Sunday, September 28, 2008

Leaving it all behind...

I found this article about a Brooklyn couple that chose to step outside the box. This inspiring story reminds us that all things are possible. We've been programmed in linear thinking and that can be very limiting. Moving beyond our comfort zone can liberate us from mundane routines and add some excitment back to everyday living.

Click here for the story.


Our Neighborhood in Time Out NY

The hipster rags have always appreciated the counter culture qualities of our campy neighborhood. Mainstream it is not. And for that matter, neither are we. But the biggest reminder to appreciate was to myself. While famous rockers have been known to party off the grid in Coney Island, Brighton Beach has remained a planet all its own. I guess that's as close to being original as you can get. This is where we're coming from...

Brighton Beach: click here


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Adventure travel vs. buying a new car or a new home... what's your ROI ?

This is a great question and it may be on the minds of our family and friends.

The answer depends on your perspective. The major difference between saving up for an extensive trip or purchasing something tangible boils down to your mode of thinking.

Objects are material, but travel is ephemeral -- and this might be the most challenging idea for people to accept. They might feel that at the end of the tour, you have nothing to show for it, but this is not true. The value is in your knowledge and in your experience. To me, the value of life experience pales in comparison to any object you can possess.


"Breathe, breathe in the air, don't be afraid to care; leave but don't leave me. Look around and choose your own ground, for long you live and high you fly, and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. And all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be."

Roger Waters & David Glimour

GAP Year - a concept in multiculturalism

Diverse thinkers such as Albert Camus, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Kurt Vonnegut, John Lennon, Ibn Warraq, Salman Rushdie, and Gene Roddenberry (that guy who invented Start Trek) are all connected through the philosophy of Secular Humanism.

Along this set of ideas a movement called GAP Year began in the 1960s - "the origination of the 'Gap Year' concept came in the decade following the Second World War when youth travel and cultural exchange was discussed amongst governments as a useful tool to create more of a global understanding to prevent future global wars." Still relevant today? Sounds like it.

Definition of GAP year: click here

We have modeled our travel goals in the spirit of this gentle philosophy. Our journey may manifest itself into traveling to very remote places or to those considered highly developed. The goal is to learn from the differences and similarities amongst all of them.

How do you know where you're going if you haven't been anywhere?

Tips for GAP year travelers: click here


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Travel as nourishment for the soul

Our planet has a lot to teach the intrepid traveler and we hope to complete this journey with a better sense of ourselves and our place in the world. We are a husband and wife team that has resolved to broaden our boundries and open our hearts to new possibilities.

Traveling is native to our most primal instincts, harking back to the nomadic movements of our ancestors. In its modern incarnation, the idea of traveling as an education is not a unique concept either. Sociology loosely ties educational travel with a movement that started in the 1960s called 'GAP year.' (I'll explore the concept of GAP year in subsequent posts).

Our idea began with a lingering urge to depart from daily routine and step into a world of travel, adventure, and continuing education.

The objective is to harvest the wisdom and experience the richness that comes from exploring the world around us. While traditional education primarily helps you get a job... and we already have (had) regular careers... our need is derived from intellectual curiousity, genuine passion and a grit for far away places.

I've held on to a lasting conviction that there's no greater or more humbling experience than visiting foreign lands and remote villages, learning about the local culture and leaving something of yourself behind with the people you meet along the way. The smells and sights of new destinations always unfolds into an odessy of hightened senses. Each point on the map is a mini-adventure waiting to be explored. Exploration makes life more vibrant and meaningful. Each new experience presents us with an endless array of ideas and topics to describe and analyze. As long as the eyes can see, the legs can walk and the mind can think, there's always something to discover and share for the curious soul...

I'm lucky that I've already had a chance to see the world a bit, and that I found such a willing partner in Nadia, who shares the same curiousity and passion to explore as I do. And so this idea was born. And now we are attempting to shape our lives around making it a reality. Lets see if we can make it happen?!

Here's a link to the places I've visited: click here

There's a great deal more to this planet left to explore. I can't wait to retrace and share some of these same places with Nadia. I have very fond memories of each unique destination.

This is our travel log.