Our First European Trip In Years

August 4, 2015
By Kevin R. Tam, President

We’re a well-established company that has been pleasing guests for 25 years but Uncommon Journeys is not a giant company. There’s no team of dozens of people putting together our trips. It’s just a small group of people incredibly dedicated to creating unique experiences. One of our principles is to offer vacations that do not require airline travel. Flying is a hassle even on a good day. Therefore, our trips feature trains and ocean liners, all departing from cities and ports in North America.

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West To Heaven

July 30, 2015
By Kevin R. Tam, President

Just what is religious tolerance? I suppose it has several definitions and many variations within each definition. But, as they say, “my mama didn’t raise no dummy,” so I’m not about to wade too deeply into those waters. What I do know is that lately, there is more discussion about religious tolerance, religious freedom and the scope of worldwide religions than I can ever remember. There are conversations about tolerance of Islam, the rights of Christians and the ability of people to worship without interference. Many would argue that the United States was founded on religious freedom. While the Constitution makes it clear that the government cannot advocate for one specific religion and demand that its citizens follow that religion (as was quite common in Europe in the 1600s and 1700s and is the case in some places in the Middle East today), thus defining America as separating church and state, the very settlers who came to our shores in the 1600s did so primarily to avoid religious persecution in their home countries. Here, in the wilderness that was the American continent, they could worship as they pleased.

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A Visual Feast

July 28, 2015
By Kevin R. Tam, President

Not everyone loves train travel. To be honest, I have no idea why that would be the case but, from experience, I know that there are some folks out there in this great big world who have no interest in traveling by train. I’ve also discovered that most of the time someone holds that viewpoint, it’s because they had a bad experience on a train, sometimes on a state-run train line somewhere in the world where service was surly or non-existent, the train was crowded, food inedible and the overall experience an assault on the senses. If so, take my advice and skip a train ride in a place like, say, India. Unless you’re used to the culture of cooperation which allows thousands of people to board a train designed for a few hundred, you will not enjoy the journey.

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It's A Big Small World

July 23, 2015
By Kevin R. Tam, President

At Uncommon Journeys, I’ve learned that travel is full of surprises and one of the most surprising things you can discover is that the world is both much bigger and much smaller than you thought – all on the same day! I’m reminded of an experience that a guest had with us a couple years ago that demonstrates this point better than any personal anecdote I can find.

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Finding The Interesting

July 21, 2015
By Kevin R. Tam, President

Here at Uncommon Journeys, we offer train and ocean liner vacations. That’s a simple definition of what we do and one that I don’t like to use but trying to explain what we really offer requires an entire blog! Almost everyone takes a vacation. But how many people truly experience life? Our guests discover that the difference between “vacationing” and “experiencing” is one of the many things that sets Uncommon Journeys apart. I see the difference between vacationing and experiencing as pretty clear cut. If all you do is view mountains, rivers, oceans, churches and cities from a bus window, then you’re vacationing. If you step beyond that window and engage with your surroundings, then you’re experiencing life. Some might say it’s the difference between being a tourist and being a traveler. A tourist sees things; a traveler does things.

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