Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2018 - 51
Shrug off your adult cares and recapture
those days when learning and play were
synonymous - s'mores included.
BY ELAINE GLUSAC
s a child, for ten years I attended summer camp, graduating to become a C.I.T.
(counselor-in-training) and finally, at a
Canadian wilderness camp, a full-fledged
counselor. As a result, I can still lash sticks
together to make a table in the woods, pilot
a canoe with precise J-strokes, and win a
greased-watermelon relay (the trick: hug
the fruit loosely).
Over those years, I picked up other enduring skills
that shaped my life. I'm still a distance swimmer,
stargazer, and art maker - activities that were born
and nurtured during my summer adventures in nature.
An inner-city kid, I developed a love of the outdoors
that compounds annually. Above all, I enjoyed the
unbridled amateurism of it all, the enthusiasm to try
everything, succeed or fail. We tipped sailboats and
learned to right them. We scorched marshmallows and
ate around the crust. We sang inappropriately cheerful
songs about the Titanic sinking and spent rest hours
whittling quietly. A recreational version of school,
camp stimulated my curiosity: In place of reading, we
were doing (even when, in retrospect, we should have
been reading that sailing manual).
As an adult, spurred by those early exploits, I pursue
vacations as education-cum-action. I learned to fly-fish
on an Irish estate, where I landed a whopper salmon.
I've herded cattle on a Montana ranch with seasoned
wranglers and held my own. I made big strides in
perfecting my tennis stroke at an Arizona resort. And,
in between hikes in Japan, I learned to make delicate
wagashi, flower-shaped sweets, too pretty to eat later.
It turns out I'm not alone. A desire for meaningful,
experiential travel, similar to the camp experiences
we had as kids, is catching on, says Jessica Ourisman,
a Virtuoso travel advisor based in Baltimore. "Many of
my clients are looking for a beautiful outdoor, freshair vacation," she says, "and find an organic energy
that flows from being in nature." What's more, she
adds, "these types of trips also inspire lifelong learning." Indeed, many have staying power, as travelers
pick up new passions and book their next adventure
to pursue them further.
Whether you're indulging your inner child on a solo
escape or seeking a time-out on a family getaway,
the following sophisticated and stimulating vacations
channel summer camp without the splinters.
| J U LY