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Pat Schneider

Roseland, New Jersey Travel Agent

Special Interest Travel

Is there something you are passionate about? One of the best ways to connect with a destination and with locals is to follow your interests. Through my worldwide network of contacts, I often can arrange for a guide or a meeting with a local who shares your passion.

If you are fascinated by art or even a particular artist, I can arrange for an art guide. Often it is an artist or an art student or professor. Even more exciting, if your favorite artist did a lot of his work in the place you plan to visit then you often can not only see his works but go to the actual vistas that they were inspired by. And if you’re lucky, there may even be a special exhibit to see while you are there. 

Many of my clients are photography buffs. On safari, everyone wants to get great photos, and most safari guides are good about trying to position their guests to get the best angles. For one client, though, that was the whole focus of his trip to Namibia. Knowing how long a photographer to frame a shot with the right lighting and angles, I arranged for a guide who was very accommodating and quickly understood exactly what my client was going for. The photos were spectacular!

I’ve arranged farm visits and winery tours around the world where you can meet with local producers. Are you into a craft like needlepoint? I’ll dig around to see if there’s a needlepoint store or group in the places you visit. Do you raise bees? I can probably find an apiary for you to visit where you can meet with the owner. If there’s a sport you enjoy such as tennis, perhaps a lesson or a friendly mixed doubles match at the local tennis center would be a fun way to connect with locals. 

I find that children are usually most interested in playing and speaking with other children. I took my granddaughter on a Tauck Bridges Africa tour when she was 11. Tauck supports a local school at a village in Tanzania and takes its family groups there. To this day, if you ask my granddaughter the highlight of that trip, she’ll say it was visiting that school. She played soccer and spoke with kids her age about their classes, comparing notes on their daily lives. If you’re not on a family tour and are interested, I can often arrange for a visit to a local school for your children to connect with others their age. 

If you have specific interests or hobbies, I can usually find ways to work them into your trip. Sharing your passions is a great way to genuinely connect to a place and a culture, and often to make new friends.

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