Over the years, travel has evolved in so many wonderful ways it is impossible to list them all. Within this evolution, travelers decide what they wish to do on their voyages and book trips catering to those wonderful endeavors—from adventure and romance, to knowledge and quests for enlightenment.
Whatever the heart wants within these ventures, chances are, is now possible.
With the dawn of a new era of travel and types of travelers, comes the need for group vacations with like minded people. These are the travelers who seek a positive, fun-fill time away from real life and the ennui of the typical all-inclusive and resort traps. This is where Out Adventures comes in. With a demographic of mostly gay men between the ages of 40 and 45 years old from around the world, they offer customized tours, unique excursions and knowledgeable local experts to give each client authentic experiences of the lands they visit.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Robert Sharp, co-owner of Out Adventures. After travelling the world extensively, with fellow co-owner Steven Larkin, they believed there was a gap in the travel industry in relation to LGBT travelers seeking adventure and sustainable travel. They partnered with Intrepid Travel, for the first little while, to fill this void and revolutionize the way LGBT adventure seekers view vacations. Over the years, Out Adventures have grown exponentially running about 30 trips per year covering destinations such as Morocco, Thailand, Cambodia, Peru and Cuba (to name a few). When asked how far in advance a traveler should book, Robert replied, “Six months is the sweet spot.”
But this is not just another company. Out Adventures’ slogan tells its clients to get out and experience the real world. Robert would be the first to tell you, Out Adventures’ jaunts around the globe is not for everyone. On their website, they tell you quite implicitly, to “think twice before you book.” When asked why that advice, Robert explains “Out Adventures’ holidays fully appreciate cultures and lifestyles that are often very different from our own. You are not sheltered from the cultural differences, inefficiencies or frustrations that are part of the places we visit. The emphasis is placed on getting OUT and experiencing the real world.”
Quite simply? They do things like hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. It is not a simple task so you must do your research before booking with them. If you are not the hiking type then do not get that one—find another trip among Out Adventures’ vast array of globe-trotting festivities that would more suit your liking.
They are different from the mainstream travel agencies and package sellers out there. Why? The answer to that is simple—Out Adventures caters especially to Gay travelers and they are connected to the pulse of what their clients want and need. “The mainstream brand can “pink wash” anything,” Robert tells me. “But Out Adventures is more hands on. We can find ‘gay welcoming’ companies and guides. We’re more experienced in that area.”
Out Adventures is a fresh way of looking at what the LGBT community wants and needs when it comes to adventure travel. It gives them a positive place to freely go around the globe and soak in all the cultures and beauty the world has to offer. While Robert understands that not every experience will be perfect, he insists that Out Adventures plan and research everything to ensure their clients have the best, most amazing experience with their company and on their vacations. From what I gather from Robert Sharp, Out Adventures is not merely a company but a labour of love that they spread to every voyage they put together.
Oh and for you heterosexuals who would love to go—let’s say for some peace in the Galapagos Islands—with your LGBT BFF? Never fear, because I asked Robert about Out Adventures’ policy on that and he says quite simply, “you are welcome here.”
Now, if you’d like to see what Out Adventures has on tap for the upcoming season, please click here for their Calendar.
**A Special thank you to Robert Sharp of Out Adventures for allowing me to interview him for this article.