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Thursday, September 13, 2012

09/13/12

Above the Clouds: Summer 2012 Recap

Most professions have a high season and a low season, for us a majority of our clients are traveling from September through April.  So from May through August, we spend most of the time prepping for the coming season and wrapping things up from the last; however, this year was a bit different for us here at ATC.

This year, 2012, marks ATC’s 30th year in operation! It’s been a great 30 years and we wanted to take some time to look back, celebrate all of the accomplishments and give some thanks to all of those that have helped us get here.  We had an anniversary party and were fortunate enough to have family, old friends, international partners and even some frequent clients come all the way to our mountaintop in Vermont to celebrate ATC hitting this milestone.  It was a heart warming wonderful event in which we were able to celebrate those who helped ATC reach this point, both those able to attend and those not.  It was a truly wonderful event.

Some of the originals! ATC founder and CEO Steve Conlon and Bill and Kazi - two of the original guides. Reunited at the ATC 30th anniversary party in Hinesburg, Vermont.

While organizing the party and getting folks from a variety of continents, countries and states across the US to Vermont for our gathering – things were furthered busied by the reality that we were in the midst of conducting the first class that ATC has prepared in conjunction with Professor Abigail McGowan and the University of Vermont (UVM). It was a 6-credit class called Nepal: Changing Communities, focusing on the impact of the rapid international integration of a small community that has, in great part, been previously closed off to much of the rest of the world.  After the two weeks of class, we all took off for a month long trek through the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang – and what a trek it was!

This was the first class of it's kind that I’ve personally been in such close contact with and it was an amazing experience!  The class was full of interested, intelligent, students who each brought their own personalities to the trip; however, the most impressive thing they all had in common was their surprising ability as a group, and as individuals, to experience the place with such an open mind! I found them to be extremely willing to learn without judgment and have a voracious appetite for the culture of the place – their energy was contagious and so very enjoyable.  The success of the trip and class ensured that both ATC and me personally, will continue to seek out trips like this in the future.

The University of Vermont goes to Mustang!

After returning to the US mid-summer, I’ve been working in the office and getting things settled for the upcoming fall season – which is just about to be underway! It’s been great being back in the office, getting back into the swing of things and once again being in touch with all of our great clients as they prepare to head out the door for all of their upcoming adventures.

Also as fall is arriving the ATC office has also experienced some other changes. One of the unexpected joys that came out of the UVM class this summer has been out great new intern: Stacia Betley.  She is a well-traveled UVM undergrad that was a hit with the staff and crew on the trek this summer. Stacia has been a great addition to the ATC team and we have enjoyed having her in the office already!  The next blog will be from her, detailing her experiences in Nepal and what the trek through Mustang meant to her – be sure to look for it!

Now the season is about to start we find ourselves getting geared up and looking forward to sharing many adventures with our clients and teams on the ground. We have a great fall season set up and we are all very excited about it!

 

Looking forward to sharing the upcoming season with you all!

~Lisa Kumari Conlon
Above the Clouds

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Comments

Adena Harford, Thursday, September 13, 2012:
Congrats on 30 years, guys! And here's to many more. Hope to catch up very soon, Lisa.
Lisa, Thursday, September 13, 2012:
THANKS Adena!! A bit year for both of us! Weddings and Anniversaries, always the best to get happy and excited about! Let's get her together as soon as possible!

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Lisa & Bill Liske, one of the original ATC guides at ATC's 30th Anniversary Party

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