The sustainable travel community is a small place and thanks to the internet, it keeps getting smaller. One of the things I love about being a travel writer is all the extraordinary people I’ve met along the way. People who continue to inspire me to adventure more, move beyond my comfort zone and also give back to the magical places we visit. One such person is Jennifer Spatz, Founder and CEO of Global Family Travels.
Jennifer Spatz is a cultural anthropologist at heart with a background in international development. Since she launched Global Family Travels in 2010, Jennifer’s vision has been to unite humanity and inspire travelers to take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities facing our increasingly inter-connected planet. Using regenerative tourism principles, Jennifer is passionate about developing impactful sustainable travel experiences in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations which feature a unique mix of cultural and educational activities, as well as community engagement to help make a positive impact on the lives of people and natural habitats where we visit.
I had the opportunity to meet Jennifer through my work with Impact Travel Alliance a few years back and I love the work she does to create amazing, impactful travel journeys that go above and beyond the typical mainstream travel experience. Recently, I met up with Jennifer at a travel conference we both attended in New Orleans and over a hot plate of creole Jambalaya, she shared more about her work on regenerative travel and as well as the launch of her four new impactful, regenerative trips for women. Here is what she had to say:
Meet Global Family Travels
Global Family Travels sees community tourism as an opportunity to support women and girls around the world. With our “Learn, Serve, Immerse” message in mind and heart, we have created some amazing wellness retreats and heartfelt journeys to Bali, Greater Seattle, Rwanda and Peru, with the goal of helping women reconnect to their Divine selves and the world around them. These adventures also support key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), including gender equality and women’s empowerment (UNSDG #5), to help foster equitable rights for girls and women worldwide. Learn more in our recent blog.
What is Regenerative Travel?
Four Impactful Trips for Women
Greater Seattle: Restore & Reconnect on a Regenerative Wellness Retreat for Women (October 1-7, 2022)
Rise to beautiful surroundings in the Pacific Northwest and begin each day with a morning warmup, meditation, and intention setting practice in preparation for your curated community inspired experiences aligned with energy chakras. With Sophia Hyder Hock leading our mindfulness practices, we will enjoy outdoor regenerative adventures through Global Family Travels’ (GFT) three travel pillars of Learn, Serve & Immerse, engaging with many local non-profit partners, giving you the opportunity to learn about the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful region and diverse communities in fun and engaging ways.
Bali: a Regenerative Wellness Retreat aligned with 7 Chakras (January 21-31, 2023)
Immersive yourself in a 10-day rejuvenating retreat in Bali to spark mental clarity and creative healing through cultural immersion and daily chakra-themed mindfulness practices. This ultimate Bali wellness program, facilitated by Sophia Hyder Hock, infuses connecting to yourself, community and immersion, to give travelers the opportunity to embrace their experiences, dive deep, support communities and celebrate the unique and traditional Balinese approach to wellness, health and human prosperity.
An island famous for its stunning beaches, captivating culture, and mystical traditions, you’ll learn about the Tri Hita Karana, the central philosophy of the Balinese people, you will be immersed in wellness-emphasized interactive experiences from: learning about and participating in traditional medicinal practices, meditation, arts and crafts, cultural dances, agricultural productions, and health/wellness centered organizations.
We’ll also engage with inspiring organizations in Bali that are working towards helping women and girls gain equal access to education and work opportunities. This retreat has a balance of cultural and global learning, wellness activities and adventure to ensure that travelers are learning to be global citizens while having fun.
Women & Empowerment in Rwanda: A Learn, Serve & Immerse Experience (February 2-11, 2023)
Rwanda is a country imbued by its dark history, culminating in the 1994 Genocide. Since then, it has evolved into a revered country that uplifts, empowers and supports women through community, socio-economic development, and supportive non-governmental organizations (NGOs). From urban to rural, this 10-day Learn, Serve & Immerse Journey to Rwanda will give travelers a deeper understanding of how the country has transformed to become a global leader for the economic and political empowerment of women. Because of this, Rwandan women are able to provide a higher level of education, health care and standard of living for themselves and dependents.
Travelers on this adventure will have an opportunity to engage with leaders from inspiring Rwandan NGOs and learn about initiatives and programs supporting community members and women, experience life and culture in the Kigali region and enjoy a short safari too!
Peru: A Regenerative Journey for Mother Earth, Sacred Traditions and Divine Feminine Energy (May 1-10, 2023)
Known as Pachamama by the Incas, Mother Earth is seen as the feminine soul of nature and the provider of everything in life. Global Family Travels is pleased to offer a 10-day regenerative wellness journey to the charming country of Peru focused on ancient Andean traditions of the Sacred Valley, learning how we can help heal our Earth and empower women.
Facilitated by Vicki Weeks, Peruvian Expert and Global Educator, this regenerative retreat offers opportunities to immerse in authentic Andean experiences, and is designed to support two impactful community organizations, ANDES Association/ Potato Park and Awamaki. By engaging with these organizations, you will learn firsthand from rural Andean women, farmers, Indigenous peoples and artisans who are deeply to connected to Pachamama.
Attend an upcoming informational session on April 10
Ready to learn more? Join Global Family Travels on April 10 to learn about our Rwanda, Bali, and Seattle adventures to Learn, Serve & Immerse in support of Women’s Empowerment! Click on link below to sign up. If you can not attend, please register to receive a recording of our information session directly in your inbox.
12:00 – 1:15 pm PST: Bali & Seattle Regenerative Retreats Information Session
2:30 – 3:45 pm PST: Rwanda Women & Empowerment Adventure Information Session
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Thanks for sharing these Nicole, the Peruvian trip interests me. Maggie
You’re welcome Maggie! I am sure it is bound to be a wonderful trip! I went to Peru 20 years ago to do the Inca Trail but never got to meet the local women and learn about their culture. This trip would definitely be rewarding! Feel free to contact Jennifer if you’d like more information. 🙂
Very interesting…I like the look of the Rwanda trip……
Yes it sounds amazing! So Jennifer has worked a bit with Planeterra, the philanthropic arm of G Adventures who ran our Belize trip. She does amazing work! If you can, sign up for the informational webinar. I would love to go to Rwanda someday myself but in a respectful way and would love to connect with fellow women there. Hope you are well! 🙂
These sound like such great trips!