For Brenda Beardsley, there are moments on every trip that linger long after you’ve arrived home.
Like the time on her recent Legendary Machu Picchu & the Galapagos Islands trip with Vantage. She was at Machu Picchu, and she decided not to hike the stairs along with the rest of her group. Instead, she decided to take a seat in a covered lean-to. As she looked out over the weathered ruins, it began to rain, and she sat back and took in the whole scene. “I almost grasped the spirituality of the place,” she said of that rainy moment. “There seem to be moments like that on every Vantage trip where you just stop and say ‘wow’.”
There have been quite a few Vantage trips for Brenda – 35, in fact. “We’ve been practically all over the world with Vantage over the past 20 years,” she said. And there were special moments in each one.
There was the time on a glacier in Patagonia, when her group’s Adventure Leader poured drinks, adding a piece of the ice from the glacier. “They served us drinks over thousand-year-old ice,” she said.
Or the moment on safari in East Africa, when her Vantage vehicle pulled up alongside a sleeping male lion. She stared at it, transfixed, and suddenly the lion briefly opened its eyes and looked at her. “We made eye contact,” she said. “I’ll never forget looking into the eyes of that lion.”
Her experience in Machu Picchu was another wonderful interlude on a memorable adventure, and was complemented by the starkly different but equally stunning Galapagos Islands. “It’s such an amazing place,” she said of the islands Charles Darwin made famous. “The animals you see there – you can’t see anywhere else in the world. It’s kind of mind-boggling.”
One of the highlights of the Peru & Galapagos trip for Brenda was her Adventure Leader, Enrique Virto. “I simply cannot say enough good things about Enrique. He is smart, witty, positive, compassionate, caring, and cool under pressure. He really took pains to make sure that everyone was happy and taken care of.”
There have been so many Vantage trips over the years, so it’s hard for her to choose a favorite trip. Some stand out, though. “We love the President’s trips. Some of the places you go for the gala dinner… they’re in places you could never get into on your own.” And why does Brenda keep coming back to Vantage, time and time again? “Vantage offers the best value for the money spent,” she states. “I swear by that. The accommodations, the food… [other travel companies] aren’t up to the same standard.”
And whatever trip she’s on, Brenda tries to keep to the same philosophy. Slow down, and keep your eyes open for those special moments. “So many of those great moments I would have missed if I wasn’t paying attention. They’re so quick, if you blink you can miss it.”