Dan with friends in Vietnam.

Dan with friends in Vietnam.

Eating fruit and enjoying local dancers in the Mekong Delta.

Eating fruit and enjoying local dancers in the Mekong Delta.

Dan Groussman, Experience-enabler

Dan has been an avid traveler his entire adult life. As a child, he admired the exotic adventurers he encountered in books, from Marco Polo to Indiana Jones. All he needed was a leather satchel, the right hat and a plane ticket. And as a young man, with hat and satchel in hand, he took a quarter off of college, flew to Europe, and bought a rail pass. He’s been heading off on big overseas adventures ever since—traveling light on busses and trains (preferably ones with chickens and goats on board), accepting local invitations for meals or a spare room, learning new languages, and developing a better understanding of other cultures and people.

For the past 16 years, Dan’s search for unique and wonderful experiences has repeatedly led him to Southeast Asia, and to Vietnam in particular. Vietnam is never dull. And as an artist and entrepreneur, Dan appreciates the creativity and drive of the Vietnamese, and their passion for family, friends, and food.

Dan loves sharing his overseas discoveries with others. He has hosted several friends and groups to Vietnam over the years, including two high school groups from Port Townsend in 2015. In addition to planning the logistics for these school trips, he's learned how to break the ice between travelers and local people—a role he describes as “experience-enabler.” This November, Dan welcomes you to PTSA’s Picturing Vietnam trip with Max Grover and looks forward to introducing you to Vietnam’s wonders.

Dan will provide you with the information you need to create a customized itinerary with a focus on art and culture. He has traveled to Vietnam many times on his own and with groups, and loves touring the country. Dan will offer pre-trip and on-the-ground logistic advice, and accompany you for the entire 14 days as a companion, consultant, and concierge. Dan will also make hotel and group transport bookings, stay in the same hotels, and be there for all primary activities.*

Picturing Vietnam is for adventurous travelers

Anyone may join Dan for the primary activities—or head off in search of something different. This unobtrusive structure enables you to participate in group activities while giving you the freedom to decide what you want to see and do. Just as you do when traveling alone, you will be responsible for your own choices and behavior. And while Picturing Vietnam is designed with your enjoyment and safety in mind, you are ultimately responsible for the risks you take.

We hope you will welcome experiences you encounter along the way, and Dan will help you be prepared, oriented and informed. In this way, you'll be able to observe local customs and etiquette, and directly experience the culture rather than watching it from afar.

* Primary activities are those followed by an asterisk on the itineraries.