Looking forward to travelling together again

Looking forward to travelling together again

Looking forward to travelling together again

As spring arrived in Toronto, a third wave of COVID-19 came with it, and another stay-at-home order was issued.

The idea of in-person travelling felt almost impossibly far away as Allison Frame sat down to watch a first cut of the new Divine Destination Collection compilation video she had been working on with producer/storyteller Allyson Reid of Chockablock Media.

“I burst into tears,” says Allison.

The video was so full of stunning footage of all the amazing locations Divine had travelled to, along with clips of travellers talking about once-in-a-lifetime experiences that were even more spectacular than they had imagined.

“It immediately brought me back to why we do what we do. We offer something very special,” says Allison. “It was time to get back on the horse and start thinking about travelling again.

“I got my mojo back!”

Elephants at a watering hole. On safari in South Africa - FB
Video Production
Mountain Gorillas Uganda
Churchill Polar Bears

While travel will obviously depend on how fast the world gets vaccinated, and how effectively we get COVID-19 and all its variants under control, Allison and her Divine Destination Collection co-founder Deb Niven are already starting to plan some possible trips for 2022.

“We had been planning a trip to South Africa before the pandemic broke out,” says Allision. “We’re still hoping to do that, with the addition of a side trip to Uganda to see gorillas, but for our first trip we will probably stay in Canada.”

The beauty of Canada’s north had been calling to Allison and Deb ever since the successful Divine Live and Online experience with polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, last year – but that will depend on many factors, such as whether a mandatory 14-day quarantine will still be in effect.

“A trip to the States could also be a possibility – but everything is up in the air right now,” says Allison. “We’ll continue exploring our options and let our travellers in on the details as soon as we can confirm a great location. We know everyone is eager to get back to travelling!”

Scotland Experience
South Africa Group Photo
South Africa Group Photo

GREAT MEMORIES TO STAY ENGAGED AND HOPEFUL

Until then, both Deb and Allison have relied on some wonderful travel memories to keep them engaged and hopeful about being able to explore the world again.

“The majority of the travel memories that have soothed me over this time are from our Divine Destination Collection encounters,” says Deb.

“I have mused wistfully about the Varty Camp in the Londolozi game reserve in South Africa. The safari, and being up-close and personal with the animals, was beyond captivating. Our accommodations, the team at Varty Camp, and the camaraderie with our travellers was off the charts.

“On top of that, words cannot express appropriately how enchanted and spellbound I was by every second of every minute of every day we were in Scotland. Sacred doesn’t even begin to describe the majesty of the scenery and the way we all opened to deeper parts of ourselves individually, and in connection with one another.”

Africa is also a favourite memory for Allison. “It’s a place of great contrasts – from the modern, funky vibe of Cape Town, to the untouched beauty of the bush, and the incredible majesty of sitting on the edge of the great Victoria Falls. It’s the cradle of humanity. Africa changes who you are.”

Allison has also been thinking about the group’s trip to Peru. “We experienced so much – the sophistication of the coastal city of Lima, the serenity of the Sacred Valley and Cusco, and the mystical ceremonial ruins of Machu Picchu that had been hidden for centuries. Then we flew to the Amazon, chartered a small cruise ship, kayaked with the famous pink dolphins, were mesmerized by jungle wildlife and brought children’s school supplies to a remote village.”

MISSING SUCH GOOD COMPANY

While both Allison and Deb are eager to return to Africa, and Deb wouldn’t mind a luxury Caribbean cruise to some of the more out of the way islands like Mustique and St. Barts – what they want most is to be with their Divine Destination Collection travellers again.

Although many have joined in on the virtual Divine Live and Online adventures, Deb can’t wait for that first event when they can get together in-person with their “like-minded brethren.”

“We have such a connection, and I always come away from engaging with each and every one of our fans with an open heart and a warm feeling. We are all seekers and hungry to experience different cultures. We are open to the journey and just love to have fun. We also all happen to enjoy a great vintage. It’s an amazing combination of wonderful personalities,” she says.

“Many of our travellers have been on multiple trips with us, so we have formed strong friendships,” adds Allison. “Their support and enthusiasm, and their amazing sense of adventure, is just incredible. They truly say ‘yes’ to life!”

Simplicity Beach, Mustique
St.Barts
Galapagos hammerhead shark

A MORE MINDFUL WAY TO TRAVEL

Hope is on the horizon with the vaccine roll-out, and while The Divine Destination Collection is working hard to offer some great travel adventures, they are also looking for travel partners that will help them give back to the places they visit.

For example, while preparing for the upcoming April 28 Divine Live and Online experience with their team in Galápagos, Allison learned that they charge a “carbon off-set fee” to each tourist that goes to purchase land in the Amazon to keep it from being destroyed.

“I need to travel for my soul. I really miss the excitement of new experiences and new locations, but the pandemic has given us time to think about our impact on the world, and the need to be more thoughtful and mindful of where we travel and the effect we have,” says Allison. “We need to be kind to Mother Nature and mankind.”

Galapagos land iguana
Varanasi Sadhus

CONTINUING TO TRAVEL WITH DIVINE LIVE AND ONLINE

In addition to the upcoming Coming Back to our own Nature…Galápagos Islands – A Natural Selection, there are two more Divine Live and Online trips planned for this year.

On Sunday, May 30 you have the chance to travel down winding alleyways to explore the famous Souks, or marketplaces, of Marrakech, and experience the Berber way of life in the High Atlas Mountains with Marrakech Expressions… The Magic of Morocco.

Then it’s time to travel even farther east to Japan for Cherry Blossoms and Kyoto… Between Bough and Zen. Besides seeing the beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom, you’ll visit ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and meet a Zen Buddhist priest who’ll share his wisdom around meditation and the Zen way of life.

And to keep you excited about travelling in person again, be sure to check out the new Divine Destination Collection promotional video HERE .

Cherry blossoms and parasols, Kyoto

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Behind the scenes at Divine Live and Online

Behind the scenes at Divine Live and Online

Behind the scenes at Divine Live and Online

It’s been a year like no other. We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of doing things – from working at home and ordering groceries online, to wearing masks and staying local.

When Canada started to shut down last March, the Divine Destination Collection pivoted quickly. A June trip to the South of France was put on pause, and co-founders Deb Niven and Allison Frame started working on a new, virtual way to engage their loyal travellers until it was safe to travel again.

“We quickly found out that organizing a virtual experience is completely different than planning a regular trip,” says Allison. “Divine Live and Online forced us to dive into a whole new way of experiencing the world and find effective ways to use technology to bring great adventures to life.”

Sacred South of France, Lavender Fields
Trip Planning
Rolodex

A new process for virtual travel

Despite being knocked off their feet at first by the repercussions of the global pandemic and how it would affect the travel industry, Deb and Allison regrouped and were researching their first series of virtual experiences by April. And just like any Divine Destination Collection trip, they found each virtual experience takes months of planning.

The process actually starts off the same as an actual trip – finding an interesting and unique destination that captures that special spiritual aspect The Divine Destination Collection is known for. But now Allison and Deb also needed to make sure the location and experience would work well in a virtual format.

“I began by reaching for my rolodex of contacts from around the world and making calls,” says Allison. “Since this was pretty new for everyone, some people said no, explaining that virtual experiences weren’t really their thing, but fortunately lots said yes.”

Once they had a broad list of possible destinations, Deb and Allison narrowed it down to determine which could create a customized experience that would set them apart from all the virtual experiences found online.

“We didn’t want this to be like a traditional travelogue, or a National Geographic-style documentary. We wanted people to feel like they were actually in the destination, seeing things from their point of view. We also wanted to add some live interaction, so people could ask a local expert questions about what they were seeing.”

Video Production
Drone Camera
Drone Camera

How to produce an interactive video

“It takes a village, that’s for sure and we have a team of wonderful experts that we draw upon” says Allison. “From amazing contacts in each destination to a cracker jack production company in Toronto who either consult on video production or does the actual editing of the raw destination footage into a dynamic video.  The first step is sending a film crew out to the destination and setting up interviews with the people who will appear on screen. This involves writing a script and compiling detailed filming notes and interview questions, as well as figuring out the equipment the crew will need. For example, if a crew is hiking to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, they can’t be lugging around massive cameras to catch gorillas in action. They need small, light equipment that produces great quality video – which can be quite expensive. Also, animals never seem to appear on command so often it takes hours to film what ends up being a 30 minute long video.

Timing is also incredibly important.

“We need to film each location at just the right time,” says Allison. “For example, it gets foggy in India at a certain time of the year, so we can’t film then, or if it’s winter in Morocco now, we have to wait until the spring. Sometimes the window for filming is even more narrow, such as being there at the exact moment monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico, or cherry blossoms burst open in Japan.”

Once filming is done at the optimum time, a rough cut of the footage is prepared – either at the destination, or in Toronto by the Divine’s amazing production company.

What follows next is a flurry of Zoom calls and emails between Allison, the team in the destination and the production company as the video is edited down into its final form. At the same time arrangements are made to book and brief the people who will take part in the live portions of the experience – which often includes juggling different time zones.

Gorillas Uganda
Monarch Butterfly, Mexico
Cherry Blossoms
Zoom Rehearsal
Zoom Rehearsal

More to do before going live

Finally, at least one week before the Divine Live and Online call is scheduled, a full-dress rehearsal is arranged to work out any glitches.

“Of course, just as in life, no matter how well-prepared you are, some new problem will inevitably materialize when you go live,” laughs Allison. “That’s why we also have an unflappable experienced producer on each call to deal with technical difficulties like frozen screens, or mics dropping off.”

Considering this was all being created amidst a global pandemic, we can step back to pause a moment and be proud of how our teams around the world have done so far! From adjusting to new Covid-19 protocols for safety, to dealing with production delays and last minute changes, not to mention the worry of having team members out sick – these have been challenges we have not had to face before now. Our experiences have shown us our resiliency and innovation!

On top of all the research and filming and editing, there is a whole slew of other elements that need to be completed for each call – including an exciting e-book and teaser to entice people to join in on the call, as well as updating The Divine Destination Collection website with new information and arranging online registration.

That’s why Allison and Deb were already hard at work on the 2021 Divine Live and Online series back in October when the first series hadn’t even finished airing yet. “Really, it’s like planning a Divine trip each month,” says Allison.

Some surprising benefits of going virtual

Besides keeping The Divine Destination Collection fans engaged in new adventures while actual travel isn’t possible, these virtual experiences have led to some interesting benefits.

“It gives us a chance to check out some places we always wanted to travel to, but thought might be too complicated, like India,” says Allison. “It has also added new destinations to our list. After visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza and the fascinating section of Cairo where three of the world’s oldest religions meet – the 9th century Ben Ezra Synagogue, The Hanging Church, where Mary, Jesus and Joseph hid from King Herod, and the El Refai Mosque, we definitely want to plan a trip to Egypt in the future.”

But perhaps the greatest benefit is the ability to take participants to areas of the world few people get the chance to see up close, like the Galápagos Islands. “We can travel to some of the most remote or challenging places on earth and provide a dynamic, first-hand view regardless of geography, political climate, or people’s physical limitations.

“We can also give our virtual travellers the chance to meet amazing people they would never normally encounter, like Zelda la Grange, who worked with Nelson Mandela for 19 years, and Boyd Varty, who had a transformative experience while spending 40 days and 40 nights by himself in the South African wilderness. Our participants can speak directly with these inspiring individuals and ask questions.”

Varanasi, India
Great Pyramids of Giza
Monarchs Michoacán Mexico

Beyond the expected

And just like every Divine Destination Collection trip, each virtual experience includes a unique spiritual element. The upcoming call on March 24th – Take Me to the River… The Ganges and Varanasi – the City of light & Death takes participants to the spiritual capital of India for an up-close view of pilgrims flocking to the sacred Ganges River. Besides washing away their sins in the water, and cremating their loved ones by the shore, some even come to die, as it is believed if you die in Varanasi you break the cycle of rebirth and go straight to heaven. Click here to register for this fascinating look at how death is interpreted and honoured.

Other virtual experiences have celebrated the beauty of nature, such as the monarch butterflies that migrate to Mexico each year during Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, and are regarded as the souls of the departed returning to earth.

Deb and Allison also continue to make a donation to a local charity suggested by the people featured at each destination.

After visiting Cairo and the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx for Pyramid Power in ‘De’Nile… Inside Egypt, a donation was made to the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, which helps fund the country’s Aswan Medical Centre for cardiovascular surgery, treatment and research. And after travelling to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico for The Butterfly Effect – The Majesty of the Monarch Migration, a donation was made to the Monarch Butterfly Fund to help foster the conservation of North American monarch butterflies and their migration.

Remember – if you missed any of the previous Divine Live and Online calls you can still buy membership access to the Zoom recordings and watch them at your leisure.

Geisha on Hanamikoji, Gion District, Kyoto
Varanasi Sadhus

Looking ahead to 2022

Due to the success of Divine Live and Online, Allison and Deb are planning to continue providing virtual adventures even after international travel resumes and might present these virtual experiences in conjunction with the actual trips they will be offering.

In the meantime, to keep you engaged until that magical time when we can all travel together again, a new adventure to Kyoto, Japan has been added for Wednesday, June 30th.

You’ll get to immerse yourself in the elegant Japanese esthetic – from the country’s distinctive architecture and traditional dress, to the incredible explosion of cherry blossoms that blankets the country every spring and go live with a Buddhist Priest to discuss meditation and the Zen way of life. Keep checking Divine Live and Online for more details and registration information.

And don’t forget to register for Take Me to the River… The Ganges and Varanasi – the City of light & Death on March 24.

 

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Staying engaged in the time of COVID

Staying engaged in the time of COVID

Staying engaged in the time of COVID

Deb Niven and Allison Frame call Friday, March 13th, 2020 the day the music died.

Two days earlier, the World Health Organization had deemed COVID-19 a global pandemic, but it didn’t really hit home until the 13th when the federal government asked Canadians to cancel all non-essential international travel, and schools closed in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and New Brunswick.

“That’s when the bottom fell out,” says Allison. “The weight of it all just hit us.”

It turns out the two Divine Destination Collection co-founders were attending a workshop that day about looking at their business from a more spiritual perspective. “We had a breakdown during one of the sessions,” says Deb. “We didn’t know what was ahead. What did this mean for the travel business? Were we going to lose everything?”

Deb remembers being crippled by fear. “The full realization that COVID was real and travel was out meant that my livelihood had ceased to exist.”

By Monday, March 16th most of the country was going into lockdown. Clients were frantically calling Wynford, the corporate meeting and incentive travel company that Deb co-leads, and The Divine Destination Collection had to cancel several trips they had been planning, including a journey to the South of France in June.

“I just wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head,” says Allison. “But Deb and I had work to do. We had to find a way to connect to our Divine Destination Collection travellers and keep them engaged during these uncertain times.”

Staying connected until we meet again
Conscious Conversation Call
Sacred South of France, Lavender Fields
Zelda & Mandela
Black Lives Matter

New ways to experience the world

Deb and Allison got to work right away creating Divine Live and Online a series of six virtual travel adventures that was so successful it has continued into 2021 and will become a permanent part of The Divine Destination Collection even when the pandemic is over and it is safe to travel again.

“We really started from scratch – not only learning the technical requirements, but reaching out to our contacts around the world to figure out what would make a compelling and exciting online experience,” says Allison. “I don’t think I’ve taken on such a massive learning experience since I was in school. It was hard!”

But delving into a different way of experiencing the world also gave them the strength to get through the fear and uncertainly of the pandemic. “These adventures to remote locales, exotic cultures, and majestic landscapes have really been a sanity saver and soul expander for me,” says Deb. “Each Divine Live and Online encounter has been a new area of discovery. The wonder of it all keeps me wide-eyed and hopeful.”

Monarchs Michoacán Mexico
Varanasi Sadhus
Churchill Polar Bears

Connecting to friends

With social distancing in full force, Deb and Allison meet up once a week for an outdoor walk – ensuring they stay safely apart – to talk business, but also to stay connected.

“I was not a huge nature girl, and before walking the Camino during our trip to Spain I wasn’t really a walker – but now I’ve developed a real love of both,” laughs Allison. “Going out for a walk is a great way to keep in contact with friends and family. And through Zoom calls I have been chatting with friends outside the city and the country more than ever before. It’s helped me make deeper connections and conversations.”

Deb agrees with the power of a Zoom call. “Each meeting I have now brings me face-to-face in a much more intimate way than I connected before. It fuels my day and is also helping me reimagine my corporate business and offer digital solutions so my clients can continue to value and reward their employees.”

In fact, thanks to technology such as virtual meetings, Deb realized a life-long dream to spend almost the entire summer at her cottage. “When you are working from heaven it doesn’t feel like work at all!”

Walking
Zoom Calls
cottage with lake view
Yoga and Meditation
Netflix

Keeping busy while at home

Besides taking at least four or five walks a week with friends, Allison starts off each morning with some mediation and Wim Hof breathing exercises to help reduce stress and boost her immune system. “I also do yoga every morning. It really keeps me sane through the monotony of having to stay at home.”

And although she says she has never been a cook – Allison has been trying out recipes from the New York Times and Deb has discovered Hello Fresh. “My 22-year-old son Jack kills the prep, and the recipes are out of this world,” says Deb. “A few Netflix series have also been consumed, such as The Crown  and The Queen’s Gambit. And yes, I did watch Tiger King early on, but c’mon… who didn’t?

“I’ve also been playing Family Feud using the Houseparty app and taking part in weekly trivia contests with up to 20 teams through Zoom with out of town family and friends.”

A journey inwards

Deb and Allision have also been using this time to focus on their own personal journeys. “COVID has really pushed on everyone’s demons. But since we can’t travel right now, it has given us the opportunity to travel inwards, to take a look at ourselves in the mirror,” says Allison.

Right now both are reading The Untethered Soul – The Journey Beyond Yourself, a book about inner peace and serenity by spiritual teacher Michael A Singer. They also find inspiration by listening to thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle and Russell Brand and Deb enjoyed the daily mediations by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra.

Allison has also decided to reduce her social media consumption – “so I don’t go down that wormhole” – and is limiting her news intake to one dose a day. But she continues to love listening to podcasts, especially before bed. Some of her favourites are by author Brené Brown, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations and This American Life.

“COVID has been a time of restoration, reimagining and rebuilding. Although March 13th was a traumatic day, it ended with a more peaceful me – ready for whatever was coming my way and in full faith that all would be okay whatever the outcome,” says Deb. “It was an epiphany.”

Russell Brand
Oprah Winfrey
Brene Brown
Monarch Butterfly, Mexico

Where to next with Divine Live and Online?

Need an inspiring adventure to lift you out of the winter doldrums? Turn those February blues to bright orange by traveling to Central Mexico on Wednesday, February 24th, for The Butterfly Effect – The Majesty of the Monarch Migration. You’ll have the chance to visit the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico, where millions of monarch butterflies fly from southern Canada each year to escape the winter.

You can also check out the other great virtual adventures planned for this year on the Divine Live and Online e-book and on this website here.

 

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A Look Back At An Extraordinary Year and A Look Forward To A Hopeful New One

A Look Back At An Extraordinary Year and A Look Forward To A Hopeful New One

A Look Back At An Extraordinary Year and A Look Forward To A Hopeful New One

From March of 2020 onwards most of us haven’t travelled farther than the neighbourhood grocery store or a friend’s front yard for a socially distanced chat.

Although The Divine Destination Collection had to postpone its much anticipated trip to the Sacred South of France – the Mystery of Mary Magdalene, and put future trip planning on hold, co-founders Deb Niven and Allison Frame knew they had to do something to keep their community of travellers engaged.

“We knew our people were really missing the chance to experience different cultures, ways of life, and amazing wildlife and scenery – so we reached out to our teams around the world to see how we could continue to offer some incredible adventures,” says Allison.

The result was Divine Live and Online, a series of virtual experiences that took participants everywhere from a boat ride on Nimmo Bay in the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, to Sue Kenney’s Life Lessons from walking Spain’s famed El Camino de Santiago paired with a tasting of fabulous wines from the region.

“We were thrilled with the success of Divine Live and Online. People really responded to the opportunity to continue exploring the world even though we couldn’t jump on a plane and travel together as a group,” says Allison. “It was also good that we were quick off the mark. We got to work planning these adventures as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown began.”

Lessening the Impact of Flying on the Environment -Skyscrapper
Lessening the Impact of Flying on the Environment - Climate Change
Perfect Group Cathedral Shot - Camino, Spain
Zelda & Mandela
Black Lives Matter
Varty Camp, Londolozi Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Churchill Polar Bears

New Challenges for a New Type of Travel

Although Allison and Deb are used to taking guests to some of the most exotic and remote places on earth, creating virtual adventures that can truly captivate people while they sit at home in front of their computer screens had its own unique challenges.

“It was a real learning curve,” says Allison. “Not only did we need to select destinations that would work well virtually, but we also had to ensure the technology wouldn’t let us down.”

Bringing a producer on board helped ensure each call went as smoothly as possible. “I think the best advice our producer gave us was to let go of trying to create a super polished, perfect production. The cracks are where the magic happens.”

As a result, last year Divine Live and Online participants had the chance to experience three speaker-driven presentations, and three guide-led action adventures.

An intimate conversation with Zelda la Grange, who worked with Nelson Mandela for more than 19 years, proved to be timely, with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement for freedom and justice, as well as inspirational, as she talked about the ability to change not only yourself, but others.

Later on, participants returned to South Africa to visit Boyd Varty, who spoke about spending 40 days and 40 nights by himself in the wilderness of the Londolozi Game Reserve. “People became very emotional when Boyd told his story of encountering a leopard and an elephant and how the experience literally changed the way he saw himself and his place in the world,” says Allison.

Then there was the opportunity to get up close to gorillas in Uganda. “The point of view was incredible – and we didn’t have to hack our way through the forest to see the gorillas,” laughs Allison. “The same holds true for the polar bears in Churchill. We didn’t have to brave the minus 40-degree weather to meet these beautiful animals.

“What makes these adventures even more amazing is the fact that some of our participants were able to experience places they wouldn’t normally be able to because of physical challenges.”

In fact, Deb and Allison were so happy they could take their fellow travellers on such amazing adventures they decided to continue offering Divine Live and Online as a permanent part of The Divine Destination Collection – even after it is safe to travel again.

Monarchs Michoacán Mexico
Varanasi Sadhus
Varanasi River Ganges

Another Year Full of Exciting Destinations

For 2021, Divine Live and Online is venturing even farther afield to provide first-hand explorations of exotic locations most people may have not been to, or even thought of travelling to, such as a visit to see migrating butterflies wintering in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico, and a boat trip on India’s Ganges River at Varanasi to witness sacred rituals that have brought the faithful to the shores of this holy river for centuries.

“These virtual experiences could be potential trips for when we can travel again,” says Allison. “Divine Live and Online is a great way to check out the desire of our travellers to visit these diverse and incredibly fascinating destinations.”

And just like the physical trips The Divine Destination Collection plans, each virtual trip contains a spiritual element. In fact, an emphasis on the spiritual has become even more important.

“The events of the past year have made us all become more mindful of our actions and the consequences and impact of those actions,” explains Allison. “We are thinking more deeply about where we want to travel to and why, and to find ways to make meaningful connections when we get there.

“We will also continue to be committed to leaving a place better than when we found it by making a donation to a local charity – even on our virtual trips.”

Pyramids of Giza
El Refai Mosque, Cairo
El Refai Mosque, Cairo
Galápagos tortoise
Marrakech, Morocco
Imlil, Atlas Mountains Morocco

Where To Next?

You can feed your sense of adventure and wonder on Sunday, January 31 when the 2021 edition of Divine Live and Online kicks off with a trip to Pyramid Power in ‘DeNile’ – Inside Egypt.

Besides a visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, we’ll take a journey through the ancient streets of Cairo to where three of the world’s oldest religions meet – the Ben Ezra Synagogue, which dates back from the 9th century AD, The Hanging Church, where Mary, Jesus and Joseph hid from King Herod, and the El Refai Mosque, one of the most fascinating Islamic architectural structures of its time.

In February we will be visiting the migrating Monarch butterflies in Mexico, and in March we will be heading to Varanasi, India for our trip down the Ganges River.

Then we will follow in the footsteps of Darwin with a trip to the Galápagos Islands in April for an up-close look at the unusual plant and animal life that helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution, and in May we will travel through the markets of Marrakech and experience the Berber way of life in the High Atlas Mountains.

To learn more about all these upcoming adventures, visit Divine Live and Online. These virtual experiences are available by subscription and you can choose one, three, or all five. Each call is recorded, so don’t worry if you have subscribed and are unavailable for the live call. It will be available to you for private viewing at your leisure.

“We are hopeful we can travel again soon, especially now that vaccines have been rolling out around the world,” says Allison. “But until then, these virtual adventures keep us safe while still helping to connect us to the world, and to each other.”

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More Amazing Virtual Experiences Ahead

More Amazing Virtual Experiences Ahead

MORE AMAZING VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES AHEAD

While COVID-19 forced us to turn to virtual travel to ease our wanderlust – it turns out virtual journeys can be quite fun and fulfilling.

“We were overwhelmed by the response to our virtual experiences this year,” says Divine Destination Collection co-founder Allison Frame. “We were so happy we could continue taking our fellow travellers on amazing adventures around the world that we decided to continue offering Divine Live and Online as a permanent part of our Divine Destination Collection – even after it is safe to travel again!”

To continue feeding your hunger for travel, Allison and co-founder Deb Niven have developed another great line-up of virtual travel adventures for the first half of 2021.

“I know our fellow travellers are going to be excited by what we have in store for them in 2021! In fact, the upcoming series would make a great holiday gift for anyone who desperately misses travelling, or for those who love to discover new and exotic locales – but without the hassle of airports, extreme climates and packing and unpacking.”

 

Divine Live and Online
Lessening the Impact of Flying on the Environment -Skyscrapper
Lessening the Impact of Flying on the Environment - Climate Change
Great Pyramids of Giza
El Refai Mosque, Cairo

The Second Series of Divine Live and Online

The second series of up close and personal virtual experiences kicks off on Sunday, January 31st with a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

With Pyramid Power in ‘DeNile’ – Inside Egypt, there really is no ‘denial’ that this is a great chance to experience the mystery of the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx before travelling along the bustling streets of Cairo to where three religions meet in one of the oldest and most spiritual parts of the city.

We’ll visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the oldest Jewish temple in Cairo, which dates back from the 9th century AD, and where a nearby spring is supposed to mark the place where baby Moses was found in the reeds. We’ll also visit The Hanging Church, with its wooden roof in the shape of Noah’s Ark, where Mary, Jesus and Joseph hid from King Herod, and the El Refai Mosque one of the most fascinating Islamic architectural structures of its time.

Lessening the Impact of Flying on the Environment -Skyscrapper
Lessening the Impact of Flying on the Environment - Climate Change
Great Pyramids of Giza
Monarch Butterfly, Mexico

Fly Away with Some Beautiful Creatures

Next we’re off to Mexico on Wednesday, February 24th, for The Butterfly Effect – The Majesty of the Monarch Migration.

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate more than 4,300 kms (2,700 miles) from southern Canada to spend the winter in Mexico. We’ll travel to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where these magnificent creatures literally paint the trees orange and bend branches as they converge here each year. Since the monarch butterflies usually return to Mexico during the Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, the butterflies have come to be regarded as the souls of departed ancestors returning to earth for their annual visit.

Varanasi River Ganges
Varanasi Sadhus
Varanasi River Ganges
Varanasi Sadhus

A Passage to India

Take Me to the River (the Ganges that is) and Varanasi, India – The City of Light & Death is our setting for the Wednesday, March 24th Divine Live and Online adventure.

You’ll experience the early morning sunrise from a boat on the holy Ganges River as the ancient city of Varanasi comes alive along the banks of the river. Known as the spiritual capital of India, pilgrims come here to wash away their sins in the sacred water of the Ganges, cremate their loved ones, or to die themselves – as it is believed if you die in Varanasi you break the cycle of rebirth and go straight to heaven. You’ll see this faith and piety in action right along the riverside as priests lead the faithful in prayers. 

Despite its association with death – Varanasi is best visited while you are very much alive! This extraordinary city is filled with more than 2,000 temples, and Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism there.

Galápagos Marine iguana
Galapagos tortoise
Galapagos land iguana
Galápagos Pink Flamingos

Following in the Footsteps of Darwin

On Wednesday, April 28th, we will be Coming Back to our Own Nature…Galápagos Islands – A Natural Selection as we Zoom to the incredible group of islands that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean, around 1,000 kilometres off the coast of South America, the Galápagos Islands and surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique living museum and showcase of evolution. Due to the seismic and volcanic activity that formed the islands, together with its isolation, it has developed the unusual plant and animal life that helped Charles Darwin form his Theory of Evolution. Since it has been declared a national park and an UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll be able to experience the penguins, giant tortoises, and other species found only on the islands much like Darwin did back in 1835.

Imlil, Atlas Mountains Morocco
Wool hanging in Souk, Marrakech
Marrakech Square
Galápagos Pink Flamingos

Play It Again, Sam!

While Casablanca was actually filmed at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California, you are going to have the chance to be transported to the real Morocco on Sunday, May 30th with Marrakech Expressions…The Magic of Morocco.

Known as the “farthest land of the setting sun,” Morocco sits at the intersection of Europe and Africa and is bordered by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll start our journey into this exotic country with an exclusive guided adventure through Marrakech where we’ll stroll through the Medina, an ancient part of the city with high stone walls. This is where we will find Marrakech’s famous souks, traditional marketplaces full of everything from handmade rugs to spices and clay tagine cooking pots. We’ll then leave the city to explore the Berber way of life in the High Atlas Mountains with a local mountain guide before joining a family for traditional bread baking and a cup of mint tea.

And because it is our vision to always leave a place better for having been there – The Divine Destination Collection will make a donation to a charitable organization selected by our host in each destination.

Choose your adventure

These amazing Divine Live and Online adventures are available by subscription and you can choose one, three, or all five.

Affordable and unique, it is just $229.00 CDN + HST for all five, $149.00 CDN +HST for any three, and $59.00 CDN +HST for one. As a bonus, if you refer a friend who signs up for a subscription – you’ll receive 10% off your next subscription!

Each call is recorded, so if you have subscribed and are unavailable for the live call, it will be available to you for private viewing at your leisure.

Why not register right now!

Give the gift of adventure this holiday season

Do you have a friend or family member on your gift list that misses travelling as much as you do? A subscription to one or all Divine Live and Online experiences makes the perfect holiday gift. It’s fast and easy and you don’t need to put on a mask or go into a store.

Order a subscription for them here.

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