The world of travel is changing and that’s why our TV series Going Global searches the globe for interesting stories of people and their passions. For us and most well traveled people, true luxury is about experiences and not consumerism.
This of course also applies to our culinary explorations as real luxury is not all about eating at top resorts, or Michelin starred restaurants, but having authentic experiences. A lot of the elite travelers seek out unique, one of a kind places because they have already dined at some of the best restaurants in the world. And I have to say I totally agree with this philosophy.
One of my most memorable trips was when I recently traveled to Bangkok. I got together with a fellow Canadian and travel enthusiast who is also one of Thailand’s biggest television personalities, Daniel Fraser. Dan owns a highly respected luxury adventure touring company called Smiling Albino based in Bangkok. So he knows his way around the city.
Daniel spent many years living and exploring all over Thailand so he took me to see the “real Bangkok”, the parts of the city he loves. Dan started by showing me hidden streets, telling me the history of each place we visited and introducing me to some fascinating people. The exciting part was that he took me to areas where not a lot of tour companies know about. He walked me through hidden paths, wet markets and even introduced me to some of his friends who own small restaurants operated out of their homes. It was an experience I never imagined to be a part of a luxury travel adventure itinerary. But the experience was a great luxury.
I met some of the most incredible and welcoming locals who were eager to share their food and culture with me. Smiling Albino focuses on one of a kind cultural immersion and operates in Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and throughout Thailand. Daniel says a lot of elite travelers seek authentic experiences not typical tourist moments.”For many people getting to see how others live and getting to know the people you meet along the way is the whole point of travel.”
As Dan says, “Today, luxury travel is about discovering and learning about the history and culture of a destination. Experiencing it first hand is what makes it even more unforgettable.” The Smiling Albino team of local adventurers and travel professionals tailor trips for travelers as a result of their continuing explorations. The team will find the best food experiences, create custom tours and visit unique venues to design a fully immersive excursion for the hungry traveler seeking a memorable journey.
“Our team always promises an unmatched knowledge and expertise into the local culture and history. The tours happen in small groups only, and all the places included in the itinerary are all locally owned and operated.” According to Daniel, food is a major highlight of all trips, and they always visit food venues nobody else knows. “Food is very important to understanding a people and a culture.”
Whether you are a seasoned nomad or a first time explorer, luxury travel now is not measured by the amount of money you spend. It is now about gaining unforgettable memories and the connections and friendships made along the way which money just can’t buy. This is how I have always traveled and this is why I think our show is so unique.
Cristina Carpio is a television personality, brand and restaurant strategist as well as a passionate food and beverage expert. Travel and living life to the fullest is in her DNA. In addition to hosting Going Global, Cristina is a country ambassador for a global immersive dining platform and has a column for a noted North American food and beverage industry magazine. She has also been recognized for her work and involvement in charitable and community projects and has hosted several prestigious festivals, fashion and cultural events.