Memory-making, one country at a time.
One look at the list of R. Crusoe journeys that Jim and Louise Barber have taken, and you realize you’ve found the quintessential globetrotters. As Jim told the New York Times recently in an article about custom journeys, he has had a hunger for exotic travel since he was just a lad reading National Geographic.
In 2001, Jim and Louise received a copy of Crusoe’s travel journal, and they thought their own vision of world travel might mesh well with our approach. They gave us a call, and the rest is history.
Since then, the Barbers have been frequent Crusoe travelers. They’ve taken four Private Jet Journeys with us. Joined us in (and fallen in love with) Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. Traced the Silk Road between Rome and China. Poked around France, Eastern Europe, Italy, and Dalmatia. Explored Egypt and Jordan. Trekked Peru and explored Chile (twice). And they’ve cruised nearly everywhere, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle.
“Before R. Crusoe, I planned our tours, but I came to realize that putting the planning in someone else’s capable hands allows you and your family to actually enjoy the trip instead of sweating every detail,” explains Jim.
“I love going with a company that has feet on the ground in the places you’re going to. It means that you are cared for— pampered, if you will—from the moment you step off the plane until the time you fly home.
“But beyond that, R. Crusoe arranges for you to do these essential things that you just can’t arrange on your own. They bring ideas to the table that truly make a trip memorable.”
Jim and Louise sometimes travel alone as a couple. Other times, they go with friends. They also travel often with their extended family: two daughters and their husbands, six grandchildren, a sister-in-law, and her two kids.
“When I took the grandkids [ages seven to 20] on the first trip we did together—Italy, Egypt, and Jordan,” recalls Jim, “R. Crusoe put together a terrific tour that had plenty for everyone. In Italy, for instance, we ended up in gladiator school. A real school, not something designed for kids. In fact, we needed permission for the kids to join in. We all learned so much—even how to joust!”
In Jordan, Crusoe arranged a family cooking lesson followed by a traditional meal of their own making. That, too, was a big hit for adults and children alike.
On a visit to Peru with another couple, Crusoe arranged dinner in a private home in the Sacred Valley. The six of them hit it off so well that the hosts dressed Jim and Louise in their traditional Peruvian wedding outfits. Much laughter ensued.
One of Jim’s all-time favorite Crusoe journeys was to Singapore, Thailand, and Myanmar. In fact, he and Louise so loved the tour that they have been back three times.
“I had traveled to Bangkok many times before, and I thought I knew the city very well. But R. Crusoe showed us so much that we never knew was there, that I’d never seen on my own. In fact, we so loved that tour, that we’ve taken our grandkids on the exact same trip.
“In Myanmar, we fell in love with our guide, who escorted us the whole way. We’ve invited her to our home in the States several times, but she hasn’t been able to come. Yet.”
R. Crusoe has gotten to know the Barbers’ travel preferences quite well. “Crusoe fills our days with lots of nice touches, with great hotels. But they build in down-time, too, which is important to us,” explains Jim. “They know my tastes, but they also know how to plan travel that works for the kids.
“My grandkids often ask me to come to their schools to talk about our travels. They have lifetime memories from our times together.”
What more could you ask for?