Grand Trunk: Goods for Travel (not trips)
Once in a while, we find a company that we just, well, love. Just a second - you'll see. Our latest love? Grand Trunk. Admittedly, I am not an adventure traveler (something about my wheelchair scooter, you know). But I DO love to be outside, more than anything, exploring this amazing world we live in. And, I appreciate their well-made, well-designed, creative travel goods, and plan on incorporating these into our lives.
So Grand Trunk... they are the real deal for travelers. Their products range from hammocks (which I love) to shelters (also known as tents for us old schoolers); from stainless steel eating containers and utensils (reminding me of Indian tiffin tins) to all kinds of comfort goodness, including bamboo sleep sacks, pillows, towels, sheets, and more. Take a look - you'll be impressed at their smart designs, how they thought of what travelers might need, and came up with portable solutions.
And, not to let the cat out of the bag, but Grand Trunk is partnering with us on Passports with Purpose - this year, we're building libraries in Zambia. It's all good! Check back on November 15th to learn about how you can participate and make a difference in the world (and hopefully win these great goods!).
But back to the topic at hand. I also love Grand Trunk for their commitment to study abroad and international education - they have a scholarship for study abroad students! And, when we love something, we share it. So, we talked with Blake Witsman, of Grand Trunk, about Grand Trunk, their scholarship for study abroad students, adventure travel, and more. Here's what he had to say...
WE: Please tell us about Grand Trunk...
BW: Grand Trunk makes goods for travels, not trips. Trips require luggage. Travels are experiences, the kind that stay with you for the rest of your life. They can't be compressed into a fridge magnet or a tee shirt. They affect who you are, and shape who you'll become. We salute the travelers - explorers of the world, adventurers abroad, weekend warriors, urban campers - who share a belief in discovering the world around them, whether down the street or across the globe. Because we believe that once you’re on the road, anything is possible.
WE: What was the inspiration for GT?
BW: Grand Trunk is taken from one of the oldest travelers' routes in the world. Referred to as the ‘river of life,’ the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road or the Silk Road) is a man-made wonder of the Indian Subcontinent. Built in the 3rd century, it connects India to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Some of history’s famous travelers, such as Alexander the Great and Sher Shah Suri, used the road to defy impossible odds and discover new lands. It is this beauty of discovery that drives Grand Trunk to produce quality goods.
WE: How does GT's products foster that spirit of travel?
BW: We are constantly looking for new ways to support travelers. The Study Abroad Scholarship contest is a direct reflection of this. We also create products with adventure and travel in mind. For example, our brand new Bamboo Blend Collection is perfect for those who frequent hostels or hotels. Plus, even our staple products like the Parachute Nylon Hammocks pack down super small, to allow a person to easily bring them along on their adventure. Basically, everything we do revolves around the theme of Adventure Travel because that is who we are.
WE: GT has a scholarship for study abroad - can you please tell us more about your inspiration and goals for that?
BW: Our saying around the campaign has been "The World is the Best Classroom," which isn't just a slogan, it's true! World Travel brought the owners of GT together for the first time. Our company was founded and revolves around a culture of travel. Even our employees have studied abroad. So, we thought this was the perfect way to not only give back, but to give back in a way that meant something to us. We know whoever wins these scholarships is about to embark on a truly life changing experience, and we just want to help them make it a little bit better. In terms of our goals for the program, this is our first go at it. We hope to continue it in the years to come, partner with more organizations for bigger scholarship amounts and larger prize packs. We're really excited about what is on the horizon.
WE: One of the things I love about your site is that you are OUT there, living the travel and adventure life that your products support. What's the best part of being an outdoor adventure gear company?
BW: The best part about being an adventure travel company is that we always have an excuse to travel! Jon Neff and Kevin Kaiser, the company owners are always on the road or overseas. We currently have a guest blogger, Bomber, who is all over the world and sharing everything with our audience. Everyone loves travel... and although some times people are unable to get away due to work or other circumstances, everyone still enjoys living vicariously through others. It's been fun for us around the office to follow Bomber. He's really funny.
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
BW: Yes we have something for you: We created a 25% of coupon for Wandering Educator followers & friends. Just use code: SA-001 at check out at http://grandtrunkgoods.com until 11/11/11. Safe Travels!
WE: Thanks so very much, Blake! I am happy to share Grand Trunk with our Wandering Educators!