Greetings Fellow Adventurers,
Dan Austin is away on an incredible African safari, which means you get to hear from me, Kasey Austin (Dan’s daughter and Director of US Operations) on this month’s Muse!
I’m not quite sure how it came to be September already with the thick of summer behind us! While we still have many trips out running in the Rockies and down in the Southwest, I can see the season quickly winding down as our guide team begins to make appearances back at our Billings, Montana headquarters to put their vans, trailers, and equipment “to bed” for the winter. It’s been another season for the books, but I and the rest of Team Austin are so proud of our guides who delivered incredible trips!
Dan and Carol are ending their summer on a high note as they journey through Kenya and Tanzania on a search for “The Big Five”: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo. Between sundowners overlooking the Ngorongoro Crater and sightings of lions snacking on Cape buffalo in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, it would appear my parents are having a ball! (I wonder if they’ll decide to come home?!) Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get a peek at their adventures.
In case you missed the amazing news last week, Austin Adventures is in for some pretty big changes! We’ve merged with Active Adventures, a fellow small group tour operator based in New Zealand, and together with our new Kiwi counterparts we operate as one company with two brands. With change there sometimes comes a certain kind of trepidation: Fear of the unknown, fear of the challenges to come, fear of losing our way. But trust me when I say that the only thing to “fear” in this joining of forces is just how scarily similar our brands, ethos, and values are — which is a GREAT thing! Together we look forward to proving to both companies’ alumni and new guests alike that we will continue to pursue excellence in customer service and adventures with the high level of care and open transparency that only a small company can provide.
So, what does this merger mean for the Austin family? Well, other than the pride that comes with standing behind not just one, but now two incredible brands, the Austin family and Team Austin staff are all sticking around! Myself, Dan, and Carol are all still standing 100% behind everything we’re known for: Our family vibe, personalized service, impeccable guides, and making sure the toughest part is going home on our adventures. Dan has taken up the title of Head of Special Projects and is still a very involved company founder with Austin Adventures. My new title is Director of Operations and President, USA, and Carol is still chugging right along in her customer service role. And for you, our guests, there are more adventure trips to choose from around the world, more departure dates available throughout the year, and more access to trip planning help from two customer service teams. We are operating in different time zones, which provide extended service hours. (Plus, the Kiwis are an absolute dream to work with; they’re friendly, knowledgeable, have a great sense of humor, and who can ignore that awesome accent?! We love them and think you will too!)
Our united team is working incredibly hard to sort through our combined product to establish the best adventures to feature in our 2022 line-up. Keep an eye out for adventures new to Austin travelers, like the Tortuga Galapagos trip and the popular Jaguar Peru adventure – both designed and executed by our Active Adventures experts! We will be listing Active Adventures’ favorite trips on our webpage (and vice versa for the Active Team) so don’t be afraid to jaunt on over to our Kiwi friends’ page and get inspired to sign up for the trip of a lifetime!
Phew! Alright, I’ve nearly made it to the end of September’s Muse. Dan Austin’s got some big shoes to fill with these Muses and hopefully, you’ve enjoyed reading along as much as I’ve enjoyed sitting down and putting my thoughts to paper. I know there’s a lot of change going on in our little adventure travel world right now, but rest assured that we are thrilled about what these changes will bring for the future of the Austin and Active brands. We are so grateful to you, our loyal followers, for joining us on this ride. No matter the direction the road we travel continues next, we promise to provide experiences so great, you will cherish them for the rest of your life!
That concludes this month’s Muse. I promise next month Dan will be back in his usual Muse routine!
P.S. For more updates on Dan and Carol’s travels, popular trip ideas, stories from our guests out in the field, and the latest on the Active/Austin merger, keep up with all of us on social media! Find us @austinadventures and @activeadventures.