Ingrid Huitema of Be Your Best Tours explains why travel brings out the best in us.
"Growing up in South Gippsland we were never far away for incredible hiking opportunities, most famously Wilsons Prom NP. I remember walking as a very young child with my mum, dad and sister from Tidal River campground to Squeaky Beach and thought it took an age! Of course it’s an easy walk as an adult, but it seems like such a huge mountain to cover when I was young.
I got into the walking tour business after looking for a change scenery and working in a senior PR position with the State Tourism Organisation but wanted to branch out into something that would give me less time in the office and more time in the field, flexible working life and enable me to have a family and be around the kids.
Travel has a special ability to bring out the best in people. Their best. It’s always amazing just how it can change people. Getting out and walking a few kilometres along a glacial river valley, breathing in the clean winter air, watching the first light bounce off snowcapped peaks high above allows people to shed themselves of the things that don’t really matter, and they can be their best self. That’s why we came up with the name Be Your Best Tours.
It’s not about personal bests, or highest mountains, or fastest times. It’s the opposite. It’s about going slow and taking the time to allow your best to come forward. We wanted to connect with travellers who want to be their best and help them in the ways we know best.
Where take our clients to the Himalayas and The Arctic. Some people feel they have to do a three-week trek across the Annapurnas when they visit Nepal, but there are much less demanding experiences that also offer incredible views of snow-capped peaks and a chance to spend time with a variety of local cultures.
Bhutan and Nepal may be neighbouring countries, but the landscapes and cultural experience is totally different. Bhutan is forests upon forests with hidden temples on mountain tops, while our Nepal trekking routes are wide open skies that follow the glacial valleys. They’re like two volumes of same story, but totally different.
Norway is about hiking up to ridges where glacial lakes and views of the fjords are rewards for a decent day’s walk. Autumn is a magical time of year in the Arctic, with golden colours during the day and the dance of Aurora at night. We chose the Tromso region of Norway because it’s such a wonderful place for Aurora sightings, and because the locals are great cooks too!
If you like doing all the planning yourself and are happy to take a few risks with getting lost, then you don’t need a guided trek. If your time is valuable though and you want to make sure you get to some great places and are properly taken care of at every step, then our tours might be the perfect fit for you.
Some of the walks require drop-off and pickup at different locations, otherwise the treks are too long to enjoy in a day. Some require a boat even. In the Himalayas it can be something of a lottery when picking a guesthouse, so having that local knowledge of who’s aunty makes the best yak cheese momos is critical!"
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