Who is behind Just Boarded?
Marie Grunewald - Travel Expert
I grew up in France, moved to Baltimore (USA) to study and settle down in London for 5 years to gain as much knowledge as possible in the event and travel industry. My love for exploring remote and beautiful places, meeting the people that live there and having extraordinary experiences led me to create Just Boarded. It was my way to share my knowledge, help people live memorable adventures and allow them to feel the same emotions I felt when I travelled far from the famous travel spots. Today, my aim is to make a positive impact in the world by helping adventurers travel in a respectful way. So I'm a citizen of the world. From Brazil to Nepal, I travel around the world, meet incredible human beings, try different experiences and create meaningful partnerships with local agencies that share my values.
I believe that, when done right, travelling is the best education you can have. It broadens your mind and gives you a better understanding of the world and of yourself. It means you become more aware of others and the positive impact you can have in the world. Something that is, for me, essential. Through Just Boarded, I want to encourage you to be bold and go left when everyone else goes right, explore mindfully, keep an open mind and act kindly to contribute towards making the world a better place.
Just Boarded network
My experience in the travel industry and my little adventures around the world allowed me to build an extensive network (still growing as I speak). The strong relationships I have cultivated over the years with local partners and fellow travel professionals mean I can count on a team of trustworthy local travel experts to take care of you. Just Boarded would be nothing without them so I am very grateful to work hand in hand with them.
What makes Just Boarded different ?
I work with a strong network of trustworthy and very knowledgeable local suppliers who help me to create adventures that benefit the local people and the environment.
I strongly fight against overtourism and only work with local agencies who promote small groups.
I encourage you to push your boundaries by making you discover some unique terrain less trodden.
I provide you with a huge array of advice and guidance on everything from fitness training to travel insurance and visas.
What I believe
I always work with locally-owned businesses to make sure that local communities benefit from my business. Working directly with local services means I am contributing to the local economy and providing income and employment for families.
I also believe that a local team has insight and knowledge that no foreign agency can ever have. A local team will help you to make real connections with people in beautiful and unique parts of the world.
Promoting a responsible attitude is my way to create better places to visit and better places to live in. I aim to inspire people to live more enjoyable experiences by creating meaningful connections with local people, whilst minimising the negative impact on the local culture and environment.
While I understand the price is important to you, I do not choose to partner with the cheapest suppliers. I choose suppliers for their quality and their values and build close relationships with them, which involves strong mutual trust and respect.
No to overtourism
Overtourism is negatively affecting people’s home and has economic, cultural and ecological consequences on the destination. That's why I encourage you to travel only in small groups (less than 10 people).
For you, it means a more personal and authentic experience that encourages interactions with the local environment, people and communities. I believe in a tourism based on respect.
No to voluntourism
I believe volunteering is great but only when done well. You need to stay for longer than a few days to make sure it's not just you, but also the community, that is benefiting from the experience.
Be careful which orphanage you are going to. Some communities create fake orphanages for tourists. Instead try to share a knowledge or skill that you have or make a donation (money or equipment) to schools or programs which seek to keep parents and children together.
If you are interested in doing some good on your next escape abroad, here is a few advice:
- Practice responsible tourism: look after the environment you are going through, respect the locals’ lifestyle and leave animals alone;
- Raise money for a charity;
- Make a donation or bring equipment for a local school, organisation or charity: clothes, pens and pencils, notebooks, storybooks, trekking equipment…
If you want to know more about the organisations or charities you can help in country please get in touch with me.