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TROVE: Travel the World From Home #MBPHoliday2020


Thank you to Trove Travel for sending me the Fall Travel Box to try out in exchange for this review! All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If you are like me, your 2020/21 travel plans have taken a hit. While 2020 held smaller trips, I had been planning for a 2021 cruise along the western seaboard with port cities to include Astoria, Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria. Well, that travel plan has come to a halt with financial constraints and continued government restrictions that resulted in the cancellation of that sailing. While I yearn for the days when I can roam cities freely and safely again, I am excited that various companies are emerging to help us explore from our own homes. 

TROVE provides boxes that are full of experiences, culture, and traditions so that the traveler not only receives items from the city but also is able to be immersed in the experiences. A large part of travel is the experiential learning piece- being immersed in something new and different than one's own home. 

TROVE founders want to do just this- but instead of going to the city, they aim to bring the culture, traditions, and experiences to our homes so that we can learn and enjoy while restricted from traveling in-person. Using recipes, cultural items, and video calls, guests can feel like they are gaining a full experience from their own living rooms. 

The latest TROVE box is full of items and experiences from Seattle, Washington. Seattle was one of my port stops for my spring cruise and I was super excited to return to this marvelous city. I also have have Seattle-based friends and hope to get back to spend time with them one day! 

Seattle is the city of coffee, of the Pike Place Market, and is full of artisans in both culinary and fine arts. This Holiday Box includes a Live Cooking Class, a Live Coffee Brewing and Tasting Class, recipe cards, and the following items: 

  • Pourigami from MiiR 
  • 100-Pack Coffee filters from MiiR 
  • Caffe Vita’s Holiday Blend 
  • Apple Pie a la Mode Truffle Bar from Seattle Chocolate 
  • Italian Plum Cutting Preserve from Girl Meets Dirt 
  • Natural Salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt 
  • Herbs de Provence from Market Spice 
  • Wild Sockeye Smoked Salmon from Seabear 
  • Mama Lil’s Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers
Experience a wonderful meal with Eat Seattle's Chef, Liz Philpot, by learning how to make and cook Stuffed Mushroom Pork Loin Roulade and Smashed Potatoes. Grab the included shopping list, head to the grocery store, then use your Seattle-based items plus groceries to make a marvelous meal during this live session!

Coffee connoisseurs can up their game with a live session from Sam Spillman, US Barista Champ. Learn how to prepare the best cup of coffee using provided filters and coffee- and don't forget the Seattle Chocolate bar! 

TROVE sent me a portion of the fall box, featuring Kyoto, Japan, to try out. While the original box included items for a cooking class as well, I was able to receive supplies for a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. 

I must admit- I know very little about the Japanese culture and while visiting the country is on the bucket list, it's not been a high priority to dive into. But, there are some customs that have caught my eye over the year, like the practice of Tea Houses, so I was excited to try out this traditional Tea ceremony with expert, Atsuko Mori. 

Learning about the Tea Ceremony from Atsuko. 

Atsuko owns a tea house, the Camellia Tea Ceremony in Kyoto. As a 20+ year expert on tea ceremonies, she led us through the history of Japanese tea ceremonies, how tea is processed, and how to make a cup of Matcha Tea! Trove partnered with a Kyoto Tea Farm to send us Matcha tea and other needed items like a whisk, spoon, and even a treat to consume with the tea! 

I've never consumed green tea (I admit- I love my English Breakfast and Earl Grey), so this was a completely new experience for me! I had no idea how Matcha was made, that it has more caffeine than regular tea, and its 800+ history in the Japanese culture! 

Trying to properly whisk the tea! 

The Virtual class is recorded, allowing those the opportunity to review or participate later if they were  unable to make the original date. I do think making the live session is ideal because you are experiencing the event while with others, just as it would normally happen in-person. While participants are asked to remain muted during the "presentation", there are opportunities to answer questions verbally or by using the chat feature. 

While the experience itself is significantly different in-person, in the country that one is visiting, the virtual class still gives a great taste into the culture and life of the one leading it. It was great to see and hear Atsuko explain everything, give a demonstration, and help those out that had minor issues. 

TROVE travel boxes have so many benefits! While we all know that tourism is highly important to the economical growth of various communities, it's been highly impacted by restrictions placed for the safety of the community and potential visitor. 

Thus, with TROVE partnering with various communities and companies, not only are they giving people a chance to experience and explore new cultures and cities, they are helping the economic growth of those small-businesses in dire need. TROVE is committed to giving 20% of its profits back to the small businesses featured in these boxes. Using local ingredients, local small businesses, and products really does matter for sustainability! 

I also think TROVE boxes benefit those of us who love to travel but are financially not able to do so, even despite restrictions. On my list of travel, adventures is whale watching san diego, if the opportunity ever arises. My travel is often limited due to finances so I am glad to be able to experience different locales, like Kyoto, that I'm not sure I'd ever be able to afford in the future life!

While we can't spend the money on hotel rooms, restaurants, local landmarks, and shopping, we certainly can continue to support small businesses and communities by experiencing a city through the eyes of TROVE!  

Want it? Get it!

Did 2020 leave you with a desire to experience something new?

 Start 2021 off by purchasing Trove's Holiday Gift Box to Seattle

Perhaps you have extra funds from the cancelled cruise or cross country trip? Invest in an annual subscription to Trove and receive a box every 3 months (beginning in March 2021). Future itineraries will be announced soon!

Stay up to date with the latest that Trove offers by following them on Instagram and Facebook

Do you like to travel or do you prefer to stay close to home?

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