About Us

Thanks for visiting to learn more about us and our Trekking the Planet expedition.

Sandy and Darren Van Soye
Photo by: www.TayloredPhotoMemories.com

After 25 years in the IT industry, we took an early retirement with the twin goals of seeing the world and giving back. In 2012 we embarked on a 424-day around-the-world journey to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students. Prior to this trip, we traveled to over 40 countries on six continents, most of it using independently organized itineraries.

Hiking has been a part of many of our trips and we have taken multiple-night treks in New Zealand, Switzerland, Peru, India and the U.S. A highlight of our travels was taking our then 13 and 10 year-old children on a four-month, around-the-world trip, visiting five continents. This journey included several overland segments, covering significant portions of Africa, India and Australia by ground.

We saw how these trips impacted our children. Through our Trekking the Planet journey, we wanted to raise geography education awareness by sharing information with students about the places that we visit and the activities that we are doing. Our hope was to instill a greater curiosity about the world in others, especially in young people. Sandy is a published writer. And, Darren is an experienced endurance athlete. When we aren’t traveling, we spend time at our home in Palm Desert, CA.

Trekking the Planet Q&A From Prior to the Journey

Question: Tell us a little about Trekking the Planet. What will you actually be doing?

Sandy: We are taking a 424-day around-the-world trip to 50 countries on six continents. Approximately once a month we will be trekking (you would call it backpacking in the United States). These treks will be to some of the most remote and unspoiled places in the world. Our goal is to celebrate the cultural and natural significance of these places. Some of the more remote areas include the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, the Arctic Circle in Sweden and the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia.

READ MORE: Trekking the Planet Q&A

New to Trekking the Planet?

Along the right-hand side of most pages you will find our Take Me To section. Here you can view any of the topics below. Take a look at what interests you to learn more about our journey:

Education Modules: Search our 60 Education Modules that we published while traveling around the world.
Destination Dispatches: Read our weekly reports from the road of what we saw and did during our journey. Each dispatch also includes our best pictures from that week.
Expedition Videos: These three to six minute videos provide sights and sounds from our journey locations. View them to see the cultural and natural highlights of our travels.
Boot Prints: Trekkers leave boot prints, or impressions, on the trail as they travel. This category features our impressions and insights as we journey around the world. We also provide a behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to be on the road for an extended period of time.
Geography: Learn why geography is important and test your skill and knowledge with our quizzes and informative articles. See how we are spreading the word about geography as we travel. Look at what others are saying about our journey to raise geography awareness as well.
Preparation: See how we planned this expedition and take a look at our monthly pre-trip newsletters. These are similar to the free newsletters that our subscribers receive.

Keep Up-to-Date on Our Journey