We are so lucky to have friends launching businesses we believe in. Our latest business crush combines our two favorite things; travel and family. A2B or “Away 2 Be” was founded by Susan Lambert, who’s mission is connecting people participate in meaningful travel experiences. Susan started out as an instructor at the World Leadership School, and is a certified Yoga instructor. We sat down with Susan to see what A2B is all about.
Why did you start A2B?
I began traveling internationally over 18 years ago. After my first trip abroad, one thing became extremely clear: The most poignant aspect of traveling is connecting with people. Throughout all of my experiences, I realized there are few opportunities for people to have meaningful travel experiences beyond mission trips or tourist destinations, and many families don’t have the time in their busy lives to seek unique opportunities for themselves and their children to connect abroad. I see a paradigm shift in the travel industry. Soon more and more organizations will emphasize not only travel, but travel with purpose. As our current global issues become more severe, we are recognizing we have just as much to learn from other people and cultures as we have to teach, if not more. Away2Be empowers participants to shift perspective, build relationships and begin to create sustainable, international change.
How long are your trips?
The trips usually last 7-10 days.
What attracts families to your program?
The Away2Be Family program balances relaxation, adventure, global awareness and cultural empathy. Our trips are designed to meet the needs and desires of everyone involved. From volcano exploration and relaxing in a hammock to connecting with local children and families, Away2Be ensures that all will benefit, grow and change from their experience. Oh! And we have tons of FUN!
Where are your programs?
Our programs are generally in Nicaragua, though we host Spanish classes, group facilitation sessions and yoga classes all over the world!
What do your clients have in common?
The families who participate in A2B programs are globally minded and seek to provide their children a broader perspective of the world while simultaneously creating better relationships with one another. Away2Be families are open to new experiences and willing to shift perspective on the world. They embrace people and culture and thrive from new experiences.
Can you give us a sample itinerary?
Of course! All programs are custom-designed to meet the desires and interests of the family, but here is a sample program with Away2Be Family:
Day 1-3: At the beginning of the journey, we explore a volcanic lagoon while staying at a quiet shore-side resort. Families are oriented to the history and beauty of Nicaragua and often visit the “pueblos blancos” or “white towns” all known for their different, unique crafts. We may also hike a volcano or slide down one!
Day 4-8: The middle portion of the program takes place in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. In Matagalpa, families have the opportunity to eat at local restaurants, visit a chocolate factory, a coffee farm, nearby waterfalls and even spend time in “el campo” or the rural areas of Nicaragua. In the campo, families connect and interact with local families, visit their farms, eat at their table and learn about the day-to-day life of rural Nicaragua. Another one of our favorite excursions is walking through the rainforest at night!
Matagalpa is also home to La Casa Materna Mary Ann Jackman, a non-profit organization I have worked with for years. The Casa Materna is a home for at-risk pregnant women who come from the rural areas of Matagalpa in order to receive food, shelter, health education and transportation to the hospital as they await the birth of their newborns. Away2Be Family participants walk with and connect with the women of the Casa Materna, fostering an intercultural exchange and often, lifelong relationships.
Day 8-10: Our programs end in the mountains of Nicaragua at The Selva Negra Eco Lodge. Here, families can relax and enjoy waking up to the sounds of howler monkeys. There are numerous trails for walking, running and hiking and enough coffee and German chocolate cake to keep the adults and the kids excited.
How can people contact you?