The Travel Word is a website that showcases responsible, sustainable and local travel.
We are committed to inspiring mindful and independent travellers headed off the beaten path with local businesses making responsible and sustainable decisions about their destinations. Through anecdotes, articles, profiles, opinion pieces and news, our local voices aim to inform travellers about unique and ethical ways to experience a destination, travel responsibly and help sustain the distinctive qualities of a place.
The author of this new piece, Jiah Ham, first heard about the Experience Challenge through colleagues who had participated in an earlier trip. The story she brought back from her time in Ghana with 's Blue Sky Travel Ltd. was one about people. And it was one she was not prepared for emotionally.
Jochen Zeitz has been featured aplenty as a businessman with a strong conscience. Earlier this month he was profiled in The Independent (UK) as a millionaire in a race to save the world.
There is indeed a good bit of that about him. For 18 years, he was the chief executive and chairman of , and widely credited with rekindling interest in the brand (and "greening" it). More recently, among many other things, in 2013 he launched with Sir Richard Branson and other prominent business leaders who believe there is a way to balance economic profit with the health and vitality of people and the planet.
Another of Zeitz's initiatives, originally established under his Zeitz Foundation's umbrella, is The Long Run, the mission of which is to create and support ecologically and socially responsible destinations around the world for positive impact and sustainability, not just for today but for The Long Run. This is achieved through the holistic balance of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce (the 4Cs), and a Global Ecosphere Retreats® (GER) standard that has been called "the world’s best standards for privately protected areas" (Dr. Jeff A. Langholz).
The waters run deep with the people involved in The Long Run, so on this 45th annual Earth Day, please take an hour to sit with Jochen Zeitz and others as we talk about:
* the global sustainability movement (a perfect topic for Earth Day!) and how The Long Run fits into it;
* whether The Long Run is just another certification scheme and why customers should care;
* how is The Long Run and its members are promoting, innovating and enhancing sustainable tourism;
* The Long Run as a newly independent, not-for-profit organization, and what it means to be separating from The Zeitz Foundation.
* Jochen Zeitz, a leader 100% dedicated to sustainability and changing the future of business
* Delphine Malleret King (PhD), Natural Resource Management Coordinator & Technical Assistance, The Long Run
* Nabil Tarazi, Founder & Managing Director, EcoHotels / (Jordan)
* Michael Lutzeyer, Owner & General Manager, (South Africa) & Julie Cheetham, Director of The Grootbos Foundation
* Arnfinn Oines, Social & Environmental Conscience, (Thailand) & (Maldives)
* Karen Lewis, Owner, (Costa Rica)
* Suzan Craig, Owner, Tahi (New Zealand)
* Priscilla Murillo, (Costa Rica)
* (moderator), Founder/Editor,
For more information about The Long Run, Jochen Zeitz and this Hangout, go to http://bit.ly/1NMPgAr.
Drawing on the combined expertise of two dozen leading advocates for travel that makes a difference, this how-to handbook is for compassionate people seeking the ultimate adventure -- one guided as much by the good you give as the good you get.
Early praise has called it "long overdue," "a breath of fresh air," full of "tremendous insight," "impressive" and even "the most important book on travel ever written," so we think we've done something useful. If you nurture a free-spirited and adventure-minded desire for more to travel than just getting somewhere and being there, please register to receive your free copy at http://bit.ly/1wvCUDS. #MendNotEnd
I stepped foot in Germany for the first time (of consequence) in Berlin In 1987. It was a cold, wet and dark late-afternoon in November and I had a healthy handful of hours during which to explore a bewildering divided city, to examine the Wall I had read so much about. I had arrived from the west by train along the rail causeway - an umbilical from West Germany connecting to the "free" half of Berlin, an island hemmed in by barbed wire and defiance. (Late at night, I would leave - headed east into Poland, the Ukraine and the distinct smell of coal coke - also by train, after transiting through the split-between-nations Friedrichstrasse train station.)
Since 1987, I've been to Germany many times. Leading bike tours in the Mosel and along the Rhine; repeatedly passing through Munich on the way to Austria, or Hamburg on the way to Denmark, also as part of bike tours; visiting with friends wherever they lured me; and just taking in the sights.
I have also returned to Berlin relatively often. (Both of my brothers have lived there, and one still does, as do numerous friends.) In the early 1990s, when I was present for at least one early anniversary of the fall of the Wall, I got caught in tear gas on Alexanderplatz after Western louts had jeered at the East-trained guards a little too loudly. And now many times since then, watching the change, the gentrification.
What a journey it's been for a nation reunited (or just united, as many people claim). It has involved the rehabilitation of more than just infrastructure, too, with new generations shaking loose the weight of dark times.
If you have been anywhere in Germany in the last 40 years (even if only just once in the recent present), please come and share your recollections. Of the people, the places, the food, the beer, the wine, the history. If you have pictures, share them. (I wish I had taken some!)
It's all taking place this Wednesday, October 15, at 11am ET / 3pm GMT. Look for the "Germany 25 Reunified" Twitter chat by following #germany25reunified .
Check it out -- Wednesday, October 1, 1pm ET (5pm GMT).
You can visit the discussion page at http://outbounding.org/discussion/view/can-we-mend-not-end-voluntourism.
* , Program Director of people and places
* , Independent Consultant for Better Volunteering, Better Care
* , Founder of and GrassrootsVolunteering.org
* , Author of 'Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America' (Moon Travel Guides); Contributing Editor of
* , Co-founder of (co-moderator)
* additional participants may be announced
The complex and broad range of issues raised in the Outbounding discussion has sparked an incredible volume of reactions. A recent tweet even identified the forum as "probably the best volunteer voluntourism discussion online - ever."
But it hasn't just been a continuation of the sometimes superficial scrutiny and overly generalized criticism under which volunteer travel has recently come. Instead, there's an emphasis on solutions, shared responsibility and shared benefits through informed and transparent consultation.
Who's in that shared space? Consumers, sending and receiving volunteer organizations and, especially, local communities. There is a role to play for everyone in the process of driving positive change in and through voluntourism. But how can we bring it about? What is the minimum due diligence required for different players? How can we work together to improve:
Responsibility in voluntourism: How can we get the message out about voluntourist responsibility? Whose responsibility is it to ensure volunteer travel is responsible?
Volunteer skill levels: Do volunteers have adequate time and skills to create positive impact? Can unskilled volunteers ever be of service?
Transparency: What is the relationship between volunteer placement companies and their projects? Do they vet volunteers for the skills a project needs? Have they built the project with local communities, when appropriate?
Voluntourism with children: What resources and support do volunteer organizations need in order to improve how they manage situations involving volunteers and children?
These are just some of the topics likely to be broached during this Google+ Hangout on Air. We hope you will join us and the following panelists, most of them major contributors to the Outbounding discussion and leaders in the voluntourism space.
cc: #volunteer #volunteering #volunteerabroad #volunteerism #voluntourism
This is the story of a donor trip to Nepal that bears witness to the work of Maiti Nepal in its fight against human trafficking. The heartbreaking tragedy is enormous in Nepal, a country suffering from poverty, illiteracy and now recovery from major natural disaster. Please read this post and show some support. #nepalrelief
The Responsible Safari Company and Youth for Development and Productivity are designing a Homestay Initiative through which guests can experience authentic village life in #Malawi . With that in mind, Alice Tilton decided to experience a village homestay in Malawi herself. (cc: )
This is our contribution to the #JustOneRhino fundraising campaign. It benefits the ambitious and very expensive Rhinos Without Borders goal of translocating 100 rhinoceros from South Africa to Botswana by mid-2015. Click here for more about the #JustOneRhino campaign, including how you can make a donation and be in the running for $30,000 in raffle prizes!
This is part of the Editor’s Note, written by our editor for “Adventures Less Ordinary: How to Travel and Do Good,” a free guide to mindful adventures. Drawing on the combined expertise of two dozen leading voices advocating for travel that makes a difference, it is a handbook for compassionate people seeking the ultimate adventure – one guided as much by the good you give as the good you get.
Thanks to the following for their contributions: Sarah Brown ( ), Cheryl Chapman (City Philanthropy), David Clemmons (Voluntourism.org), Sophie Dubus (Evolve Travel Consulting), Diana Edelman (DTravelsRound), Christine Garde (CouldYou?), Sallie Grayson (people and places), Alice Gugelev ( ), Kakuta Hamichi (maasai-association.org), Cole Hoover, Mark Horoszowski ( ), Sonal Kadchha (Educating The Children), Chris Mackay ( ), Anna McKeon, Shannon O’Donnell (Grassroots Volunteering), Stephen Partridge, Anna Pollock (Conscious Travel), Amy E. Robertson (Moon Travel Guides), Jorge Sandoval ( ), Jeremy Smith ( Fair Game Travel), Victoria Smith (The Long Run), Sarah Vandenberg
#voluntourism #socimp #MendNotEnd #GoVolunteer #GoAbroad cc:
#Cuba has been taunting me for two decades. And i’m not alone; Americans now travel to Cuba in record numbers. With re-loosened travel restrictions now allowing for “purposeful” and “people-to-people” contact, it’s possible to go. While you’re at it, why not help protect the country’s nature and culture!
When you go to #Morocco , don’t make the same mistakes this writer did. Learn how to capture the country’s special light, and with it your impressions of a place that will surprise you. When he was there, he met the woman he eventually married. He deeply wishes he had taken more pictures and that they were more evocative and of better quality. He wishes he had taken a #photography workshop in Morocco.