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The Travel Word
A website that showcases responsible, sustainable and local travel
A website that showcases responsible, sustainable and local travel


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A Life-Changing Experience Challenge in Ghana (by +Jiah Ham

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 +AfriKids UK's Blue Sky Travel Ltd. was one about people. And it was one she was not prepared for emotionally.

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The Fight Against Human Trafficking: A Visit to the Indian Border with Maiti Nepal (by +Crooked Trails)

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

In celebration of Earth Day, join us on Wednesday, April 22, at 9am EST / 1pm GMT, for a free, live and unscripted conversation with Jochen Zeitz and others (see below) from The Long Run, an important global initiative focused on applying an innovative sustainability philosophy to private protected areas, their local communities and nature-based sustainable tourism worldwide.

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 +PUMA, and widely credited with rekindling interest in the brand (and "greening" it). More recently, among many other things, in 2013 he launched +The B Team 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 / +Feynan Ecolodge (Jordan)
* Michael Lutzeyer, Owner & General Manager, +Grootbos Private Nature Reserve (South Africa) & Julie Cheetham, Director of The Grootbos Foundation
* Arnfinn Oines, Social & Environmental Conscience, +Soneva Kiri Resort & Residences (Thailand) & +Soneva Fushi Resort & Residences (Maldives)
* Karen Lewis, Owner, +Lapa Rios Ecolodge (Costa Rica) 
* Suzan Craig, Owner, Tahi (New Zealand)
* Priscilla Murillo, +Pacuare Lodge (Costa Rica)
* +Ethan Gelber (moderator), Founder/Editor, +The Travel Word

For more information about The Long Run, Jochen Zeitz and this Hangout, go to

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The Homestay Initiative in Malawi: Appreciating Local Culture (

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: +Kate Webb)

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Psyched to be bringing great personalities into play about important topics of interest to travel writers and bloggers -- cultural and ethnic diversity in travel writing, and the ethics of the new market in travel writing (i.e., what to do about sponsored content). 
We've partnered with to host workshops tackling ethics and diversity on both days of #NYTF '15. Our member +The Travel Word has a big role in them too. Learn more and then get your admission ticket!

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Every Rhinoceros Matters, Whether #JustOneRhino or Another

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!

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Just launched! At long last. The e-book, Adventures Less Ordinary: How to Travel and Do Good, is a free e-guide to mindful adventures. It was edited by our editor, Ethan Gelber, and it is now available for download! 

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 #MendNotEnd  

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Adventures Less Ordinary: Getting an Accurate Snapshot of Travel Generosity (

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 (+PEPY Tours Cambodia), Cheryl Chapman (City Philanthropy), David Clemmons (, Sophie Dubus (Evolve Travel Consulting), Diana Edelman (DTravelsRound), Christine Garde (CouldYou?), Sallie Grayson (people and places), Alice Gugelev (+The Muskoka Foundation), Kakuta Hamichi (, Cole Hoover, Mark Horoszowski (+MovingWorlds), Sonal Kadchha (Educating The Children), Chris Mackay (+Crooked Trails), Anna McKeon, Shannon O’Donnell (Grassroots Volunteering), Stephen Partridge, Anna Pollock (Conscious Travel), Amy E. Robertson (Moon Travel Guides), Jorge Sandoval (+LearnVolunteer Ecuador), Jeremy Smith ( Fair Game Travel), Victoria Smith (The Long Run), Sarah Vandenberg

#voluntourism   #socimp   #MendNotEnd   #GoVolunteer   #GoAbroad   cc: +Transitions Abroad +Wandering Educators

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On Wednesday, October 15, at 11am ET / 3pm GMT, we will be joining +germanytourism on a #germany25reunified  Twitter chat commemorating "Germany 25 Reunified," a chance to explore how Germany has changed over the past 25 years.

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 .

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When You Travel to Cuba (It’s Possible!), Help Keep Its Nature Intact (

#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!

cc: +Green Global Travel +International Expeditions
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