Since then, the article with The Portugal News, attracted the interest of a few of the residents of the Algarve. John hosts a website, for ‘Embarkees’, which is easy to navigate.
On your initial enquiry, through either website or email, a welcoming letter will be sent by one of the Embark2 team members. From then on, you have the choice, to either join a group, or ‘forum’ of interested fellow-chatterers, view trip availabilities, and a monthly newsletter. Make direct posts or contact with each other. Catching up with John is hectic. He has just returned from a wonderful break in Newcastle with 10 or so other members. Off, to Keswick next week, to reconnoitre a walking trip for an upcoming itinerary.
“The future is looking good.” John, is busy putting the final touches, for their annual treat, to the Algarve. "We chose the Dom Jose hotel, Quarteira, because they always give us an excellent deal. So hospitable and helpful. Our numbers have risen, as has our bookings, over the years, from a 7 night deal, to 14.” Embark2 was formed by John, who had been widowed, and frustrated at the lack of enjoyment, friendship and support, in his suddenly changing life. “If you want something, I suppose, you have to make it happen.” John is very eager to talk about his project. “We have 360 members now and still growing fast. We have quite a large spread of membership, about fifty percent split between the midlands to the north and fifty percent, in the south.”
Group, coffee, lunch and dinner arrangements, are made by the members within each of their areas, as are special trips to museums, local attractions. “But we are all really excited about our special trips. I’m looking forward, especially, to arranging a meet up, with our new Algarve members in January. It will also be a good opportunity to focus on one of our next trips to Portugal. I’m looking at the combination of a resort-like, Cascais, get into relaxation mode, with a two night stay ln Lisbon, see the sights. Then back home.” Members, normally, make their own flight arrangements, some are able to meet up at the airport and fly to their destination together. Obviously, friendships have been struck, which is of course Embark2’s goal. Creating a platform that people, feel they can join in, relax, share feelings, frustrations and happily, their new experiences.
Of course, John is thinking ahead. “Why not join up with us, in the UK? There are wonderful trips for walking, and relaxing at spa’s.” Perhaps, Lisbon? “Yes. Why not? What a good meeting that would be! The ‘Discoveries’, after all, Embark2 is here for all of us, in the same boat!”