They call him the “Tarzan” of today. But MovNat founder Erwan Le Corre’s real-life MO? Getting back to nature—specifically, helping people move instinctively in nature. You can think of his workshop as a next-level workout, except that it’s in the wild. Bouldering, scaling rocks, climbing trees, deep-sea swimming, lifting fallen logs—it’s the kind of stuff you can’t do or find even in the most tricked-out gym. His challenging weekend and weeklong retreats—held all around the globe in jungles, on beaches, near mountains—are for adventurers; designed to get you out of your comfort zone, back to nature, and back in your body.
Habitat for Humanity was among the first to make volunteer travel what it is today. And not only did Habitat make it viable; the company made the idea of using your vacation to bring good to the world a more attractive option than just: Get on a plane; land on an island. The ethos of the company is to provide housing for low-income families, and to do that, it relies on volunteers. The Global Village trips are relatively short—a week to ten days—and are available in dozens of countries all over the world—Paraguay, Zambia, Kenya, Cambodia, Mexico, and Nepal. Decide where you want to go, explain what skill sets you bring, and go make the world a better place. After one trip, you’ll almost certainly plan another.
We’re not the only ones who get that making profound connections, spiritual growth, and emotional well-being are all things that modern men crave. We started goop Men. Lucas Krump started Evryman. This B Corp’s mission is simple: to help men connect. Connect to what? That’s where it gets a bit more complex. In connecting to the wilderness through intensive guided retreats and expeditions to spiritually charged places like Joshua Tree and Yellowstone, men forge deeper connections to themselves. There’s meditation, overcoming physical feats, sleeping outdoors, yoga, group work, and much more. Back home, by attending weekly groups, they develop bonds with peers to support and nourish and maintain their hard work in a totally destigmatized environment.
Black Tomato Tasting Tour
They say you get to know a culture best through its food. And no one knows food better than the chefs who make it. That’s the idea behind Tasting Notes—a bunch of high-end trips created by Black Tomato, in which you travel to Basque Country or Peru or the Lake District in England or any of a handful of places to eat, taste, and immerse yourself in that particular culinary world. The trips are incredibly luxurious, designed by chefs, and often offer access to the places and the kitchens that are closed to the public. Come curious, and come hungry.
Known for planning one-of-a-kind, experience-centric trips, Black Tomato has expertly guided us in some of the most far-flung locations around the world, from Iceland to India to Vancouver Island. The idea for a luxury, fully customizable, all-bases-covered travel outfit came about when three friends, Tom Marchant, James Merrett, and Matt Smith, decided to parlay their collective travel experience into a full-time gig. The result is a well-oiled machine that churns out completely bespoke trips of varying lengths across a spectrum of interests (relaxation, romance, trekking, etc.).
This buttoned-up, award-winning adventure travel company is the brainchild of Royal Geographic Society Fellow Jeff Willner: His team of destination experts and private guides exhibit almost obsessive attention to detail when mapping out the truly unique small group itineraries. The six-day Polar Bear Safari, for example, includes two full days of traversing the tundra via a tricked-out wildlife viewing bus. You'll probably spot the native arctic fox, snowy owl, and of course, polar bears, plus they arrange dreamy coastline hikes, and a visit to the Cape Merry polar bear jail (where bears who come too close to human settlements are kept safe until they can be airlifted north). The Explorer-in-Residence series provides a rare opportunity to shadow real-life explorers and researchers on exotic journeys. Past examples include a George Kourounis-inspired trek through Turkmenistan—home to the “Door to Hell” gas reserve field—or a Tea Horse Road odyssey through China with renowned author Jeff Fuchs.
Ampersand is a U.K.-based luxury travel agency which focuses on really insane itineraries within India and Southeast Asia that revolve around the area's best hotels and lodges—Amans, Tajs, and the like. On the "If Tarzan Went to Sri Lanka..." tour, for example, there's whale watching, an excursion into Sri Lanka’s last virgin rainforest, and an overnight stay in a tree house. Meanwhile, the 14-day Gastronomical Tour of China offers a mix of exploring and eating: Sample incredible street food while wandering the historic neighborhoods of Beijing, feast on dumplings in Shanghai, and sip on green tea at a plantation in Hangzhou.
Abercrombie & Kent
Abercrombie & Kent is one of the grand paw paw's of the business, operating its vast network of guides out of 52 international offices. This means that no matter how far-flung of a locale you choose as a solo traveler (their catalog includes cruises, safaris, and private jet journeys), your comfort and security are guaranteed. Splendors of Morocco looks particularly great: Camel rides from historic city to city, Moroccan cooking classes, and stargazing from the luxury of A&K’s private tented camp.
Butterfield & Robinson
We love Butterfield & Robinson's relaxed approach to group travel, particularly because their trips are done by bike or foot (you get to go at your own pace). The trips are really nice, though, so you'll have luxe accommodations at the end of every day at which to rest your weary legs. For cycling enthusiasts, there’s the biking tour of Tuscany (with frequent stops at wineries). There's also a walking tour of Vietnam that includes historic sites, markets, and authentic Vietnamese cooking classes, along with a stay at the Six Senses.
Usually, the mention of a cruise conjures up images of tiny, windowless cabins, overcrowded pools, and really sad buffets. This company is a bit different. For one, this family owned, eight-fleet-deep operation is super luxe: Every room has ocean views, there’s butler service, and the dining options are impressive to say the least (it’s an all-inclusive affair, so you can opt for room-service too). While each suite has plenty of breathing room, the common areas play host to all manner of guest lecturers and activities (pilates, gyms, spa). And since the ships are small, they can fit in just about any harbor, allowing for infinite freedom when it comes to choosing destinations (and not endless lines to get on and off). This is a good option for families with multiple generations, too.