When most people consider their travel prospects, certain criteria come into play. Should the destination be a beach or a city? Stay stateside or venture abroad? Some daring folks even plan a bit of thrill-seeking while on holiday: Perhaps parasailing or river-rafting is on their bucket list. Then there are those people with a serious case of wanderlust, for whom only the most exotic of locales will do.
That’s where One World Trekking comes in. One World Trekking opens up some of the most unique, undiscovered and, in some cases, once-banned locations to both the novice and intrepid wanderer. The Himalayas, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Iceland, Morocco, Patagonia and Pakistan won’t be seen in brochures on the carousels in a run-of-the-mill travel agency, but at One World Trekking, this is everyday fare.
In 1985, having graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in accounting with no intention of spending his professional life donning a business suit and crunching numbers, Andy Crisconi packed up his car and headed west to Aspen, Colorado. He spent time working a variety of odd jobs, until a stint as a hiking guide changed his career path forever. While participating in the position’s required first aid training course, Crisconi met Mark VanAlstine, who had a desire to enlarge his small adventure travel company. This interested Crisconi very much, and a friendship and partnership was born.
While most people are familiar with the term "hiking," trekking is a bit different. "Hiking is usually seen as a short term outing, such as going out on a day hike," Crisconi says. "Trekking is a longer term journey or some would say a pilgrimage of sorts. Trekking trips are run as mini-expeditions where the group moves from camp to camp supported by guides, a cook staff and human porters or pack animals. Unlike backpacking, each group member only needs to carry a daypack during the day of trekking." The company also offers bike tours. The One World Trekking Facebook page advertises a bike trip across the middle hills of Nepal, beginning in Kathmandu on October 9 of this year, with tour guide Charles Engelbert.
As these destinations are very distinctive in their cultural and spiritual atmospheres, Crisconi often finds travelers participating in these treks for reasons other than a sense of adventure or their next physical challenge. "Many people are in some sort of life transition. These trips allow us to escape – in a healthy way – our reality back at home, if only for a couple of weeks," he says.
And Crisconi says it’s not necessary for prospective participants to train like Olympians – there are truly treks for all levels of travelers. "We offer trips for all levels of physical fitness, ambition and lengths of time. Most of our trips are totally doable by someone in good health. If you like to walk, gaze upon spectacular mountain scenery and experience different cultures, a trekking vacation is for you. The potential issue is that most trips, especially in the Himalayas, go up to altitudes most people haven’t been to before. However, with a slow and steady walking pace, adequate fluid intake and an open/positive attitude, we see very few issues at all on the trips."