Inspiring Travel Alchemists to Watch – 2017

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” -Henry David Thoreau

What is a “travel alchemist?” A person, who through passion, vision, and strength of spirit, is able to transform the raw and unruly experiences of world travel into something of value and benefit to themselves, and to the world around them.

As a traveler, one of the hardest things to find is a true sense of community. We are consistently uprooted, blown about the edges of the globe, landing in remote regions where nobody knows our name. The past few years, its been rare if I even unpack by bags at all.

Yet sometimes we converge, and develop bonds of kinship grounded in  mutual appreciation for each other’s path, mission, and work. Other times we meet only once, maybe at a hostel, a festival, or a conference, and stay connected for years.

This year’s list of Inspiring Travel Alchemists is all about community. Most of these folks I’ve met in person somewhere along the way, or have heard of them and their work through the grapevine of inspiration that the Internet can often become.

Everyone featured here is doing amazing things to uplift and build community in ways that leave me feeling not just good, but excited about the world. The people you find before you are world-class examples of how travelers can be transformational leaders and change makers in a world that needs all the help it can get.

Entrepreneurs, activists, filmmakers, event producers, photographers, writers- we all choose our unique paths through which our gifts are most easily able to shine. The question is: what will you do to transform the world’s problems into gold?

Trust your journey, follow your passion, take action, and in the words of Thoreau…

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The Power of Story: How Travel Creates Hope and Meaning

This is my first post in several months. I’ve been going through a lot these past few months, as I’m sure a lot of you have as well. Unfortunately for me, that meant my writing was placed in the background, which is never a good idea.

So, in the spirit of personal and creative liberation, I’m going to be changing up my format a bit, and opt for more personal, less polished blog posts. My aim is to achieve a deeper level of authentic sharing, and to simultaneously dismantle perfectionism and other limiting patterns.

Thanks for reading, for caring, and for your support. In the words of a dear friend and teacher, “trust the process.”

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Standing Rock and the Battle for the American Soul

Right now there is a battle being fought for the American soul. Its not on the political stage, an imploded and hollow spectacle, or on the increasingly out of touch economic front. And while climate change is certainly the most wide-reaching issue of our age, its not there either.

Its being fought on the cold prairies of the Dakotas, where long ago our country buried a part of its humanity that, in order to move forward together, we must all face.

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History’s Most Epic Travelers: A Booklist

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

-Winston Churchill

No matter how much we think we’ve seen or done in our travels or our life, someone has done it before. They’ve probably even written a book about it. And they probably did it during a time when it was a hell of a lot more dangerous and difficult then it is now.

Thankfully, many of these intrepid voyagers survived, and transformed what they saw into important works that have stood the test of time.

Proceeding from most ancient to most current, the booklist you find before you contains the stories of the most daring, original, and insightful travelers that history has seen.

Merchants, scientists, captains, gentlemen, ladies, writers- each a prolific wanderer in their own right, each a thousand memories and voices waiting to be shared.

So get cozy, light a candle, and bust out your Gandalf pipe and brandy snifter (Oh yes, thats right). Here’s a booklist of history’s most epic travelers. Enjoy!

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5 Steps to Begin your Career as a Gap-Year Leader

What if I told you that there is an organization out there that wants to pay you to have amazing experiences while traveling abroad?

Would you believe me if I told you that within the last year, I’ve been able to go on a 5-day Safari in Tanzania, get Scuba certified, become nearly fluent in Spanish, stay at a high-class resort in Zanzibar, and visit Machu Picchu, all expensed paid? Yet these “perks” are only secondary to the life-changing work that this work actually entails.

I’m not talking about a free luxury trip (far from it,) or a side business where travel is just a part of the background. I’m talking about making international travel both your lifestyle, and your career. For me, this path has been more rewarding than I could ever have imagined. Yet like anything worthwhile, get ready for a healthy dose of work and challenge.

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The Medicine of Movement

Solvitur Ambulando. “It is solved by walking.” -St. Augustine

A certain alchemy occurs when our bodies careen through the web of space-time. Through movement, it becomes easy to allow ourselves the simplest of gifts, which in our normal lives, we are usually deprived of. It is perhaps the easiest thing we could give ourselves, but also one that so easily escapes us.

It’s the gift of presence- the gift of letting ourselves dissolve into the infinitely changing landscapes out beyond the window. It’s the gift of detachment, of wonder, and contemplation. Through movement, we can actually sink into a deep space of inspiration, integration, and even healing.

Believe me when I say, there is medicine in movement.

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7 Things to Know About Living in the Jungle

For many, the jungle is the ultimate destination. Its one of the last real frontiers, a place where nature reigns supreme and the earth is still shrouded in primordial mystery. At least it was for me, when I made my first journey to the Peruvian Amazon in the spring of 2015. I survived, and learned a thing or two.

Here’s the truth: To live in the jungle, you have to want it.

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13 Inspiring Travelers to Watch in 2016

Howard Thurman famously said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I set out to compile a list of “inspiring travel writers,” peers who shared some vague similarity with my own work and lifestyle. What I found, and what you see before you, is really a list of amazing individuals who have come alive.

This isn’t just an assortment of random people I’ve found off the internet. Each one of these people is doing something totally unique, daring, and miraculous. Everyone profiled here is doing something that I believe in, is working to uplift something greater than themselves, and is worth talking about.

Nomads, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, superheroes, healers, storytellers, activists, and Badass Jedi Warriors- that’s really who we are, or who we aspire to be. But for now, here are 13 “Inspiring Travelers” to watch in 2016.

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The Traveler’s Apothecary: Essential Herbs and Remedies For Every Traveler

From Amazonian parasites, to Zanzibari malaise, I’ve experienced my fair share of sickness abroad. I consider myself lucky compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard, but travel can take a serious toll on your energy and health.

I always travel with a full supply of herbal medicines and tinctures to keep my energy up, my body healthy, and mind happy while on the rough and dusty road.

I’ve personally researched, tested, and hand-selected this list of the most effective and useful plants and natural products that will keep you in an optimal state of health during your travels.

After years of experimentation and thought, I’ve finally created this resource of essential herbs, products, and medicines that no traveler should leave home without. Enjoy, and be well!

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