ROGUEXPERTS: Michael's Top Picks

ROGUEXPERTS: Michael's Top Picks

At the final dinner of each trip we like to ask everyone about their favorite and least favorite runs, meals and places, and we’re always struck by how diverse the answers are. One person’s “best day ever!” can be another person’s most challenging run of the trip, and someone who couldn’t get enough of the roast lamb in Patagonia will be countered by someone who will never forget the beautifully prepared salads from another meal. So, we thought it would be fun to play the same game on a wider scale by interviewing some of our “experts” - those who have traveled with us multiple times - and hearing about the experiences that stand out most to them from various corners of the world.

ROGUEXPERTS: Jacob's Top Picks

This is my favorite picture from my most recent RE trip to Slovenia. Several seconds of feeling really, really alive and in the moment. Being ever so present in the whole process from start to finish. Rogue Expeditions ignites the fire that is my soul, from within. It is a pretty special company and a special group of people that come together to make all of that possible. 

This is my favorite picture from my most recent RE trip to Slovenia. Several seconds of feeling really, really alive and in the moment. Being ever so present in the whole process from start to finish. Rogue Expeditions ignites the fire that is my soul, from within. It is a pretty special company and a special group of people that come together to make all of that possible. 

Name: Jacob G., Austin, Texas
Trips completed: Run Tahoe, Run Alpe-Adria, Run Morocco: Gorges & Sahara

Describe your most memorable day:

It is hard to pick the most memorable day... but I guess, If I had to pick one day, it would be the day I dislocated my shoulder in Slovenia and really bonded with Tone for the next 5 hours at the hospital. 

Describe your favorite run:

My favorite run was either the Todra Gorge long run or the Mars run, both in Morocco. Feeling so small in the massive canyons was pretty spectacular! I also really enjoyed the Mars run, because I got to say hi to a little nomad girl wandering in the desert and got to give a shepherd an Epic bar. 

Your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is hands down the black truffle pasta lunch in Slovenia. I was in a food coma that I could have happily never come out of!


What was your most challenging moment or day?

My last run in Slovenia. Running with a dislocated shoulder for a few miles was both physically and mentally exhausting. Spending a few hours in a Slovenian hospital was interesting too. 

Which place or experience exceeded your expectations (or just surprised you)?

EVERY Rogue Expedition trip has exceeded my expectations. I have never once been disappointed.

What’s the most important item that you pack?

Frisbee/Hacky Sack!

ROGUEXPERTS: Aleksandra's Top Picks

YES - I survived being sacrificed to mountain gods! Life is awesome!

YES - I survived being sacrificed to mountain gods! Life is awesome!

Name: Aleksandra L., Houston
Trips completed: Run Bend, Run Tahoe, Run Morocco: Mountains & Coast, Run Alpe-Adria
Trips currently registered for: Run BC

Describe your most memorable day:

Trekking up to the base camp of Jebel Toubkal - complete with stunning views, 2 miles of hiking in snow, and incredible sense of accomplishment!

Describe your favorite run:

The long run along Lake Tahoe - the most beautiful run ever!

Your favorite meal?

This one is nearly impossible to answer - there were so many memorable meals between Morocco, Slovenia, Croatia… And yet I would have to go with the home cooked, family-style meals on the Lake Tahoe trip. If you guys ever get bored of guiding running trips, gourmet chef would be a solid plan B…


What was your most challenging moment or day?

I would have to say the long run to the palm oasis in Morocco. Six miles straight uphill, then coming out on a plateau where the wind was enough to freeze off your ears and digits, and then being left behind by the support team (through my own fault - I strayed off the track) and running the last 9 miles completely alone in the mountains whose sheer scale made me feel tiny and utterly lost. And some lingering doubt - just the day before we joked about an old Moroccan custom which required ritual sacrifice of one runner to the mountain gods to assure successful future running trips… Did I just get voted off the island??

Needless to say, there was happy ending to this - 2 miles before the finish I was met by Hamid bearing snacks and water… : )

Which place or experience exceeded your expectations (or just surprised you)?

Again - Morocco - it was such an unexpected range of vistas and landscapes, the sheer beauty and scale of the mountains, and the incredible friendliness of people!

What’s the most important item that you pack?

An ATM card. Especially on international trips, you always underestimate your need for cash for incidentals. Other than that - sterile needles for unexpected blisters (along with dressing supplies, athletic tape, and prewrap). Bonus packing tip: I use 2 gallon ziplock bags to pack all clothing items - it does wonders for ease of repacking and finding what you need - especially if you use a backpack or a duffel bag.

From SIGN UP to GO TIME: What to expect when you register for a trip

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So you’ve browsed, wondered, Insta-stalked, dreamt and maybesomeday-ed enough, and today you’ve finally decided that it’s time. You’re going for it! Here’s how you make it happen, and what happens after that:

FIRST:
You’ve gotta get registered. Head back over to our website (yes, we know you’ve been lurking around it for awhile now) and click the “Sign Up” button on your chosen trip page. Assuming that it’s more than 3 months from the trip start date, choose “Deposit” and add it to your cart. If there are less than 3 months remaining until departure, then you’ll choose “Pay in Full.” Bringing along someone else? Update the quantity to “2.” Flying solo? Then you’re all set - click “Check out!”

NEXT:
Fill in basic personal and payment info, then answer a few questions about any special diet requirements, relevant medical conditions and your running abilities. Acknowledge the waiver then hit SUBMIT - you’re in! You’ll immediately receive an automated receipt with a message letting you know that we’ll begin group communication about 4 months out from the departure date, but that you’re welcome to send along questions at any time. If it’s already less than four months til go time, Gabe or Allison will get in touch with you within a few days (we aim to be quick, but sometimes we’re camped out in the Sahara or chasing whales in Patagonia or bagging peaks in Ireland with a group and can’t get right to it).

4 MONTHS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:
You’ll receive an email from either Gabe or Allison reminding you about your balance payment due date and giving you log in information to your trip Basecamp page, which houses the packing list, itinerary, some basic facts and cultural information about your destination, guide profiles, flight booking requirements and a place to submit those details once you are booked. You’ll also find a link to the group Facebook page, which is a closed group that provides a great place to share travel plans, ask general questions and “meet” others in the group before the trip begins (it later becomes a great place to share photos). Take a minute to jump over and introduce yourself!

3 MONTHS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:
Head back over to our website to pay your balance, if you haven’t already. This is also the time to register for a private room or early arrival if you want, so that we can make the appropriate bookings for you. Start looking for flight deals, and book when you see something that you like. Then, start the countdown (and give yourself permission to go buy any new gear that you want..er, need)… time is officially flying!

(For those “occasional” runners among us, this is a good time to start getting back into it…)

60-90 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:
Gabe or Allison will check in again via email, reminding you to submit your flight details if you haven’t yet and providing an update of the travel plans they’ve received so far. 

1-2 WEEKS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:
Final notes! We’ll confirm all of the arrival times and give you a detailed rundown of what to expect on arrival day - where we’ll meet you, where we’ll take you and what we have scheduled for you (other than a good night of sleep!). You’ll get a list of accommodation names in case you want to share it with someone at home (or just get a preview for yourself), a few last minute reminders and that’s that… go time is just around the corner!

1 DAY PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:
Your last day at work is done, your flight is tomorrow - and you haven’t packed a thing! No worries, just pull up that packing list, throw it all in a bag, triple-check that you’ve got your passport, put your running shoes in your carry-on (pro-tip!) then try to suppress your excitement (and maybe some nervousness too) enough to get some sleep…

DEPARTURE DAY:
Get yourself and your luggage to the airport with plenty of time to spare, get to the gate, update your social media channel of choice to let everyone know about the exotic locale that you’re headed off to (you’re going there to run?! on vacation?! are you crazy?) then board the plane and get comfortable. We’ll be there to meet you on the other side!