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Passport Required
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It was my BIRTHDAY damn it!! Of course, I had the best time! Were there bumps in the road?! Yes. But what trip doesn’t? You name one and I will travel with you forever!! I trusted PassportRequired with the most celebrated day of my life.... My BIRTHDAY!! And he served me the best dish EVER!! My trip was a bit different but yet the same! I came to PassportRequired to plan a birthday that was AWESOMELY different and he did!! A week before my trip he announced where I was going which wasn’t an issue for me because I was packing nothing but bikinis anyway wherever I ended up lol!! The excitement of not knowing until the week before is AMAZING! It’s almost like having sex for the first time with that special someone and it turns out to be the BEST YOU EVER HAD!! The announcement was the ORGASM when he announced I was going to Cartagena and San Andres, Colombia...I was satisfied!! The Trip: Bumps, Blunders, and oh Such a Great time!! My sister and I headed out for the next adventure of our lives! She’s my ride or die so with her anything going to be great! The flight was great and the transfer over to our next flights were smooth.... We have made it and it’s time to turn up! Colombia has got to be the HOTTEST place on earth!! The heat is horrific but who fault is that about the heat? Gives you a better excuse to stay half naked!! The AirBnB was a nice little 2 bedroom cottage that overlooked the city. Cash UBER is a thing here! Be careful with your money because it all looks alike and everybody isn’t honest!! The only take pesos so load up! Peddlers are everywhere ... even when you are having a nice dinner outside on the restaurants patio! An excursion was included and it was a very nice one but I wasn’t sure what all I should bring because the description was a little vague so instead of a boat ride straight to the beach.... we made a stop in the middle of the ocean and swam with the tropical fish...we even got to feed them!! THE BEACH: The excursion included dinner and I must say the food was amazing on the whole entire trip!! The beach was beautiful but you had to go off to the ends of it to enjoy it because so many peddlers!! The NIGHT: ITS MY BIRTHDAY and we found some clubs nearby in Ole Towne that was amazing and I dance the night away!! Afterwards, they have these little food carts out selling Empanadas.... I know I hate a hundred of those things lol San Andres!!! Transfer flight to here!! This was not a good experience for me because I was taken to the back with my suitcase to be searched! (Please know some Spanish) Don’t worry it was only a jug of water because you have to remember you can’t drink the water!! After almost missing the flight and paying them nearly all our pesos to travel because we are foreigners lol Check in was a Bump but it was immediately taken care of and I must say that was one HELL of a hostile...with a rooftop bar at night and all you can eat breakfast in the morning (just don’t drink any water, anywhere!!). Met great people, went sightseeing, beach bumming, ate amazing food, and slipped in to the beach at night for a bit of skinny dipping!! The Wrap UP: Back in Cartagena for hour final day! The HOTEL was the best thing!! It was BEAUTIFUL!! Honestly I wanted just one full day in this hotel it was that nice lol We toured, took pics, of course ate more food!! Colombia owes me nothing!! It had the best beaches, hospitality, entertainment, and food! PassportRequired delivered a memorable trip and I couldn’t have asked for anything more!! Thank you for an Awesome Life Experience!!
This trip was a more of a let down than a cool down for me, so much so that I left early. First off, the trip was (ambiguously) advertised as being to a completely different location than it actually was and because the organizer would not allow refunds, I felt trapped into going so I wouldn't lose all of my money. The other participants were cliquey but the team lead was nice enough. I basically did lose all my money however because I ended up leaving early (of my own accord) because why stay in a place where you dont wanna be? Also, because I left after 36hrs, I can't speak to the entire trip, but I wouldn't recommend this experience to anyone who has ever booked a hotel or a flight by themselves, because that's essentially all you're paying (inflated prices) for... Well that, and the mystery of not knowing where you're going. You must plan and pay for transportation, and activities yourself. When our group arrived to our off the beaten path (read cheapest available) hostel, the bill had not yet been paid for our stay and the group leader couldnt get in touch with Darnell, the organizer, or as he likes to call himself in the group chats, "Clever Bastard" right away. The experience left a bad taste in my mouth and I was treated with contempt by Darnell when I voiced my concerns. I give 1 star, because under the right conditions, like traveling with nice people, and not being mislead about where you're going on vacaction, it could have been a good trip. My advice is, save your coins, go to Groupon. At least they have decent customer service/support.
By Tiffany Key for The Cool Down. on Aug 25, 2018
I had an amazing time on my trip. There were so many photo opportunities. The trip facilitator made sure everyone was satisfied. I would definitely go in another Passport Required trip.
By Tiffany Keys for The Cool Down. on Aug 11, 2018
A Passport Required trip is something I had been promising myself for years. I'm usually more of a planned vacationer and the spontaneity and uncertainty of it caused me to hesitate. But I got one of the company's "What are you waiting for?" emails and had to really ask myself, "What am I waiting for?" I booked the trip like two days later. Being anxious for over two months about where we were going, including the spoof location he gave us a month out to Fucking, Austria, all played into my excitement for the trip. Little did I know that a flight to Amsterdam, Netherlands for King's Day would end up taking us to Strasbourg, France; Dusseldorf, Cologne, and the Black Forest, Germany; Basel, Switzerland; Luxembourg; and back to Nordwijk and Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was a fun-filled trip with 11 strangers and life lessons. The first being never lose sight of Darnell because he's tall and walks fast and seems to forget he's got 10 people trying to follow him. You've got a Google Map pin at the car's location, right? Good. He'll meet you back there and have fun in foreign lands in his absence. He's busy trying to see it all, do it all, eat it all and so should you be. But that's fine. It gives you time to meet new people, see new things, and have new adventures. Whether that's climbing the hills of the Black Forest in a wide car with narrow roads and a cliff face right beside your window (don't try this at home, kids), to finding a local couchsurfing event and spending the evening listening to music on a stranger's floor with 30 other people, trying to crash a ticketed event at a hotel after getting free cookies, or accidentally breaking a picture frame after a fantastic dinner and departing a restaurant before the owners can get their bearings about it, the world is your oyster. From deep talks during long drives to bearing witness to one of Darnell's dreams coming true, this was one of my best trips abroad. I left friends and family at home worrying about me traveling to places unknown with people unknown (though we were friends by the time we made it back to the airport home). I hate to disappoint them because I can't wait to book my next Passport Required trip. Friends, you coming?
In 1985, John Hughes delivered the cult classic "The Breakfast Club". The tagline was "They only met once, but it changed their lives forever". No truer words could be used to describe this Passport Required trip. Eleven strangers came together for kicks and shenanigans. This trip was everything I hoped it would be and more. From getting lost in The Black Forest to crashing a party in Luxembourg to attending a living room concert in Köln, we were never short on adventure. I admit that it was unnerving to travel to an unknown destination with people I had never met, but I wouldn't change a thing. Sometimes you have to let go and ride the wind. We started this trip as strangers, ended as old friends, and life will never be the same.
So in a nutshell its like this, last year I decided I needed and wanted to try something different and do something totally different for my birthday in 2018. I love my homies, friends, family but a party or even nice dinners, well I could do those pre and post my actual Birthday day, I thought No, what I knew I wanted to do since last summer was travel somewhere out of the country, simple as that. While I have been so blessed and fortunate to travel abroad extensively in Europe, So. America, etc., the one place I had never traveled to was the Far East and any part of Asia. Imagine my very pleasant surprise after finding out from Passport Required Trip organizer Darnell Lamont Walker who is amazing at planning different and unique kinds of experiential destination trips around the globe (literally he has been to so many far off places round the world thus far..)that we were headed to Hong Kong, WTF!!!! It was a total of 4 of us and everyone was meeting for the 1st time, on the plane at LAX headed to Hong Kong. The trip did NOT disappoint and when I try to describe it to everyone since I have been back I usually just say it was a 110% perfect trip. From all the places we saw and walked around on the different islands, from Lantau Island, to Hong Kong Island, Macau, to small fishing villages where the people lived simply but happily, to being in the crazy cool metropolis of Hong Kong the metro city itself where certain aspects like the rush hour of people and its subway reminded me of NYC, the energy of the travel never stopped. We ate and ate, man did we eat, but it was all the local food markets and restaurants and the street meats as they were called in the different cities. I have never had so much Dim Sum in my life but loved every minute of it, some of us tried the deep Fried Pigeon (Uh-huh) that was on the menu at restaurants, to Fish Ball that was cooked on the street from the street vendors to some very delicious French toast (go figure..). We saw and walked up to The Big Buddha aka Tian Tan Buddha, and on Hong Kong Island they know how to party till wee hours in the am which is what we did the 1st night after dropping our backpacks off at the place we were staying, it started at the the Hard Rock and on to the many local bars, till the sun was coming up, so much fun. Darnell picked and showed us sights around all of Hong Kong that was a wonderful discovery each and every corner we turned and walked even if wasn't the street we needed to be in, it was fun and we always felt safe as group that if we got a bit lost Darnell and our group effort would get us back to our Main Street which is always what happened. From each day of walking between 8-9miles (an thats no exaggeration)it was an amazing experience combined with the local Hong Kongian people who were always kind and accommodating to us from small villages to the city, I have not a negative thing to say.. not one. I also feel like Aneesha, Shanice and of course Darnell are my new travel friends and extended family as that is how closely and how much we bonded. This trip that Darnell planned for us was special in so many ways for me personally and it just leaves me with a taste to see more of Hong Kong (you only need a Passport for there) to also wanting to see other parts of Asia as well like Japan, Tokyo, Taipei and you name it. Hopefully I will be doing some of those and more with Darnell and the crew with Passport Required, he is simply put a consummate, fun, deliberate and knowledgable travel leader who knew how to make every step on this journey and my Birthday that much more extra special for me personally. I will never forget it, and now where too next lol! Eric B
By Eric Brown for Scenic Route Into Yourself on Feb 28, 2018
They say the best experiences often arise from engaging in the unexpected. I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and booked. It was scary at first all the unknown but well worth the risk. I visited places I would have never ventured to on my own & now have beautiful memories. I met some wonderful people, ate amazing food, & learned how to stop being a tourist and be a traveler. I will travel with Passport Required again.
By Melise Smith for The Pursuit of Joy on Feb 25, 2018
Our time in Peru was an experience to remember. The intimate group of five shared memorable stories, yelled across the table during a great debate and fellowshipped over delicious food. Our adventurous side came out in Huacachina, Peru as we screamed our way down the sand dunes. This is my second trip with PR and they only seem to be getting better. I highly encourage traveling with PR, you won't regret it.
It wasn’t until the second or third day of our trip that I asked the obvious question, “how’d you hear about this?”. A GQ article introduced me to passportrequired. It lent credibility to doing all the things that my mom told me not to do, like not giving a stranger a large sum of money for the promise of something great. Travelling solo while black. It’s something “WE” don’t do. But travel and adventure beyond your comfort zone isn’t for any one race or skin tone. It belongs to those willing to embrace it. A few short months after I read the stories on I spent a night sleeping on the floor of international departures at Pearson International with my backpack as a pillow and my jacket as a blanket; I had run a gauntlet and come out the other end a blackpacker. The group was small. Morally supporting a person defying their fear of heights while they climb a mountain overlooking a gorge makes for fast friends. High fives and words of support cost nothing, but can make you a friend in the Lou. We were looking to throw caution to the wind, or off a bridge when necessary. Bungee Jump for $20? Twist my rubber arm! This was exactly what I didn’t know I came for. Offers of Hawaiian Rolls - foolishly declined, Bulk Barn treats and candy I won from an arcade the night before I left sustained me between delicious local meals that we sat and ate together. Nothing really went wrong. When you have zero expectations you can't be disappointed. The run-ins with customs, the closed thermal bath, no one cared. The one sketchy part? The resort we checked into at 3am for a couple hours rest before shuttling off to the airport - that one with the wet bed - at least one of us said a prayer out loud for our uber driver’s return trip. I think we were mostly sketched out by being in such touristy surroundings; And wet bed sheets -- they got changed. Things don’t always go right or as expected. The trip was a reminder that if you commit to having a great time, step out of your box and embrace what's in front of you, nothing can go wrong. We were a family, for better or worse, we had gone through some shit. Laughing, sharing meals, sharing one bathroom -- making necessary bathroom rules. We got to know each other. We asked awkward questions and supported each other through it all; Throwing only as much shade as we knew a person could handle. That IS family. In San Salvador airport a call came out for passengers to give up their seats on our flight. Normally, not an option. But normal had shifted somewhere between sleeping on the ground and jumping off a bridge. Our group tried to take advantage of the upgrade - lounge access and a flight voucher. They only needed one. I learned a hard but valuable lesson, just like with the hawaiian rolls: if you want something and it's being offered, take it - politely or not (preferably politely) don't pass on the opportunities you want. That way when you’re writing your story you can talk all about the sweet taste of adventure, hawaiian rolls, and complimentary airline lounge drinks. Just like that beyond a pink pillar in the distance Darnell disappeared like a genie, wishes of travel and adventure being granted. In short, pay the man offering you the magic beans. It’s worth it! The money I sent to passportrequired was the best use of my dollars in 2017.
By Roger Grandison for For The Culture! on Feb 01, 2018
After I signed up for my passport required trip, I sat for a minute and thought, oh no, what have I done. Could I really go out of the country for the first time, with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and only take a backpack?? Especially, not having a clue where we would end up. The answer is I absolutely could, and I did. My trip to the Bahamas was an absolutely amazing experience. I did things I probably would never have done, and made friendships that I hope will last forever. I can’t wait to sign up for my next trip, and go somewhere equally as awesome, with some cool people. I can’t stop telling people what a fantastic opportunity this is. Definitely NO regrets!!!!
We had an adventurous time in Jaco, Costa Rica, full of surprises and happy to be with people who can adjust on the fly
By D Brown for Nupes After HomeKoming on Nov 05, 2017
I had no idea of what to expect, but I was not disappointed. It was a great experience , waiting on the destination like Christmas. We were all complete strangers to start, but no one could tell by the end. I will definitely book another trip very spuerto Vallarta was great..locals, food, beaches and best hanging with new friends. oon with Passport Required.
By Nitasha Walder for Out There. on Aug 15, 2017
My trip with Passport Required was a blast. Montreal is a beautiful city and Darnell did an amazing job displaying it to us newbies. We enjoyed delicious cuisine topped with intellectual conversation and endless laughter. I will definitely be attending another Passport Required trip in the near future.
This trip was about letting go of fears, embracing the unknowns, seeking and finding adventure, and making new friends. Thank you for the opportunity to join you and 5 others on the Sockless Summer trip. You have a gift for bringing people together, helping them step outside their comfort zone, and making it easy to trust the strangers that embarked on this adventure with you.
By Eugenia McDaniel for Sockless Summer on Jun 23, 2017
Signing up for a trip with destination unknown was quite exciting. The group worked well together and we had a blast in Barbados. I would definitely travel with Passport Required again!
Awesome trip!