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Everyone needs a vacation, but what if that vacation changed the world?

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ? Mark TwainThe Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

The world is in trouble. Both ecologically, and in our relationships with other human beings. We want to change that.

On the streets of Cuba
Photo by Troy Yu

My world changed when I first visited Cuba. I had traveled to many places before, but I suddenly realized it was only in a bubble. I learned a great deal on that trip to Cuba. Most importantly, I learned that when people give up their pre-conceived notions of each other, we are all the same. We all want to be loved, live our lives to the fullest and be able to thrive and be happy.  And we can love each other. I realized, the world needed more understanding, more empathy.

Of course, I embarked on my trip to Cuba knowing that people there would be welcoming.  And, I knew would enjoy their company. What I did not expect was to come home with a revelation. Everything I had been taught about the country was through a lens that was not my own. I did not realize how welcoming they would be. How I had all the wrong ideas about the island nation. It seems so ironic to me that a place that is so geographically close to North America seems so far removed from the world that I know.

By Troy Yu
Photo by Troy Yu

With 78 Adventures, I want to bring people together with life-long bonds. I want to help those who can, help others in need. The only way to do that is to foster relationships with people outside of our bubble. This in turn breeds empathy, and understanding. We don’t have to be the same to understand each other.

 

My mission is to make 78 Adventures a company that creates travel experiences with this mission in mind. Not just another cruise where the only time you get off the boat is to haggle for tchotchkes 10 feet from the dock. I want to encourage people to get out and make real friends all over the globe.

This means mother nature too.

Elephant conservationLong before I came to this realization about humanity, I was already passionate about the environment and saving it. Although I have always been passionate about the outdoors and nature, my conservation efforts really kicked into high-gear when I first learned about the Great Pacific garbage patch. Our mark here on earth is a festering one, and I have to help do something about it.

Animal welfare is right up there for me, and we are working on some partnerships for educational and conservacational trips.

We also support our favorite animal sanctuary: Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. Although their focus is on endangered elephants, they rescue and care for many different animals, and care for them in their natural and indigenous habitat. BLES’ primary focus is rescuing mistreated elephants from the tourism trade in Asia. I felt this was important given the business of 78 Adventures. While we don’t have an official partnership with BLES yet, I hope to change that someday.

Until then, we will be donating at least 10% of all of our proceeds to various humanitarian and conservation programs around the world. Any cruise ticket booked through our agency will include a flat donation to ocean cleanup organizations. That’s in addition to the overall 10% donation we make yearly.

The next time you take your vacation, even if it’s just to sit and roast yourself on a white sand beach, why not help change the world while you’re at it?

Tablet o’ Principles

A “5 Commandments” of 78 Adventures if you will, here are our guiding values in business. We add to these as we feel the need to improve our guiding principles.

No intentional “Dark Patterns”

Dark Patterns” are business practices that exploit human function to gain profit or manipulate the customer, or tricks in the user interface to make you do something that you don’t really want to do. Ever find it difficult to find the “unsubscribe” link on a spam email? Ever frustrated because it takes 5 steps to unsubscribe from spam and then they say “give us 30 days.”? Or how about this one: You want to cancel a service but the information to do so is buried under 30 levels of clicking and you find out that you have to call on the telephone (no email or chat) to do so – Just to sit through a spiel about how you shouldn’t cancel. Or that shopping website that forces you to give your email and personal information before you can even SEE the website and what they are selling. – Those are examples of “Dark Patterns”. We promise to be upfront and clear about everything we have control over.

No Asterisk Advertising

We hate gotchas and hidden “restrictions” apply. Seriously, that “Restrictions Apply” stuff is another example of dark patterns! (See above) Flashing all the good stuff about a promotion and hiding the restrictions until you’re there in the store with money-in-hand. That’s the real definition of “GOTCHA” they “GOTCHA” in their clutches! Anyway, we can’t promise NO *’s completely, but we will NOT advertise a deal or promotion that is not honest and fully up front in the headline. If it’s 50% off with purchase it will say “50% Off With Purchase!” instead of just “50% Off!!!” and hide the ‘with purchase’ where you won’t see it.

We Will Not Sell Your Data

The only time we will share your data is if it is required to execute your order with a travel partner or if law enforcement has a warrant. For example, if you book a cruise vacation with us, we obviously must share your personal information with the cruise line. We will not share it for the purposes of profiting on data sales, nor will be trade it with other data businesses. The other situation that we may share your information is when we are forced to by a warrant executed by law enforcement.

No Spam

We cannot stand spam ourselves. We will not spam you. The only time we’ll contact you is when you have asked us to, and we promise not to send you excessive email, although we suppose that is subjective. If you ever feel we are contacting you too much, the Unsubscribe option will be clear and accessible.

No Hyperbole Zone

Other agencies have, in the past, called themselves the best. Have hyped themselves up to be the community’s most influential, or offering the most famous cruise. According to whom? Certainly not their customers. We won’t go there. If we brag about something it’s going to be an actual award.