As the time of the geek gains more and more momentum, there’s even more fun things for those with the specific geek interests in mind. Geek Nation Tours has established itself as one of the premiere travel option for those looking to explore new places, visit geek destinations along with other link minded geeks. We spoke with Teras Cassidy, the founder of Geek Nation Tours to get a better understanding of what the tours consist of and what a geek who travels with them might expect.
iFanboy: What is Geek Nation Tours?
Teras Cassidy: Geek Nation Tours has been in business since 2008 and is a tour company dedicated to the Geek in all his and her multifaceted interests. It creates holidays for Geeks by Geeks. Our tours include Geeky conventions, tournaments and tours to places of historical significance to the Geek. But our real mandate is to give people the opportunity to revel in their Geekiness and to travel the globe seeking the things they love to do. Participants are joined by other like minded persons who are just as interested in that specific Geeky thing – so not only do they have a holiday – but also the chance to develop long lasting friendships.
We have traveled to the San Diego Comic Con and are off to help Gen Con celebrate its 45th anniversary. We have a large number of tours which include a Lego tour, AdeptiCon tour and we even have a UK tour that focuses on castles, museums and tabletop miniatures. We do historical tours like our tour of American Civil War sites and of Napoleon’s battle at Waterloo. We offer media tours also – like Creation Entertainment’s Las Vegas Star Trek Convention and Filming Site tours like our Star Trek L.A. to Vegas tour. We have been wanting to explore the New York Comic Con for some time and can’t wait to visit.
iF: What do you have planned for the New York Comic Con tour?
TC: We really try to give our tour participants not only a good view of whatever event we are going to but also a really special look at the area around the event. To do this we will be exploring New York by foot and subway. This way our participants will get a “feel” of the city – no buses that close you in and pass sights too fast. Walking allows us to not only see the sights and sounds of New York but to eat our way through the city. We will stop for New York classics like street vender hot dogs, pizza and cannoli. We will have a local guide that will take us to the major tourist destinations like the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and Times Square. We will also pay our respects at St. Paul’s Cathedral right next to the September 11th Ground Zero area.
Our tours have to have a “geek” focus however, and thus we will be stopping at not only important comic book sights but fictional places too. For instance we will stop at the Flat Iron Building (the Daily Bugle in the Spider-man movies), and the Frick Museum (the inspiration for the Avengers Mansion) but also the fictional location of the Fantastic Four Baxter Building and Hell’s Kitchen (I hope we see Daredevil). We will of course pass by the offices of DC and Marvel. We will even take in the New York sky line at the top of the Rockefeller Center and get in some pre-NYCC shopping at some local comic book/geek stores like Forbidden Planet.
Our participants will also have plenty of time to explore New York on their own, if they want to take in a Broadway show for instance . I saw “Spider-man: Turn off the Dark” when I was there a few weeks ago by the way.
Another really important aspect to a Geek Nation Tour is our partnership with podcasters and internet sites. We always try to have some special guests stop by our “Welcome Dinner” to talk to our participants. Our New York Tour will be no exception. I know that a couple iFanboy crew have plans to “crash” our party and give us some advice on how to get the very best from our New York Comic Con experience.
iF: What have been some of the highlights of previous tours?
TC: There really has been so many that the list is huge. I loved seeing the English countryside from a castle wall. Meeting with comic book and novel authors… Talking to favorite TV and movie stars and sharing a beer with game designers. But really my best memories are seeing Geeks getting together and making instant friends on our tours. No matter what Geeky thing we are celebrating – participants fall into spontaneous conversations because of a common vocabulary and their love of that thing. While the conversations from the outside may seem strange – participants find themselves immersed in the culture they love, surrounded by people with like passions, in a community that embraces them.
We meet each night to talk about the day’s experiences and it really is a great time to get ideas about what to see the next day. The comradery is spectacular. Besides, it is always great to go to a bar in New York and hear conversations about who is the best superhero or what is the best superhero movie. That is always a blast.
iF: Do you need to be like a uber-ultra geek to go? Or can newbies have fun too? Also, the other way around, is it only for newbies?
TC: Not at all. No matter if you are just jumping into comics, returning to them or have been a fan for the last 30 years. All are welcome and all will get a great deal out of the tour. As I mentioned already it is an awesome time to meet new friends and celebrate your loves, but you also really can’t beat the feeling you get when you see the New York Public Library where Uncle Ben dies even if you are not a Spider-man fan… It is just plain cool.
Old convention goers will have the opportunity to visit as a group and have loads of new friends to experience the con with. Newbies will learn were to go and what to do….We are very excited about our partnership with iFanboy and our participants will be able to hang with you guys during our Welcome Dinner. I am sure you will have some sound advice for our tour participants with the Q & A we have planned. I am ALSO sure a few of our participants will want to buy you a beer or two if you have time in the evenings we are there.
What’s more, Geek Nation Tours takes care of the “non-geek spouses” as well. If a partner would rather go to a museum, a ball game or take in some shopping we can take care of that too. Everyone wins as participants get to “Geek-out” while the other half is happy doing other cool stuff. As a matter of fact they can continue touring NYC with the same local guide if they like. The “non-geek” can meet up with the rest of us in the evenings of course. I will be constantly texting and posting on facebook so it will be easy to find us.
iF: How much research goes into the tour planning?
TC: Quite a bit actually. We only go to the very best of conventions but we also have to figure out where to stay how to get from the airport to the hotels (we provide transfers too btw), and all the other logistics that go into a normal tour. Then we have to twist it to make sure our participants are suitably “geeked out”. We really take pride in producing something people will talk about for years.
Further we often travel to that destination to make sure we are familiar with it prior to leading a group. That is what I was doing a couple of weeks ago. It was my first time in New York and man did I have a blast…
It should also be noted that Geek Nation Tours is owned and operated by Geeks. I have a huge love of all things geeky and read comic books constantly. We have to make sure we can “talk the talk” over beers. I would hate to be unprepared when some asks me “Who is the best super hero?”
iF: What’s the one spot in New York you’re most excited to visit with the tour attendees?
TC: I really want to see the standard New York tourist spots but am really looking forward to the more fictional stops. I love seeing movie sets in real life. You get this really strange déjà vu type of experience and you really really think something movie-esque is going to happen. It is just plain cool…New York City is such a great town! I also can’t wait to hang with you guys. I am a big fan and meeting a podcaster face to face is always a strange and exciting experience.
With that said I also want to see the New York Comic Con. Each con has a different feel and I can’t wait to see what the area that virtually created comics puts out for a convention.
If you’re interested in more info about Geek Nation Tours, be sure to visit their website at geeknationtours.com. They have a full list of tours available and if you’re interested in attending New York Comic-Con via the Geek Nation Tour, there’s still time to book it and get on board for the fun. If you have any questions for Teras Cassidy about Geek Nation Tours, you can reach him directly via e-mail at email@example.com