Go Philanthropic: Travel With a Purpose

25 06 2009

I love it when travel isn’t just about ticking a list of sights off one’s list. Even better when it leaves a place a little better than one found it. GoPhilanthropic is a tour company that combines travel philanthropy, sustainable travel and luxury vacations, allowing those who want to travel the luxu ry route to feel good about their choices. It’s a way of leaving a footprint without leaving a carbon one. Travelers stay in luxury eco-conscious resorts and hotels and participate in meaningful exchanges with local communities. All itineraries are customized for individual interests and GoPhilanthropic provides carbon offsets for all trips. Now that’s a good trip.





Mother Earth Love

20 04 2009

Cool article shout out. Yesterday in the Daily News was this cool article about eco-friendly travel. It’s got some great tips, such as free lodging in Ithaca for hybrid drivers, plus other deals throughout the Northeast and the rest of the country. Looks like I’m not the only one with Earth Day fever.





Paying It Forward

16 07 2008

The fun thing about travel is, of course, the meeting of new people and the seeing of new things. That part’s a given. But an equally important part of travel (and the part that keeps us travel fiends going in between trips) is the sharing of the travel experience. Even better, sharing the travel experience when the experience itself is a new thing.

Let me explain. While at home in California I got to spend quality time with my young nieces from Colorado, who, at ages 12 and almost 11, are finally old enough to understand the magnitude of international travel and actually be interested in it. (As opposed to six years ago when the little Flamenco fans I brought from Spain were cool solely for the pretty designs on them.)

Now, these girls have had their fair share of travel in the course of their young lives, but somehow trips to California or even the all-inclusive resort in Mexico (while it of course has its merit) does not quite have the same effect. Getting their hair braided doesn’t count discovering a culture.

So the fact that Alyssa (the older sister)’s eyes lit up when I mentioned my trip to Peru was fantastic. When she enthusiastically told me she’d done a project on Peru this year, I wasted no time in whisking her away to my computer and pulling up photos from the trek (a feat not all that easy, given that the pictures—which I finally had all organized and ready to send out—were lost when my hard drive crashed).

There we sat for nearly an hour, flipping through photos of the trail, the houses, the people, and, wonder of wonders, Machu Picchu. To my delight, Alyssa was riveted, as was her sister Nicolette. They were fascinated by the scenery, the dress, the trek itself. And the fact that their aunty (who, admittedly, they know to be a bit of a priss) went five days without showering. And, for my part, I loved reliving the experiences and the stories, and watching their excitement.

But even better was the fact that they were experiencing the wonders of travel (albeit armchair travel) for the first time. While I’ll never know the exact impact it had, by the looks on their faces I’d guess that these girls figured out that there are wonders out there, and that it’s within their reach to see them.

But more importantly, I think it sparked a desire to see them, and it was educational too. Later that day, when Alyssa and I visited the store and I didn’t take a bag for our cans of condensed milk (a preview of my next post) we talked about doing little things for the environment. And when I told her that Salkantay, the glacier she saw in my photos, was melting rapidly because of global warming, her response was, “That would be terrible if I wanted to see it when I grow up and it wasn’t there.” Check and check. New generation of female travelers (and environmentalists) officially recruited.





Earth Day Musings

22 04 2008

They sure picked the right time for Earth Day. It’s definitely (finally) springtime in New York and there is something about the fresh smells in the air (and the warmth in the air that makes you want to actually be outdoors and able to smell it) and the new little blossoms on the trees that makes one love earth all the more. I am all about being pro-Earth and all, but I’d be far less inclined to be impressed by Earth Day fairs if they took place in frigid temps when the environment is nothing more than the wind whipping against my ears and causing my hands to sting.

Anyhow, rant over. It is spring and despite being a little foggy-headed from allergies, I am very much pro-environment and pro-doing what I can to help it. Last year at this time I sent an invective to my siblings who (living in Colorado of all places) didn’t recycle. They were annoyed, but a few months later I got a call from my nephew (to whom I assigned the task of bugging his parents about social responsibility) to inform me of the delivery of their recycling bins.

This year I have no siblings to enlighten but I will extend the plea to any and all other Coloradans who may come across my blog: PLEASE RECYCLE.

And now I have many other tasks to which I must attend (like Earth Day fairs) so I will end with a list of Earth friendly items, and pick up Earth Week again tomorrow:

  • Last year I posted about Earth Day friendly travel on EuroCheapo’s blog.
  • Totalbeauty.com has a list of Earth Day Discounts and Freebies for green chicks who refuse to sacrifice style for the Earth (or travel).
  • And because I love sweets, I want to turn everyone onto Travel Chocolate, the socially responsible chocolate bar (more to come).

Over and Out.





Distractions

3 04 2008

I’m guilty this week of blog neglect. What have I been doing that’s so important it’s kept me from blogging? Many things, actually. (Cue list…)

  • Freelancing. Yes, freelancing! I’m editing Barcelona hot spot reviews for a soon-to-be-launched website (which for now must remain nameless).
  • Spending time offManhattan. That slick transition really just means more freelancing. offManhattan is a great (green) site that promotes travel and exploration with an eco-friendly bent. My first piece is a review of the Brooklyn restaurant Relish and I’m looking forward to visiting and writing about more places and events in the Tri-State area.
  • Reading several books at once. I’m currently into Their Eyes Were Watching God, Eimi (a recently re-published and formerly out of print E.E. Cummings prose work — woohoo!), and I’m soon to be starting up (again) my 2-women book group on the discussion of Anna Karenina. Is it weird that with all these going on I have a strong urge to dive into Franny and Zooey for the thousandth time?
  • Drinking tea. My new “office” is just five minutes from home. It’s called Gramstand and it’s fabulous. The upstairs is warm and airy with a handful of small tables, but downstairs the basement is converted into a little lounge/office, complete with a few couches, one family table, and several small tables for working or socializing. I’ve been going there several times a week and camping out for the entire day. It’s a good way to work and get out of the house. And their many varietals of tea are all delicious and good for the soul (though my personal fave is the rich, delicious Vanilla Teaccino, or as I like to call it, Heaven in a Cup).
  • Eating. Lent is over and I can have sweets again, but I have yet to order alfajores. My consolation prize was a slice of peanut butter pie at Old Devil Moon. There aren’t words to describe the amazingness of this pie: creamy, peanuty, chocolaty, with a gram cracker crust. I wanted to lick the plate.
  • More reading. On top of all the books I’ve been reading, I’ve been catching up on my magazines too. Currently I’m spending a lot of time sifting through the New York Times Spring Travel Magazine that’s recently come out. I looked at one article and can’t stop looking. I suppose I can write it off as research though…