Catch the Wind Tours!
ABOUT DRIFTER SISTER
Hi. My name is Ihla Crowley. That first name is unusual, and if you're wondering how to pronounce it, it's like Lila without the "L".
Traveler: I have traveled extensively since 1996, primarily with my sister, so when the nickname Drifter Sister was given to me it seemed appropriate, and it was then a natural progression for it to evolve into the name of my tour company. Drifter Sister LLC was started in 2007, when I decided there might be a hankering for small-group, in-depth tours to Western Europe. Catch the Wind Tours began humbly, when in May of 2007 I organized and led a small group of friends to Tuscany. Since that time (and after jumping through all of the legal hoops) I have completed myriad additional Catch the Wind small group tours to Tuscany, France, Ireland, Africa, Alaska, a Spa in Mexico, plus Spain, Greece, and Canada. Specializing primarily in Western Europe, we venture to other destinations periodically as well, especially Alaska, where I worked for two summers as narrator/guide on Holland America’s McKinley Explorer tourist train.
Travel Writer: For the past five years I have written a travel column, providing travel tips and information, in a local monthly publication, the Boulder City Magazine. Some of these articles are incorporated in the Travel Tips section of this website. If you would like to see more articles, they are archived on the magazine’s website, www.bouldercitymagazine.com. I have also had an article published in International Travel News (ITN) about the seaside villages in Italy called Cinque Terre. To see this article, click this link:
Travel Insurance: I am a strong advocate of travel insurance, and have proudly represented Travel Guard products for the past four years. There are other travel insurance products on the market, but I feel none can match Travel Guard’s standards. I am licensed to sell any brand of travel insurance, but have decided this to be the only product I sell, not only to clients on my tours, but to individuals going on cruises or traveling with other tour operators, as well as independent travelers.
Tuscany Expert: I also pride myself on a thorough knowledge of Tuscany, and am affiliated with Rent Tuscany, a company with hundreds of villas of all sizes, prices, and locations in Italy.
Professional Credentials: Drifter Sister is an LLC corporation and a member of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, OSSN (Outside Sales Support Network), and NACTA (National Association of Career Travel Agents), an affiliate of ASTA. I hold a Nevada Seller of Travel license (NST 2007-0148), as well as a license to sell travel insurance, and am fully insured with an E&O policy from Berkely Group.
Community Involvement: When not on the road, I am involved in my community non-profit activities as much as possible, currently as President of my Homeowners Association (and have either managed or been a member of the board for 20 years), past secretary of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association (10 years), past board member of the Dam Short Film Festival, and the original (and for ten years) Project Director for the Boulder City Chautauqua, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012. On the international front, I am an advocate for, and supporter of Hope Streams Academy, a school for poor and orphaned children in a slum in Kenya. If you would like to learn more about this worthwhile endeavor, visit their website at www.hopestreamsacademy.org and their moving YouTube video taken by a supporter in 2008.
ABOUT CATCH THE WIND TOURS
Catering to small groups (10 to 16) wishing to explore a particular area in depth, in a semi-autonomous manner (no get-on-the-bus, spend an hour, get-back-on-the-bus cattle calls here), Catch the Wind small group tours are best suited to folks that are friendly, adventurous, fun-loving, and flexible. The primary demographic is active elders that have either been-there-done-that with the city to city bus tours, or have been traveling on their own up to this point, but no longer wish to do, or are capable of doing, all that detailed planning. Singles and couples of all ages are welcome. Often the mix includes everything from 30-somethings to 70-somethings (and beyond), and everyone seems to get along famously. Catch the Wind small group tours are perfect for ready-made groups, such as families, travel clubs, sororities, religious groups, civic or fraternal organizations, and same sex. If you have a group of 10 or more wishing to take a Catch the Wind tour, I will customize one within the dates of your choice, as long as it doesn't conflict with any of the established tours. I escort all Catch the Wind tours, however I can also arrange a perfect villa for your group to use independently (see Tuscany Expert heading, on the left).
Five to six Catch the Wind small group tours are offered each year. Let's Go to Tuscany in May and Let's Go to France in the Fall happen every year, and will continue until interest in these tours wanes. Let's Go to Spain and Let's Go to Ireland are offered on an alternating odd/even year basis (Spain in odd years, and Ireland in even years). A week at Ixtapan de la Sal Hotel and Spa is offered in winter each year (if enough people want to go), and Let's Go to Greece is included periodically when there is a demand. And one small group tour to a more exotic destination, such as Africa, New Zealand, Israel, Mexico or possibly a train ride on Canada's Rocky Mountaineer will be featured in each year's line-up.
Catch the Wind Tours are reasonably priced, several of them around $3,000. Those for which rental cars cannot be used (countries in which people drive on the left side of the road, for instance) are a bit more expensive due to the need for a motor coach and driver/guide, but are still very reasonably priced for what they are. I always make sure the motor coach has ample room for people to spread out. A few tours are all-inclusive which, although again a bit more expensive, are also very good bargains for all that is included (you may never have to open your wallet on one of these trips).
Almost each Catch the Wind Tour has a pre- or post-trip extension associated with it as well: Four days in Paris before the France tour; Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast pre- or post- Tuscany; Northern Ireland pre-trip, and so on.
Let's Go to Alaska is its own animal, in that it is limited to a maximum of five individuals – one or two couples; parents and 1-3 kids; grandparents and 1-3 grandkids; or a combination thereof. This tour will be customized to fit your dates and available time schedule. A minimum of 12 days is essential, with 14 being the optimum. This escorted tour will be in up to a 7-passenger van and will be customized with soft- or hard-adventure activities. Land only, this tour is guaranteed to be a trip of a lifetime in the Last Frontier.
Plenty of choices. One of these Catch the Wind small group tours is surely right for you. Check out the testimonials – many Drifter Sister clients (now friends) have already done multiple Catch the Wind Tours and wait with bated breath to see what will be offered next. Since I began advertising in ITN, they come from all over the country now, and there is no reason why those of you in other countries can't jump on board as well. Give it a try and become a fan. I would like nothing more than to meet you and be travelling with you soon.