Travel Pursuits FAQs

How are Travel Pursuits trips different from other literary tours?
Most literary tours involve an expert on a particular writer giving a series of talks about the life and work of the writer as the group explores the places where the writer lived and worked. Travel Pursuits trips put the emphasis on depth rather than breadth. The heart of a Travel Pursuits adventure is the in-depth discussion of one or several seminal works, which participants have read in advance. The discussions are augmented by guided walks and informal talks to enrich the understanding of the texts. Groups are small and intimate. We enjoy two meals together each day and leave participants the opportunity to go off on their own for the third. We strive for a good balance of free time and group activities.

Who organizes the trips?
Classical Pursuits develops the themes, selects the readings and helps shape the itinerary. All Travel Pursuits operate under the umbrella of Worldwide Quest, a full-service tour operator that is registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (Reg: #2667946). Worldwide Quest arranges the logistics for each trip to complement our literary theme. They handle all trip bookings/registration and insurance, and are happy to book flights and help with pre- and post-trip arrangements.) They are also an accredited agent of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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What should I do to prepare?
There are two main things you must do: 1) read in advance the book(s) you are sent, and 2) come with an open mind. You will also enhance your enjoyment if you read the supplementary background material we provide, and any other literature about the place we will be going.

Who goes on Travel Pursuits trips?
Adults from all over North America, and some from beyond, travel with Classical Pursuits. They are curious, adventurous, and very congenial. They like to read and to discuss what they read. They range in age from 25 to 80, with most clustering between 45 and 65. Couples come. Singles come, alone or with a friend. Family members come together too – a grandmother and her granddaughter have come on a Travel Pursuits trip.

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Where do I get the necessary book(s)?
Worldwide Quest, our travel company partner, will send you the book(s) we will be discussing upon confirmation of your registration.

Why would I want to spend time in Paris, Rome, or Dublin discussing a book when I could be out experiencing it directly?
We are sometimes asked why you would want to “waste” your precious time away sitting in a room discussing a book, something you could do at home in your living room. The answer is easy. Anyone who has spent morning to night seeing the sights, walking the streets, touring the museums, churches, and monuments knows how physically and emotionally exhausting it can be. When we travel, all our senses are acutely awakened. But we can only absorb so much of one thing at a time. Having a break in the day when you give your feet and eyes a rest is necessary. Instead of flopping on the bed and listening to CNN, you have the opportunity to sit comfortably with a small group of fellow travelers and discuss the meaning of it all – how the book you have read and what you have seen and heard helps you interpret your experience.

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How large are the groups?
The groups usually range from 12 to 18. Occasionally, there is a larger group, in which case a second leader will go along to keep the discussion groups small.

Who leads the trips?
Travel Pursuits trips have three kinds of leaders: discussion leaders, walking guides, and people who give informal talks about various aspects of the trip theme. Rarely, these three functions are all performed by the same person. More often, there are two or three leaders. Occasionally, talks are given by several different people. Usually the discussion leader comes along on the trip and spends all of his or her time with the group. From time to time, the discussion leader will be a native of the location of the trip. It is more common for the walking guides and speakers to be local. Each leader is selected because of a combination of skill and collegiality.

How are flight arrangements made?
Classical Pursuits has learned through experience that a great many of its travelers are not interested in group flights. First, they come from all over North America and do not wish to find their way to designated departure points. Further, many wish to extend their stay, either at the beginning or the end. And, of course, there are the proverbial “points” that people wish to use. For all of these reasons, we do not offer group flights. But Worldwide Quest is happy to book your flight from wherever you live for the dates you prefer.

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How much free time do we have?
Classical Pursuits recognizes that its participants do not wish to be led around in a group all day, every day. We keep things flexible and generally plan an unscheduled morning, afternoon, or evening each day. We often provide aids such as a museum pass along with a written guide to a particular collection. Participants are free to go off on their own or in small groups at their leisure. Frequently, the leaders will indicate what they plan to do during an unscheduled period and invite whoever wishes to come along.

What does Classical Pursuits provide to travelers?
In addition to mailing you the book(s) that will be discussed, Worldwide Quest will send you a detailed booklet with your itinerary and lots of optional background reading.

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Are Travel Pursuits trips budget or high-end?
Classical Pursuits does not set out to provide top-dollar trips. We do seek to offer great quality. We are sensitive to price and find that sometimes the best meals and the most memorable hotels are not the deluxe establishments that often blend together in an indistinguishable international lavishness. Sometimes the experience we are seeking comes at no cost, like a private meeting with the chief antiquarian librarian at the basilica in Assisi; other times, it comes at a price, such as dinner and cabaret at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Our rich complement of staff is a major component of Travel Pursuits trips. Lower-priced trips tend to rely on larger groups and a single guide with a microphone on a bus.

I have another question.
For further information contact us at 647.846.3422 or 1.844.378.2869, or email info@classicalpursuits.com. To register for a trip, please contact Worldwide Quest at 1.800.387.1483.

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