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Travel to Turkey or Morocco. Must I Choose? A prospective WIldland Adventures traveler brouight up an excellent question today as they are thinking about their travel plans this September: "How should we decide between traveling to Turkey or Morocco  because they have many similarities." With extensive Mediterranean coasts, September is one of the best months to travel in either country. However, the experiences vary when you compare traveling to Turkey, especially when comoparing ouir Turquoise Coast Odyssey in Turkey with either one of our Exotic Morocco or Morocco Adventure itineraries.  First, the cultures are quite different. I would characterize Turkey as more European, especially in the areas you would be traveling. Istanbul, and other cities in Turkey would be closer to south eastern European style with a Muslim flare from the grand mosques and other buildings dating back to an older age.  Istanbul is a very cosmopolitan, world-class city of great international importance in the region and the...

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Why do Macaws Eat Clay? Viewing a raucous and colorful macaw clay lick in the early morning hours is one of the highlights of a trip to Peru's Amazon. It is a spectacle prized by wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike and one that is unique to Peru's Tambopata and Manu regions. Though Macaws range from Mexico to northern Argentina, only in Peru do they congregate in large numbers at colpas (Quechua for "salty earth") to eat clay. These are typically red earth cliffs eroded by rivers where the birds squawk, play and ingest the mineral rich clay alongside a variety of parrot and parakeet species. So why is this behavior only observed among Peru's macaws? Scientists at the Tambopata Research Center have been studying macaws since the late 1980s and have developed a theory that connects diet to reproduction and chick health. Macaw food sources in the Peruvian Amazon are naturally low in sodium compared...

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On the way to Dharavi we drove through the red-light district where young girls and women work the sex trade. This gave us the opportunity to talk about the reality of prostitution in India, about sex trafficking children and women here from Nepal, Bangladesh and elsewhere. It's important that we as travelers raise awareness and support organizations working to break up human trafficking by providing support for children and women to find safe harbor, break the sexual exploitation cycle and find a better life. Jen and Heather, our Yoga instructors, with Twist Vinyasa Yoga Edmonds came to this part of Mumbai before our yoga group met up in Goa and brought toys for the children of working prostitute mothers. Wildland Adventures is a signator to the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct and supports ECPAT - the international campaign to end child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual...
There’s hyped up controversy about paying to go see poverty on a “slum tour” in India, but there shouldn’t be if you do it right and with the best of intentions.  In early February 2014 we went into the Dharavi slum on the edge of Mumbai with Reality Tours and Travel, a local walking tour company.  If you’re going to be a tourist of any sort, better to be a traveler interested in seeing the reality of the place and people, and to do it with everything open: mind, eyes, heart, and a willingness to share. Walking through Dharavi, I couldn’t help but think about what Gandhi pronounced: "Just because we may have a different lot in life, doesn’t change the fact that we are all, at our core, one and the same." What we learned first off is that a slum, by definition, isn’t poverty per se. In fact,...
Trekking the Inca Trail with My Brother - Reflections on Family Travel On Sunday I head south to Peru for two weeks to explore the Tambopata Rainforest and trek the Inca Trail. It's a special trip for me because for the first time, I'm able to share what I am lucky to do for a living with a family member; my 'little' brother, Eric, is trading his Sloan Kettering research scrubs and NYC subway commute for ancient Inca footpaths through the Andes and bushwhacking in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Amazingly, though we've both hopped around the world quite a bit and were even somewhere in Europe at the same time, we've never actually traveled together outside of the United States. Growing up Eric and I spent hours outside pretending to explore dense, fearsome jungle (the woods at the end of the street) or imagining we were on safari in Africa, flailing about in the backyard as we acted out the wildebeest stampede...
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