Dear Fellow Adventurers,

I trust this message finds you well!

Wherever you are based, I am pleased to be able to say that travel options are now available to you again as global regulations continue to loosen up on a country by country basis.

The YellowWood Team recently convened in the UK's Lake District where we had a day's training with our guides, and exhibited at the Keswick Mountain Festival. We had an absolute blast and it was also a great litmus test speaking to people for three days to gauge the UK public sentiment which, whilst overwhelmingly positive in favour of travel, I received the distinct impression that many people are quite out of practise!  

[Image: YellowWood guides Graham, Caroline & Andy with Cathy at Derwntwater]

One young couple I recall in particular had just delayed a hiking trip in France to next year. I myself had just flown out to the Italian & French Alps the previous weekend (on 12 hours notice) for a spontaneous hiking trip with friends. When I explained to the couple how regular the travel processes have now become, I could tell they were disappointed in themselves.

And I think this anecdote captures what we are seeing with a lot of people - they are simply rusty and are sometimes needlessly delaying trips. I recall when I flew back from Northern Spain to visit my family in the UK after nine months without seeing them earlier this year how inexplicably nervous I felt going to the airport - I just hadn't done it in so long.

So yes, there are more forms to fill out and yes, tests need to be taken, but this is the time we live in at the moment, and if you want to travel you can.

So where does this leave YellowWood? We are running a special Christmas itinerary for our People & Landscapes of Oman adventure on Tue 21st - Wed 29th Dec 2021 (If you are interested to visit Oman but not over the holiday period please contact us at: [email protected]), as well as our amazing People & Landscapes of Lebanon on Fri 3rd - Sun 12th Dec 2021.

We are also launching a flurry of winter adventures in FinlandMorocco & Slovenia for some last-minute escapes in the coming months - so please watch this space! The majority of bookings are coming in for next year however, and we really do have some amazing itineraries on offer for you:

In Spain's Picos de Europa we have a gentle gastronomic and cultural tour in the Historic cities & foothills of Northern Spain, as well as the two hiking itineraries along the Trails & Traditions of the Picos and High Trails through the Picos, in Japan we have Tradition & History on the Trails of the Japanese Alps and the wonderfully unique Lost Islands of Japan taking you through the remote Ryukyu Islands archipelago. 

In Mongolia we have our Nomad Horse Riding Adventure and Sagsai Eagle Festival tour, in Romania the cultural tour of Transylvanian Heritage & Landscapes as well as the equally challenging and rewarding hiking adventure in the Wild Carpathian Peaks.

In Northern India experience the last remnants of true Tibetan culture Hiking the High Monasteries of Ladakh, in Kyrgyzstan you can travel In the Footsteps of Nomads staying in yurts and riding horses or choose the incomparable Tian Shan Wild Trek in the untouched mountains and glaciers. 

Discover the country that has perhaps perfected the art of sustainable travel better than any other along the Forests & Shores of Costa Rica; an Ecotourism Adventure, or in Ethiopia hike over Africa's highest plateau viewing the Wolves of the Bale Mountains, or head down to the Southwest jungles on our Origin of Coffee Journey.

I was interviewed at the Ethiopian Embassy in London regarding my recently published collection of travel writing Wax & Gold: Journeys in Ethiopia & other roads less travelled and you can also watch a message from the Ethiopian Ambassador regarding this and YellowWood's future travels. 

I am currently reading Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi. It is a gentle and beautifully written, capturing so much of the beauty of the people of Iran, whom we desperately miss, and although it remains a difficult country to currently access, we can't wait to resume our adventures there again as soon as we can. 

Until next time,

Sam McManus, MD, with Cathy Thompson, Head of Operations