Trotting the globe and hopping on planes visiting new and exciting countries have always inspired our human ability to adapt and emerge ourselves in different cultures. Now, as countries cautiously re-open for travel, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is not yet fully resolved, many might ask: what are the new options? Which is a good destination next?
Karavanly, a Georgian-based travel company combining years of traveling knowledge with the expertise of the local tourism industry, has unlocked an unconventional way to explore the Transcaucasia nation tucked between Russia, Turkey, Armenia and washes out into the Black Sea.
Setting out to offer travelers a more unique and personal experience, we see how the company values the local communities, the diversity and the heritage found in Georgia, a country sitting at the crossroad and convergence point of the East and the West over centuries. Founder and Director of Karavanly, C.Y. Lee has drawn together an exciting business that has lifted the veil on traditional travel packages, and it’s the ingenuity of the Karavanly team that’s quickly making them well-known.
What’s the origin story behind Karavanly?
“The idea of Karavanly stems from over 10 years of working remotely and living a traveling-working life across the globe, not to mention the deeper connection and exposure to different cultures that speaking 5 languages has given me on the road. It’s not only my urge to travel and willingness to share it with others that have made Karavanly successful, but also our team who has 8 years of traveling and living abroad experience,” Lee tells.
Karavanly has broken through the limitations of traditional traveling and tourism practices that are currently being used by other travel agents in Georgia. The company has brought a world of knowledge together to offer both international visitors and local communities a more rewarding experience in tourism.
What sets Karavanly aside from other competitors?
Possibilities are endless, as Karavanly has set out to connect the world with the (un)urbanized and countryside communities of Georgia. Their ‘Travel Pass’ enables visitors to effortlessly come in closer contact with local traditions, rural cultures, current issues and lifts the façade for a true Georgian experience. This is where Karavanly is set aside from other competitors, as they want to show and connect real-life ethnic customs with a broader audience.
“We’ve designed a business with the community and traveler at mind. Without travelers, there isn’t a tourism industry, and without the people, the experience will be rather detached or distant. So we connect the two, managing our tours in such a way that every place visit will become uplifted economically and socially. Locals are sharing indigenous skills and services, offering better in-depth travel experience,” shares the founder of Karavanly.
How does the Karavanly service work?
One can’t ignore the beauty and richness Georgia has to offer, but their public transportation systems have made it a bit difficult for travelers to fully enjoy the outlying areas of the country. With Karavanly it’s simple and flexible, choose a desired ‘Travel Pass’, each pass consists of a pre-planned itinerary – but can be changed as you please. Travelers can then use their pass to hop on various busses on the route, explore with the Karavanly crew and fellow travelers along the way, and get off at any desired point to discover more at their own leisure.
What’s different with Karavanly is that routes traveled will certainly be less frequented by other tourists, offering an overall relaxed experience and combining that with a more meaningful understanding of the culture and heritage of this Transcaucasia nation. From guided visits, fun activities, scenic stops, and having the opportunity to wine and dine with Georgian locals at their homes, the Karavanly team has become a travel companion rather than a travel company.
Why should travelers consider you over other agents in Georgia?
The founder delightfully shares that, “Our team, in every capacity, has the willingness to bring you, worldwide visitors, together with the culture, history and uniqueness of this beautiful country. We’re not selling a monotonous travel package, but rather offering an in-depth first-hand encounter with what the country and its people have to share.” She then goes on to say, “Our team has lived, worked and traveled in the Arctic, Scandinavia, and Continental Europe to North Africa, the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia, and Latin America and knows no borders. Travelers can trust us to offer well-thought routes with all logistics headaches well taken care of, for them to create and enjoy a spontaneous travel experience of their own independently and hassle-free.”
Why is it important to use services such as Karavanly?
“Georgia is a great place, and I think many overlook it when deciding where to book their next holiday. We want to break down the common notion of tourism in the country, there’s so much more than just churches, monasteries, or wine in Kakheti. We take travelers to explore further and deeper across Georgia. We cater to a service that is mindful and transparent, ensuring locals will receive support and needed exposure from international travelers. We can now give back to communities who need that, and more importantly deserve that, bringing people to the places that are true to the roots of Georgia. Whatever travelers spend goes back to the people of the community – the very source of hospitality this country is known for, driving a positive impact on the nation,” Lee tells us knowingly.
Karavanly separates from customary tourism, promoting a beautiful and hospitable country. With passionate staff, greater indigenous encounters, and an ethical business model puts Karavanly ahead of other travel agents. Tourism boards have for years advertised a fraction of the nation, flooding the industry with tourist hotspots and flashy destinations. Their directive is simple, as Karavanly now makes the whole experience more independent, flexible and enriching.
It’s not without many troubles that traveling around the world and visiting some of the most interesting countries can make us citizens of the world. A foreign cultural experience is more memorable when it’s done with indigenous locals, and participating in their culture. Restarting your travel after lockdown? This might be just the option for you.
Feature Image by Karavanly