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Ralph Velasco Chief DRIFTER

For more than 15 years, I've been organizing and leading small-group cultural tours around the world. These trips are specifically designed for active Baby Boomers and have all been 5-star rated and reviewed by my past clients.

Just some of the locations I continue to lead trips to include Antarctica, Cuba, Mexico's Copper Canyon, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, and throughout the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, France, Portugal) and others (Armenia & Georgia and Finnish & Swedish Lapland).

During these trips, I love to share off-the-beaten-path locations and unique experiences, such as olive oil and caviar tastings, wine and spirit tastings, foodie tours and market walks, cooking classes and demonstrations, and when possible, I always introduce my clients to the local people, often getting into their homes and places of business to see how they live and work. We use expert local guides to be our interpreters, offer local history, answer questions, and provide us with insights into the local customs and more.

My YouTube channel, The Continental DRIFTER® (https://youtube.com/continentaldrifter) is where I share travel and photography tips with a large list of mature travelers who have remained loyal to my brand throughout the years.

I always say, "Life's too short not to travel!"

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Unveiling The Best Of Bilbao: Essential Spain Travel Tips &Raquo; Guggenheim Wide Shot Bilbao Spain Copyright 2019 Ralph Velasco 1024X683 1
Unveiling the Best of Bilbao: Essential Spain Travel Tips

Nestled in the heart of Spain’s Basque Country, Bilbao beckons travelers with its rich culture, stunning architecture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado, or …

Nestled in the heart…

Nestled in the heart of Spain’s Basque Country, Bilbao beckons travelers with its rich culture, stunning architecture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado, or a foodie at heart, this vibrant city offers a plethora of experiences to delight every traveler. Join me as we explore the best things to do in Bilbao, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems.Gaze Upon the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: Begin your Bilbao adventure with a visit to the iconic Guggenheim Museum. Designed by renowned Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, this avant-garde masterpiece boas…

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Embracing The Moment: The Power Of ‘Be Here Now’ In Mindful Travel &Raquo; Man On Bridge In Copper Canyon Divisadero Mexico Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco
Embracing the Moment: The Power of ‘Be Here Now’ in Mindful Travel

In an era where digital distractions are just a click away, the mantra ‘Be Here Now’ offers a refreshing escape. I first learned the power of these three words when I was just 16 years old and on …

In an era where digi…

In an era where digital distractions are just a click away, the mantra ‘Be Here Now’ offers a refreshing escape. I first learned the power of these three words when I was just 16 years old and on a school group trip to Peru in South America.  Needless to say, as a group of young boys (there were 9 of us) being in this very foreign land on the other side of the world brought up feelings of longing for our own beds, friends and family, and the familiar foods we grew up with, but what came to be the mantra of the trip was simply:  BE HERE NOW It’s important that travelers of all ages imme…

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Can You Visit Antarctica As A Tourist? &Raquo; Blog Photos 1200 X 630 Px 35 1024X537 1
Can You Visit Antarctica as a Tourist?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the endless barrage of travel options and daunting plans? Imagine a trip where every meticulous detail is managed by one experienced Tour Leader, enabling you to unwind …

Are you feeling over…

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the endless barrage of travel options and daunting plans? Imagine a trip where every meticulous detail is managed by one experienced Tour Leader, enabling you to unwind and fully immerse yourself in the thrill of exploration.Yes, You Can Visit Antarctica as a Tourist—Here’s Why You ShouldWhile the notion of visiting Antarctica may seem daunting, it’s not only achievable but more straightforward than you’d expect! Antarctica isn’t reserved solely for researchers and scientists; it’s a spectacular destination for adventurous travelers eager to e…

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Elevate Your Adventures: Practical Travel Affirmations For Every Journey &Raquo; Cd Header For Wetravel Cropped 1024X322 1
Elevate Your Adventures: Practical Travel Affirmations for Every Journey

If you’ve flipped through my recent book “60 AFFIRMATIONS for Travel,” part of my new Mindful & Intentional Traveler series, you know I’m all about infusing positivity into our journeys. Being…

If you’ve flipped …

If you’ve flipped through my recent book “60 AFFIRMATIONS for Travel,” part of my new Mindful & Intentional Traveler series, you know I’m all about infusing positivity into our journeys. Being mindful and intentional about our travels can greatly enhance our experiences, allowing us to get the most out of every adventure.  Today, let’s dive into some practical travel affirmations that’ll keep us grounded, boost our spirits, and make our adventures even more unforgettable. 1. Embrace New Experiences “With each step, I’m open to new adventures and ready to soak up every moment. …

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The Ultimate Convenience: 7 Benefits Of Traveling In A Small Group Tour &Raquo; Lobby 1024X684 1
The Ultimate Convenience: 7 Benefits of Traveling in a Small Group Tour

Are you tired of spending countless hours researching hotels, activities, and transportation options for your next trip, only to end up overwhelmed and uncertain about your choices? Imagine the relief…

Are you tired of spe…

Are you tired of spending countless hours researching hotels, activities, and transportation options for your next trip, only to end up overwhelmed and uncertain about your choices? Imagine the relief of knowing that every aspect of your journey has been meticulously planned and vetted by experts, allowing you to simply show up and enjoy the adventure. Embarking on a small group tour offers a myriad of advantages, but perhaps the most enticing is the unparalleled convenience it provides. Here are seven compelling reasons why traveling with a small group tour is the ultimate stress-free way to …

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What Are The Benefits Of Small Group Tours? &Raquo; Ralph Velasco Working With Tour Participant In Berber Rug Shop Tinerhir Morocco Copyright 2014 Lois Brassart 1024X768 1
What Are the Benefits of Small Group Tours?

Small group travel offers an array of advantages for those craving immersive and enriching experiences. Here’s why these tours stand out as exceptional options for travelers seeking unforgettable jo…

Small group travel o…

Small group travel offers an array of advantages for those craving immersive and enriching experiences. Here’s why these tours stand out as exceptional options for travelers seeking unforgettable journeys: Personalized Exploration With small group tours, you’re not just another face in a big bus crowd. The intimate group size (for my tours that’s 6 – 10 participants, depending on the trip) allows for personalized attention from our guides, and me, and opportunities to engage with local people on a deeper level. Traveling this way you’re sure to have more meaningful interactions with …

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Savoring Global Delights: A Guide To Exploring Street Food Markets Around The World &Raquo; Pexels Soubhagya Maharana 17685500 1024X682 1
Savoring Global Delights: A Guide to Exploring Street Food Markets Around the World

In the vibrant tapestry of global cuisine, street food markets stand out as dynamic hubs of culinary creativity and cultural exchange. From the sizzling stalls of Bangkok’s bustling night markets to…

In the vibrant tapes…

In the vibrant tapestry of global cuisine, street food markets stand out as dynamic hubs of culinary creativity and cultural exchange. From the sizzling stalls of Bangkok’s bustling night markets to the fragrant alleys of Marrakech’s souks, street food markets offer a tantalizing array of flavors, aromas, and textures that capture the essence of a destination like nothing else.  Join us on a culinary journey as we explore some of the world’s most iconic street food markets and discover the diverse delights they have to offer.Delhi, India: A Gastronomic Journey Through the Capital In t…

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The Treasures Of India’s Golden Triangle And Beyond: A Journey Through Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, And Pushkar &Raquo; Women On Rickshaw And Traffic Delhi India Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco 1024X680 1
The Treasures of India’s Golden Triangle and Beyond: A Journey Through Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Pushkar

Introduction: Embark on an unforgettable journey through the vibrant heart of India’s Golden Triangle. From the bustling streets of Delhi to the majestic forts of Jaipur, and the timeless beauty of …

Introduction: Embark…

Introduction: Embark on an unforgettable journey through the vibrant heart of India’s Golden Triangle. From the bustling streets of Delhi to the majestic forts of Jaipur, and the timeless beauty of Agra’s Taj Mahal, each destination offers a unique glimpse into India’s rich history, culture, and heritage. Join us as we explore the must-visit attractions and hidden gems of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Pushkar, uncovering the magic and allure of these iconic Indian destinations.Delhi: Welcome to Delhi, the dynamic capital city that seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modernity…

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Exploring The Treasures Of France’s Dordogne Region: A Journey Through History, Culture, And Natural Beauty &Raquo; Landscape With Lone Tree Dordogne France Copyright 2019 Ralph Velasco 1024X768 1
Exploring the Treasures of France’s Dordogne Region: A Journey through History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

France’s Dordogne region, nestled in the heart of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, is a captivating destination that beckons travelers with its rich history, picturesque villages, and stunning landscapes. From t…

France’s Dordogne …

France’s Dordogne region, nestled in the heart of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, is a captivating destination that beckons travelers with its rich history, picturesque villages, and stunning landscapes. From the medieval charm of Brantôme to the culinary delights of Périgueux, and the natural wonders of the Vézère Valley, the Dordogne region is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the best of this enchanting region. 1. Explore the Château de Bourdeilles Begin your adventure in Bourdeilles, a village steeped in history. Visit the Château de Bourdeilles,…

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Exploring The Marvels Of Mexico’s Copper Canyon: A Journey Into Natural Wonders And Indigenous Culture &Raquo; Tarahumara Woman With El Chepe Divisadero Mexico Copyright 2012 Ralph Velasco 300X200 1
Exploring the Marvels of Mexico’s Copper Canyon: A Journey into Natural Wonders and Indigenous Culture

Mexico’s Copper Canyon, or “Barrancas del Cobre” in Spanish, is a hidden gem that offers a breathtaking mix of rugged landscapes, rich indigenous culture, and heartwarming hospitality. This natu…

Mexico’s Copper Ca…

Mexico’s Copper Canyon, or “Barrancas del Cobre” in Spanish, is a hidden gem that offers a breathtaking mix of rugged landscapes, rich indigenous culture, and heartwarming hospitality. This natural wonder, often compared in size to the Grand Canyon, deserves a spot on every adventurous traveler’s bucket list. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the best of the Copper Canyon, including the charming towns of Creel, Chihuahua, Divisadero, and El Fuerte. 1. Start in the Gateway Town of Creel Although there are many ways to organize it, you can begin your Copper Canyon adventure in the …

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Antarctica Expedition - Fly And Antarctica Cruise | Antarctica Travel Guide &Raquo; Hqdefault 74
Antarctica Expedition – Fly and Antarctica Cruise | Antarctica Travel Guide

Antarctica Expedition - Fly and Antarctica Cruise | The Complete ExperienceAntarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. Most c…

Antarctica Expeditio…

Antarctica Expedition - Fly and Antarctica Cruise | The Complete ExperienceAntarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. Most cruises to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches toward South America. It’s known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, striking, iceberg-flanked passageways, and Port Lockroy, a former British research station turned museum. The peninsula’s isolated terrain also shelters rich wildlife, including many penguins.Antarctica Mysterious Facts- Antarctica is the hig…

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The Sound Of Success: Why Quality Audio Is Essential For Your Videos &Raquo; Pexels Photo 1024X683 1
The Sound of Success: Why Quality Audio is Essential for Your Videos

In the world of video production, it’s easy to become fixated on visuals—the stunning landscapes, captivating performances, and cinematic camera angles that make our videos come to life on screen.…

In the world of vide…

In the world of video production, it’s easy to become fixated on visuals—the stunning landscapes, captivating performances, and cinematic camera angles that make our videos come to life on screen. However, there’s another critical element that often goes overlooked but is equally—if not more—important: audio.  Quality audio can make or break a video, significantly impacting the viewer’s experience and the overall effectiveness of your content and it’s widely thought that people would prefer to watch a poor video with good sound quality over a high quality video with poor sound q…

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Unlocking The Power Of Additional Smartphone Features: Elevating Your Travel Videos With Creative Techniques &Raquo; Golden Sunset Over Kas Kas Turkey Copyright 2020 Ralph Velasco 1 1024X682 1
Unlocking the Power of Additional Smartphone Features: Elevating Your Travel Videos with Creative Techniques

In a recent blog post (Unlock the Magic…), we delved into the art of capturing stunning travel videos on your smartphone. Now, let’s take your videography skills to the next level by exploring the…

In a recent blog pos…

In a recent blog post (Unlock the Magic…), we delved into the art of capturing stunning travel videos on your smartphone. Now, let’s take your videography skills to the next level by exploring the creative possibilities offered by various smartphone features. From slow motion to time-lapse and panorama, these features can add depth, drama, and visual interest to your travel videos, helping you tell compelling stories and capture unforgettable moments. Read on to discover how to unlock the full potential of your smartphone and create videos that wow your audience. 1. Slow Motion: Adding Dra…

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Exploring Portugal’s Porto And The Enchanting Douro Valley: A Wine And Culture Odyssey &Raquo; Ribeira And Dom I Bridge From Vila Nova De Gaia Porto Portugal Copyright 2019 Ralph Velasco 1024X683 1
Exploring Portugal’s Porto and the Enchanting Douro Valley: A Wine and Culture Odyssey

Portugal, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and world-class wines, beckons travelers to explore its enchanting cities and picturesque wine regions. Porto and the Douro Valley, in the northe…

Portugal, known for …

Portugal, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and world-class wines, beckons travelers to explore its enchanting cities and picturesque wine regions. Porto and the Douro Valley, in the northern part of the country, are jewels in Portugal’s crown, offering a perfect blend of cultural immersion and wine appreciation. Let’s uncover the best things to do in this delightful duo of Portuguese destinations. 1. Stroll the Historic Ribeira District in Porto Begin your journey in Porto by wandering through the historic Ribeira district. Cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and charming …

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Unlock The Magic: 10 Tips For Capturing Stunning Travel Videos On Your Smartphone &Raquo; Screenshot 2024 02 10 At 9.34.42 Am 1024X686 1
Unlock the Magic: 10 Tips for Capturing Stunning Travel Videos on Your Smartphone

In today’s digital age, our smartphones have become indispensable tools for capturing and sharing our travel adventures. Whether you’re exploring exotic landscapes or immersing yourself in local c…

In today’s digital…

In today’s digital age, our smartphones have become indispensable tools for capturing and sharing our travel adventures. Whether you’re exploring exotic landscapes or immersing yourself in local culture, your smartphone can help you create compelling videos that capture the essence of your journey.  Here are 10 essential tips to help you unlock the magic of smartphone videography and capture unforgettable moments on your travels, whatever type of smartphone you’re using. 1. Know Your Camera Settings Before you start filming, take a good amount of time to really familiarize yourself with…

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Exploring Spain’s Basque Country And La Rioja: A Culinary And Cultural Delight &Raquo; Vitorino And Ramon With Wine Glass Use This Laguardia Spain Copyright 2019 Ralph Velasco 1 300X200 1
Exploring Spain’s Basque Country and La Rioja: A Culinary and Cultural Delight

When it comes to Spain, most travelers think of iconic destinations like Barcelona, Madrid, or the beaches of the Costa del Sol. But if you’re seeking a different kind of Spanish experience, one tha…

When it comes to Spa…

When it comes to Spain, most travelers think of iconic destinations like Barcelona, Madrid, or the beaches of the Costa del Sol. But if you’re seeking a different kind of Spanish experience, one that’s rich in culinary delights, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes, look no further than the Basque Country and La Rioja region. These neighboring regions in the northern part of Spain, on the Bay of Biscay, offer a unique blend of traditions, flavors, and history that will leave you enchanted. Let’s explore the best things to do in this lesser-known, but utterly captivating part of Sp…

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Culinary Adventures: Savoring Local Flavors Around The World &Raquo; 1F37D
Culinary Adventures: Savoring Local Flavors Around the World

Calling all foodies and travel enthusiasts! If you’re a traveler of any age, you know that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new culture is through its cuisine. Join us on a culinary jou…

Calling all foodies …

Calling all foodies and travel enthusiasts! If you’re a traveler of any age, you know that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new culture is through its cuisine. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the world’s delectable delights and savor local flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. 1. Street Food Delights: One of the joys of travel is discovering street food gems. From Vietnam’s aromatic markets to Mexico’s mouthwatering tacos al pastor, street food is an adventure in itself. Don’t hesitate to try what the locals love. 2. Cooking Classes: Why not take a coo…

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Traveling In Style: Packing Tips And Fashion For The Mature Traveler &Raquo; 1F31F
Traveling in Style: Packing Tips and Fashion for the Mature Traveler

Are you a seasoned traveler who believes that style doesn’t have an age limit? Then you’re in the right place!  Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins in Greece, savoring wine in Italy, or taki…

Are you a seasoned t…

Are you a seasoned traveler who believes that style doesn’t have an age limit? Then you’re in the right place!  Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins in Greece, savoring wine in Italy, or taking a leisurely cruise down the Rhine, traveling in style is all about feeling confident, comfortable, and fabulous.  Here are some tips for Packing and Fashion that’ll have you turning heads on your next adventure. 1. Versatile Wardrobe: Opt for mix-and-match clothing items to create multiple outfits with fewer pieces. Neutral colors like black, navy, and beige work wonders for this. A classic …

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