When it comes to booking vacation, it’s tempting to look abroad, but Wolseley residents Tristan Schneider and Sam Anthony say there’s plenty to discover closer to home.
The two are in the process of opening their business, Twin River Travel, which specializes in canoe and kayak trips in southern Manitoba. Schneider, a business student at the University of Winnipeg (U of W), says Manitoba boasts some of the best wilderness in the world.
"It’s very easy to make an argument for that," Schneider said. "It’s an incredibly gorgeous area. You’re in the wilderness, you’re out there by yourself… there’s no boat access. It’s very hard to find anywhere like that.
"I don’t think a lot of people realize how close they are to what people come from all over the world to see."
He adds that although they didn’t plan for it, 2017 is a great first year for their business, which will see plenty of folks heading into national and regional parks for free and many visitors from around the world attending the 2017 Canada Games.
"Canada is ranked No. 1 by some of the biggest travel publications for travel this year," he said. "If (National Geographic) says Canada is the best place to go in 2017, why wouldn’t a Canadian spend a couple of hours out of the city instead of taking a flight down to Mexico for the week?"
Schneider and his business partner have both spent plenty of time in southern Manitoba, giving them a love of wilderness trips. As well, until recently Schneider competed on the national team for paddling, and he wants to carry that passion into his business.
Twin River is all about accessibility, he says.
"There are a couple of companies that have offered multi- week trips in Manitoba and those are great but you have to spend $10,000 and you should be fairly experienced and have your own gear, and that’s a fairly small percentage of the population. We saw that lots of those guests were international," Schneider said.
"We’ve been calling it an all-inclusive canoe trip in that really, all you need is your backpack full of clothes and your toothbrush… We have the canoes and paddles, safety gear, tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear and all of the food is included."
For a five-night trip, Twin River’s longest at the moment, it’s $750 per person. Schneider says the routes and trips themselves are easy enough for beginners, but that intermediate and expert paddlers will enjoy them as well.
The company recently announced its partnership with From Here & Away, a local photography collective in the form of weekend paddling and photography trips.
"What they focus on is bringing Manitobans, Canadians out into nature and helping them express their creative side," Schneider said. "(Joseph Visser) is incredibly passionate about photography and he’s even more passionate about teaching photography, so it’s kind of a match made in heaven for providing that experience."
For more information, find Twin River Travel on Facebook.