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Retired Happy Couple


Imagine stepping through a flurry of cherry blossoms into an ancient Japanese shrine. Your eyes meet Yomeimon, or Main Gate, where they are filled with colorful, ornately designed beasts, flowers, and symbols.

One column has been deliberately carved upside down to avoid angering jealous spirits. As you make your way through the shrine, you see the Three Wise Monkeys warning visitors to see no evil, to hear no evil, and to speak no evil. Further in, you find the Zozonozo (Imagined) Elephants, carved by an artist who had heard stories of elephants, but never seen them. 


Suddenly, you’re invited to sit down inside a small pavilion, where a Shinto priest invites you to bow your head for a special blessing. He waves a special wand, or harai-gushi, over your head, wishing you good health and prosperity. You thank him, bow, and make your way to the end of the shrine, continuing your journey through the ancient land of Japan. 

No, you haven’t traveled back in time. This experience is one small part of a single day’s adventure in Nikko, Japan, artfully designed by your trusted travel advisor. 

Image by Ian Parker


At Cultivating Connections Travel Planners, we allow you to “choose your own adventure.” So tell us, do your long-held travel dreams include …

• Taking afternoon tea in an 800-year-old Irish castle, followed by a private falconry lesson where you’ll fly your own bird?

• Learning to make Swiss chocolate from a master chocolatier in Basel, Switzerland?

• Getting up close and personal with curious penguins in Antarctica, followed by an icy polar plunge into the Southern Ocean?

Whether your adventure style is adrenaline-fueled or a little more laid back, we can design the perfect journey for you, centered around your passions. Plus, whether you’re traveling with your family, spouse, or going solo, we’ll ensure there’s plenty on your adventure to appeal to every traveler.  

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

Why should a traveler like you seek out new and exciting adventures? 


• New Cultures: You’ll broaden your horizons through newer and richer experiences that make you a more knowledgeable and cultured person. 

• Exhilarating Activities: You’ll do things that push your boundaries, whether that means snorkeling for the first time, ordering your first espresso in Italy, or diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

• Learning Opportunities - Quench your curiosity with interactive travel experiences. Take a salsa lesson in Chile. Learn to cook pizza in an Italian chef’s private villa. Practice framing the perfect shot with a National Geographic photographer. The possibilities are truly endless!

• Fewer Things, More Memories: Authentic travel fills your mind with stories, adventures, and memories to last a lifetime. 

Image by Rayyu Maldives photographer

    Adventure Travel FAQ    

Q. Does “Adventure” mean “roughing it”?
A. Only if you want it to! A great part of working with Cultivating Connections Travel Planners is that we have personal relationships with travel partners all over the world. It’s very easy for us to design an itinerary with plenty of active days followed by spa evenings at a luxury hotel.

Q. Will I have to follow a strict itinerary?
A. No. Our trips are designed to have structure, but they allow plenty of time for exploring on your own too.

Q. I’m not extremely mobile. Are there adventure itineraries for me?
A. Absolutely. Although some of the more active trips may not be a great fit for you, we would be delighted to design an adventure trip with your unique needs in mind.

Q. Can adventure trips cater to my dietary restrictions?
A. Almost always. Whether you’re kosher, vegan/vegetarian, gluten free, or diabetic, the majority of our travel partners are accommodating to special diets.

Q. Can you design a trip around….(art history, an African safari, my passionate love of Outlander, etc)?
A. Of course! The travel world is so incredibly diverse--there are options for just about every kind of interest out there. 

Q. I’d like to do an adventure trip with my children and grandchildren. Do you offer itineraries for all of us?
A. YES! In fact, multi-generational family adventure travel is a great way to check lots of items off everyone’s bucket lists!

Q. Do you book groups?
A. Definitely. If you’re a business group, hobby group, religious organization, or any other large group, we’ve got you covered. Did you know that booking a group often comes with special perks and amenities? Find out more HERE.

Image by Ishan @seefromthesky
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"Erin is a great resource to book your travel with. She knows so much about so many great places! She also has a sparkling personality and is awesome to work with. You won't regret choosing her to help plan your trip!"

Norman, OK

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