By Jeff Maisey
There are many enlightened views of travel. All are worthy of exploring.
In the early 1600s, it was the duty of every able-bodied young English gentleman to travel as a means of enhancing his knowledge of the world and thus his education.
Today, travel writer and public television travel guru Rick Steves encourages folks to “travel as a political act.” The best way to have a better understanding of the world and make it a better place is to venture abroad and engage people face-to-face. Make new friends. Show them Americans aren’t so bad after all, and in turn gain a greater appreciation of everyday citizens from a far-off place. Anthony Bourdain does the same through his CNN travelogue program where he shows viewers a behind-the-scenes, unfiltered glimpse of people’s daily lives through food, drink and culture.
Indeed, there are many reasons why people choose to travel, but the mechanics of pulling-off a trip aren’t so easy for some. An adventure to India may long have been a bucket list destination, but the land itself seemed too intimidating to undertake alone or as a large “bus tour” screaming “I’m an American tourist.”
If you are one of those would-be world travelers who desire a uniquely intimate travel experience with likeminded people who value roaming in small packs to exotic locations, Andrew Nusbaum has a new company you should know about.
In July, Nusbaum officially launched Nuz Travel. Its motto: “Not your typical travel company because you are not the typical tourist.”
Nuz Travel starts its select destination offerings with two countries Nusbaum has endeared himself to: India and Peru. For one set price, Nuz Travel will take care of everything from booking flights to dinner, bus/train transfers to tipping. Just show up on time and be ready for the experience of a lifetime.
To learn more about Andrew Nusbaum’s travel ideas, I thought it’d be fun to use the following Q&A format for the benefit of our readers. Be sure to visit the website where details on 2018 itineraries are listed in detail under “Destinations.” You’ll get to experience India and Peru with the help of locals from each country as well as Nusbaum himself.
What are some of your earliest memories of travel?
As a teenager my grandparents took my sister and I on a trip to Europe. We hadn’t traveled internationally at that point so it exposed us to different ways of life. However, it was in my 20s when I spent a couple weeks volunteering in an orphanage in Peru that my passion for traveling took off.
What are your Top 3 favorite travel destinations and why?
India for sure holds a special place in my heart as I had the opportunity to live there for over a year and has been a place I continue to visit (nothing like Indian weddings!). India is a place unlike anywhere I have ever been. It is a place of great contrasts. For me it is almost like a tidal wave. If you roll with it, India has so much to offer you. If you fight it, India can be challenging. However, with all India provides, nothing is as special as the people you encounter. India truly has some of the warmest, most authentic people I have ever met.
Peru would, of course, be in my top 3 as well. Peru is special to me because as I have mentioned earlier, Peru was my first introduction into service based traveling. I shared a house with folks from all over the world and we spent our free time traveling and experiencing Peru together. Much like India, Peru has some of the kindest folks I have met and they are passionate about showing off their beautiful country. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to revisit Peru a couple years later with my mom. We volunteered on an Operation Smile medical mission and then spent some time traveling together…very special trip!
To round out my top three I’d add anywhere new! The toughest part of travel for me is the desire to return to places I love and see old friends. This presents the obvious challenge of making time to visit new places and have new experiences. Therefore, anywhere new intrigues me.
Can you share your view on why the experience of travel is important to you?
Travel reminds me we live in a big world with many different ways of life. It is easy to exist in the routine and comforts of home. Travel, for me, offers a wider lens at which to look at life. Learning, sharing, and connecting with different cultures puts everything into perspective and reinforces my passion for living. Travel teaches me to keep an open mind, be flexible, and not to sweat the small stuff!
What led to your decision to launch Nuz Travel?
The idea came about 1 ½ years ago when I was returning from India. I had spent about 12 days with a close friend who had never traveled outside of the country. From the outset of the trip my focus shifted from myself to her. It was going to be a good trip for me if she stayed safe, healthy, and had the time of her life. Luckily, all three were accomplished. On the flight home I realized how much I enjoyed the experience of leading someone through a place that can be overwhelming and thought…maybe we could arrange these types of trips for groups? I chatted with my close friends in India and Peru and we decided to give it a shot! This past March we had seven team members ranging in age from 24-70 make the trip to India and it couldn’t have gone any better!
What is the philosophy behind the company?
The philosophy is simple. It is to connect people through fun and meaningful experiences. Anyone can read about or even go and touch places like the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu. However it is through connecting with people and sharing experiences that we believe makes this travel experience special.
What can travelers expect when they sign up for either of your itineraries to India and/or Peru?
Travelers can expect a true soup to nuts experience. We will do our absolute best to ensure that you are well prepared prior to the trip. The idea is to put your mind at ease so that you can enjoy your travel experience and not worry about the stressful part of travel. From booking your flights, to arranging transportation, to tipping when appropriate we’ve got you covered. Everything is included in the price of your trip (alcohol and souvenirs excluded). The team at Nuz Travel has loads of experience dealing with international travel groups and all share the common goal of wanting to show you the time of your life!
What does your 5-year business plan look like in terms of expansion and enhancements?
As we are a small boutique travel company, we are excited to grow slowly and smartly. We will only consider places where we can add great value to your travel experience. For now that is Peru and India. However, as we grow we will certainly add new destinations and we welcome suggestions!
Any additional information?
Philanthropy is a big part of Nuz Travel. Every trip we make a visit to and support either an orphanage or local school. On our first trip we visited/supported the Aseema school www.aseema.org
Lastly, the value of our service is group travel but we are always happy to offer suggestions or answer any questions you may have regarding your own travel to India or Peru. Check out our new website at www.nuztravel.com