Wordsmith Tom Cole, a member of the expedition where the idea emerged to create the company that would become Geographic Expeditions (originally InnerAsia), once wrote:
“We travel to wake up. Life is swift and hazy. We are habitual creatures, following mildly comfortable ruts. As Miguel de Unamuno said, ‘To fall into a habit is to cease to be.’ The great religions (not by mere word-flinging is Buddha called The Awakened One), the poets, the philosophers, the guy at the corner store (if he stops to think of about it), tell us that we live most of our lives in a mist. Travel, like the best friend you'll ever have, gives you a little slap, Wake up! Wake up! Be!”
Here at GeoEx, we are still as passionate about travel as we ever were, from our veterans to the newest, bright-eyed staffers. We’re still convinced the world is brimming with new gems, still in love with travel and...
READ MORE ►
GeoEx Asia expert Sara Barbieri recently returned to India on a scouting trip, but this time she was joined by her 23-year-old niece. Together they traversed the length of the country, from Kerala in the far south to the Kashmir Valley in the far north. Sara shares impressions and photos, and reflects on seeing India through her niece's fresh eyes.
It turned out that my niece, Samantha, had been dying to go to India. “It’s not a typical place like Europe,” she effused. “The culture is a world apart from ours.” Sam had never been to Asia, let alone on such a crazy, jam-packed itinerary. So off we went, my 23-year-old niece and I. Door to door, it was a 26-day journey/adventure/preposterous undertaking that I would do again in a heartbeat. We experienced such joy traveling in India. Sam embraced every experience, allowing herself to be enchanted and sharing her infectious smile—thereby enchanting those in her path. Her...
READ MORE ►
I’d been in Japan for only a day when I started taking pictures of my food. I won’t lie: I felt awkward pointing my camera at my plates in restaurants, but I had no choice. I couldn’t believe the gorgeous presentations of even the simplest items, fueled by rich culinary traditions. I only wished that my photographs could capture the wonderful flavors that my taste buds were registering.
Revelation struck the night of my first dinner in country. We sat at the bar of a charming, tucked-away eatery in the Gion district of Kyoto, chatting with the chef, nibbling on melt-in-your-mouth sushi, drinking deliciously foamy Kirin out of pottery cups, and grilling super-thin slices of beef on a mini ceramic stove. I pulled out my Canon to document the moment, realizing that I may have underestimated the culinary experiences we’d have on this 12-day cultural journey from Kyoto to Shikoku...
READ MORE ►
I just returned from a week in Namibia. I spent five nights sleeping in the bush, sometimes in simple tents on the ground, sometimes in permanent tented camps. When you sleep in the bush, your ears become keenly attuned to the sounds of the night.
Two nights ago, an hour or two after midnight, I heard a progressive crunch-crackle-scuffle, crunch-crackle-scuffle as a herd of something – hartebeest, wildebeest? – filed nonchalantly by, a stone’s throw from my sleeping bag. The night before that, I was transported by baboons babooning away in the blackness of the valley below. Two nights before, I awoke to lions to the left of me, lions to the right of me.
Last night I was sleeping in my own Northern California bed for the first time in a week.
My neighbor has an elderly dog that sleeps outside every night. The dog has a habit of waking up in the middle of the night and making a kind of snuffling, scruffling, wheezing...
READ MORE ►
"Expect the unexpected in Bhutan," advised trip leader Tsewang upon picking up our Hiker's Paradise group at the Paro airport. Within 20 minutes, almost as if he'd arranged it especially to illustrate his point, we found ourselves amidst a spectacular, unusual, and hard-to-predict Buddhist ceremony. Tsewang had just caught wind of it before our arrival and whisked us straight from the airport.
Joining the crowds of locals, decked in their brightly colored traditional gho (for men) and kira (for women), we zigzaged our way up a prayer flag-lined path to the massive Paro Dzong and then across the hillside overlooking the Paro Valley to the center of activity. A five-story tall and equally wide thongdrel (a cloth-on-cloth appliqué work) was being unfurled and...
READ MORE ►