By Jann Segal, 14-time traveler and 2-time Vacation Ambassador from Redondo Beach, CA
O.A.T. travelers just cannot stay away from travel and sharing their love of both travel and Overseas Adventure Travel trips. On April 29th, 35 O.A.T. travelers met for the first time all at once via Zoom. The invitation to join the Zoom meeting was made in the Facebook group “Friends of OAT Traveler Discussion Group” (not sponsored by O.A.T.). The meeting was successful, and everyone was enthusiastic about meeting regularly on Zoom and focusing on discussion topics. One popular suggestion was to have a topic per continent per week, and let everyone share their experiences on various O.A.T. trips—Africa or Asia for instance—and the trips they enjoyed the most. This Zoom social gathering both let people become engaged with the thought of future travel, and it provided some much needed "travel therapy” at a time when travel isn’t an option.
Other topics that will be discussed in coming weeks are tips on planning travel when you want to add some independent travel either before or after an O.A.T. trip, travel insurance options, and any topic that is of interest to those who join in. There will be separate Zoom meetings on photography as well, hosted by a professional and recognized photographer who is also an O.A.T. traveler. Topics for a photography workshop (or individual sessions via Zoom) were fielded in the Facebook group.
These online meetings will continue as long as there is interest. Of course, this might be more challenging once everyone starts traveling again. Please join the Facebook group to get the link for the current week’s discussion, and to have a little “travel therapy” of your own. The Facebook group also allows you to meet trip leaders who are in the group, meet others who may have been on one of your past trips, get tips on trips you are interested in, see photos and videos others have posted from past trips, and of course, to be reminded that we are all going through this unprecedented time together, and that we will all travel again as soon as possible. We look forward to meeting you!