This is my story about recently completing a 10-day course in Vipassana meditation in Malaysia. It’s also a story about impermanence.
Last year, we were asked by BBC Travel to share the story of how we — as a married couple — quit our jobs to travel the world. The editors asked that we focus on the decisions we made together and offer some tips and advice for traveling couples and others considering making the leap. They requested also that our perspective reflect not only the highs of our journey, but also some transparency on the struggles we’ve experienced along the way.
On your next trip, don’t forget to pack your empathy.
Whether on stage or on the page, I often assert that, “travel can not only improve each of our lives, but it can also make the world a better place.” I suggest this instinctively, but then I have to step back and ask myself, “Well, how exactly does travel do that?
One of the pathways in my experience is through motivating a practice and expression of genuine empathy, or “the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective.” Listening to, understanding and connecting with the feelings, thoughts, and stories of others — especially those entirely different from your own — can not only enrich and improve your experience at hand, but it can also simultaneously improve your well-being.
Life is a continual exercise in expectation management. Witness our journey to the Bassin-Bleu waterfall outside of Jacmel in southern Haiti.
Haiti, it turns out, possesses quite a many blue pools, all quite aptly if not unimaginatively named Bassin-Bleu or “blue pool.” The most famous of these, pictured below, is outside the town of Jacmel. If all the photos of Haiti's bassins-bleus are anything to go by, each one is pretty much the essence of inviting: hidden and tempting; turquoise, deep blue or mystically translucent pools of water depending on the angle of the sun and time of the day of the photo.
But half the fun is getting there.
“There’s a circumcision party in a nearby Maasai village. Mela is inviting us to join her. Do you want to go?” Kisioki asked in the sort of unassuming manner one might use to ask a friend to a new restaurant around the corner for lunch.
After repeating the phrase and looking at my shoes, I ruminated on this concept, turning my knees inward just slightly, clenching muscles in my pelvic region I never knew I had.
“Sure.” I mean who in their right mind says ‘No’ to a Maasai circumcision party?
Think of this as an “Adventure Manifesto” in progress. A way to think about adventure so we might infuse it more happily into our everyday lives.
Have you ever been on a tour and felt like it’s just not working for you? Maybe there’s something missing? Or the connection just isn’t there?
What do you do?
“You can call me Airport,” Esupat said, laughing.
She sat atop a Maasai hut with her legs crossed, straddling a half-built chimney. Small piles of bricks surrounded her; wet cement fell from her hands.
I recently came across an article about experiential learning that featured a list entitled 12 Things You Might Not Have Learned in the Classroom. The principles were adapted from a book entitled Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto. The list was preceded by the phrase “Really educated people…”
“Wow, that’s a pretty presumptuous lead,” I thought. Then I continued reading and found myself nodding in agreement through much of the list.
For many travelers to Uganda, gorilla trekking is the anchor activity and highlight of their trip. To encounter mountain gorillas not only carries some expense, but it also takes planning and preparation to make the most of your visit. In this Uganda Gorilla Trekking Beginner's Guide we share all you need to know to prepare for and get the most out of you gorilla trekking experience in Uganda.