If you’ve ever wondered whether your travels can make a difference, here's a case study from our recent trip to Madagascar. It shows just how tourism can support conservation, sustainability and community development.
Madagascar travel. While lemurs and Madagascar's unique wildlife and nature are what usually draw people to visit the country, that's just the very beginning. Here are our top travel experiences and recommendations from traveling through Madagascar to go deeper into the country's unique nature, cultures, food, landscapes, and more.
When walking the world's big cities, we're often told to avoid back alleys. In Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, the go-local advice is to get lost in them.
“The kingfisher tried to warn the Mala men about the devil dog approaching, but it was too late. Some weren’t able to escape. You can still see them there,” Rachelle, our guide, pointed to the contours of the cave wall.
It was as if the men were petrified for eternity in those reliefs, struck in a terror pose as they tried to flee. While my rational mind acknowledged a scientific explanation for the geological formations around me, I slowly began to admire them in a different way, as if the stones were living, given life through story.
Interested in traveling to Australia, but only have two weeks or a limited amount of time? Overwhelmed by the choices and size of the country and don't know where to start in creating an Australia two week itinerary? Don't worry, we've been there. And that's why we created this Experiential Guide to help you plan your trip and create your own itinerary.
Call it my imagination. While I looked forward to our visit to Colombia, I harbored the occasional image of thuggy bush-mustached Colombian narco-gangsters and aggressive gold cap-toothed street thieves shaking me down in the back shadows of Bogota or Medellin. (Yes, I realize I’ve probably watched one too many bad airplane movies.)
Colombia, thankfully, was altogether different. We spent time on our own, under the auspices of friends, on tours, in cities, way up in the hills, on the coast, and in destinations in between.
No narco-gangsters. No untoward experiences, for us.
We're headed to Colombia tomorrow. We're off to see a country we were supposed to visit five years ago. We'll be on the trail for Colombian culture — from the Andes to the Pacific to the Caribbean — and to find The Lost City along the way.
Colombia. It's one of the countries that got away during the 15 months we traveled through Latin America a few years ago. We didn’t skip it because of safety concerns — in fact, even at that time ever more travelers were saying the opposite and urging us to go. We just happened to pass it at the height of rainy season and we figured we’d return when we were certain to have ample time to explore.
We didn’t expect it would take five years to return, but here we are.
We leave for Colombia tomorrow.
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.
Haiti. It’s a country that most people today still associate with earthquakes, coups, and unrest – a sort of irretrievable chaos. Before traveling to Haiti, we knew very little about the country. Even after performing our own research — let’s face it, there’s little information on Haiti beyond the headline news – we weren’t quite certain what we would find, experience or feel while there.