By: Andrea Ross
When I first met Andrea Marshall I immediately liked her, she had my name after all and we were attending the same high school in Danville, California where we were immediate friends and known around school as The Andrea’s. Now, almost 20 years later Andrea and I are still friends, but our lives have gone, as they tend to do after high school, in completely different directions, until now.
Andrea went on to get her biology degree and then her PhD on Manta Rays and moved to Mozambique where she founded the Institute for Marine Megafauna Association and Ray of Hope Expeditions. I went on from high school to get an English degree and moved to Cambodia were I founded Journeys Within Tour Company & Boutique Hotel, and Journeys Within Our Community. We both have received some accolades. I am a Conde Nast Traveler World’s Top Travel Specialist and we won a Conde Nast World Savers Award in 2008; Andrea was featured in an amazing BBC documentary titled Andrea: Queen of the Mantas after she discovered a new species of Manta Ray (I know, amazing right?!?!).
It would seem that our lives were not destined to touch again. Then Andrea did an around the world tour studying and tagging mantas and she came through Thailand and Myanmar. Since I was in Cambodia I caught a quick flight and met her in Phuket. There we caught up on our very different lives, but also realized that we both still shared the same core values: passion for what we do, a deep commitment to conservation and community and a true spirit of adventure. On a night out in Phuket we hatched a plan to develop and run a tour to Myanmar for the following year. Despite our crazy schedules and the fact that we are both hopelessly busy we have now put together this tour.
So Andrea and I will meet up in Yangon in February and I will lead a week long trip through Myanmar, sharing the culture, communities and amazing highlights of this beautiful country. We will visit the orphanage that our company supports as well as meet the scholarship students attending university thanks to our not for profit. At the end of this week I will hand the reins over to Andrea and she will lead a week-long trip on a dive boat out to the Burma Banks and we will dive each day on some of the more untouched reefs in the world. We will meet the Moken Island people and Andrea will give talks at night about her conservation efforts, Manta Rays and their plight and we will then dive with her amazing creatures during the day.
Back in high school Andrea and I had a special bond, shared values and a deep sense that we wanted adventure in our lives. It’s so exciting to see that we haven’t lost these core values and that we can now offer a trip that celebrates everything we’ve become in the last 20 years. We have just published the trip on our website and we are looking for 12 travelers to join us on this adventure and let The Andrea’s show them Myanmar Land and Sea!
Contact email@example.com to book this once-in-a-lifetime trip!
Check out the PDF brochure to see a full itinerary Myanmar Land and Sea tour