At AdventureWomen, we have relied on the ideas, feedback, trip reviews and inspiration of our guests for over 35 years. We take their opinions, interests, concerns, and recommendations very seriously. In 2017, we wanted to make that even more “official” and we have now created an AdventureWomen Advisory Board of 19 women who have traveled with us over the years and are passionate about our trips, our company, and our mission.

 

ANN DEAKYNE

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Denver, CO.  I now live in Glenview, IL.

How many countries have you been to?
I have traveled to 20 countries, and I have visited several of those countries more than once.

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I studied Russian in college and still speak it if I have enough to drink.  I can also manage a shrill whistle to get the attention of an unruly group.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
I can’t think of anywhere I’d want to go, all expenses paid by another party.  Part of the appeal of travel and adventure for me is planning and saving to do it.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Geography, sociology, oenology.  Places, people, wine (beer if wine is not available).

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
Traveling with AW gives the option of going as a single woman to just about anywhere on earth.  While I think men are fine, in their place, traveling without them means everyone is on time, no one knows more than the guide, and so what if you look fat in those pants?  Traveling with AW means comfortable and charming accommodations and always the best food for the budget. And speaking of guides, AW guides are knowledgeable and personable and great fixers, as well as group psychology experts.  It no longer amazes me that AW travelers are always in tears when bidding goodbye to guides. Most travelers get much more from the trip than was expected. And the destinations of trips are places that have been well-scoped, but often away from tourist hoards.  Trips have a thoughtful perspective of the country/ies on the itinerary.  And local culture and people are celebrated, not just observed.

HELEN LEVINE

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in New York City, grew up in New Jersey, but spent most of my adult life in Washington, DC.  I moved to West Virginia for several years and then moved back to New York.  I currently live in Rhinebeck.

How many countries have you been to?
I have been to over 50 countries, some of which more than once!

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I love travelling alone, with small groups, and with friends.  Each offers a totally different travel experience.  While I traveled a bit when I was younger, most of the countries I have visited were after I turned 45!  I have started taking my grandchildren on trips, giving them the “gift that keeps on giving.!”

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
I would love to spend time in Rwanda or Uganda.  Seeing the gorillas is on my bucket list!

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
My favorite AdventureWomen trip will be whatever the next trip is!  I loved Bear Camp in Alaska, which was my first AW trip.  I have two more lined up and am so excited!  I even convinced my dear friend and travel buddy to join me in Mongolia.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
While there are many reasons, the one that rings truest to me is “kindred spirits.”  Adventure says it all!

 

BETSY DAY

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Glens Falls, NY.  Currently living in Bozeman, MT.

How many countries have you been to?
11 (only 11!)

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I worked for a travel company in the mid-1980s when eco-tourism was just beginning.  I was the resident marine biologist on cruises to SE Alaska and around Baja.  I gave lectures, took passengers in zodiacs to view whales and for shoreline visits, brought creepy crawly invertebrates on board for all to see, and shared as much knowledge as the guests wanted to absorb.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Antarctica (combined with Patagonia).

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Exploration, friendship, adventure.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
When you sign up for an AdventureWomen trip you think about your destination – the sights, the history, the native people, the journey, the photos, the memories.  You return home with wonderful memories plus deep bonds with extraordinary women from across the US and beyond who have all shared in and helped make those experiences and memories.  AdventureWomen takes great care to foster those bonds through small group size, well-traveled ambassadors, and a philosophy of inclusion.

 

LYNNE SRULL

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in South East Michigan but now live in Champaign, Illinois.

How many countries have you been to?
By the end of this year I will have visited 20 countries.

Tell us something unexpected about yourself?
I am an archery coach.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Australia, and New Zeland

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Adventure, new friends, knowledge

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other countries?
AdventureWomen is a great company for women who’s husbands may not enjoy traveling but they do.  The company is run by very friendly and helpful people.  I have been on many AdventureWomen trips and all of them have been well organized, fun, interesting, with great guides, food, and lodging.

 

 

CAROL KOESEL

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in NE Ohio and today I live in SE Michigan.

How many countries have you been to?
13

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I am a certified Master Gardener in Michigan and teach classes on vegetable gardening and landscape design. I also sing in a garage band while I am in Florida.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Easter Island or the Galapagos.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Challenge, Camaraderie, Curiosity.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
Certainly, my three words are reasons to travel with AdventureWomen.  On other trips whether by myself or with my husband, I have not retained the connections that I have made on my AdventureWomen trips.  I also appreciate the “luxury” of having a trip leader and local guides that I do not have to arrange.  Every trip has had leaders of the highest caliber. And when you hike with Gillian Arthur you will be challenged but also treated to the best wine and meals on the planet!

 

ELLEN BUMP

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in the Midwest and reside in Minnesota.

How many countries have you been to?
I have visited 60 different countries.

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
Although I am considered to be rather reserved, it doesn’t mean I’m not confident, independent and persuasive.  In keeping with the adventure theme, I convinced my parents to let me be a summer exchange student in Germany at an age younger than most (after 9th grade).  It was my idea and took me over a year to convince them, as I was really aiming for the experience to occur the summer after 8th grade.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Antarctica. I really want to photograph the landscapes and wildlife there.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Nature, remote, companionship

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
I haven’t traveled with any other company, because I discovered AdventureWomen and it provides what I want and need from an adventure trip.  My fellow travelers with AdventureWomen are independent, interesting, considerate, caring and interested in the rest of the world. AdventureWomen provides opportunities to visit remote and, sometimes, somewhat undiscovered places in the world.  The groups are small enough that you have the opportunity to get to know everyone.

 

LAURA LENCI

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I grew up in Roseburg, Oregon and currently live in Corvallis, Oregon.

How many countries have you been to?
I have traveled to 23 different countries (15 of them with AdventureWomen!)

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I am an avid dog lover, I have 3 Keeshonds that all compete in competitive dog agility trials. Jane Goodall was an idol of mine as well as Daphne Sheldrick.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
If I could travel anywhere I would go back to Africa.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Rejuvenating, thrilling, and friendships.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
They bring such a diversity of adventures from high energy to moderate to easy…you can chose to match your abilities…you travel with like minded women who share the joys of travel and deep bonds can be formed long after the trips are over….I have traveled with fellow AdventureWomen on other adventures. The planning is done for you in top notch accommodations and AW uses the local people for guides who are knowledgeable of the areas first hand. You have opportunities on trips to have free time to explore on your own and feedback from trips are taken into consideration.

 

RACHEL HEROLD

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Iowa, and live in South Carolina now.

How many countries have you been to? 
I have been to 12 countries. Canada, Mexico, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Greece, Scotland, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Nepal.


Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I work for BMW Manufacturing.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
An all expense paid trip to New Zealand and Australia would be wonderful.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Botswana Botswana Botswana.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
The camaraderie of an all women’s group cannot be explained, but must be experienced.

 

SHARON GRIX

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Missouri a long time ago…I have lived most of my life in Thousand Oaks, CA-almost 47 years in Southern CA.

How many countries have you been to?
I have traveled to 50 countries and most of them have been with AW!!

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I never thought that I would travel by myself- that was something that was unexpected-but traveling with AW has given me the confidence to go more places by myself.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
I would take a trip around the world on a private jet with a hand full of friends to off the beaten track….but other options would be Tibet or Silk Road trips.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Amazing, friendship, awesome!

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
Traveling with AW is so wonderful ’cause everything is taken care of, it’s a great adventure, and small groups. To experience different cultures and to interact with other women around the world. I have been traveling with AW since 2000 and it was because of the reputation of the company. Because of the dedication and details for finding the most interesting places to discover and experience.

 

STACEY BENGTSON

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in St. Paul, MN and moved to West Glacier, MT in the early 70’s.

How many countries have you been to?
I have been to Africa (Botswana), Asia (Thailand, Nepal), Central America (Costa Rica and Nicaragua) South America (Peru), Israel, and Mexico.

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I am left handed.

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
I would get a one way ticket to go around the world! And, take my time!

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Warthogs, cheetahs, lions….Botswana.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
When I travel with AdventureWomen I know it is going to be fun! It is going to be well organized, and I am going to meet some pretty amazing women who care for each other. Every trip I have done, there is a bond formed early, friends made and the hardest part of the trip is saying goodbye to these new friends.

 

SUE EIFFERT 

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Lawrence, Kansas and currently live in St. Louis, Missouri.

How many countries have you been to?
17

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Africa

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Awe-inspiring, historical, physically challenging.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
I have never traveled with another all-women tour group.  I like AW because it is only women, it has taken me to fascinating places and allowed me to grow in confidence, courage, and in understanding myself better.  It has allowed me to immerse myself in the beauty of the natural world, which sometimes is so easy to overlook and/or take for granted.  I have seen places, people, and things that were beyond the limited scope of my everyday life.  What I have seen in books and films pales in comparison to seeing it in person, up close and personal.

 

TANYA MCGOWAN

Where were you born and where do you live now?
The awesome USA! Born in Delaware, live in Texas.

How many countries have you been to?
31

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I’ve sky-dived, scuba-dived, mountain-climbed, sailed, rode camels, elephants, with amazing people and appreciate every day on our beautiful planet!  Life is an adventure!

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Mission to MARS!

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Mystical eclectic NEPAL: Exciting, enlightening, life-changing!

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
Safe, superior organization from a well-established, compassionate company that blends a perfect combo of adventure, cultural awareness & comfortable camaraderie!

LEIGH ZIMMERMAN

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Dallas, Texas and currently live in Austin, Texas

How many countries have you been to?
I have been to 14 countries so far and plan to add more to that list!

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I am a 7-year breast cancer survivor. I also decided to start running for the first time in 2016, fell in love with it, and just finished my first marathon in Houston (January 2018).

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
I would go to Germany! I am German on both sides of my family and would love to visit Wachenheim where the Zimmerman family still has a winery;  Musen where my mom’s side of the family is from; The Black Forest for the amazing scenery, hiking and fairy tale villages; and Munich for Oktoberfest!

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Inspiring, empowering and rewarding!

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
Women should travel with AdventureWomen because of the well planned and well executed itineraries led by knowledgeable guides which encompass an amazing range of activities. Being able to pretty much just show up and have all the details taken care of allows you to truly enjoy the experience, focus on challenging yourself and bonding with likeminded strong and interesting women. For me adventure travel is a way to enrich my life, reward myself and experience other cultures and AdventureWomen gives me an incredible opportunity to do that!

 

ANNIE CHILDS

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Winsted, Connecticut and I live in Watertown, Massachusetts.

How many countries have you been to?
I have traveled to 35 countries.

Tell us something unexpected about yourself
My parents were both curlers, so many of our family vacations would be to countries hosting World Curling events. Curlers from many countries would visit our home when I was young. Curlers are an excellent and jolly group!

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
I will always be drawn to northern climes, so I would go back to Iceland, Norway, Scotland, or Alaska.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Extraordinary, joyful, exceptional

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
There is a spirit of camaraderie with AdventureWomen groups that I have not felt with other travel companies. Even the ‘in country’ hosts speak of the always happy group dynamic of AW groups! Beyond participating in wonderful and challenging new experiences, there is such comfort in knowing one is an integral part of a fantastic group of women!

 

CAROL ZIMMERMAN

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born and grew up in Missouri. I now live in St Petersburg, Fl.

How many countries have you been to?
I’ve been to approx. 25 countries.

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I’m really shy, but AW brought out the best in me…now braver than I ever thought.

 

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Africa!

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Exciting, breathtaking, peace.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
AdventureWomen is the best.  My first Adventure was Nepal and I’ve never used anyone else for travel.

 

 LORI REED

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Torrington, Wyoming. After some time in Washington, DC, Alaska and Colorado, I found the place that I love to come home to: Missoula, Montana.

How many countries have you been to?
Colombia in October will be 21!

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I am a very independent person – I don’t believe that some of the typical life milestones (e.g., buying a house, marriage, children) are in my future. To travel is to live!

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
A multi-continent cruise on a small group sailing ship.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Active, breathtaking, diverse.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
I have been on multiple AW trips – and attended solo each time – and all of them were filled with laughter, fantastic memories, and the chance to bond with some of the most amazing women!

 

ALI RILEY

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in New Jersey, and I currently live in the Boston/Cambridge area.

How many countries have you been to?
17

Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I was Twister champion of my college; that one’s a real resume builder!

If you could travel absolutely anywhere with all expenses paid, where would you choose to go?
Tough question! Botswana, New Zealand, and Nepal are all very high on my list.

What three words best describe your favorite AdventureWomen adventure?
Big Nature, high-five worthy accomplishments, and friendship.

Why should people travel with AdventureWomen in comparison to other companies?
I’ve been on countless group travel experiences but the camaraderie on an Adventure Women trip is unparalleled. No pretenses, no fuss, it’s just real. The group dynamic almost outshines the destination itself! AW has given me the opportunity to make lifelong connections and dear memories that always make me smile.