About a year ago, California couple Darren and Sandy Van Soye started trekking the planet on a global tour to raise awareness about world geography and make the subject more accessible to children. To make efficient use of their time and set an eco-friendly travel example, several legs of the journey have been traveled using Princess cruise ships. We caught up with the Van Soye’s recently for a progress report.
“We just passed the 50,000 mile mark on our journey (20,000 miles by cruise ship),” said Darren Van Soye via email this week.
The plan was to visit 50 countries, on six continents, in 424 days, sharing the journey with more than 700 classrooms representing 50,000 students. So far, Darren and Sandy have traveled to 40 countries with another dozen or so to go before returning to the United Sates.
Beating projections, 850 classrooms in 20 countries, representing 55,000 students, are following their journey online.As they have traveled the planet, the 25-year IT industry vets are compiling a library of education modules for teachers along with articles, weekly quizzes and videos, all free to educators.
We can follow along too by visiting the Live Tracker feature on their Trekking The Planet website, which is becoming a rich resource for travelers as well as their intended audience, kids and classrooms.
In addition to 20,000+ miles via cruise ship, the trekking couple has traveled by rail (10,447 miles), road (7,021 miles) and air (17,035 miles).
“Our last cruise will take us from Valparaiso, Chile, to San Pedro, California,” added Van Soye.
Princess Cruises was keen on the idea from the start. The cruise line had just completed their 50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List, a year-long blog project where 15+ year Princess Cruises employees shared their personal travel stories, hoping to inspire others.
“We frequently hear stories from travelers who cruise to accomplish a goal – from celebrating milestones with family members to crossing something off their bucket list,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president in a statement. “Sandy and Darren are a great example of how cruise travel can be both relaxing and rewarding. We’re inspired by their story and we’re honored they’ve chosen Princess to help them achieve their trekking goals.”
Catching up with the Trekking the Planet team in December, Darren and Sandy review their time in Africa and the Middle East as we see in this video:
The Van Soyes will complete their global journey in March.
[Photo Credit- Trekking The Planet]