2015 Exodus Grand Prize Winner's Experience
Sarah Deagle, Assistant Registrar of North Island College in Campbell River won the 2015 Exodus Travels Grand Prize Cycling Trip in Europe. Here’s what she has to say about it…
Sarah Deagle took the trip with her husband, who had never been on a cycling trip before, during the first two weeks of October, 2015. Sarah has been on numerous cycling trips before but found the experience with Exodus Travels more liberating because she did not have to arrange all the details herself and she didn’t have to take her own bike from one location to another. “The excellent organization and planning undertaken by Exodus in Canada and Headquarters in Europe made me aware of how terrific organized travel can be and what you can see differently travelling in this way.”
Although she’s been on vacation cycling adventures before, Sarah says: “this trip reminded me that cycling is way BETTER than driving! It’s such a chance to connect with a place, whether the people, the landscape or the soundscape. Being on a bicycle forces you to slow down and really see what’s going on.”
Exodus Travels shares similar beliefs regarding the magic of travelling by bike. “Cycling brings out the child in many of us and a sense of wonder - as does travel. Nothing compares to the freedom of two wheels. A bike lets you travel at your own pace, has minimal environmental impact and best of all presents you with a rewarding adrenaline adventure that once finished provides an unparalleled sense of achievement,” says Robin Brooks, Marketing Manager, Exodus Travels.
Sarah adds, “And, of course, eating is a lot more fun when you have cycled 45 km during the day on your way to the destination!”
Exodus Travels has sponsored a grand prize trip for the past 2 years and is sponsoring another grand prize trip for the 2016 Bike to Work Week which is a 14-Day Cycling Adventure in Vietnam. “We are thrilled to sponsor this extraordinary event that inspires entire communities to leave the cars at home and join likeminded colleagues, friends and families to give back while taking the road less travelled – by bike,” says Robin.
At Exodus, social responsibility is a key priority. “We believe that our type of small scale, positive impact tourism can bring benefits to many communities, help preserve the environments we travel to see, and provide real and positive social exchanges,” says Robin. Furthermore, in 2015 Exodus Travels’ donated over $700,000 to charitable projects in Nepal, India, Laos, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and Antarctica.
It just feels good to travel with a company with these values!
We asked Sarah to tell us about some of the highlights of her trip and she replied, “seems funny to say that the whole trip was a highlight, but it was!” Although, she did detail a few examples:
“Arriving in Paris right around the full moon and walking around the city, crossing over the Seine on one bridge or another, stopping for wine and charcuterie in a little café on the Left Bank. Then, the next day we walked through neighbourhoods in Paris, visiting shops and galleries, and one of the highlights of this was E. Dehillerin, Paris’ famed cooking store.”
“One of the little towns that we stayed in was near to Amboise in the Loire Valley. While out cycling during the day – visiting the final home of Leonardo da Vinci - we saw a poster for concert that night in an 11th c. church, just down the street from our accommodation. We knew that if we cycled like the wind we could get there in time for the concert, entitled songs of the Voyageurs. We arrived minutes before it started, complete with bike helmets and panniers, and were treated to some of the loveliest women’s voices, accompanied by nothing but a concertina.
“And the food, everywhere the food, from the food included with our trip to the food which we tracked down for lunches”
Sarah states that the Bike to Work Week Grand Prize Trip sponsored by Exodus Travels is “such a gift! We would never have considered cycling in France without this opportunity. I highly recommend Exodus Travels. I now get Exodus’ email updates on upcoming trips and destinations and I think that many of them look spectacular. I have been made aware of how much simpler and more interesting this type of travel can be and it’s a type of travel that I can’t wait to do again in the future!” If you’d like to sign-up to receive Exodus’ eNews updates, go to http://www.exodustravels.com/ca/enews/register.
Exodus sends a HUGE congratulations to all 2016 Bike to Work Week participants. “Ride safe, have fun and hope to see you come out again next year!” Exodus will be offering all registered 2016 Bike to Work Week participants $150 off of Exodus bike tours. Registered participants who log a trip during Bike to Work Week will receive a promo code. Register free at www.biketowork.ca.
About Exodus Travels
For over 42 years, Exodus Travels has been creating extraordinary range of active adventures to over 100+ countries worldwide. Specializing in small group and self-guided Cycling, Hiking, Wildlife and Cultural tours, after decades of experience making the most of the planet and the great outdoors is just our DNA. Whether for solo travelers, couples, groups or families, Exodus has a diverse choice of journeys for all ages and physical activity levels.
Exodus just launched a series of self-guided cycling tours where Exodus takes care of the accommodations, cycle routes and luggage, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace and level of ability so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Learn more at http://www.exodustravels.com/ca
About Sarah Deagle:
Sarah Deagle started participating in Bike to Work Week about 11 years ago when she was living in Metro Vancouver. When she moved to Quadra Island last fall from Northern BC, she started cycling three times a week from the ferry terminal with a number of other cyclists to get to her office at North Island College in Campbell River. She does this year-round, but states she particularly loves riding in good weather. “I love riding to work - it's a lovely way to connect with what's happening outdoors—whether it’s plants or birds. I have long days so it’s also nice to get some exercise during the day without having to think too hard about it,” says Deagle.