Ever dreamed of going on an epic travel adventure? That’s exactly the way our client Lee Ann Carter loves to travel! We spoke with Lee Ann about her most recent exciting trip to get all the adventurous details:
You and your 22-year-old daughter recently had some pretty unique experiences on your vacation to Sweden in January. Can you tell me about your first stop during that vacation?
We stayed at the Treehotel, and it was really neat. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of pictures, because it was so cold you can’t really use your camera since the batteries quickly went dead. But the hotel had several different treehouses; we spent one night in the UFO treehouse and one night in the Birdsnest treehouse. Both had staircases to lower down so you could climb in. They really were up in the trees, and when wind blew you could feel it, as if you were in a swing. The hotel was out in the middle of the woods, and we’d go to the main house where a super sweet lady would cook for us — everyone there was so personable and friendly. We’d have to walk a quarter mile through woods to get to our treehouse — it was like living in a Jack London novel!
Since we were up in the Arctic Circle, it wasn’t light for very long during the day — but the quality of light was beautiful, magical, like being in a fairytale. We snowshoed up into the Arctic Circle, and we played with reindeer — that was definitely my daughter’s favorite part. I was surprised by how well everyone spoke English; they were very helpful, and I never felt uncomfortable.
And what was the other unique accommodation you experienced on the trip?
An Ice hotel! We flew from the tree houses to the new location, and then we took a dog sled from the airport — it’s the coldest thing I’ve ever done. We were ferried by a professional dog sled team; it was intense. It was about an hour-long ride, and the dogs ran the whole time. We saw nothing but snow and trees the whole ride — we were out in the middle of the wilderness — and when we got to the hotel we realized we had ice on our eyelashes and in our noses. But it was still really fun!
We spent an amazing two nights at the ice hotel. Artists come from all over to design the rooms, they carve whatever they want to, so every room is different. It was really cool to see how different each room was.
In our room, there were plush furs over slabs of ice, and then they give you really warm sleeping bags that you sleep in on top of the furs. I was amazed at how warm I was, even though the temperature in the room was 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The only bad part was getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom in the main house! Other than that, we were quite toasty.
There were incredible carvings all over the hotel, including an ice throne. My daughter felt like Queen Elsa from Frozen when she sat in it! We also got a tour of the local communities, and they took us out to feed the reindeer, then they had a big fire going for us and cooked us local meals. The whole experience was so outside of what I’d ever done before.
You’ve traveled all over the world and have been to every continent — what makes you love traveling so much?
It’s really fun to do things you’ve never done before. There are so many different kinds of beautiful places in the world — I want to see all of them. I love experiencing different lifestyles and cultures, because I get to see we’re still all people in the end.
I also love traveling with my family. On the other side of the world, my kids’ cell phones don’t work! So we get to experience things together.
How do you choose which destination to travel to next?
For a while we were just doing all the continents, but when we finished that, we started alternating between warm and cold climates, and we paid attention to what a destination would be like at a certain time of year. Everyone in my family likes to do different things; some enjoy active stuff while others prefer museums. So we try to pick places where everyone can do something they like for at least some of the time. We still have a really long bucket list!
Where do you want to go next?
Croatia, to hike and see the stunning waterfalls. We can’t wait!
Ready to start planning your own off-the-beaten-path adventure? Get in touch with our experts to start planning today! We’ll take care of all the details for you, so all you have to do is pack your bags for unique fun.