You’ve made the first step, you’ve decided to say no to riding elephants, and yes to visiting or volunteering with elephants in a sanctuary that promotes health, freedom, and natural behaviour, now what? What should you know about being a volunteer? If you’re visiting for a day, how should you dress or behave? What are the unspoken rules for interacting with elephants in a sanctuary like Elephant Nature Park?
It all started with a Skype call with my editor at Bootsnall (a popular indie travel website that I’ve been using since 2009), a conversation about solo travel in Southeast Asia, and adventure. A conversation where I ended up suggesting an article on travelling solo, and before I realized what was happening the word ‘Myanmar’ had trickled off my tongue. I didn’t even thinking about getting my Myanmar visa.
As I get ready to hit the road again (5 more days in Ontario!), I am reading more travel literature; blogs, stories in magazines, books in print, books through kindle. There are a few reasons for this, inspiration and something to keep me busy during long travel days.
When I read that Lauren was writing a book I was intrigued. I met Lauren during Songkran in Chiang Mai in 2012, but I had been reading her blog, Never Ending Footsteps long before that.
Lauren is a fun-loving female traveler who suffers from anxiety, attracts disaster, and doesn’t let that stop her from traveling the world. In the beginning her family and friends were doubtful about her ability to be a solo female traveler, but Lauren didn’t cave, she didn’t pack it in when things got tough, she kept going.
A couple weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I was reading The Traveller: Notes from an Imperfect Journey Around the World by Daniel Baylis, and I would be giving away a copy of his book on Facebook later in the week.
Well, it’s more than a week later, and I am finally getting around to posting this little review, and giving away a digital copy on the Savoir Faire Abroad Facebook page. Yay!
I remember when Daniel was getting ready to publish his book, we have one of the more successful Kickstarter campaigns I have seen in a long time. Daniel clearly knew what he was doing, and the premise of this book was intriguing.
Daniel’s spin on world travel is quite a bit different than many travellers, his focus was on volunteering, instead of going in search of the next temple, or full moon party. You have to admit, it’s a great travel theme; experience the world, while giving back wherever you can.
Travelling with a purpose, it’s something I wish more of us would do, and something I am trying to do more of myself as I return to the road in a couple weeks.
Daniel’s journey takes him to twelve different locations, one per month. At each location Daniel writes about the volunteer project he has chosen to work with. In the beginning he was hoping to do so without spending money, but he quickly realized that it can be difficult to volunteer around the world for free. Many organizations will charge a fee for your room and board. That didn’t stop him though, and Daniel’s book is filled with anecdotes from his various volunteer experiences.
I enjoy the humour with which Daniel writes about his year abroad, but I do wish he had written more details about some of his experiences, at times it felt as though he was skipping a lot of the story. That being said The Traveller is a good read, and an interesting look into volunteering while abroad.
Have you volunteers while travelling? What did you do?
It wasn’t until a friend of mine purchased a Sony a7r camera that I considered switching from my traditional DSLR to a mirrorless camera. The camera was smaller, lighter, and had wi-fi capabilities which meant she could take a photo, transfer it to her cell phone, edit, and share on social media within minutes. Needless to say, I was intrigued by the idea.
Smartphones are slowly taking over the world. Okay, maybe that is a tad too dramatic, but it is kind of true. Smartphones are… Smart! Back in the day one would carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. Now we carry them because we want to stay connected on social media, or listen to music, or surf the web, or learn new languages.
When I decided to sell my Nikon DSLR camera and switch to a mirrorless system I took to social media expressing an interest in possibly switching to Sony or Fuji. It was not a case of my bad mouthing Nikon, I love them. I was a case of who built the better mirrorless camera, and from feedback I was reading, Fuji and Sony where top choices. I, however, was still struggling with my decision on who to go with as I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a brand new system and brand, and then end up disappointed with the product.