Depth vs. Breadth

As much as I like travel I get really bored listening to passport stamp collectors.  You know the kinds of people who brag about the number of countries and continents they've been to?  The ones who swear they're the real 'travelers', and want to tell you.  The convo usually goes like this....

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home


Them:Name drop of some exotic/trendy locale (lately Dubai or the The Maldives)

Me Oh, cool!  How did you like it? (genuine interest)

Them:  I stayed at super duper hotel x, you simply MUST go there!

Me:  and what did you do there?  How'd you like the destination?

Them:  {confused look} uhh, it's such a great place 

Me: What about pictures?  (losing interest)

Them:  Here we are at Starbucks, they have everything we do so it was easy.

Me {Big sigh,Done!}

So you've been to 40 countries and had pages added to your passport, but you can't tell me a single story that stuck with you?  No thanks, I can stay at home and go to the Marriott for that.  There are so many of them in this industry, that happens on the regular.  Then you have those who want to compare members once they find out I'm in the travel industry.

People think I've been to lots of places, when I really haven't.  I geek out on details and have no problem returning to the same destination multiple times.  There's almost always something new to discover.  When I get tired, then I move on to the next one but I don't ever see myself turning into the collector.  No judgement though, collect on!  There rest of us will be having fun making awesome memories.

 

Our Travel Philosophy

Do you follow nomadic travel bloggers and worldschoolers, knowing you really do want to return home after your journey?  


 

Have you wondered how you can incorporate incredible life changing experiences into your vacations?

If you don't have time to plan enriching group journeys for your organization, family or customers let us do the work for you.

The change begins with you.  It starts small. One person at a time, we transform the world with the ripple effects of trans formative travel. Do something different, try something daring, meet  a new friend.

You don't have to jump into the deep end from day one.  I happen to love all inclusives and luxury hotels.  It doesn't stop us from experiencing authentic travel and adding adventure into our itineraries.  My husband happens to love his job and living in the suburbs, so we're not turning into nomads anytime soon. There is plenty of overlap between the tourist and traveler.  We are that space in between.

It's not my thing to find the cheapest hostel, Vegas hotel or way to backpack cross country.  I follow lots of these blogs for inspiration, but it's not the path for everyone. I am here to carve out the space of exploration for the everyday adventurers, the two week vacationers and lifelong learners on holiday. If you're looking to get more from your travel, then you've come to the right place.

 

 
image credit: ytravelblog.com

The Big AHA!

If you follow any of my social media accounts you've probably seen I'm very passionate about racism and social justice issues.  In fact, I started as a sociology major in college.  I switched because i started to wonder now what exactly am I going to DO for a living with all this knowledge?  So I switched majors to make sure I had some skills that would actually  transfer to a job.  That is what our parents want at some point right?  Fast forward to today and I've been doing lots of soul searching on how those parts of my personality fit into my business and a moment of clarity hit me how it's all related.  I've been saying it for years on memes and blogs, but the knowing and understanding really just hit me like a brick.  Travel does end bigotry. I've been called to this to bring people together. 
It's nearly impossible to hold on to ignorant beliefs when you have a real face and story to replace those stereotypes.  When you realize just how small and powerful you as an individual are in the world, how can you not want to improve it?

My first international experience was a high school trip to France.  Can you believe I studied French for 5 years?  So funny how I end up obsessed with travel to Latin American countries when I never formally studied Spanish.  On that 2 week trip, I connected with my classmates on a level we never had at home with our rigid high school social order.  We were cool, but most of these people never spoke to each other outside of class. I had a sense of accomplishment navigating a foreign country long before cell phones and realized the whole world does not feel the same way about Americans and Black people as what I've been told. Yes, 17 years old was the first time I felt at home in my own skin.  Some people may be shocked to hear that and others are nodding in agreement.  One of my vivid memories is talking to one of our host students, Nick, about that feeling and him telling me, 'Oh we don't have that problem here with Black people, but we don't like Arabs so much.'  (Looking back I realize the situation is much more nuanced, but you get the point) It's human nature to find some group to subjugate for some reason.  There isn't some innate deficiency in African-Americans that caused all the hatred back home.  The feeling of constantly having to prove myself as good enough was wrong and I've participated in it just as much as those who made assumptions about my abilities. I scored just under the native French speakers in my class on a national exam, yet this trip was the first time someone complimented my accent and language skills.  (Don't even think about asking me to dust off those rusty skills though!)  I didn't even own how good I was because I had internalized that feeling of not being enough.  Imagine being able to give that gift of knowing to kids today who are feeling marginalized by everything going on.
Years later when we were in our 'Freedom Fries' debacle I knew it's not true that French people hate us. Had I not made friends there, maybe I would've been more susceptible to those messages.  Recently when Charlie Hebdo happened I thought about the second part of Nick's statement.  Bigotry is a disease that will rot away the fabric of our society if left unchecked.  The best way for us to spread peace is to face our nature head on and evolve.  Some people are sick, demented assholes, but it's just that....an individual.  We won't learn to stop generalizing to a whole group until we realize that group is made up of real souls living their daily lives just like us.  It wasn't sports, work, forced integration or color blind thinking that bonded our group together on that trip.  It was the shared experience.
The benefits  are just so amazing I don't know why everyone isn't doing it! Over the years I have met some fantastic people traveling that I would never converse with at home.  Thank God for Facebook!  Exposing my son to other cultures, not as charity cases or differences to fear, but people with lives and families much like our own has shaped his world view.  It's totally different from mine and I even learn to be more open minded from him.
So to bring this all full circle, I'm challenging you to take a d

eeper look at your travels this year. Though it is a vacation to you, the ripple effects of this exposure will reach far and wide.  Your kids will gain valuable perspective that may even give them a competitive advantage at college time.  You will come away from your experience changed if you let it happen.

Another big takeaway from this... I also realized wow I really am a nerd since that memory also involves some Get 27 (a liquer for the non-francophiles), a handsome Frenchman, no adult supervision, but only resulted in a conversation. Haha!

 

Thank Before Spending

Root-of-Joy-IS-Gratitude-Rainbow

Does it seem like retail stores have forgotten there is a whole month between Halloween and Christmas? I get it, turkeys and green beans aren't doing much for the bottom line but it's getting ridiculous! I had to make a rare trip to the mall this weekend and it seems more like December than a sunny November day. Decorations are up, lights strung, and the holiday tunes are in full rotation, not just sprinkled in the usual. The employees look sad, lamenting coming in in thanksgiving day and working all night. The lines are long, even the a Salvation Army bell ringers are out! We skipped being thankful to veterans and family and gone straight to buying.

This is the year of #365grateful and #30daysofgrattitude! What happened? Following these hashtags I don't see many things that come from a store. Why are we forgetting the things were truly grateful of don't come in a box? I'm making it a point to thank Veterans and express my appreciation to others in my life all month long.

Back to the mall, I decided to go thank a young man working a kiosk that was gracious and polite when I told him I had no need for his product. How often do we complain about the social skills and work ethic of young people? So why not make an effort to reward those who do. I doubled back later to thank him for being so polite and offered to pay for something for he could give away to the next person. He was so appreciative of the compliment and I felt good for the rest of the day. Interestingly, I ended up saving that same amount with a coupon that day. So let's put the thanks back in November. Don't just mindlessly write checks to charity or plow through your gift shopping list without taking time to be grateful. Connect with those that are important to you and brighten a strangers day. Imagine how much better the world would be if we did that all year.

Activities
Article Count:
7
Family Travel
Article Count:
3
Activities
Article Count:
1
Reviews
Article Count:
5
Safety
Article Count:
2
General Travel Tips
Article Count:
11
Assorted Travel Musings
Article Count:
7

Travel On Purpose