Adventure Travel Blogging

Turkey: Where East Meets West, Past Meets Future

Turkey: Where East Meets West, Past Meets Future
It was 22 years ago here in Turkey when my local guide, Alper Ertubey, and I declared we would establish a partnership to bring Wildland travelers closer to the people and the places of Turkey. I wanted our travelers to experience Turkiye like I remember it when I came here in the late 60's to stay with my aunts and uncles who lived on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Dad was born in Istanbul in 1922 into the generation of "Young Turks" when Attaturk established the new parliamentary democracy after the Ottoman Empire. Although I was raised in Los Angeles, we came here several times when I was in high school to stay with relatives in their apartment at a time with Turkey was still closed to much of the world to protect its fledgling economy. Oh how it has changed today! Today, Alper is not only our in-country trip...
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It’s all about the guides!

It’s all about the guides!
In one way, being a really good Wildland guide is a relatively easy job! Of course, it requires the requisite study of history, ecology, archaeology, or other areas of expertise, and first-aid training with leadership skills are all requisites. But the most important characteristic for a Wildland guide is to be, and to share, your Self! If Wildland travelers are the “Initiates” who want to connect with the people and the places we visit, then our guides are their “Wizards”, or at least their best friends who take them down new pathways by encouraging, sharing and supporting the traveler to be open-hearted and open-minded to new experiences.   Our goal is to share a real world without artifice, that craves our understanding and compassion rather than our judgment; a world that seeks to welcome us rather than entertain us. And to accomplish this, above all other factors, it’s the guides: guides...
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Varanasi: "It's too Indian, even for me."

Varanasi: "It's too Indian, even for me."
Sometimes travelers sign up to go on a far-flung Wildland Adventure such as to India, and then friends or family comment that they shouldn't go because it's unpleasant or not safe. One Wildland traveler who recently signed up to include Varanasi in their trip to India was warned by an associate of Indian heritage living in the U.S. not to go because  as he put it: "I don't recommend this Indian experience.It can be quite horrid and un-hygienic. There are far better pleasant places to visit. Its a holy place but a holy mess with innumerable holy cows doing their thing wherever and whenever. Monkeys also abound. The less said the better. The municipal corporation is in a trance or has ascended. Unholy things apparently flock there for their purification, I believe. It's too Indian, even for me. Diarrhoea (sic) is a serious possibility.”     Here's my honest perspective and what I advised our...
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In Pursuit of Pumas - An Osa Peninsula Adventure in Costa Rica

costa-rica-pumafb Costa Rica's elusive Puma
OSA PENINSULA WILDLAND ADVENTURE   Written by Costa Rica Program Director Grettel Calderon     As a native Costa Rican who has traveled all over every corner of my country, I can say with conviction that Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula is the most remote, wild and spectacular region of Costa Rica, with the greatest amount of biodiversity in an already very diverse country. The diminutive Osa Peninsula is host to almost half of Costa Rica's 860+ species of birds (that is almost 5% of the world's species!), 140 species of mammals, and 117 species of reptiles and amphibians. Almost 750 species of trees have been catalogued in the area, more trees than in all of the North temperate regions of the world combined.   My recent inspection trip followed our Osa Peninsula Wildland Adventure itinerary and after I experienced it first hand, it quickly became one of my favorite...
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Breaking down the puzzle of Patagonia

Breaking down the puzzle of Patagonia
The Patagonia travel season is just around the corner! If you plan to travel South during our Northern Hemisphere winter season, now is the time to get your trip plans in order if you haven't already done so.   Traveling to Patagonia  or even beginning to research this fabled region of jagged peaks, windswept plains and massive glaciers can prove daunting.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting about the different regions within Patagonia, from Tierra del Fuego to the Valdes Peninsula to help you figure out what areas should be on the 'must visit' list for your next trip to southern Chile and Argentina. Up first, answers to two of the most frequent questions we receive; where is Patagonia and what is the best time to visit? Where is Patagonia? Patagonia is wild, windswept southern region of both Chile and Argentina that spans from the Pacific Ocean, over the Andes...
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