Travel means absorbing culture. On Great GetawayS travels, our goal is to buy local goods (not goods that “look” local but are made in China) and from artisans directly. When traveling in Kenya, we buy jewelry from Gemini Desai, a talented artist who is a friend of the Pinto family, owners of Micato Safaris. In China we use the cultural insight and resources of Nancy Kim and Guy Rubin, Managing Directors of Imperial Tours, to help us make wise purchases that help the local community. In Turkey, I rely on our friend, Karen, owner of Sea Song tours, and have some lovely baubles to prove I love Turkey. Today I discovered a site, thanks to an article on The Culture-ist, http://www.thecultureist.com/ that supports local artists in several countries. Before I order one of everything, I thought I’d share the site with you. http://www.ravenandlily.com/
I have my eye on the gold and khaki t-shirt and a couple of necklaces (made of recycled shell casings). Check out the site and tell me what you put on your wish list!
Vacation photos really crystallize those wonderful memories. A few days ago while doing some Great GetawayS graphic design, I searched for a vacation photo to go with the text I had written. I wanted to add a vacation photo from one of our journeys, an image that conveyed both darkness and light. What a wonderful experience I had!
I began with the most recent vacation we had taken and worked my way back through the years. I’d find a photo – a sunset while have cocktails in the bush in Kenya, an early morning shot from the balcony of Esprit St. Germain in Paris, a group of people praying in Lhasa, a mountain gorilla feeding her baby in Rwanda-and think, “That’s the perfect photo!” Then I’d keep searching, just to be sure I had the very best choice. Finally, I picked a photo taken by Michael on a trip to New Zealand (the photo below).
This art project became so much more—-I enjoyed a pleasant few minutes of time travel, of recalling those experiences I keep wrapped as memories in my heart, of enjoying each journey again and again. The moral of this story: Take lots of photos of your travels and of you enjoying your vacation. It is so worth it! Even when you want to scream, “I don’t want another photo of me”, put a smile on your face and say, “Cheese!” You will be so glad you did!
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Packing is never easy, but some ways are better than others. Years ago those of us who travel “light” (I prefer travel “smart”) were viewed with interest at best and sometimes with disdain. Friends of mine were comfortable with toting two large suitcases filled with “options” as in “Maybe I’ll want to wear red instead of blue” or “I can’t wear the same dress twice! What will people think?” Of course, that packing philosophy dates back to the good old days when airlines allowed us to check 2 pieces of luggage per person gratis. In today’s charge for everything environment, the fancy travel lingo is “ancillary fees”, people are thinking twice about packing half their closet.
Next month Michael and I are going to a variety of climates and cultures and our activities range from business dinners to trekking to inviting beach time. We will be gone for a month and we will pack one piece of checked luggage and a backpack/carry-on. I have begun the process of organizing for this journey and that got me thinking about packing efficiently.
My method of packing begins in my closet. I group the clothes I intend to take together and like a football coach I keep cutting the team, my intended wardrobe, until I am left with my “A” list. I pick one main colorway (usually black) and add complementary items. A piece has to be able to function in 3 outfits to be included. Of course, I always think in terms of layering what I wear, that is is easily laundered, and wrinkle resistant. The next step is picking the size and the weight of my luggage. Different airlines in different countries and different types of travel (e.g.safaris) have strict weight restrictions for both checked and carry-on luggage. Last, I actually pack my belongings, using a combined technique of layering, rolling and bundling.
Below are 2 videos I like that tackle the art of packing. My personal style is more like the Heathrow Traveler and the bundling technique is a favorite of one of our travel advisors. I also keep clothes for different climates in separate plastic bags, either layered, rolled or bundled.
So, enough from me—what’s your favorite method of packing?