This is a story about visiting a South African township by bicycle, where people and life and answers to questions are up close and personal.
As we rode to the end of our visit, a big white van, way too clean, rolled passed us in almost slow-motion like you might expect in a movie. From the side windows, faces peered out, their eyes snagging on us. Others pressed cameras. They were touring the township from above, behind closed doors. They looked at us on our rickety bicycles, a tad perplexed.
We looked at them much the same way.
They were missing out. Continue Reading »
A few dollars here, a few dollars there. Does how you spend your money when you travel really matter? Is it possible to align your travel approach and spending decisions with your values?
In the first part of this series, The Importance of People in Travel, we explored the relationship between people and the travel experience and we spoke of serendipity and human connections. In this segment, we talk deliberate decisions and the potential impact of our travel purchases on the communities we visit, and on the world.
Goofing with local kids having breakfast in Tarija, Bolivia.
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In pursuit of the iconic, sometimes we lose the people. Then we need to come back. Here are a few thoughts on the often overlooked importance of people to travel and the connection between travelers’ experiences, their spending decisions and the impact on the communities they visit.
So much ink is spilled, understandably so, on the budget aspect of travel — how much we spend vs. the value we receive – almost to the point of commoditizing every dimension of one’s travel experience.
One bit is often missing in this discussion, however: people. Continue Reading »
Travel holds tremendous potential. For the traveler, it offers a path to experience, education and personal transformation. For local host communities, it provides a means to economic benefit and cultural exchange. It’s this magic “travel equation” that among other things first inspired us to quit our jobs for the road over five years ago, and to this day encourages us to continue traveling, exploring, learning, and sharing.
Learning new skills from the women of the Zikra Initiative in Jordan.
However, developments across the tourism industry are not always rosy. Over the years, we’ve seen our share of rapacious tourism development and the cumulative effects of thoughtless individual actions conspiring to harm local cultures, economies and the environment.
So what can a traveler do? The cynic says nothing, the hopeful say plenty. Continue Reading »