Around the world with the Escampettes.
A (very) moving education.
Several years ago, a family of five approached R. Crusoe & Son with a request.
“Our family would like to make a study of world religions,” explained the father, Gilles. “We want to study on site. And we’d like to do this in 100 days.”
So began the Escampette family’s first global adventure—and one of R. Crusoe’s more challenging planning projects. Gilles, his wife Marie, and their children Damien, Lucie, and Alice, set off on a life-changing journey created exclusively by R. Crusoe.
Why R. Crusoe? Marie explains. “We wanted to work with a travel company that isn’t afraid to break new ground. We needed flexibility, not ‘canned’ trips. We wanted to go in-depth, not just check off each destination as a bragging right.”
“R. Crusoe is a different travel company,” says Gilles. “Their goal is to show you subtle dimensions of places you go—with first-class service, of course.”
The family visited 16 countries—Italy, Vatican City, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania (these two were a side trip), India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, and Japan.
“This trip was tremendous,” says Marie. “Beyond the discovery of cultures and religions, it was an opportunity to live this together and to get to know each other better.”
Did the journey go smoothly? “Thanks to R. Crusoe, it went extremely well,” explains Marie. “The staff pushed all the potential hurdles out of our way and solved all the paperwork issues before our arrival into each country.”
To read more about the 100-day trip and why they chose to work with R. Crusoe, visit the family's website.
Planes, Trains, Vans, Boats...
More recently, the family took a two-year sailing trip from San Francisco across the Pacific to Sydney, Australia, in their boat, the Waka Nui (that’s Maori for Large Vessel).
Then came a request from the family that R. Crusoe plan another extraordinary journey, this one overland from Sydney to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
In Australia, the family bid farewell to the Waka Nui and traveled in a specially-outfitted yellow Mercedes minivan that they christened the Waka Iti (Little Vessel).
“We wanted to expose our children to various cultures,” says Marie, “to develop a level of self-reliance, and to understand the needs of less fortunate people around the world.” The family also wanted to see firsthand the work being done by two NGOs—CARE and Terre des Hommes. Stops en route would allow them to do just that.
R. Crusoe went to work. There were hundreds of hours on the phone and lots of back and forth with Gilles and Marie. Reams of visas, permits, and the like.
We worked hard to make the planning for their trip absolutely invisible when it came time to travel. Our goal was to find a smooth road to take them where they wanted to go, but it also had to be the most interesting and richest experience possible in each region.
The family completed their most recent R. Crusoe journey, having crossed desert dunes, snow-peaked mountain ranges, holy (and unholy) cities, former war zones and peaceable kingdoms, Roman rubble, and Ottoman splendor.
Back at the office, we’re happy, and not a little proud, of the work we’ve done for the Escampettes. Sometimes, you see, it’s okay to toot your own horn—especially if it belongs to a yellow Mercedes minivan named Waka Iti.
For more information on this incredible journey, visit the family's second website.