Urban Adventures’ At Home trips transport clients to faraway cities to learn from passionate local guides and connect with their cultures. Abra Dunsby joins a virtual trip to find out more.
After an hour and fifteen minutes of gentle breathing, stretching and meditating, guided by professional yoga teacher and Delhi resident Afsha Shaik over Zoom, the clamour of my mind quietens, and I feel a surging sense of inner calm and positivity.
Not only does Afsha’s class leave me feeling more zen than I have been in months, I also gain a newfound respect for the art of yoga as Afsha cheerfully explains some if its teachings, from the eight pillars that support it – including postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) – to the 196 sutras: short verses that serve as a guide to attain wisdom and self-realisation through yoga practice.
My Online Delhi Experience: Yoga & Ayurveda Class is one of many virtual trips currently being offered to travel agents and their clients by city tours specialist Urban Adventures during the pandemic.
The Urban Adventures At Home virtual trips were launched halfway through last year, and there are 20 inspiring options to choose from, from a Frida Kahlo painting class in New Mexico to a traditional Pierogi cooking class in Krakow.
The tours offer agents and their clients a fascinating, exciting local perspective into a city during a time when international travel has been difficult or impossible. Crucially, they also help support local guides who have lost vital income during the pandemic.
Klaudija Janzelj, managing director of Urban Adventures, explains further: “We designed these online experiences to support local guides whose livelihoods have been impacted by the pandemic and to connect with our travellers since we were not able to see them in person.”
Feedback from attendees has been “excellent”, thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of the guides, she adds. “All the virtual tours have had five-star reviews from customers. Our guides have done a great job of adapting to online hosting. They have so much enthusiasm and joy to be connected to travellers and be able to share their culture, heritage, and stories. They are becoming proper online stars!”