Discover Corps’ Travel Operations Assistant, Adrienne, has the important role of preparing travelers for both the pre-departure process AND in-country adventures upon their arrival. So needless to say, she really knows our trips inside and out. To stay on top of her game though, Adrienne puts in the work! This includes going on-location to walk in the footsteps of Discover Corps’ travelers. Most recently, she visited our Peru: Children of the Andes vacation, and sat down to discuss the unique experience in the video below:
Category: Sustainable Travel
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a Great Time to Reflect on Travel’s Role in the Space.
Can you remember the last time you were lonely? When the thought of reaching out to others for a social outing left you feeling anything but…social.
Interestingly, our bodies provide key indicators into how being lonely affects us. Research has found those excluded from social interactions have a noticeable drop in skin temperature. This is likely a protective mechanism, but it brings an entirely new meaning to the expression, giving the cold shoulder.
The passion of Discover Corps’ guide, Orelvis, is clear from the moment you first meet him. His enthusiasm for his country and showing you his country is infectious. As you explore Havana and the surrounding region “Elvis” provides colorful commentary that only deepens your experience. It’s no wonder, that many travelers can’t help but form a strong bond with their insightful guide.
“I remember one time, some [travelers] came back again [to Cuba] through Discover Corps with us, and I remember waiting in the airport. When they saw me and I saw them it was like seeing family. That was a unique emotion and feeling.” – Orelvis
So what better person, to share in his own words, what a trip with Discover Corps like Cuba: Preserving Nature’s Wonders is really like. Take it away Elvis!
After being a tour guide for so many years, you might think Discover Corps Guide Siwarkorn Hkt, or “Tam”, has probably done and seen it all. There’s something, however, that keeps him smiling and talking about how much he loves his job: the people. Of course, the wildlife and beautiful scenery on the Thailand: Elephants & Islands Expedition are incredible, but it’s the people that really stand out for him. From the conversations and shared experiences between travelers, to the time spent with locals, these relationships built while on your volunteer vacation stay with you for a lifetime.
“On the second day of elephant camp when we return in the morning time, the elephant makes noise to say hi or hello…the elephant remembers you, it smells you, it remembers your face and also your voice!” – Tam
When planning a vacation many travelers are also expert researchers. How many minutes is the second layover? Does the hotel have 4 or 5 stars? and especially, Is breakfast included? This information is valuable, but knowing when to travel is just as important. So to help the cause, we studied the best time to visit each of the must-see destinations below. Now, you can focus on that complimentary omelet with orange juice. Enjoy!
“This reduction in stressors will free your family up to the lost art of single tasking.”
It’s crunch time! Don’t look at your calendar now, but Christmas Day is starting to come into focus, friends. We’ve officially entered the holiday season mayhem.
You know the routine. During this time of the year, event invitations pile up along with endless dirty dishes, your “trip to the store” transforms into the scene from the latest action film, and your shopping list goes up and up, but somehow your multi-colored lights haven’t found their way onto the front of the house just yet.
December does bring many joys: family, festivities and food, but if we’re honest with ourselves, what we’d really like to do right now is…breathe. There’s only so long we can continue to remember the next five things on our To Do list.
So while the holiday season encourages you to go-go-go (and ho-ho-ho!), the Discover Corps team lovingly offers your family an opportunity to slow down and take in the moment. Or as we call it, give the present of being present.
These days it’s impossible to pick up a magazine, peruse the newspaper or read a blog without running across buzzwords synonymous with sustainability. Words such as renewable, eco-friendly and green living are appearing with more and more regularity. This is also true for sustainable tourism, as its various forms include green travel, ecotourism and conscious travel.
But other than being a trendy term, what does sustainable tourism actually look like in the real world? And just as important, what does this mean for you?
Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to fascinating wildlife such as gibbons, sloths, toucans, jaguars, and of course, sea turtles. Unfortunately, the population of Costa Rican sea turtles has declined by 90% since 1980. Sea turtles face myriad threats such as boat traffic, domestic animals, climate change, accidental catch by industrial fisheries, and increased trash in oceans and beaches (which they often mistake for food). As a conservationist, understanding nesting and hatching patterns is crucial to the protection of sea turtles.
On our Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative trip, we’ll spend three days volunteering on a turtle conservation campaign. Given the declining population of turtles, every bit of help is welcome and each turtle is precious. It’s up to you what time of year you’re interested in learning more about – protecting the nesting female sea turtles, or lending a hand with the vulnerable hatchlings. Check out the infographic below to help make your decision!
Travelers, adventurers, and tourists alike have all heard of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They’re usually considered gorgeous “must-visit” places, especially if you are looking to get to know a different country. But what is a UNESCO world heritage site, really? How do they earn that status, and why should they be protected?
Believe it or not, this idea has not been around for long. Declaring structures and land masses world heritage sites began in 1959 when Egypt requested assistance from The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, to protect and rescue endangered monuments and sites. Since then, countries all over the world have added significant sites to the ongoing list of recognized world heritage sites. To date there, are 878 UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the world.
Esther Simba, or “Mama Simba” as she is called in her village, is someone full of life who you don’t soon forget. With an infectious personality, she has a passion for connecting different cultures as a way of improving our world. On Discover Corps’ Tanzania: Safari & Service trip, you’re welcomed into the Chagga tribe, just outside the town of Moshi, where as Mama Simba says “you’ll find the most kind loving and caring people.”
The friendships that we create, there are people who will never forget their time here because it arises something in ourselves that is different than in other people.” – Esther “Mama” Simba
Discover Corps’ relationship with Esther began over ten years ago when Discover Corps’ Founder Andrew Motiwalla got to know Esther. Although she declined the idea of hosting travelers at first, a chance meeting in Stone Town on Zanzibar Island just a few weeks later was enough to spark a friendship and one of Discover Corps’ longest partnerships abroad to date.
So what is the trip really like? Watch the video below and get to know Esther, and write any questions in the comments!