Bill Seidenstein, from the USA, is one of Expat Explore’s biggest supporters and a deeply passionate traveller! We first featured Bill and his love for solo travel on our blog several years ago. Recently, we were able to catch up with him to chat about his first post-covid trip with Expat Explore.
Covid-19 put a pause on travel for over a year, however, as soon as our first Ireland tour was set to go in September, Bill was on board and ready to press play!
He joined the Irish Explorer tour, led by tour leader Mike Thoms, and enjoyed a whirlwind week-long trip through Ireland. Read on to find out about Bill’s experience of being on the road again, his passion for travel and his advice for future travellers.
Travel changes people. No one can attest to this fact more so than Bill. As a long-standing avid traveller, Bill has travelled for both work and leisure. His career in the US Navy and NYPD as a Detective Lieutenant has taken him across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the US. While he may have completed his service, his explorations haven’t stopped! “Now that I’m retired I let Expat plan my worldwide travels!” says Bill.
To date, he has completed 16 tours with Expat Explore and has three more scheduled for 2022. “My favourite trip is probably my next one but I loved my trips to Ireland, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Africa and come to think of it, ALL of them!” Bill shares. Moreover, he believes that travel can deeply impact people, “Once you travel, it changes your perception of the world and your place in it!”
It’s easy to agree that Bill is an explorer at heart!
Related: Read more about Bill’s background and experiences with Expat Explore as a solo traveller here.
Covid-19 and various lockdowns across the world put travel on pause for many months. Through it all, Bill was positive in his knowledge that we would be pressing play on travel again. “During the Covid-19 lockdown, I kept rebooking my scheduled trips, knowing that travel would be back sooner rather than later!” he says.“I was never nervous about resuming travel. When tour leader Mike told me he was leading the Ireland tour, I jumped at the chance to join!”
“Ireland is one of my favourite destinations,” says Bill, “I wanted to join my friend Mike, the tour leader, and also meet up with my Irish friends. I flew to Ireland many days before the trip and stayed with my friend in Dublin. I also remained in Dublin following the tour!”
Being back on tour again was a great experience and felt like life was returning to normal – or rather, a slightly new normal. “The only travel restriction was the mask requirement to enter pubs and restaurants but once inside, the masks were off and everything was back to normal! We had no unnecessary Covid restriction problems!” says Bill.
“Our hotel in Derry was outstanding and after dinner, none of us wanted to leave the pub area. We were moved from table to table until it was finally time to go to bed! They couldn’t get rid of us. When we tour, we tour! When we party, we party!” shares Bill. While the tour was filled with fantastic memories, the evening in Derry was definitely one of his favourites.
“The highlight of this Ireland trip was definitely the passengers I joined on the tour. Boy did we have fun! A great group of people and a great tour leader and bus driver! Everything worked out great. I’d love to do it all over again!” says Bill.
As a solo traveller, joining a tour with a group of “strangers” can feel intimidating. However, this is never the case for Bill. “There are NO strangers on Expat Explore trips! Everyone is family within a very short period of time!” he shares, “I have lifelong friends because of these trips! My September 2022 trip to Japan will be spent with Expat Explore owners Jakes and Carl, other employees such as Mike, and the many friends I’ve met on past trips.”
“I love solo travel because you are NEVER alone!” says Bill.
Related: Find out more about Expat Explore’s recently-launched Highlights of Japan tour and book your spot on a 2022 trip!
There is a lot more travel in the cards for Bill, including his 2022 trip to Japan. As mentioned above, Bill is one of Expat Explore’s most avid supporters and his many trips over the years have led him to trust Expat Explore and choose to travel with us again and again. “Expat Explore is more of a family than a company. I have never met a staff member or employee who wasn’t a friend to me. Whether on tour, on the phone or online, Expat Explore does it right!”
His advice for people thinking about travelling again in the near future: “Get off your butt and see the world! Life is too short to wait for the right time. The right time is now!”
Has Bill inspired your wanderlust? Take a look at our range of tours and start planning your next bucket list adventure! Better yet, make the most of our biggest sale of the year; check out our incredible Black Friday travel deals and get ready to book your trip during the 2021 sale!
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