Thank You For Participating In Our Virtual Travel Adventures
It’s been a truly unprecedented year and a half, and we’re slowly getting back to normal life after social-distancing our way through the pandemic.
Fortunately, The Divine Destination Collection travellers were able to keep their love of adventure alive and explore new lands with two series of Divine Live and Online virtual travel experiences.
“Thank you to everyone for your unwavering support of Divine Live and Online over the past 13 months. What began as a virtual visit to Hunkapi Farms in Phoenix, and a few “Conscious Conversations” on coping in the time of a global pandemic, morphed into monthly exotic virtual adventures around the world,” says Allison Frame, who co-founded The Divine Destination Collection with Deb Niven.
“We are so grateful to our global partners for stepping out of their comfort zones and into the world of virtual travel experiences, and especially to all of you who supported us at a time when in-person travel was out of the question. We will continue to offer virtual experiences that will be in conjunction with upcoming in-person trips.”
Two series of unforgettable experiences
Fifty-eight people subscribed to the first Divine Live and Online series in 2020, which took them to South Africa for conversations with Zelda la Grange, personal aide to Nelson Mandela for almost 20 years, and Boyd Varty, who had a transformative experience after spending 40 days and 40 nights alone in the wilderness of the Londolozi Game Reserve, to discussing how the El Camino can change your life with Sue Kenney, who had accompanied the Divine Destination Collection on their pilgrimage in 2019. The virtual session was made extra special with a tasting of fabulous wines from the region hosted by Toronto wine scholar Jessica Chaikowsky.
The visit to see gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda was also a great success. As soon as it was over many participants emailed to say they were packed and ready to go see the gorillas in person!
“Just wanted you to know how fantastic this latest Divine Live and Online Gorilla episode was. In fact, there really are no words to describe the reality of the Up-Close-and-Personal soul feeling of this adventure and the multiple WOW factors,” one participant wrote.
The first series also took participants on some thrilling adventures in Canada, such as a boat ride along Nimmo Bay to explore the Great Bear Rainforest off the coast of British Columbia. And when they visited Churchill, Manitoba, the owner of Lazy Bear Expeditions, Wally Daudrich, streamed live from the lodge in Churchill and regaled the group with the interesting history of the lodge, sustainable initiatives currently going on to protect the area, and loads of stories about encounters with polar bears and beluga whales. He was such a great storyteller that the group could actually picture themselves sitting with him at the lodge over a cup of coffee listening to his endless stories.
As word spread about these interactive and intimate virtual adventures, which continued to offer that unique spiritual touch The Divine Destination Collection is known for, subscriptions increased to 73 for the second series, which just wrapped up on June 30 with a journey to Kyoto, Japan to see the cherry blossoms in bloom and meet a Zen Buddhist Priest.
Not only was it amazing to see the spectacular cherry blossoms, which cover the trees in a magical blanket of pink and white flowers, what made it even more special was seeing many of the ancient streets of the old town of Kyoto so quiet, as they are usually teeming with tourists. It gave the group the chance to truly take in the distinctive architecture and elegant Japanese aesthetic and imagine how life must have been there centuries ago.
Rev. Daiko Matsuyama streamed live from his Buddhist temple garden, giving insight into the two religions of Japan – Shintoism and Buddhism – and shared the true meaning of Zen and how to bring it into our own lives, especially during COVID. He also closed with a beautiful Japanese prayer.
Visiting exotic lands with a personal touch
The first journey of this second series was to Egypt to see the Great Pyramids of Giza, as well as to explore an extraordinary part of Cairo where three religions meet. To make the journey as up-close and personal as possible, Divine Live and Online’s partner in Egypt took a film crew with her and an Egyptologist friend as they explored Cairo and the Pyramids and ate at a local restaurant. The partner even admitted on camera that she had never seen some of these areas of Cairo before and was overjoyed to be able to learn along with the group.
Then, when the group caught up with migrating monarch butterflies as they travelled to Mexico from Canada to escape the winter, Carol Pasternak, a monarch butterfly enthusiast, author, teacher, and photographer, who has been raising monarch butterflies for 40 years, joined in on the call to share her knowledge and enthusiasm.
Carol has visited the monarch butterfly sanctuaries in Michoacán twice and showed up with a full monarch butterfly backdrop. Her passion was contagious, quirky, and delightful, as the group watched breath-taking footage filmed just for Divine Live and Online.
After a mystical trip to India where the group floated down the holy Ganges River to Varanasi, where it is believed that if you die there you break the cycle of rebirth and go straight to heaven, the next adventure followed Darwin’s footsteps to the Galápagos Islands.
University of Toronto Professor Barbara Murck, who leads students to the islands on summer study programs, teamed up with Divine Live and Online’s partner in Ecuador, Alfonso Tandazo, to share their soul-expanding experiences of the Galápagos. Both went above and beyond to share photos and videos from their multiple trips to the islands, and there was nothing they couldn’t answer about the flora and fauna – especially the adapted animals who inhabit the islands – and of course Lonesome George, the last of his tortoise species.
The next stop was experiencing the magic of Morocco through the famous Souks, or marketplaces, of Marrakech and a glimpse into the Berber way of life in the mountains.
Our High Atlas Mountain expert took the group through the outdoor market as he picked up supplies, and even filmed himself getting a shave. He then took the group up to a relative’s home to see how bread is baked in a traditional wood-burning oven and went up to the roof for a glorious view of the mountains and a traditional Moroccan breakfast and tea service as he discussed the harvest and the practice of tithing a portion of farming income to the local Mosque.
Making a positive impact wherever we travel
Deb and Allison have a long-standing commitment to making a donation to an important charitable cause in each destination the group visits, and they continued this practice with their virtual adventures.
Here are the charities your subscription fees helped support over the last two years of Divine Live and Online:
The Good Works Foundation creates innovative digital learning campuses, responsive programmes and demand-led social enterprises to create an accessible, opportunity-packed world for the next generation of rural Africans.
Conservation Through Public Health is a Uganda-based leader in mountain gorilla and wildlife conservation, championing the health of wildlife, ecosystems, humans, and their livestock in and around East Africa’s protected areas.
Helping fund the Churchill Fiddle Stix music program at the Duke of Marlborough School, a school of mostly indigenous children, where extra-curricular activities are difficult to sustain without additional support. Lazy Bear Expeditions has generously matched our donation.
Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation Awan Heart Centre is entirely reliant on donations and offers free state-of-the-art medical services to Egyptians, particularly to underprivileged and vulnerable age groups.
Guria is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to fighting child prostitution, second generation prostitution, and sex trafficking in Northern India, as well as achieving freedom worldwide.
The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapágos Islands is dedicated to providing breakthrough research to inform conservation actions and inspire humanity to preserve this extraordinary archipelago and our planet as a whole.
The mission of the Tamghart Nudrar Women’s Cooperative is to improve the quality of life of women in this rural area and include them in local development. They are currently raising funds for a shop to provide girls and women with the chance to earn an income and gain their much-deserved independence. Our donation has helped them buy and install floor tiles at the shop.
The Kodomo Taku-shoku Food Delivery Partnership is a home food delivery service for young families living on tight finances in Kyoto. It also helps prevent social isolation by checking in on families and helping them with assistance if needed.
Hooray for the return of in-person travel this fall!
While they enjoyed organizing virtual experiences, Deb and Allison are happy to return to in-person travel.
There are only two spots left for Revive… A Return to Joy, Substance and Resilience – where the group will head to the beautiful Fairmont Le Château Montebello on September 30 to October 3 for four days of relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation – as well as amazing food and great wine.
Located between Ottawa and Montreal on the banks of the Ottawa River, the historic Fairmont Le Château Montebello is the largest log chalet in the world. Surrounded by natural beauty that is especially breathtaking in the autumn, it’s the perfect destination to comfortably ease back into the world of travel. Find out more about this great getaway HERE.
You can also have peace of mind knowing that The Divine Destination Collection always puts your health and well-being first. Besides adhering to any changing government COVID lockdowns or travel restrictions, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello follows the strictest COVID safety precautions. You also have the ability to cancel with a full refund until August 15.
Register now by clicking HERE!
Deb and Allison are busy planning the next in-person adventure – so stay tuned for all the exciting details!
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