Participating in a group travel experience was never on my list of "things to do" for a few reasons. For one, I wasn't sure I would like other people to dictate my itinerary. When I travel, I like to create my own experiences and I thought of having other people around would mean giving up things I want to do. And I thought I'd end up waiting around for other people to get organized. I like to just get up and go, or not, if I feel like relaxing for the day. I guess I thought a group tour would feel constrained and inflexible, with a bunch of people gawking out of a bus window at the usual touristy attractions. But earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba on a people-to-people program with Benjamin Porter, founder of Small Footprint Travels. I've known a few people who have traveled with Benjamin and they have all had wonderful experiences. And he's a friend so I figured the people who would gravitate to him as a travel guide would be people I would enjoy traveling with. And I really wanted to go to Cuba.
I have to admit this trip was really a lot of fun. While I love to travel alone or with friends, Benjamin arranged group activities and we still had plenty of time to explore on our own. His guide style catered to my travel style of going for a local experience and getting a closer feel for the culture. Sure, I was a little anxious about traveling with people I didn't know, but I found this was a perfect opportunity to get to know new people and take the leap of traveling with a small group.
I became part of a new travel family and have lasting connections that will not be forgotten. I can certainly see myself wanting to have other opportunities to experience the world together. We all shared our photos and have "reunions" to relive the precious moments we had together.
I would recommend traveling with a small group and highly recommend Benjamin Porter as your tour guide. You can find out more at smallfootprinttravels.com