Viewing: Responsible Travel
“Señorita! Señorita!” Hands outstretched, black button teddy bear eyes imploring, the children jostled for position around me. They were selling delicate, multi-colored, hand woven bracelets. I had already bought several bracelets during my trip. But, how I could deny these children a little bit of money towards a full stomach that night?
The problem is that no matter how many bracelets I bought, it would never be enough to fill their stomachs or to ensure them a warm bed to crawl into at night. I swallowed hard. Bought another bracelet. And, turned away.
I love to travel. International travel, in particular, is always a kaleidoscope of experiences that simply delight me. New places, new cultures, and new stories — I never tire of it. But these encounters with people who have needs I can never fill always depress me. (more…)
We are honoring Mother’s Day 2013 by donating $100 per person on bookings made in May 2013 for travel in Peru before May 2014.
The donations will go to Living Heart, a non-profit that helps mothers and their children in some of the most disadvantaged highland communities of Peru’s Sacred Valley, a region where malnutrition and disease are painfully rampant.
On itineraries that lead our guests through this region, we always eat at Hearts Café in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley – the gateway to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. Proceeds from the café go to support Living Heart’s projects that supply vitamins, medicines, dental, medical and school supplies. (more…)
When I first traveled to Peru, I felt this overwhelming desire to help. I wanted to give back to the people who had been so generous to me. In fact, I founded Llama Expeditions as a means to give back.
Below are 10 lessons I’ve learned about giving so that my efforts really make a difference. (more…)
On my first trip to Peru, my dad and I were in the same group as a grandfather-grandson pair, Rick and Peter. Rick had given this adventure to Peter as a high school graduation gift. When I first met Rick and Peter and learned their story, I thought, “What an amazing idea for a graduation gift! No boring class ring for Peter! This is going to be an experience of a lifetime—something they will both cherish forever.” And, by all accounts, it certainly was a memorable trip.
I never laughed so hard as when Peter recounted how bats had swooped into their open-air room in the rainforest eco-lodge where we stayed and pooped all over his grandfather’s things. Apparently, Rick had neatly laid out his clothing, shaving kit, and toothbrush on the bare wooden shelves provided. On the other hand, Peter had left his things largely unpacked. So, Peter still had a useable toothbrush while Rick sipped his morning coffee chagrined. (more…)
When I tell people that I’ve started a philanthropic travel company, their first response is to ask, “What’s that?” I like to think of it as travel that makes a difference, but still feels like a vacation.
In fact, I started the company for people like me who work too hard and don’t play enough, people who want to do good in the world yet desperately need a break. (more…)
Since I am starting a socially responsible travel company, I thought I should be socially responsible on my first business trip to Peru. This brought to mind the issue of all those nasty carbon emissions the plane would be producing on the trip between San Francisco and Lima.
When I was trekking in the Andes with Juan and his friends, they mentioned how they had noticed a shrinking of the glaciers over the last several years. It’s one thing to hear about the effects of global warming on the news. It’s quite another to be with people who are bearing witness to its reality. (more…)
My head is spinning. In less than a month I am leaving for my fifth trip to Peru since last summer. This trip is going to be so different than the rest. This time I will be going on business.
The first time I went to Peru was with my then 74-year old dad. It was our first father-daughter vacation ever. We had such a good time tromping through the Amazonian rainforest, scaling the ruins of Machu Picchu and crossing Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, I’m sure it won’t be our last. In the midst of my whirlwind tour with my dad, I met Juan, an Inca trail guide living in Cusco. (more…)