Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Zoom Backgrounds

Zoom Backgrounds

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Zoom Backgrounds!

There’s one major silver lining to our current situation, and that is that we have whole-heartedly embraced Zoom as a way to stay in touch with our wonderful guests!  If you’re looking for some fun Zoom backgrounds from beautiful destinations all over the globe, look no further. We’ll add more locations and themes in the coming weeks, but for now, enjoy our GALAPAGOS themed Zoom backgrounds! All of the photos we have uised we taken by us during our many journeys to the Galapagos Islands.

Click the photo below to be taken to the Google Photo Album where they are hosted; you can download them directly from the album.

Click for instructions on how to change your Zoom Background.

Scenes from Easter Island 2020

Scenes from Easter Island 2020

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Easter Island exploration, February 2020

Easter Island / Isla de Pascua / Rapa Nui

  • 63 square miles (163 square km)
  • Population 7,750
  • Annexed by Chile in 1888

Where is Easter Island?

Easter Island is one of the most remote places on the planet! Set in the South Pacific (as the most southeastern point of the Polynesian Triangle), it is almost 2,200 miles from mainland Chile and more than 1,200 miles away from the next inhabited island.

Why “Easter” Island?

Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen encountered the island on April 5, 1722–you guessed it, Easter Sunday. Of course, by then, this island had long been populated–since the 6th to 8th century, it’s estimated! However, the history of the Rapa Nui people is a much, much longer and more fascinating subject, worthy of study!

What are the big heads about?

You might be surprised to know they’re not just heads! These statues, called “moai” (MOW-eye), are full length, although the exaggerated heads do make up 1/3 to 1/4 of the statues’ total heights. The only place you really see the famous “heads” is at the quarry, where hundreds of full-length but unfinished moai were abandoned in a standing position, only to be buried up to their necks over the years. The rest of the moai around the island had been placed carefully on top of ceremonial platforms, only to be knocked over by intertribal warfare or potentially even earthquakes.

Ok, so what are the moai about?

There’s some debate about all things moai, but there are widely some accepted ideas. The moai were carved to honor deceased tribal leaders and thought to impart that person’s protective power over the community. They were carved from a central volcanic tuff quarry and moved to a ceremonial platform (ahu) overlooking the respective tribes. A common theory now is that the eye sockets were only carved upon arrival to the ahu and that the protective powers were imparted from the coral eyes implanted in the sockets once the statues were raised.

How do you get there?

You can fly directly only from two places: Santiago (Chile) and Tahiti! Easter Island has a huge runway because NASA developed it as an emergency landing spot for the U.S. Space Shuttle program, although it was never used as such.

Will you take me there?!

We can help plan Easter Island extensions to our future South America itineraries, for sure!

Galapagos 2020

Galapagos 2020

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Scenes from the Galapagos 2020

Enjoy some scenes from our January 2020 Galapagos journey, originally posted daily on our @RetreaTours Facebook page!

Kenya Exploration 2019

Kenya Exploration 2019

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Scenes from our 2019 Kenya Exploration

Enjoy some scenes from our 2019 exploration of Kenya, and stay tuned for future safari itineraries!

Scenes from Walking with the Buddha 2019

Scenes from Walking with the Buddha 2019

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Scenes from Walking with the Buddha 2019

Enjoy some scenes from our November 2019 ‘Walking with the Buddha’ Journey, originally posted daily on our @RetreaTours Facebook page!

Pick & Cheese!

Pick & Cheese!

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Pick & Cheese Experience

We made it to the new “Pick & Cheese” conveyer belt Cheese Bar (the world’s first!) in London. We had seen a video about it floating around on Facebook for a bit, and we were thrilled to be able to try it firsthand! We only had to wait a few minutes for 2 seats in the early afternoon, and it’s all bar seating except for 2 booths (within Seven Dials Market, a beautifully renovated West End banana warehouse circa 1902).

The concept is simple and amazing: just like conveyer belt sushi joints, there are domed plates of cheese on color-coded plates (based on price) and you snag whatever looks good to you! You can follow along on the numbered menu which describes the cheese, origin, and accompanying condiment. What amazed us both was the pairings. Some were delightful (the Shropshire blue on a chocolate cookie), some were deliciously clever (the honeyed garlic paste with a soft-ripened cow milk), and one was downright transformative (the earl grey tea jelly transmuted the extraordinary pungency of the washed rind “Renegade Monk” cheese). I paired it with 2 glasses of ice cold Cava and we topped it all off with a well-decorated soft serve blue cheese ice cream.

I’ve combined our own photos with the menu descriptions in this album. You can see the official Cheese Bar website at www.thecheesebar.com/seven-dials for the full menu. Once you see it in practice, it’s kinda obvious what a genius idea it is and you’re kicking yourself for not having it first! But we’re so happy The Cheese Bar brought it into the world & we highly recommend it for London-bound cheese lovers.

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Around the World Journeys

 

World Wonder journey coming in late October 2022–stay tuned and check out 2020’s itinerary for inspiration!

Asia

 

India

Nepal

  • Oct 31–Nov 9, 2021: Treat, Spay, Love in Nepal–celebrate the dogs of Kathmandu on Kukur Tihar. Coming soon!

Mongolia

Sri Lanka

  • Coming in February 2022!

Bhutan

South America

 

Galapagos

Argentina, Chile & Easter Island

  • December 8–21, 2021: Featuring a TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!  Coming soon!

Wonders of South America Journeys

  • Jan 6–20, 2022: Patagonia (Argentina and Chile) & Iguazu Falls, coming soon!
  • Late September 2022: Wildlife Wonders of South America, coming soon!
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

Cultural & Wildlife Journeys

 

Around the World Journeys

Galapagos

Kenya

Mongolia

Nepal

  • Treat, Spay, Love in Nepal–Celebrate Kukur Tihar! Coming soon! Oct 31–Nov 9, 2021:

Sri Lanka

  • Coming in February 2022!

Bhutan

Buddhist Journeys with Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

 

India & Nepal

  • Pilgrimage to India & Nepal: Walking with the Buddha, Oct 10-24, 2021, coming soon

Mongolia

Sri Lanka

  • Coming February 2022, stay tuned!

Ladakh

  • Coming Summer 2022, stay tuned!
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

January – March

 

April – June

 

Check back for more exciting journeys!

 

October – December

  • Argentina, Chile, and Easter Island: Featuring a TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!  December 8–21, 2020 (website coming soon)
  • Pilgrimage to India & Nepal: Walking with the Buddha, October 10–24, 2021
  • Around the World: World Wonders Edition, late October 2022. Website coming soon, but you can see 2020’s itinerary here!

 

 

 

 

 

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)
Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
I'm looking forward to our 2020 Around the World journey, especially returning to Petra!
Lauren
Latest posts by Lauren (see all)