I think we’ve made it fairly clear that Grab Your Group & GO is dedicated to celebrating and embracing the power of connecting through shared experiences. Fresh back from a bike trip through Mallorca with Backroads: The Active Travel Company, I can say that this form of travel is the ultimate expression of sharing experiences while still allowing ample moments of self-introspection. What a powerful and unique combination!
By choosing to explore a location on two wheels (or two feet if you decide a walking/hiking trip is more your thing) you are automatically signing on to view more, to connect more, and to be challenged and stretched in ways you may or may not have expected. While on your vacation! I love this.
Of the 20 travelers on our tour, we were part of a self selected 8 pack of friends who are fairly seasoned bikers. We were merged with 12 other people with a variety of fitness levels and 3 charismatic, handy, and super capable guides. Ages were mixed but everyone’s favorite was a charming 85 year old former fighter pilot. 85! On an e-bike! He cruised up and down some serious elevations through Mallorca with the group. What a gift to have him along to offer real life lessons on a life that is continually well lived. He’s been on too many Backroads trips to count – supporting our theory that shared experiences are a key ingredient to sustained and healthy longevity.
For most of the time on the bike in Mallorca it felt as if you were either going up or down – encounters with flat roads were in scarce supply. Chains dropping (for me anyway) were a frequent occurrence and there were a few times I was dangerously close to having to walk my bike up the hill. But inspiration to dig deeper to keep going was readily available from thinking about my fellow riders who so ably and willingly seemed to ride/rise to every challenge on their very own terms.
Climbing to the top of a 5k hill creates camaraderie and the view is that much better because you had to work for it! Whether you are pedaling side by side on your bicycles or in conversation later about your achievement – sharing the experience naturally accelerates connections within your group. On our Mallorca adventure each person on the trip landed at the same phenomenal hotel every night. BUT each and every person’s journey on how they got there was their own unique experience that was shared in pieces over the course of our time together – at the top of hills, at wrong turns, at meals, over coffee, or by the pool at cocktail hour.
Another key ingredient (pun intended) to connecting on the trip are the group meals. You will be dining with your friends as you make new friends while sharing tapas, mallorcan bbq, at picnics, and at some pretty sweet breakfast set ups. Breaking bread. Clinking coffee cups or wine glasses. Figuring out how to split food that comes out in mixed proportions — all part of the shared experience as you relay the stories that define your trip and your life.
As a certain 85 year old said – Backroads is the only way I travel. Okay Nick! I see you. I hear you. I want to be you – when I am 85, of course, but also right this very second. Message received. Will do. Planning the next Backroads trip already. Who wants to join?
Or need help finding a best fit trip for you and your group? Reach out! Happy to help you with that too.
Note: Our trip was a level 3 – 5. About a quarter of the group had e-bikes. E-bikes make the bike tours entirely doable if you want to experience Mallorca. Personally I departed Mallorca stronger than when I arrived and enjoyed the challenges of the various climbs and the attendant zips down the hill.
The Backroads support team also offers a lovely safety net. Not up to a 10k climb in the middle of your ride? They will pop your bike in the van and give you a boost up that hill that might just push you over your edge of physicality. And they will smile while they do it. Backroads trips are a judgement free zone. Or if you want an even greater challenge – they will offer ideas for that too and make special accommodations to make it happen.
Backroads has trips with various levels (scale of 1 to 5 – 5 being the MOST challenging) so just pay attention to that. Not keen on biking for 6 days? They also have Walking/Hiking trips and Multi Sport Adventures which will vary by trip but will have some combo of biking/hiking/and a water sport of some variety (paddle boarding/kayaking/white water rafting).