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2016: Our Year of Inspiring Travel

Highlights from a year of gourmet exploration

2016 has been an exciting year for us and our amazing, curious, hungry-to-learn guests! There are too many moments and memories to share from months of satisfying travel that we had to narrow it down to a few of our favorites — like salsa dancing in Cuba or chatting with world-renowned chefs for our Journal.

Some of our most beloved trips were custom-made for private groups. Make sure to contact us if you’d like to talk about creating your own private travel experience, or read on to learn why these trips were so special to us and our guests.


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Cruising in vintage American cars down colorful Havana streets.

Cuban Adventures in Spring 2016

Cuba was the go-to destination of 2016. After President Obama’s diplomatic trip to Havana lessened many travel and flight restrictions, Experi was one of the first to travel with guests to the vibrant island.

Did our guests like Cuba? They loved it! Visiting organic tobacco farms and learning to roll the famed Cuban cigars, exploring the history of Old Havana, sipping on minty fresh mojitos made with local white rum, and meeting young entrepreneurs. Cuba was truly an experience, and we discovered the lively culture, unstoppable spirit, and fascinating history of this small island.

Learn more about Cuba with these Journal posts, and reserve now to join us in 2017:
How to Tame Cuban Rum
Whet Your Appetite: Cuba
Top 5 Tastes: Cuba


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Diving into the blue waters around Orcas Island to race to the small Picnic Island.

Orcas Island Paradise in Summer 2016

There’s nothing like traveling to someplace far off and unfamiliar. But! It’s just as amazing to explore a hidden gem close to home. In fact, sometimes traveling locally can be even more surprising. That’s definitely the case with Orcas Island, part of the San Juan archipelago off the coast of Washington state.

We shared some of our photos from a day of seafood-rich adventure in our Journal post Orcas Island: Seafood in a Pacific Northwest Paradise. Check it out to see our guests diving into the blue waters, touring family-owned organic farms, and tasting locally-harvested shellfish right from the bay. It’s truly a magical place that you can explore in 2017 during our Pacific Northwest excursion.


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Learning how to harvest olives in Cortona, Italy.

Tuscan Harvest in Autumn 2016

November in Tuscany is simply magnificent. One of our favorite moments from this trip was seeing the excitement in our guests’ eyes as they explored a picturesque orchard with the owner and had a lesson in harvesting olives, even learning ancient pressing techniques. This was a lovely afternoon in Cortona, but there was more to remember on the trip like truffle hunting near Siena and a full day of high-art in Florence. We really can never get enough of Tuscany and neither can our guests.


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Discussing Intro’s new Asian-inspired menu with Chef Gillanders, like this charred hanger steak. Photo: Intro

Fascinating Talks with Master Chefs

Chef Stephen Gillanders

One of my personal highlights of the year was speaking with the ridiculously eloquent Chef Stephen Gillanders. He’s currently the executive Chef and Partner at Intro in Chicago, and I chatted with him about everything from his extensive travels through Southeast Asia to his advice to folks wanting to travel for food experiences. His advice: “Eat what the locals eat… Also, eat even if you’re not hungry. I made this rule for myself where if it was around and I’d never had it before, I was going to try it.” See the full interview here.

Chef Jean Joho

We really got in the holiday spirit after speaking with famed Chef Jean Joho, a native of Alsace, France where Christmas celebrations are taken seriously. He made our mouths water talking about his favorite holiday dessert, tangerine spice cake, and had nothing but nice things to say about the traditions of his home region. “Tradition, travel, food, beverage, and culture – so much of it has been combined together,” Joho said of Alsace. See the full interview here.


After a fun-filled and inspiring 2016, we can’t wait to see what the new year will bring. Want to be a part of the fun? Flip through our catalog and join us in 2017!


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