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About Us

Because you're looking for more than the ordinary from your travel experiences ...

Because you want to truly experience what makes each destination so special and different: The people, the food, the drink the music, the art, the conversations, the history, and the stories ...

Because you want to do more than merely escape from the daily grind ... you want to feel the real power of travel!

We've created Explorer X.

The X represents the unknown, the mysterious power of travel, the places that light up the senses, and the unexpected insights that inspire real change in our lives. At Explorer X, we blend ancient wisdom, contemporary science, and our accumulated travel knowledge throughout your uniquely immersive journey. Intentional, handcrafted travel helps you tap into the transformational power of travel to have experiences that will resonate well beyond your return.

For Explorer X, it all begins with the question: Is travel an end unto itself or is it the means to something greater?

Transformational Travel

Bringing Travel to Life

Sunset at Mt. Wellington, Hobart, Australia - Starving Photographer

The Pioneers in Transformational Travel

Explorer X is the first tour operator entirely rooted in the guiding principles set forth by The Transformational Travel Council (TTC). We carefully choose destinations based on personal experience and share our accumulated travel wisdom throughout your uniquely immersive journey. Impeccably designed travel is the means; the end is helping you tap into the transformational power of travel to have experiences that will resonate well beyond your return.

What is Transformational Travel?

The Transformational Travel Council defines Transformational Travel (or TT) as “any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life.” Transformational Travel is not limited to any specific destination or experience, but is rather an approach, ethos, and mindset. It’s a commitment to embark with intention, embrace the call to adventure, and return with the promise to put your insights into action.

Let X Be Your Mentor & Guide

Let Explorer X be your partner and guide to help you find meaning in your journey and inspire personal growth. That collaboration begins well before we dream up an itinerary and lasts long after your jet lag fades. We’re in it for the long haul, and the more we get to know you, the better we can surprise, delight, and challenge you in your adventures.

Our Process

How We Spark Transformation

Not everyone is seeking a major shift in their life, and that’s fine with us! Transformation can mean opening yourself up to new ideas or hobbies, connecting with other cultures, or becoming more socially or environmentally conscious in your everyday life. It’s up to you how far you want to go, and we’ll be there to encourage you along the path.

From Joseph Campbell to Pico Ayer, we’ve studied the sages and seers that formed the groundwork of the TT movement and have channeled their insights to design our own canon of tools, resources, and approaches to spur transformation.

1. The Call to Adventure

Your adventure begins with a 30-minute call with one of our Travel Mentors. On this Call to Adventure, we’ll get to know one another better, discuss the specifics of where you want to go and what you want to do, and equally importantly, get into WHY you are going and what you want to get out of your Journey. All of this helps us craft the perfect adventure for you!

Every journey begins with a few key questions: Why do you want to travel? How are you going to travel -- What mindset will you bring to your adventures? What do you hope to get out of your adventure? And how can we plan an odyssey that will help you attain your goals? We’ll re-examine these intentions and measure your progress throughout the travel process and after your return home.

2. Answering the Call: Are You a HERO or an EXPLORER?

After the initial Call to Adventure, you have a choice to make. You can

  • Ignore the Call and do nothing ...
  • Plan your own adventure, allowing Explorer X to consult with and support you along the way (The Explorer Package)
  • Work creatively and collaboratively with Explorer X as together we plan the adventure of a lifetime for you (The HERO Package)

Learn more about our different packages and program offerings here.

3. Collaborative Trip Design

Should you choose the HERO package, our Journey together continues: Once we’ve agreed on a high-level outline of your Journey with things like tentative dates, specific destinations, desired experiences, and type of accommodations, we ask that you submit a $500 HERO Pledge as a commitment to working with Explorer X. This pledge will allow your Travel Mentor to begin creatively handcrafting every element of your Journey. Throughout the trip design process, you’ll actively collaborate with your Travel Mentor in architecting the perfect trip for you. Through face-to-face meetings, calls, emails, and video conferences, you and your Mentor will craft an adventure that will change your life forever!

4. The (Pre-) Departure

Once you and your Mentor have finalized the itinerary for your Journey and you’ve submitted your payment, the next stage of your adventure begins. You and your Mentor will engage in a comprehensive and holistic pre-departure preparation process that includes:

  • A call w/ your Mentor to continue your prep for your Journey and get you into HERO mode!
  • Suggested pre-departure reading, videos, etc.
  • Invitations to embrace ritual, ceremony
  • A final pre-departure call to review trip logistics and details
5. The Journey

Your adventure itself is a collaboratively-crafted combination of exciting physical activities, powerful cultural encounters, meaningful conversations, time for personal reflection, time spent in nature, health and wellness experiences, and alone time to explore the destinations you visit. Explorer X will provide additional tools and access to your Travel Mentor to make sure you are supported on Your HEROs Journey!

6. The Return of the HERO

Just because your trip is over doesn’t mean the Journey is finished! You’ll have the opportunity to work with your Travel Mentor after you get back to make sense of what you experienced and develop an action plan for changing your life and transforming the world around you!


The Explorer X Team

Jake Haupert

Travel stokes the fire that burns inside me, it’s restorative, it’s transformational, it cultivates personal growth and it calls... Read More
Adventure Travel Muddy Shoes

Michael Bennett, Ed.D.

When I was 19-years-old, I traveled abroad for the first time, visiting Costa Rica for 6 weeks as part... Read More
Adventure Travel

Sean Petersmark

Travel is my teacher and the World is my classroom. Born and raised in the Midwest, my worldview blew... Read More

Kyle Ord

I found a deep love for slow travel and regularly find myself staying in a country for weeks or... Read More

Kassie McKnight

I feel travel is essential to my happiness and well-being. I use it as tool for personal growth and... Read More

Carrie Culp

I travel to experience the world firsthand and to get outside of my routine. I want to see things... Read More

Dan Hopkins

I love to travel for the challenge, the anticipation of experiencing an unfamiliar place, and for the opportunity to... Read More

Eric Rupp

A broad range of talents combined with an unwavering desire to explore have taken Eric all over the planet... Read More


Happy X'ers

Our immersive experiences have been recognized by National Geographic Traveler, CNN.com, Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Vogue, JetSetter, and more. But what we love to hear the most is the passionate feedback of our guests!

Mary Anne Lepore at Crater Lake National Park

I like traveling with Explorer X because all I need to do is tell them what parks I want to see on a particular trip and they do all the rest. All I need to do is show up! Also, their guides have all been fantastic! They are not only very knowledgeable, they are great people! They have made each trip very special.

Mary Anne L., Six U.S. National Parks Trips
Tim and Chris at Arkaba Station in Australia

All of the tours and travel within Australia were fantastic. The accommodations were spectacular - the best! Arkaba Station was our favorite, we never thought we would have that type of experience. Who would have thought that an old Australian sheep farm would be that amazing?!!

Tim J. & Chris G. - Australia
Frank I. Botswana Safarai

Thank you for putting together a well-planned adventure that took us from the deep bush slowly back into civilization. Within an hour of arriving from Jo-burg, we grabbed lunch and went off on our first safari. Down the river by boat and within minutes we were among zebras, elephants, and two young lions: One who chased our car and the other chomping on a zebra. At night time, the generators were turned off and there were African wildlife noises all around. Very authentic first impression!

Frank I. - Botswana