The Community of Road Scholar: One Couple’s Experience in South America & Beyond

By all accounts, Chuck and Seda C. are seasoned travelers — the couple has gone on ten Road Scholar learning adventures together, while Seda has gone on three additional hiking programs as a solo traveler. Recently, their adventures took them back to Chile and Argentina.

Chuck and Seda C. at Petrohue Falls

“We’ve been here before, both in Chile and in Argentina, but never in the places we’ve been with this Road Scholar program,” Chuck said. Seda added, “We wanted to see Iguazu Falls, but of course we saw much more.”

Iguazu Falls is a spectacular waterfall that straddles the border of Argentina and Brazil. The Argentine side makes up about three-fourths of the falls, which can spill as much as 3.8 million gallons of water per second when rainfall is heavy. In addition to Iguazu Falls, Chuck and Seda explored vineyards and cities in both countries, as well as scenic lakes. “Road Scholar immersed us in the local culture by taking us to very different places in terms of wineries, museums and visiting a home and having a meal there, so we got to know the people on a more intimate level.”

The people were one of the highlights of this program for the couple, who hold fond memories of their group leader’s positive attitude and of their relationships with their fellow Road Scholars. “The fellow participants have just been wonderful, every single one of them,” Seda said. “And that makes the experience even better.” Chuck agreed. “It’s been a very close-knit group and we have a lot of fun together.”

Group photo at Bariloche overlook

This friendly atmosphere and sense of community translates into other learning adventures as well. “I have to say Road Scholar groups are always wonderful,” Seda said, explaining about her experiences as a solo traveler with Road Scholar. “It’s never a question about going by myself. On my first solo program, to the Dolomites, I was a little concerned about how it would be, but everybody is so nice, whether you’re a couple or single. Everybody mingles and everybody is just very cordial and very nice, you never feel isolated. It’s a great program for singles as well as married people.”

In addition to the community, Chuck and Seda also found the comfort and support of Road Scholar to be helpful. “I think it’s best, in places like this where we’re covering so much ground, to go with Road Scholar because they take care of all the details and we don’t have to worry about anything, so we enjoy it a lot more. We have travelled independently a lot, but a place like this we usually go with Road Scholar.”

And cover ground they did — while Iguazu Falls was a clear highlight of their trip, many other moments also stood out. “The tango lived up to expectations, for sure,” Chuck said. One of Seda’s favorite memories was Valparaíso, Chile’s most important seaport and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “That was unique, and all the hills reminded us of San Francisco.”

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Their experiences took them from city streets to the wild landscapes of both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. When asked what kind of person should come on this program in the future, Seda answered, “Any person who is curious about other cultures and the history of the countries. But this is very typical of Road Scholar — you’re learning a lot about where you are in terms of culture, history, social structure and government. If you’re curious about learning in general, you should come on this program.”

The passion for learning from participants and group leaders is part of what bonds the Road Scholar community. “The group leader has done EVERYTHING to enhance our experience,” Seda emphasized. “One thing that we walk away with from each program is the people that we met through our group leader and instructors. In spite of our differences, we’re all the same.”