(Photograph by Abbie Calvert)
With every trip, I am trying to figure out how to be a better traveler, and how to impact the places I visit in a positive way. It is really important to me to support businesses that conserve natural resources and sustain local communities—or at least to avoid the destructive ones. I’m hoping that by sharing my experiences here, we can figure out how to do this together, so please add your thoughts and tips to the comment section below.
As I move towards travelling more sustainably and ethically I am finding a steep learning curve. The terminology can be misleading and some companies use eco labels loosely and dishonestly in order to appeal to a growing ‘green’ consumer base.
Here are some things I’ve discovered along the way. Read more…
A little while after I posted my father’s account of a roadtrip he took in 1977 to the USSR, I noticed a lot of the traffic to this site was coming from Russia and the Ukraine. Several people wrote in to say they enjoyed the post and some to make (much appreciated!) corrections.
But the most exciting note came from Olena:
“The photo from Kiev, with house number #21. My father lived exactly in this house in 1930s, 40s and 50s…”
How amazing that she spotted it! It was an image from “Andriivsky Uzviz” street, in the centre of Kiev. Olena also sent me the image of the street and house number 21 as it is now, taken by a friend, Tatiana Markhay.
(clockwise from top left)
1. Fresh Coconut Oil hand-made on the island of Bastimentos. Ideal for cooking. $4.75, from Bocas Town supermarket.
2. Fabric pictures called “Molas” made by Guna native artists. This reverse appliqué technique takes about a month to complete. $30, from Bocas Town indigenous vendors.
3. A woven mask crafted and naturally dyed entirely from local plants by the indigenous tribes from the Darién jungles. $60, Bocas Town craft shop.
4. Contemporary jewelry made by local and visiting artists who make the laid-back Bocas del Toro islands their home. $5-25, Bocas Town street vendors.
5. Raw, organic cocoa in every form: bars, beans & powder, from the Örebä farming co-op run by a Ngöbe native community. $3-6, directly from the farm or in Super Gourmet in Bocas Town.
This is a guest post by Amanda Palmer, a Vancouver-based video/photo shooter with an infectious energy. Amanda has lived across Canada and once traveled holding down a different job every week for a whole summer. Follow Amanda’s adventures on instagram @amandalcam
They are crazy. They are messy. They are inspiring.
A few years ago, when some friends and I joined the masses at Coachella, it was hot, crowded and frantic. I swear we spent more time in search of water and each other than we actually did listening to the music. So this year when my husband and I snagged VIP tickets to the Pemberton Music Festival in British Columbia, we went in with the attitude of let it happen. No rushing to stages, no worrying about seeing absolutely everything and most importantly: no cranky pants. We promised to explore the grounds, the crowds and the bands at our own pace and without expectation. Read more…
Alajuela was our last stop. Really, it was just meant to be a spot near the airport to have a shower and a snooze before catching our flights home. But the city turned out to be incredibly photogenic. The brightly lit streets were filled with students, colourful murals and impressive colonial architecture (also, we stumbled on a perfect, little taqueria—Jalapeños Central). Sorry for the low-expectations Alajuela, you really are a beauty! Read more…
I can’t describe the Costa Rican town of Puerto Viejo without resorting to cliches— white sand beaches, jungle-lined roads made for biking, fresh Caribbean food and plenty of sunshine—it’s got them all, and in the best possible way. In the way that makes you forget that life could be anything but a sun-dappled ride from morning yoga to the beach, followed by home-made peanut butter ice cream. It’s too much, gloriously so! Read more…
Here are a few tips that might make the crossing a little smoother:
• Be breezy, people will point you in the right direction generally since signage is scarce.
• You’ll be doing the actual border crossing on foot (even if you are continuing by the same bus you arrived on) so heavy backpacks or luggage will be a pain and might get searched. Read more…
Our visit started out a little rocky, as we tried to sort out a ride from Almirante port to the farm, located in the jungly hills near by. But after we befriended some locals, and they made a few phone calls, we managed to catch a free ride on a crowded mini bus. About half an hour later, the bus doors flew open and we were greeted by our smiling guide ‘Jack’ at the entrance. He pushed some walking sticks into our hands, and we quickly realized we’d need them as we trekked up the steep hillside. Read more…