Here is a short list of things we absolutely love: traveling the world, spending time in the great outdoors, making cultural connections, bringing joy into our everyday lives and celebrating womanhood.
So when we connected with WHOA Travel, we knew right away we were cut from the same cloth. This travel company focuses on outdoor adventure travel for women. They have built an inclusive community that empowers women to climb literal mountains. You know, like Sherpanis.
(And if you didn’t know what our company was named for, a Sherpani is a female Sherpa! For over twenty years, we have drawn inspiration from these fearless and groundbreaking women who guide travelers to remote mountain summits.)
Last month, WHOA Travel dropped a gem in our inbox that really struck a chord; a compilation video of an international dance party!
Now everyone loves to shake their booty in the privacy of their own home, but what about dancing your way around the world? This international collaboration is a full-on celebration of the joy dance brings, and we are here for it all the way. We found their spirit so contagious that we just had to keep the party going. So for Travel Tuesday this week, we are passing the joy on to you!
Click here to watch WHOA Travel’s dance party video - we dare you not to smile.
The video includes hundreds of women moving, grooving and lip-syncing to Whitney Houston’s iconic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Due to the pandemic throwing the entire travel industry for a loop, this video was three years in the making. WHOA has been making dance videos on their adventures for a long time, but never has one been so long-anticipated (not to mention elaborate, with all that choreography!).
We asked our friends at WHOA Travel about the story behind this video and were excited to learn that they have a decade-long history of dancing through life, travel and challenge.
Cofounders Allison and Danielle are best friends and travel bugs with a passion for testing their limits in the great outdoors. Prior to starting their company, the friends set out to summit Mount Kilimanjaro together. Unfortunately, they both fell sick on the same day of the hike. Feeling unwell is never fun, but getting sick on the side of a mountain is especially miserable. Somehow, their resolve to complete their challenge outweighed their poorly-timed illness, and the women reached the summit of Kilimanjaro despite this setback.
Want to take a guess as to their secret?
Song and dance are common practices on Mount Kilimanjaro. Local guides will lead group songs and chants to keep spirits high on the climb. The universal language of music includes and connects people, building the energy of the group as a whole.
Danielle and Allison recognized the effect that music and movement had on the other hikers, so they started trying it for themselves. In an effort to keep up their momentum (and drag themselves out of their misery) they started pulling out their silliest dance moves and encouraging each other onward.
From there, the friends started dancing on every adventure. When WHOA Travel launched in 2013, they tested out their prospective adventures by dancing along the Inca Trail on their way to Machu Picchu, completing another summit (this time in good health) of Kilimanjaro, and then heading to Germany for Oktoberfest; where there was admittedly less hiking, but still plenty of boogying down.
Dance parties are now a pivotal part of every WHOA Adventure. They are often used as a form of icebreaker before introductions even occur. These outdoor adventures involve physically demanding challenges that require women to dig deep and harness their inner power. Summiting some of the tallest mountains in the world is serious work, but it doesn’t mean they have to take themselves seriously every step of the way.
Dancing offers a physical release and is a great way to cultivate the positive mindset necessary for taking on a challenge. It is at once a grounding practice, a universal language that connects people across cultures, and a celebration.
“I think the nature of dance is contagious, so, of course, it’s going to have a ripple effect,” says Allison. Her point has been proven time and time again on WHOA Adventures. The infectious nature of their dance parties has even been known to draw in people from other travel groups!
In the video, you’ll see the fearless women of WHOA busting a move all over the world in locations like Kilimanjaro, Patagonia, Iceland and even upstate New York, at Camp WHOA.
We are pleased to tell you that Camp WHOA is exactly what it sounds like; a full-blown adult summer camp for women. At this camp, the activities and campfires come with unforgettable dance parties. Camp WHOA started as a way to include women who were interested in joining the WHOA community but weren’t ready for an international adventure. Inclusion is woven into everything WHOA does, and that’s a message we are behind one hundred percent.
So this week, we wanted to highlight the great work that WHOA Travel does (and the cool moves they’ve learned along the way). Thank you for bringing women together, and for celebrating adventure travel through the spirit of dance!
Seems to us that women can climb mountains, and move them.
All photos courtesy of WHOA Travel.
*Photo credit: Nicola Bailey
**Photo credit: Ren Fuller