Photography is a dangerous sport. The convenience of iphones cameras, and rapid access to wifi and social media platforms means that many of us can discretely snap or upload images of anonymous strangers while we travel, usually with little thought to the subject’s privacy or personal space. With the immediacy of twitter and apps such as Instagram, we can distribute street photos in a snap, without any thought to how this image may be culturally inappropriate or perhaps degrading to the local people.
On my mother’s fifty-sixth birthday, I called her from Indonesia to wish her a happy birthday. “Oh, You remembered!” Her flattered response made it seem like I never remember her birthday. In the same call, I told her that I had received and accepted a fellowship that would keep me in Indonesia for one more year. My news is met with silence. I couldn't tell if she was taking time to gather her thoughts, or if the long-distance call had been dropped.
I’ve traveled more than some - I’ve traveled less than some. I didn’t start traveling across oceans until the end of high school, and so prior to landing at London-Heathrow airport with my mother at age 18, all of my travel time had been logged on family vacations across North America. In journeys both near and far, I’ve learned a few things about traveling, about myself, and about my values when traveling. I’ve compiled a few of them here as ten observations or rules. Together, they form a sort of ‘travel doctrine.’
After an exciting first month and a half in Uganda, landmarks are looking familiar. I can finally feel comfortable navigating my way through many of the busy streets of Kampala. As an intern for a jewelry non-profit, Musana Jewelry, I can’t direct you to the local hotspots, like the beautiful Baha’i temple or Bubbles, the go-to expat bar, but I can tell you which wholesale hardware store on which back alley sells the best quality exacto knives.
But something happened. In that moment between stops on the Metro, between Blanche and Place de Clichy, the social code was broken. Some passengers seemed to express silently that “whoever that is, just shouldn’t do that,” or “not here, not in public.” In that moment, the unspoken, ignored truth had been quietly—if temporarily—accepted. Half the Metro car is white. Half is not.
We are thrilled to launch our new series; SLG Perspectives. Our team of expert travelers will share knowledge and stories from the cities and countries they know best. Rather than provide a "City Guide" or a "Must Do" list --- these columns will provide insight and understanding to the most fascinating cities, traditions and people.
For a first timer in Southeast Asia, the night market dazzles. Everything shines and sparkles, and there are suddenly a host of items that were once inaccessible (because of legality or price), available for a few dollars! Here is our guide to avoid impulse buys, and offending everyone.
All of this taking off and putting on of shoes makes you rethink your shoe choices. If you know you will be going in and out of homes or visiting a restaurant with the type of seating that requires you to take off your shoes, you learn pretty quickly that wearing Converse All Stars or boots with lots of lacing means you’ll be tugging your shoes on frantically while everyone stands around and waits for you before the group can move.
People want to be remembered and they want to remember you; it's a feeling that we can all relate to. Nobody likes to be forgotten, nobody likes to be from the outside looking in, or in the case of Burma, from the inside looking out. The Burmese people don't want to lose that thread that has given them a connection to the outside world.
Tired of his family living in unbearable poverty and feeling the weight of responsibility as the only remaining male in the family, David decided to head North to see about earning some of the money he had heard so much about. So, at 16, David and his cousin, Abram, took a bus to a Northern border state, contracted a coyote (individuals paid to smuggle people across the border), and joined a group crossing the border. At the end of the grueling journey, they found themselves in Cincinatti, Ohio. That was nine years ago.
The majority of Thais are rather slim; small waist, hips, chest, and butt. Thus, any deviation from this norm and you will be labeled fat by your peers. As a Western woman, I clearly do not fit the Asian mold; I have a large butt, a big chest, and wide hips
At a Jain temple, the small daughter of the Hindu priest, followed me with giant opal-colored eyes, until she poked her older sister enough to muster up the courage and say, “Do you LOVE him?” Later, their inquisitive aunties fed me an apple, pulled me inside the temple, and whispered “Is it love?”
Listening is crucial for one simple reason: only our fellow humans have the ability to set the world on the right path. Each conversation, each new experience is important because the ideas, talents and abilities that surround us can ignite miracles. With each lost conversation and insight, we have lost a possibility to start the world anew. This is true for individuals and for governments alike.
At night, they walk, jump, and roll over a bed of burning red coals, and the next day, they climb the sword ladder.At the top there is a platform, where the participants are meant to feel a connection with the gods above.
I wanted to see what his family was like and why he kept leaving. Juancito had a vague idea on how to get there – 15 minutes on a yellow school bus going west. The problem, there are about 10,000 yellow school buses going west at any moment here in Honduras. When I asked around, everyone gave me different answers – 1 hour from here, 2.5 hours from here, you won’t get there til tomorrow. A favorite saying here is, Solo Dios sabe – only God knows.
You no longer have to assemble your sandwhich on the back of a motorbike, or check for flies in the milk. And so at 4:30, when the organized people, in the organized houses, upon their clean streets sleep, you grab handfuls of foods that were once in your dreams. The cereal The chicken, The candy. You taste the sweetness. You taste home.
Yes, this is Karachi. The city of lights, the city that never sleeps. What always mesmerized me was the fact that despite the quality of daily life, and the smell of fear, how resilient we are. If 18 people die in one day, we thank Allah that it wasn’t 80 and we would then find out if the roads were open so we could go about going our business-the very same day!
Traveling in India often means trekking through small villages and cities that don’t have the standard fast-food or high end options. Many travelers are often afraid to eat locally, thinking that they will get sick. But to miss the local cuisine is to miss out on one of the best parts of India.
As the nexus between the east and west, India reminds me of the creative possibilities in music. I am constantly discovering new sounds, whether it is the tabla and piano being played together, or a musician singing the most complex notes in one breath
Thailand has long been known as the sex capital of Asia, and according to a survey in 2004, there are approximately 800,000 underage prostitutes in Thailand and the money being traded at 4.3 billion per year or three percent of Thai economy. This alarming number has put Thailand on the top of the list of underage sexual exploitation according to the U.N.
In this village, humans are sold for 600 US dollars or less. For a virgin girl the price is double; these girls are often sold to brothels, which place a high value on virginity.There is a clear factor of human exploitation. And yet, sitting around the table with Khun Nam, we talk about human trafficking matter-of-factly, almost with a tone of ambivalence – in this village it is simply the way.
It is true that Egypt's future is not certain. But it is also true that millions of Egyptians fought for what they have newly earned, and it is unlikely that they will sit back and watch their country deteriorate in front of their eyes.
“Take another fucking picture! I will take my rifle and blow your head off white bitch!” yelled the Haitian man, dropping his shovel in frustration at the USAID cash-for-work program site on the slopes of Kafou Fey. The assembly line of Haitian workers in bright-yellow shirts and white hard helmets heaving rubble up the sun-scorched, dusty slopes overlooking Port-au-Prince came to an abrupt halt.
We finally arrived at a high, metal red gate surrounded by concrete where two Haitian security guards opened the gates to the compound of a neocolonial mansion. After pointing to dozens of boxes of condom donations stacked on the ground floor, I was escorted to my fire-ant infested, tent space.
The smell of the dump still penetrates my nose when I think about it. Imagine the most rancid meat combined with rotting durian or cabbage. The stench of the dump is so powerful, I can still smell it from my sterile office in New York. Aug 2008 There is a garbage dump, not far from town, where four hundred economic refugees call home. It isn’t a rare place. Dump site communities are found...