for it to return is for people to take the plunge and start traveling there again. We are already seeing a notable increase in demand for 2021 trips and expect this demand to increase as time goes on.”

Experience extremes

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

The mixture of the natural world and the unique history of the Inca empire represent two distinct perspectives that come near the mythological in their intensity and drama. Many visit countries like Ecuador and Peru for the fascinating view of endemic wildlife and the culture of the Inca woven into the fabric of the Andes. Designed by a travel expert, the Exceptional Galapagos and Peru Tour of a Lifetime displays the captivating complexities of the island ecosystems and network of massive stone ruins. Over the course of 18 days, the Galapagos islands will capture your imagination with sea turtles and images of sea lions as you snorkel in clear-blue waters while the majestic ambiance of Machu Picchu leads to floating islands and high-altitude lakeshores of Lake Titicaca in Peru. “A combination trip to Peru and the Galapagos permit you to experience a whole host of emotions and experiences in one trip,” says Paul, who created this trip for our Zicasso travelers.

The Galapagos embodies mother nature’s ability to connect you to the intricate and intimate details of a world unencumbered by the forces of humankind through an intimate cruise that unearths the diverse ecosystems of each island. The vibrant textiles of Andean culture take you beyond the lush foothills and snowcapped peaks of the mountains to reveal a different side of Peru in the shadow of Inca and Spanish conquest. Whether strolling along the cobblestone lanes of Cusco or finding pleasure on a plate with a bright citrusy ceviche, your travel expert will ensure that you travel beneath the surface. Experience the famous and the extraordinary as these unforgettable extremes combine to bring discovery worlds beyond your anticipation.

“Take full advantage of the exceptional hotel properties and services available in Peru and Ecuador; you might be astonished at what is on offer,” says Paul.  Peru is home to some of the world’s most celebrated cuisine while Ecuador possesses incredible luxury properties. Your travel specialist will ensure that your journey takes you into the heart of the Inca Empire while also offering an alternative way to discover ancient cultures where travelers rarely visit. “Book early for a cruise later in 2021” Paul says, as early bookings ensure the best experience. “Include a catamaran or a trimaran boat, as they offer larger cabins and remain more stable in the water. Take your time to explore Machu Picchu, after all, it is a long way away.” You can find inspiration in this trip of a lifetime or build your own customizable trip with a Zicasso travel specialist.

Celebrate the past, and the future

Higashiyama District in Kyoto, Japan

Higashiyama District in Kyoto, Japan

The past and the future at first seem diametrically opposed but in Japan, beautifully come together to reveal where we came from and where we are going. “After experiencing the colorful and busy Tokyo, strolling the exquisite Zen temples and gardens of Kyoto, travel via bullet train to the older Japan in Kyushu where traditional life style lingers, delicious regional cuisines delight your heart, and sublime volcano mountains and ancient Shinto shrines embrace your soul,” says Charlotte, a Japan travel expert for Zicasso. The contrasts of Japan become part of the exquisite experience.

Designed by Charlotte and her team for Zicasso, the Premier Enchantments of Japan Tour focuses on the nation’s wonderful diversity whether in Tokyo’s ultra-modern ambiance or customary inns of the mountains. “Late October and early November are filled with bright red, yellow, golden and brown colors,” Charlotte says. “This is the best season to enjoy the stunning colors in every turn.” Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples date back to before the construction of Europe’s painstaking cathedrals capturing elaborate design and a connection to surrounding nature. Tradition is preserved and celebrated from ceramics to textiles while cedar groves and cherry trees lead to hidden bubbling hot springs. Culinary delights embody both customs and push new boundaries and are constantly changing with the seasons. Through the eyes of the traveler, Japan feels like part myth and part treasure where enchanting gardens highlight antique collaboration and modern boutiques reflect a sense of global and historic perspective.

Japan honors its heritage while pushing beyond Western trends, celebrating its distinctive history while unafraid to forge a new path in modern society. We will travel once again and the contrasting beauty of Japan will be ready for us to visit as it both conserves its past and breaks new ground into the future. “Knowing we will continue traveling to a part of the world that we have dreamed of is a beautiful and positive feeling we need to cultivate,” Charlotte says. “Booking a trip soon for 2021 is an exciting thing. Americans can feel super safe in every aspect when traveling in Japan,” Charlotte says. “Our local guides take special care of our guests. We will offer more private transfers because of Covid, even though public transportation is very clean and safe in Japan.”

Looking ahead to 2021

Sea lion swimming underwater in tidal lagoon, Galapagos islands, Ecuador

Sea lion swimming in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

When travel returns, we will treat it like an old friend, ready to walk with it hand-in-hand across the globe. Because we do not travel for ourselves alone. We travel for the people we meet along the way. We travel to see the wildlife that only lives in one remote corner of the world. We travel to understand the roots of tradition. Most importantly, we travel to experience the unexpected. By planning our next trip, we dedicate ourselves to the ideals of the experiences we have already had and the promises of experiences yet to come.

Every trip that you take should be a trip of a lifetime. While this three-part series is meant to push the limits and eliminate boundaries, every trip is designed together with our travelers. We invite you to dream, and to plan ahead.  If you could only take one more trip, where would you go?  You can start looking ahead with Zicasso by submitting a Trip Request, or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.  We are here for your questions, and ready to help you embark on your next extraordinary journey.

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