In celebration of our brand new class of travel card, Capital One sent a select group of influencer guests on an unforgettable, five-star trip dubbed Destination X. While at Destination X, guests had the opportunity to learn first-hand all about what our new travel rewards card, Venture X, has to offer - including best-in-class travel products and experiences that help people do what they love, wherever and whenever that may be.
The story behind the 'Destination X' name? The destination of the trip was kept a surprise until guests arrived-the only details they received before the trip were a packing list and travel times.
Guests departed for Destination X from Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport to tour our brand new Capital One Lounge in the airport and enjoy amenities like grab-and-go food curated by local chefs, craft cocktails and areas to relax and recharge. They could even sneak in a sweat in the cycling and yoga room. Next, they flew in style to Destination X via private Aero jet, and upon landing, Destination X's location was revealed.
The locally-inspired adventure took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico-hand-picked due to its culturally-rich setting-at Bishop's Lodge, an Auberge Resort originally built in the 1920s on 317 acres at the edge of the Santa Fe National Forest.
While at Destination X, guests were able to enjoy outdoor morning yoga classes, hikes and horseback rides on nearby trails, an intimate visit to Ghost Ranch - Georgia O'Keeffe's home and studio for over fifty years - and the setting of her many famous paintings.
An Experience Worth Capturing
After the trip, we chatted with explorer, photographer, author and Destination X trip attendee Chris Burkard, on his experience and his overall love for travel. Here's what he had to say.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about your career as a photographer?
I first picked up a camera when I was 19 and was hooked pretty much immediately. At the time I was really interested in painting, but felt limited by where I could take the medium. I didn't love the idea of sitting behind an easel on the side of a hill, I wanted something more dynamic. With photography I could take my camera and express myself everywhere I was.
Today, I am an explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, I work to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.
Photo by Chris Burkhard
Can you share your favorite memories and/or experiences from Destination X?
For sure it was exploring Diablo canyon. What a unique place with such a beautiful display of geology. Big columnar piles could be seen on the walls and through the canyon. I went back at midnight to shoot the Milky Way.
Photo by Chris Burkhard
In your opinion, what value will travelers get out of the Venture X card?
For me it's the travel credit and the overall miles that make the biggest difference. I've relied on miles for years to take friends and family on trips and to cultivate new experiences. That is really what it's all about for me, helping others experience the world the way I do. Knowing that every time I make a purchase I am earning 2X miles on every purchase and even more for travel booked through Capital One Travel- it really makes me stoked to know this can support those experiences.
Can you share why you made the decision to partner with Capital One?
I've been a Capital One cardholder for almost 15 years. 'It was my first credit card so I've always been able to answer 'Capital One' to the question 'What's in your wallet?'. That card was critical in helping fund my first expeditions and trips. I felt like the connection and the history was already there, the foundation had been laid for a great partnership. So needless to say I was excited to partner.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned through traveling?
Oh man. I've learned a lot of lessons over the years. I would say the biggest lesson for me has been learning how to really take in the experiences I have on the road. For so long, I was totally focused on my assignments and didn't have time to absorb what was happening around me. I got into this type of work to be a storyteller and I realized that while I was getting epic images, I had no stories because I had spent too much time behind the camera. I started to realize it was equally important for me to connect with my subjects and landscapes. This could be as simple as taking a dip in the river or spending time speaking to a local for a few minutes before I snapped his or her photo.
Photo by Chris Burkhard