Q&A with GT’s founder, Kate, on the love of globetrotting AND riding in Sumba, Indonesia!

In the spotlight, Life as a Globetrotter

Sumba, Indonesia - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Our friends at Shibui & Co., a digital magazine dedicated to the celebration of slow travel, have just published the most AMAZING interview with Kate, Globetrotting’s founder and head guide! Kate goes into the epic story of how she created Globetrotting, why there is NO better way to travel, what Globetrotting will look like post-COVID and why the heavenly Indonesian island of Sumba is PERFECT for horse riding travel addicts.
To read the whole thing {which will be worth every single second of your time!} click here. There are some seriously sumptuous photos of Sumba for you to drool over, too.
If you’re short on time, though, we’ve shared some of our favourite bits below.

WOW! Where to start? […] As the founder and chief travel guide, (plus wife and mother of three beautiful girls), please share that pivotal moment in life, when you knew you just had to grab this immersive travel adventure concept by the reins and gallop all over the globe.
Kate: I pretty much had several out-of-body experiences when I was riding the pancake flat plains of the Maasai Mara in Kenya in my early twenties. I was astride a chestnut mare called Witch (I still remember this fine steed’s name), and for seven incredible, mind-altering days I got within spitting distance of the wild things of Africa.
We were eyeballed by elephants, chased by lions, crossed murky, tea-stained rivers with pods of hippos and snap-happy crocs. I fell in love with the Maasai people and their vibrant, transfixing culture. (Editor’s note: Kate was even proposed to by a toothy-grinning Maasai warrior called James.) Every waking moment of that ride, I felt alive, like I was plugged into electricity.
That particular riding safari was the birth of Globetrotting. She started as a slow burn and now some twelve years later has spread like wildfire across the globe. Modestly so, we have eager-as-can-be globetrotters based all over the world and dreamy riding destinations from Iceland through to Japan. For me, Globetrotting is my true north. It’s the air I breathe and epitomises freedom to me.

Globetrotting is definitely a travel adventure for wild hearts. What is it about travelling on horseback in a foreign country that is hard to beat?
Kate: You delve beneath the surface of a country when you’re globetrotting. There is no comparison. Firstly, when riding a horse you can access regions and cultures that are inaccessible by normal tourist routes. For example, on our rides in Northern Mongolia, we ride in regions only reached via horse or reindeer. We stay with the nomadic reindeer people called the Tsaatan.
Globetrotting is raw, bold and adventurous travel… where you eat, drink, ride, dance and sing with the local people of that region. You ride shoulder-to-shoulder with these beautiful people and share a common language and love of horses. It’s remarkable and miraculous at the same time. Globetrotting crosses cultures and brings people together no matter their colour or creed.

As a global travel agency there is no doubt your community have missed travel lately. How do you think global tourism will respond to getting back in the travel saddle again?
Kate: When international travel re-opens again there will be a shift towards small group travel, remote travel, adventure travel. More meaningful, deeply-felt experiences… where we remove ourselves from the outside in search of raw, wild and authentic travel experiences. Fortunately, Globetrotting has always and will always lean in this direction. And there is nothing quite like social distancing from the back of a horse.
Our travel will always be crowd-free because we’re all about taking the path less travelled. That’s the beating heart of Globetrotting.

Not only a sublimely unique and quieter island in comparison to her bigger (and more popular) Indonesian sister, Bali… Sumba is blessed with mesmerising beauty, ancient culture, slow world charm and ‘the best hotel in the world’! How did you meet her, Kate? And what was your initial impression?
Kate: Her name was whispered to me by an on-the-pulse, well respected travel journalist. I couldn’t believe that a horse culture-rich travel destination was right under my nose. I was completely oblivious. The more research I conducted, the deeper my desire to venture there grew. And it was SO MUCH better than I could ever have expected.
As soon as we stepped out of the one-room airport, the humidity hit us in the face. It was the waft of burning incense and the bright smiles of the Sumbanese that saw us fall head-over-heels in love with this tiny, big-hearted island. And the two hour transfer from airport to hotel was pure luxe. We cruised through tiny villages while we sipped on freshly cut coconuts and ate freshly baked pastries. The girls were bug-eyed for the entire journey, gasping at the buffaloes, goats, chooks and horses roaming the dirt streets and the architecture of the Sumbanese huts with their quaint high-pitched, thatched roofs.

What is the terrain like on the island and where can you ride?
Kate: It’s magic! You have the quintessential white sand beaches with bluer than blue water. A coastline fringed in palm trees. And then you creep back into lush, chartreuse-green knolls, water meadows of rice and swirling dirt tracks. It’s a wonderland with much diversity and varied terrain. The perfect landscape to explore from the back of a horse.

And, the dream doesn’t stop after the ride either. When off the saddle, GT riders recover in the luxurious surrounds of the five star resort, NIHI Sumba, which for the second consecutive year has won ‘best hotel in the world.’ So how do you rate NIHI Sumba?
Kate: Let’s just clarify… you get your own private pool and your own butler when you stay at Nihi Sumba. ‘Excuse me… say what?’ Yep! It’s off-the-charts, ‘I’m a celebrity’ kind of luxury. Steven and I were accommodated with a bedroom the size of our house! And don’t get me started on the food, wine and cocktail hour! If you’re looking for a hallmark travel experience to treat yourself, this one is it. And as soon as international travel opens up, we’re SUPER keen to return.

Amazing, right?! Head on over to Shibui & Co. to read the rest of the article.
You can also read the entire Shibui magazine for FREE here.

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