The Michigan Alumni Travel team is excited to announce its 2019 collection of adventures. We have spent the last few months poring over proposals from our travel partners, selecting a lineup that we believe is diverse, educational, and fun! With more than 65 trips, it can be hard to choose.
Alumni often ask us which are our favorite destinations. For us, the best trip seems to be the last one we just returned home from! With 15 years of experience among the travel team, we do have a few favorites we want to share with you. It was hard to narrow the list, but we came up with our top 10. We hope this insight helps you select a trip that might be on your bucket list – or possibly add to it.
Carrie’s top five
Carrie Fediuk has managed Michigan Alumni Travel since 2008. Carrie is married and has two grown children. She enjoys anything done outdoors – running, biking, golfing, gardening, and more. While not an alumna, Carrie’s husband and daughters attended the University of Michigan, and she has grown to be a huge fan of the Maize and Blue.
1. Cuba: Fascinating and beautiful country. The people are warm and many hope for better times. Opened my eyes in several ways and had me returning home more grateful for what I have. Life-changing experience.
2. Ireland: Most beautiful country I have traveled! Aside from Italy, Ireland is one country I will return to in the future. The Irish are friendly, fun people! The music had my toes tapping, the food is delicious, and the landscape green and lush. Make sure you look out the window when your plane lands; you won’t believe the sight!
3. Turkey: While we aren’t traveling to Turkey in 2019, we hope things will remain calm and we can return in 2020. This also was a life-changing trip. The contrast of old and new can visibility be seen throughout the country. The history and culture are fascinating, the scenery beautiful, and the sights and sounds will stimulate your senses.
4. Egypt: What a place to see! It is amazing the sites that have appeared from the sand. The Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, and the Egyptian Museum are just a few of the sites you will see and never forget.
5. Northern Michigan Bike Tour: I’m not a road biker by any means, but this was one fun trip! Even if you only bike around your neighborhood, you can do this trip. Biking gives a new perspective to any destination. It allows you to go off the beaten path and see sites you might not see otherwise.
Erica’s Top Five
Erica Selesky has been with the Alumni Association since 2013. A Michigan native, Erica graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism and is dedicated to helping U-M alumni check global destinations off their bucket lists as the Alumni Association Travel Program Coordinator. In her free time, Erica is a fitness instructor for Pure Barre, and she and her husband are expecting their first child this summer.
1. Southern France: Go off the beaten path with hosts Aline Cotel and Michael Gould. Both U-M faculty, Aline grew up in the area and she and Mike enjoy their home there when they are not teaching. At the lively markets, you’ll shop for the produce that will become your dinner. Later in the week, enjoy an evening jazz concert performed by Mike and friends. This trip is the perfect combination of culture, history, and exploration. The wine isn’t bad, either.
2. Tanzania: A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience all that East Africa has to offer — wildlife safaris, sandy exotic beaches, and beautiful ancient cities. From spotting the Big Five from a Land Rover to touring the winding cobblestone streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar, this trip is an incredible adventure in the heart of Africa.
3. Discover SE Alaska: The bustle of home seems a million miles away on a small boat cruise in southeast Alaska. Unlimited opportunities to see glaciers, whales, bears, and other amazing natural wonders. In the span of a week, I loved the chance to meet with and learn the culture of native Alaskans, kayak next to sea otters, and gaze at the Northern Lights.
4. Swiss Alps: I have not had the chance to experience this trip yet, but it is right at the top of my list! Nothing seems dreamier than train rides and cable cars to get you into cities that still don’t allow cars. Stroll through the idyllic towns of Mürren and Thun, learn about the popular pastime of mountaineering, and walk to the edge of Two Lakes Bridge for a sweeping view of the turquoise lakes.
5. Wonders of Peru: There is nothing quite like the adventure of exploring the Amazon rainforest via river cruise. With expert guides, explore the metropolitan city of Lima and savor a home-cooked Peruvian dinner at a local’s home. My favorite part of the trip was a three-night cruise on the Amazon. Enjoy your morning coffee watching pink river dolphins swim nearby, try your hand at fishing for piranhas, and see if you can spot sloths lounging in the trees. You might even be brave enough to take a dip!
Elizabeth (Beanie) Zollweg: Newest member of the Travel Team
Beanie is the newest member of our team and will join us on April 16. We are excited to have her join us. Beanie has been with the University of Michigan since 2005 and came to the Alumni Association in 2016.
“I am so excited to be joining the travel team. Travel continues to play an important and positive influence of my personal and professional endeavors and making me a more intercultural leader and human. I can’t wait to experience the world with all of you!”
Beanie’s Bonus Trips
China: I have had the pleasure of visiting and touring China a few times in my life. I am constantly in awe of the variety China has to offer; from shopping in Shanghai, to teas and temples and Tiananmen Square, to adventuring along the Great Wall and experiencing history. China is definitely a wonder to explore and immerse yourself. Also, the food is delightful and delicious.
Japan: From the moment you arrive in Narita Airport just outside Tokyo, you feel welcomed. This is what I have learned and loved about the island of Japan. Japan is small in size but expansive in offerings. From small towns to big cities, it has something for everyone. From the fresh seafood at the Tsukiji Market to the famous Golden Temple, to beautiful views atop Mount Fuji and every bamboo forest in between, you will fall in love with the cuisine and the culture! I sure did.