Whole Journeys: Whole Foods Market’s New Travel Venture

Farm stand in Ticino, Switzerland

Tantalize your taste buds and satiate your need to travel with customized trips to worldwide destinations from Whole Foods Market’s new travel venture, Whole Journeys. Active foodies will be connected with cultural and culinary traditions, blending exploration of local foods, farms, wineries and festivals with active excursions like walking, hiking and biking.

“What we’ve heard recently is that (our customers) care more and more about not only knowing where food comes from, but also about sharing in food traditions. Traveling is a totally unique and totally authentic way to do that,” Kathy Dragon, executive director of Whole Journeys, told TAP as she explained the dialogue Whole Foods had with its customers in developing this concept.

I initially caught wind of this endeavor chatting with Dragon at the Adventure Travel Trade Association‘s summit in Switzerland this October. She’s utilizing her 20 years of experience and connections in the adventure travel industry to customize itineraries and will be escorting many of the first departures.

Dragon is passionate about travel and its affect on people’s lives and the world around us. She’s guided more than 3,000 travelers on group tours worldwide and seen its impact firsthand. Her quote in the release sums up conversations we’ve had about travel: “Why we travel, where we travel, what we do and who we meet while we are there, and how we share the experiences when we return home, can affect positive change in the world.”

Hikers in Cappadocia, Turkey

While levels of exertion and food experiences vary, according to Whole Journeys, all itineraries are designed to support local communities, respect the environment and encourage travelers to share each destination’s unique food cultures with one another and the food producers themselves.

“When people go on these trips, they’ll expand their own horizons as well as come back and share their knowledge with friends and family,” Dragon added. “Inviting people to travel – and eat from another culture’s table – sustains and shares the stories of global food traditions.”

Itineraries for 2013 are now available and trips will depart starting in April 2013. Whole Journeys’ launch includes a small portfolio of programs in Turkey, Italy, France, the U.S. and China, but more trips in the United States and South America are in the works.

For detailed itineraries, dates and pricing, visit www.wholejourneys.com.

All photos courtesy of Whole Journeys

Photo credit: Kathy Dragon

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