According to a recent article in the New York Times, 2022 marks the year to go BIG. After two years of stay-at-home orders and quarantines, travelers are beyond ready to get back out there. While we’ve rediscovered closer-to-home vacations and have reimagined the great American road trip, according to the Times, “Experts say that travelers are ready to ‘go big’ in 2022 with bucket-list trips to far-flung destinations, after nearly two years of stagnation.”
At Exclusive Resorts, we’ve always curated a go-big mantra with our Experience Collection. The Club fosters far-flung travel that also gently pushes boundaries. As such, our Once-in-a-Lifetime Journeys (OIAL) are anchored in travel that truly transforms. From African safaris to a New Year’s Galapagos cruise to culinary adventures in Mexico, our team designs immersive, Members-only vacations to satisfy the most discerning of travelers. Why? Because life is too short for should haves.
Along that vein, as I worked with my team on the launch of our 2023 OIAL Collection, it got me thinking about how I, too, want to go BIG this year. I’ve made a concerted effort to personally live by the very campaign I helped my team create. No more shoulds. Instead — just where to? And perhaps of top note, why? These three destinations are my go-big or bust 2022 vacations. My why? Because I believe travel truly transforms us — as individuals, as a global community, and as a reminder of just how much there is to experience in this lifetime.
KENYA WILDLIFE SAFARI
Why: I’ve yet to experience one of the Club’s OIAL Journeys, so now is the time to start planning. I’ve traveled to 45+ countries, yet a trip to Africa has always been on the top of my bucket list. I can’t wait to finally go on a game drive and then cap the day with a requisite gin-and-tonic sundowner.
What: During nine days in Kenya, I’ll experience the best of Africa’s wildlife capital. Game drives, of course, will be daily outings, and I’ll also feed baby elephants and giraffes during a trek into the heart of Kenya. Safaris will venture into the vast expanse of grasslands in Tsavo and Masai Mara National Parks. I can’t wait to witness sunrise over Kilimanjaro and immerse myself in the culture and customs of Kenyans. If this isn’t going big in 2022, I don’t know what is!
Why: I’m a self-proclaimed auto and yacht obsessive (I used to work in both industries prior to becoming CEO at Exclusive Resorts), so any opportunity to travel via yacht is an opportunity that’s hard to pass up. This May, I’ll be joining one of the Club’s most unique offerings — navigating the open sea and incredible ports of call aboard the ultra-luxe The World.
What: I’ll experience destinations from a new perspective. The Club’s four luxury residences aboard The World are the ultimate way to travel by sea, with two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 850-plus square feet of living space. Experts in local cultures, noted authors, diplomats, and historians are regularly onboard. I’ll venture via kayak along the open sea, take behind-the-scenes tours of the ship, and dine at the onboard restaurants. I’m also looking forward to discovering Northern Spain, as The World navigates Gijon and Santander (both of which are lesser-known regions with so much to discover and an area I’ve yet to experience).
PENINSULA PAPAGAYO, COSTA RICA
Why: Costa Rica has been on my travel wish list for far too long, and this year I’m determined to take some time off at our flagship property in Peninsula Papagayo. Nearly every Club Member says this is one of their favorite destinations, so I can’t wait to learn more about this Blue Zone country for myself. Topping my itinerary will be a day trip to Rio Celeste Waterfall in Tenorio Volcano National Park.
What: It’s high time I discover one of the Club’s most talked about culinary stars. Chef Nicolas Devenelle’s talent, from what I’m told, is reason enough to visit the Members-only Poro Poro Beach Club. I’ll discover the coastline from the Club’s two- and three-story residences, all of which frame the surrounding rainforest. I’m looking forward to cruising the area on a 44-foot private yacht, relaxing with an in-residence massage, and tee-ing off at the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course (located at the nearby Four Seasons). Pura Vida awaits!