When I first launched Backroads out of my garage in 1979, I certainly had no shortage of obstacles to overcome. Recently, I’ve been thinking back on those days. The pandemic, like the beginning of Backroads, has been filled with uncertainty. In the last two years, we've seen again and again that things can change rapidly. But just like those rough-and-tumble early times, we’re weathering the storm and learning from every challenge we face.
Looking back on late March 2020, it’s amazing to see how much Backroads has changed. We’ve doubled our staff and we’re doing everything to give our guests the experience of a lifetime. My daughter, Avery, joined the company in February of this year, and I’m thrilled to see her bringing her business acumen to Backroads as she leads our Sales department. We’ve been training our team, refining our protocols and dialing in our approach to travel in a quickly evolving world.
The last year has been transformative for Backroads, but after welcoming more than 25,000 guests on trip in 2021, it’s clear that some things—like the desire to travel—never change. Folks are still eager to get out and explore faraway trails and roads, to discover new landscapes and encounter vibrant, fascinating foreign cultures. After 42 years, Backroads is still here to make that happen, with the same world-class support, exciting itineraries and expert Trip Leaders that have made us the world’s best travel company.
There have been some bumps in the road, but you can be confident in our continued commitment to put the guest experience first at Backroads—from the moment you contact us here in Berkeley until you say goodbye to your leaders on the last day of your trip. Regardless of what happens this winter, 2022 is shaping up to be an incredible year for adventure. When you’re ready to travel, you can be sure that Backroads will be there and better than ever. Speaking for myself, I can’t wait to return to exploring the world. The ups and downs of the pandemic have kept me close to the office recently, but next year my family and I are hoping to get back to doing what we love best—discovering the world with Backroads. I’ll also be heading off to Paris and Florence, where I’ll meet our newest European leaders and hopefully make time for a bike ride or two.
The last few years have given me a new appreciation for international travel, and I think that’ll make each croissant and cappuccino taste just a little bit sweeter. When you join us for your next adventure, whether that’s in Europe, North America, or further afield, I hope you’ll find getting back out there as reinvigorating, joyful and fun as I have.
See you out on the roads or trails,