Today will be our longest drive, which we are shortening by cutting through Popayan on our way to Cali. I know. It seems longer, but it’s actually about 100 km shorter. The catch…the road is not really a road. Well, at least that’s what we have heard. Much to our surprise, the beginning of the road is newly paved and quite nice. That ends after about 20 km. The rest of our trip will be on a...
SLG Mag : A Fresh Perspective
Unfortunately this is the part where reserving a place to stay a day or 2 ahead of time becomes necessary unless you are prepared to sleep outside under the stars (which is not entirely a bad thing). This planning is needed because Sarria marks the last 100 kilometers.
And then it happened, a lightning bolt hit our plane—a direct hit. You couldn’t see anything for a few seconds. It flashed so bright it was like looking directly into the sun while only 100 yards away. The jet engines died and we were falling out of the sky.
I never thought in a million years I would get lost on the very first day of the Camino de Santiago but I did.. I must have been so anxious I made a wrong turn right from the start and wound up on Le Chemin Vert instead of Le Chemin Rouge. Stopping in Orisson gives you a break in that uphill on day one so you don’t push too hard out of the gate.
Ever since I finished my Fulbright in Thailand, I set my sights on a career abroad. I decided I never wanted to live in the U.S., and nothing could keep me there. I'm still not sure if this came from my selfish ways of pushing those around me to their limits to see what they are willing to do for me (as in following me around the world) or possibly my stubbornness in my professional goals. Maybe I just truly, genuinely wanted to travel and explore my whole life. Never did I ever question my ability to do so. Until now.
We sat in the old Soviet-looking school gymnasium/cafeteria, with its peeling paint and high windows without any glass, eating our first breakfast in Georgia-- kasha cooked with shredded carrot and onion, and a cucumber and tomato salad. One of the other volunteers asked , “You came all the way from America… for this?”
As we came closer to the day when we were going to take that much anticipated flight away from the mundane desk at work and the vapidity of daily chores; to the faraway exotic land of Singapore, my heart jumped as if it was my first flight ever. Hardly able to concentrate, i realized that i was scribbling gibberish all day at work. It looked like i was making a conversation with my colleagues but...
This country makes me feel so left out. I just want to belong and have the freedom to do what everyone else is doing. Or rather just live. I just want to be confident in my commute, able to browse my phone in public and maybe even enjoy the company of friends. After this brief brat attack, I calm down by telling myself this kid is with his mother and no robber would attack this cute family. Gringo or not. I’m not sure I’m convinced though...
Beth Santos is a dynamic, creative leader with a passion for international development, multiculturalism and community building. She is the founder and CEO of Go Girl Travel Network, a resource and community for adventurous, independent and globally minded female travelers.Beth created Go Girl while cruising her blue motorcycle through the streets of São Tomé and Príncipe, a small country in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. In encouraging women to travel, to get involved in the world around them and to live globally, Beth has created an international community of over 10,000 empowered women who strive to conquer the world on foot, while supporting and learning from one another at the same time.
We had been told that local women were afraid that incoming people might steal their bead patterns, therefore we outlined the reasons of our visit in advance. Emilio and I, are both handicrafts lovers and are strongly convinced that in todays globalized world, there is a desperate need to protect traditional culture in all its aspects. This includes designs and the intellectual property expressed in beads, necklaces or earrings that contain specific features of indigenous society.
Standing at the foot of that mountain, placing one foot on the rocky ridge, I was keenly aware that despite my casual interest in the hike, this was a moment that might not have materialized if I had not turned in that passport. As my foot slipped many times while walking up the rocky ledge, I held the hands of several friends I had made during the bus trip. There were so many small transformations that were taking place in me while I made the trip to the top. Little did I know how many more transformations lie ahead.
I still cringe when I remember that when Sahar and I finally got to that bakery in Barcelona, I didn’t even order the famous chocolate cake. I had a creamy, flaky thing with berries on top, almost exclusively because it looked like it would have fewer calories. I smiled with Sahar in the pictures of us with our treats, and the coffees beside them, and the polished plates and spoons at the end. I even used one of those pictures as the background on my computer desktop for a while afterward. But that was really just because it had felt so good to be with Sahar. It should also have felt good to eat cake.