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A cup of cocoa to save our Mother Earth Here's a good start-of-the-week comeback on the post weekend question, "What did you do this weekend?" "Oh, I participated in a sacred Mayan cocoa ceremony to restore balance in our Mother Earth."  A few months back I was drawn to a handsome, long-haired young man who stood out in a crowd of guides and outfitters at a gathering of adventure travel professionals. Aaron El Leon and his partner Milena Worsham operate Running Buffalo Journeys from their home base in Atitlan, Guatemala. We hit it off as new life-long friends and they offered to hold a sacred cacao ceremony for a small group. Just by virtue of the spiritual nature of Aaron and Milena, which is what drew me to them in the first place, I knew the ceremony was more than a get together to have a cup of warm cocoa.  Indeed, we are not talking about processed cocoa or even...
For the love of God (and Goddesses and other living things) Besides uniting our mind and body with Jen and Heather feeling more self-realization after getting over jet lag and doing a week of yoga, another wonderful benefit of yoga at the start of the trip was how Jen and Heather shared Hindu philosophy and religion with us. After all, Hinduism forms much of the ancient traditions of yogic life. Heather recounted stories of Brahma the lord of creation, Shiva and his wife Parvati, Hanuman the monkey god known for his strength and ability to fly which he used to save Sita when she was kidnapped, and Ganesh the elephant god of good fortune declared by Brahma to be the first god to be worshipped by Hindus. Jen explained the basics of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system translated in Sanskrit as “ayu” life and “veda” knowledge. Most commonly experienced as massage and body treatments, some of us went deeper to get...

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Kama Sutra Valentines Nothing like starting with chocolate and ending with more chocolate. We just finished a two week  India yoga and cultural adventure through southern and northern India that was so relaxed and frenetic, deeply spiritual and perplexing, fun and despairing, and at times challenging, but every day provided one unexpected and insightful adventure after another. As a traveler if you are open to the experience India inevitably presents it teaches us in so many ways. And I know from previous travels here that nothing is as it seems and like our guide Herendra told us when someone commented on pigeons flying overhead, “Everything has meaning.” On this last night of our Yoga Cultural Adventure it was Valentine’s Day, Scott’s birthday, and our 26th wedding anniversary so we needed a place to celebrate life and love! But of course, here in the heartland of the Kama Sutra, every restaurant was full of...
Call us weird, but our family does not mind a little hard work during a vacation. The important adjective here is "little." The staff at Wildland knows our preferences very well, and that is why we enjoy traveling with Wildland so much. On December 29, 2013 we began our adventures in Costa Rica with a ride through the interior highlands of the country. Our guide made stops along the way to show us a variety of wildlife: toucans, sloths, and iguanas to name a few. After a therapeutic stop for ice cream, it was time to get serious. We arrived at La Fortuna Waterfall for some swimming. Two brave family members out of four made the decision to get their feet wet. The water in the swimming hole was chilly, but the experience to swim near a gorgeous 150 ft waterfall was unforgettable. The jovial atmosphere at La Fortuna was...

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Excitement reigns from Seattle to Amman after National Geographic Traveler recognized our Bedouin Trek To Petra as one of the "50 Tours of a Lifetime" because it truly delivers that kind of experience. Our guide, Yamaan Safady, is so excited to share this trip with more Wildland trekkers. His friends and family in Jordan made a cake for him and he wrote this classy note to us in Seattle: " I wanted to make sure to write a note on this important, and what I hope will be game changing day for us all!! To see my name, linked to your well respected adventure travel company, in National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Trips of a Lifetime list, I am truly humbled. Obviously you had passed along the news that this was coming, but to see it now printed is a whole new feeling… I value our partnership and have had such...
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