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Planners Talk Back: July 2016

Select Traveler asked these group travel planners “What memorable outdoor experience have you had with your group?” Here are their responses.


Pat Anderson, Director and Travel Coordinator, Northern Illinois University Alumni Association Travel Program

DeKalb, Illinois

“On our travel program in Turkey, we had an opportunity to take a hot-air balloon ride. Traveling at heights up to 1,500 feet, I felt peace, effortlessly drifting over the deep canyons, lush fertile valleys and dramatic volcanic landscape of Cappadocia. The combination of amazing scenery below and the explosion of color of almost 100 decorative balloons all around us was absolutely spectacular.”

Linda Johnson, Triumph Travel Club Director, Triumph Community Bank

East Moline, Illinois

“On Phillip Island, in Victoria, Australia, we gasped as the first ‘scout’ penguin leapt from the water and onto the beach to see if it was safe for the others. Taking turns, several penguins sprung out of the water, but quickly leapt back to the safety of the sea. Once they deemed it safe, we sat mesmerized as thousands of penguins shot onto the beach and paraded past us on the way to their burrows. Though we may travel to exciting locations and view amazing cities, an up-close encounter with nature is always thrilling.”

Lois Bax, Vice President, Central Bank Classic

Jefferson City, Missouri

“In 30 years of travel, I have had so many amazing outdoor experiences. I raced snowmobiles in Yellowstone, hiked a rain forest in Costa Rica, walked down the steps to the Ganges River in India, planted trees in Kenya and saw penguins in the Falklands. All are incredible experiences, but best of all is the sharing of those experiences with customers.”

Jennifer Bohac, Director, Travel ProgramsTexas A&M University

College Station, Texas

“On a safari to Tanzania and Rwanda, I was the most excited about the gorilla trek we did in Rwanda. It was my first time to do a gorilla trek, and it was life changing. To be in the middle of a family of mountain gorillas was amazing. It was fascinating to see their interactions and how they live.”

Randy Calaguas, Heritage Club Managing Officer, First Citizens National Bank

Mason City, Iowa

“On a Kenai Fjords boat tour in Alaska, I thought the highlight was going to be the glaciers. What I had not anticipated was the unbelievable sea life we would encounter. Our group was literally hanging over the railing of the boat as pods of orcas and humpback whales jumped, fluked, breached and all around performed a show that Cirque du Soleil could not have choreographed better.”