About JOURNEYS International
JOURNEYS grew from our gratifying experiences in the Peace Corps and as teachers, conservation workers and travelers in Nepal in the early 1970’s. We learned how inspirational and satisfying culturally-respectful and environmentally-sensitive travel can be. After returning to graduate school at the University of Michigan, we longed to revisit the Himalayas. We sat in our student apartment and typed up (on a typewriter!) a one-page flyer inviting "curious, hearty souls" to join us on a "Journey to Nepal." We were clear about what we wanted to do: we hoped to share a place that we knew and loved with others who were open and eager for new adventures. We didn’t label this ecotourism, or sustainable travel or responsible tourism. We only knew that we wanted our travel group to be small enough not to overwhelm the experience, we wanted to interact directly and respectfully with local people and natural environments, and, rather than drain local resources, we believed we should make a contribution to their preservation. We were committed to the idea that local people and communities must tangibly benefit from this idea which came to be called ecotravel and ecotourism. We made this concept work and JOURNEYS today is an ongoing experiment and celebration of 35 years of ecotourism evolution in action.
Seeking New Trips and Lasting Friendships
Now there are many more people working with us – including our daughter, Robin Weber Pollak, who will lead JOURNEYS in its next three decades. There are also many more destinations in our tour portfolio. Comparing this website with our initial one-page flyer, we are stunned by the distance we have traveled, and also the constancy of our goals. Our growth has been steady but gradual. We added new trip destinations only after we knew them well and had established personal relationships with the people who would be operating our programs. We have a personal feeling for each trip on this website and in our catalog. Many of our staff around the world have worked with us since our first experiences in their home areas. In some places, like Nepal and Indonesia, Robin has peers in the second-generation leaders of our partner operations. We all continue to enjoy the process of developing new trips and personalizing each departure for the interests of the travelers.
Our task is to provide you with intimate access to other worlds. Every year we are as enthusiastic about each new trip as we were about our first trek. You, our clients, continually stimulate and challenge us to learn more and do our professional best. We are gratified by the trust you place in us and the appreciative trip evaluations we receive from you. We are repeatedly touched by the kindness of the people who work with us and befriend us all around the globe. If you travel with us, you will join a network of people who seek peace and understanding and offer cheerfulness, insight and compassion.
JOURNEYS Is About You
This "About Us" section is also about you. We are still involved in the day-to-day operation of the office and our travel programs. We often travel on our own trips and invite you to join us. Your interests and your search for integrity and authenticity have, perhaps, led you to JOURNEYS. Your travel satisfaction is our goal. JOURNEYS is the company you keep. We are just for you.
JOURNEYS International creates and delivers extraordinary guided adventures that fulfill dreams, stretch understandings, protect the natural environment, support traditional cultures, and foster connections between people.
Drs. Will and Joan Weber
JOURNEYS Founders & Senior Directors
P.S. Our staff are the best travel planners on the planet! Read all about our team.