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The 9 Most-Booked Insider Journeys of 2019

As we look forward to a new year—and a new decade—we’re also looking back on the highlights of 2019: our most exciting and rewarding adventures around the world and the travel experiences that meant the most to you. For our Insider Journeys community, 2019 was a year brimming with exploration and connection—from inaugural trips to Rome with Vogue and Napa Valley with WSJ. Magazine (where, despite a devastating outbreak of wildfires, we were still able to meet with the incredible winemakers who are supporting sustainable practices in the region) to discoveries in emerging destinations like Uzbekistan and Ethiopia with our most intrepid travelers—the first from our community to set foot there. We've rounded up some of our other favorite moments from the most-booked Insider Journeys of 2019. We hope you will join us again—or for the first time!—in 2020. Explore all upcoming Insider Journeys.

1.  Treasures of Egypt

Where: Cairo, Abu Simbel, Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor and more

When: February, March, October, November and December 2019 Itinerary Highlight (October): A behind-the-scenes hard-hat tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo's groundbreaking archaeological museum that is scheduled to open in 2020. It promises to become Egypt’s most important museum, housing thousands of priceless ancient artifacts, including all of the treasures of King Tutankhamun’s tomb (the first time all the pieces will be displayed together since they were discovered). Our travelers were able to explore inside the museum before it opens to the public for the first time this year, in the company of one of the collection’s experts.Email to be the first to know when new dates are released.

2.  Lebanon Discovery with Architectural Digest 


Beirut, Sidon, Jezzine, Byblos and Batroun When: April 2019 (twice sold-out!) Itinerary Highlight: Meeting Beirut’s many thought-leaders and creatives, including the founders of design house Bokja, Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, whose love for textiles and vintage furniture evolved to incorporate the cultural traditions of Middle Eastern and African refugees; designers Nada Debs and Rabih Kayrouz; Chef Hussein Hadid; artist Nabil Nahas; and many amazing others. In the words of Indagare founder and trip host Melissa Biggs Bradley: “These insiders offered a more nuanced, complex and ultimately complete view of a place too often boiled down to stereotypes. Thanks to them, our group walked away from this five-day trip with memories of incredible beauty, sophistication and hospitality.”

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3.  Sedona Retreat: Learning to Be Brave and Open with Elizabeth Lesser

Where: Mii amo spa resort in Sedona, Arizona

When: January 2019 Itinerary Highlight: Experiencing group meditations and reflections geared towards approaching the New Year with courage and creativity, guided by Omega Institute co-founder Elizabeth Lesser, the author of some of the most powerful books on soul-searching and healing, including the memoirs Broken Open and Marrow, as well as her newest work, When Women Are the Storytellers: Trust Your Heart, Tell Your Truth, Change the Story. In one of our 2019 attendees’ words: “My decision to attend was very spontaneous, and I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed every minute of the time with the group at Mii amo. They were insightful, inspirational, grounding—and so supportive. It was the perfect way to kickstart the year.”Email to be the first to know when new dates are released.

4.  Masterpieces of Marrakech Design with Architectural Digest

Where: Marrakech (with an evening excursion into the Desert d'Agafay)

When: May and October 2019 Itinerary Highlight: In the words of trip host Elise Bronzo, Indagare’s Membership Director: “We were less than 24 hours into our adventure and our group was already deep in animated conversation, swapping travel stories. With howling laughter in my ears, I took in the scene: we were sitting in the garden of Villa Oasis, the private residence of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, dining al fresco in the garden designed by Madison Cox. The sun was bright and hot, highlighting the brilliant blues, purples and greens of the villa, and dozens of mezzes, served in hand-painted ceramics from Fez, were being passed around the table. 'This is magic,' I thought then, and I'm still thinking about it a year later.”Email to be the first to know when new dates are released.

5.  Hiking in the Dolomites

Where: San Cassiano in the Italian Dolomites

When: September 2019 Itinerary Highlight: Daily hikes with local mountain guides throughout the pristine terrain of the Italian Dolomites—and returning home afterwards to the cozy and pampering Rosa Alpina lodge. In the words of traveler Andrea Lustig: “We loved challenging ourselves on the hikes, meeting so many interesting new friends and eating until we couldn’t move—then having to move our bodies down the hill! We laughed like crazy, opened our minds, pushed and fed body and soul and truly had the best trip.”Email to be the first to know when new dates are released.

6.  Secrets of St. Petersburg with Architectural Digest 

Where: St. Petersburg

When: October 2019 Itinerary Highlight: After-hours access to Pavlovsk, the former summer palace of the tsars, and the Hermitage Museum, with a behind-the-curtain tour of the locked storage chambers, which contain a treasure trove of items, from Imperial wardrobes, furniture and carriages to world-class works of art. In the words of one of our travelers: “St. Petersburg was a trip of a lifetime. You gave us all the biggest gift in opening the most amazing palaces and museums and most delicious restaurants in the city. The entire trip was so incredibly special, and we all loved meeting each other. As you said, this happens on all your Indagare trips—but it truly was perfect.”Email to be the first to know when new dates are released.

7.  Discovering Uzbekistan with John Robshaw

Where: Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand

When: September 2019 Itinerary Highlight: Accessing wonderful shopping for textile treasures, especially brightly-colored ikats, silks and embroidered suzani—amid ancient Silk Road monuments. Says Indagare trip host John Cantrell: “Many of the most wonderful moments were design-related, as that was the trip’s theme. We had dinner in the courtyard of an old palace under renovation—and afterward, the owner, a textile, dealer, and his wife took us inside and rolled out one gorgeous antique suzani after another. It was an incredible display—dozens of one-of-a-kind pieces, piled up six inches deep on the floor and all for sale. But shopping aside, the most special occasion to me was our visit to a synagogue in Bukhara. The city’s Jewish community dates back millennia, perhaps to the 7th century B.C. By the Middle Ages, Bukhara was the center for the largest Jewish population in Central Asia. But today, there are perhaps only 100 or so practicing members of the community in the city. The rabbi welcomed us, spoke to us and sang for us. In the setting of a small humble temple serving a population in decline, it was tremendously moving to glimpse the carrying on of such observance in the face of a very changed world and time.” Email to be the first to know when new dates are released.

8.  A Celebration of New Orleans Style with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art


New Orleans, Louisiana When: December 2019 Itinerary Highlight: Exploring the many, varied styles of architecture and entering some of the most stylish private homes in New Orleans with John Stubbs, an architectural historian and preservation expert based at Tulane. In the words of one of our travelers: “John Stubbs is a national treasure. Even putting aside his amazing qualifications, his enthusiasm, contacts and knowledge were astounding—plus, he's just a good guy: approachable and fun to be around! His love for the topic framed everything we did. I cannot praise him enough!”

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9.  Milan Style and Design with WSJ. Magazine  

Where: Milan and Lake Como

When: April 2019 Itinerary Highlight: Experiencing Milan during the annual Salone del Mobile fair—when special exhibits take place in churches, monuments and piazzas, and the atmosphere resembles a street party, with a love of beauty and innovation as the central theme. The city opened itself up for Indagare- and WSJ.-exclusive private visits, where we discovered traditional treasures like Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper; rarely accessed chambers of the Duomo and the Villa Necchi Campiglio (which provided the set for Luca Guadagnino’s film I Am Love, among other things); pop-up parties and exhibitions like those of Anton Alvarez and Carlo Massoud inside neighborhood churches; as well as the newest contributions to the city’s cultural scene, like the Prada Foundation’s Tower and the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca. In the words of one of our travelers: “It was an unforgettable, ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ experience. The professionalism of the itinerary was on the absolutely highest level, and the friendships that we all created along the way are priceless!” Explore all upcoming Insider Journeys.

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