It’s a Kiwanis vacation!

Kiwanis International | Jun 30, 2022

Many Kiwanis members take advantage of interesting convention locations to extend their travel plans for additional fun. Let’s look at some of their travel pictures and stories.

ice cream man Graham Chick
Kiwanis Club of North-West Christchurch
New Zealand-South Pacific District
Kiwanis International Convention, Paris 2017

We booked a journey, starting with a Rhine River cruise starting in Switzerland and ending in Amsterdam. We were introduced to the luxury of river cruising, with gentle cruising at night while sleeping and plenty of time during the day to investigate riverside ports of call along the way. It was such a fun time as 10 Kiwanis members from New Zealand traveled together on this cruise, causing mayhem and noise for the other travelers. Once the cruise ended in Amsterdam, we parted for our own touring for 10 days. We managed extra days in Amsterdam, Bruges and Bayeux, using Airbnb homes before meeting in Paris and sharing a five-bedroom apartment while attending the Kiwanis International convention. The delights of Paris were well explored. A highlight was time in Switzerland, especially Lucerne, where we discovered a magnificent ice cream shop, with a tempting ice cream cone outside the door!

Marge Crouch
Kiwanis Club of Lawrence, Indiana
Indiana District
Kiwanis International Convention, Taipei 2001

Marge and Tom Crouch The trip over the Pacific was uneventful with most of us getting some sleep. (Marge traveled with her husband and four friends.) A day’s layover in Japan broke the trip up and afforded us a chance to visit Japan. Even though slightly jet-lagged, we found Japan to be lovely. My husband, Tom, was surprised to find it reminded him of Germany. The next day, we flew to Beijing, arriving in time to tour the city on our own for half a day. We found China to be friendly and accommodating with English used on all the mass transit sites. The first afternoon, we visited Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The next few days, we joined a formal tour and saw more of the country, including the Great Wall of China. It was a wonderful time.

Danielle Desarmagnac
Kiwanis Club of Sud-Ouest
Kiwanis District New Zealand-South Pacific
Kiwanis Asia-Pacific Convention, Nepal 2020

Danielle selfie After the announcement that the 47th Asia-Pacific convention would be held in Nepal, we all reacted: We had to go and visit this country in our Asia Pacific region.
We arrived two days before the convention and looked for excursions we could do in the meantime. We decided to take a helicopter flight to Mount Everest Camp at 8,200 meters (Mount Everest is 8,850 meters high). My husband, Bernard, three Kiwanian friends and I got up early, dressed warmly with hats, scarves, gloves and comfortable waterproof shoes. We were going to walk in the snow! We left for the Kathmandu airport under a thick fog. We collected our boarding passes and went to the weighing of the passengers and our personal effects. This is very important because the helicopter pilot has weight limits to respect during the flight at high altitude. We were divided into two groups for weight distribution for rotations above 8,200 meters. We passed a checkpoint and then went to a small shop for a coffee or tea. We passed police control and waited in the departure hall: 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 … finally people started moving and off to departure we went. We showed our tickets to the controller and a van took us to the heliport. The fog had finally lifted, and the pilot had authorization to take off. We flew over beautiful valleys toward the first stop: Lukla, with its famous airport, which has a steep runway and is named after Sir Edmund Hillary*, a famous Kiwanian from the New Zealand-South Pacific District. After filling and checking the oxygen tank and the oxygen cylinder for the pilot, we took off toward Mount Everest. The pilot explained he would land on the tundra-covered platform in a valley to drop off three of us from the first group. The second group took off to visit Mount Everest. During this time, we took pictures of the mountains that surrounded us. We heard the helicopter coming back — it was the first group’s turn to fly to Mount Everest. We rose in stages and the pilot showed us Mount Everest and warned us it’s possible to get “mountain drunk” and have difficulty breathing. We landed at base camp, 600 meters below Mount Everest and its snow cover. We spoke in a choppy way due to the altitude and the depletion of oxygen. Our breathing was rapid and more difficult. The pilot told us to breathe slowly. We had almost conquered Mount Everest. After the photo session, we returned to the helicopter and flew over the snowy peaks of Nepal. We stopped at the platform to pick up the second group. We returned to Lukla for a late welcome breakfast before our return to Kathmandu. It was an unforgettable experience.

*Sir Edmund Hillary was a mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist from New Zealand, born on July 20, 1919, in Auckland, where he died on January 11, 2008. On May 29, 1953, during a British expedition led by Brigadier General John Hunt, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay were the first men to climb Everest. He joined the Kiwanis Club of Auckland, New Zealand, and served as the Kiwanis New Zealand-South Pacific District Ambassador for the World Service Project to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders.

Claude Davidas
Kiwanis Club of Fort-de-France, Martinique
Eastern Canada and Caribbean District
2015 Kiwanis International Convention, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

White House Celebrating 100 years of Kiwanis was, for a Kiwanian, a moment not to be missed. On that occasion in 2015, the club of Fort de France organized a trip for five Kiwanians who were accompanied by their wives or companions. We wanted to travel before and after the Kiwanis International Convention of Indianapolis.

We prepared by meeting among ourselves to finalize all the excursions we could make. This preparation was done at least six months before our departure because we had to take connecting flights into consideration, as well as the costs of plane tickets, car rentals, accommodation, food and any additional expenses.

In order to maximize our trip, we left Martinique in the afternoon and arrived in Miami around 11 p.m. to spend the night.

The next day, we flew to Washington, D.C., where we stayed for four days to visit the most emblematic locations: The great Obelisk that dominates the center of the United States capital and is named in honor of George Washington; the White House; and the Capitol.

We also appreciated the local gastronomy.

We then went to Indianapolis, where we attended the convention. We took the opportunity to visit the Kiwanis International Office, the monuments, the city and its surroundings — and especially the famous race track.

After Indianapolis, we flew to New York City for a five-day visit that was a little more elaborate and instructive, as some of our Kiwanians have family living there. New York has a fairytale side. We had the pleasure of seeing the Statue of Liberty and many other places for food connoisseurs.

This vacation was unforgettable because of the depth and variety of our different excursions — and because we attended the Kiwanis International convention, which was a quality event where friendships were created.

Want to make plans for travel around next year’s major Kiwanis events? Here are some key dates:
March 2023: Kiwanis Asia-Pacific convention
May 2023: Kiwanis International-European Federation convention
June 22-25, 2023: Kiwanis International convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States


Vision Partners

Be a Partner