Posts with Category Travel

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A note from a 20-year-old cocoa farmer to his parents

One of the most soul-shaking experiences I’ve ever had started with the note below. It was given to me by a 20-year-old Ghanaian cocoa worker working in Ivory Coast.

My mother and Father,

>I am sorry for not telling you before leaving. I am not missing. I will be back again. You don’t worry about me. This is Solomon. I am in Core d’ Ivoire.

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Open letter to people of the Tropics: Wear Shorts!

Dear People of the Tropics,

Why don’t you wear shorts?

You have nice legs. Maybe you don’t. Who cares? If you live in a county that hits 40-degrees Celsius, you should be wearing shorts. Not slacks. Not blue jeans. Not anything that covers your knees unless that’s a kilt or a dress and you’re going commando.

Got it?

For the past two weeks as I traveled through Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, I’ve bent to your predilection for pants (although I wasn’t able to bend all that far because my pants stuck to my sweaty legs). How do you stand it?

Men in the tropics often roll up the bottom of their shirts to air out their beer bellies, but God forbid you bare your knees.

Dan Savage of MTV’s Savage…

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Layover in Tatooine (Casablanca, Morocco)

So I’m a nerd.

I had a 12 hours layover in Casablanca, Morocco, and all I could think of the entire time was…

“I’m on Tatooine!” That’s the home of Luke Skywalker. If you don’t know who Luke Skywalker is you are totally hopeless.

I’m guessing there were less dead cows lying around on Tatooine. They probably got eaten up by sand worms or something. I counted four dead cows from the train between the airport and the city. None are featured in this video, but you’ll get the idea of the landscape.

If you ever have a long layover in Casablanca, here’s what I recommend. Get a room at the airport hotel. Leave your luggage. Grab the…

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Sex & Chocolate

Split a Hershey's bar with some cocoa farmers. #whereamieating

We ate chocolate and talked about AIDS.

I was surrounded by a group of young men who all work on the surrounding cocoa farms. I try to answer as many questions as I ask and they were asking me what diseases we had in the United States.

“Heart disease and diabetes and…” I named one eating related disease after the other. Diseases that chocolate plays a part in.

On the other hand all of the diseases they named involved a mosquito, “Malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever…”

There was one disease that our nations share…AIDS.

“How do you get AIDS?” I asked, curious to know how educated…

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The Things We Put in Our Mouths

One is faced with the biggest language challenge of all when one is handed something to eat. All or part of that something may or may not be edible. Whether that something is a bat…

Eating a bat

(One would think you wouldn’t eat bat tongue, but don’t tell that to Tom Neuhaus of Project Hope and Fairness.)

Or the insides of a cocoa pod…

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten while traveling?

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You Can Travel With ME, Thanks to the Village Experience

For years folks have been asking me if they can go with me on my adventures. Well, now you can.  And since no one wants me to plan their trip (trust me) I’ve teamed up with The Village Experience, which has organized and led such trips around the world.  If you’re interested in arranging a trip. Please contact Kelly Campbell at For more information keep reading…

Read the book? Inspired by the author? Excited to travel the world?

Take your common reading experience to another world by joining Kelsey Timmerman and The Village Experience on the adventure of a lifetime to one of four destinations featured in the book “Where am I Wearing – A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes.”

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Guest Post: Make the road your home for pennies on the mile

I visit students around the country encouraging them to travel. Many of them ask about the cost, after all they say, “We are just poor students.” They think travel is a cruel joke — when you are young and have the knees and time to see the world you don’t have the money, and when you are older you have the money and not the knees for it. I tell them the world is cheaper than they think it is.

I will always welcome others encouraging students to see the world. That’s why I’m happy to introduce you to Everett Pompeii, a student who is traveling the world on less than $8/day. He’s writing a book telling how, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to: Earth. He launched…

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What if you didn’t speak English?

If I didn’t speak English, I couldn’t show up in nearly any village in the world and find someone to act as my translator.

Given that, I wouldn’t have met any of the people who made my clothes, or the people who grow our food, and I wouldn’t have a career telling stories. I wouldn’t receive invitations to speak in Peru. If I only spoke Spanish or Mandarin or any other language, who knows what I would be doing?

I wouldn’t be able to go to almost any website and have the option to view it’s contents in my language.

I would struggle to find my way around most airports.

I wouldn’t be able to have the vast reading choices that I have. Each year more than 550,000 new books are published…

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Celebrating Mother's Day (Picture by Kira Childers)

I’m homesick.

The wheels of the plane just lifted off American soil, myflight nosing toward Bogota, and I’m already missing my wife and kids. Actually the homesickness began long before that. As soon as a trip is confirmed, the homesickness begins.

This is the 3rd to the last night I’ll give the kids a bath.

This is the 2nd to last night Annie and I will plop on the couch and watch whatever it is she wants to watch (except Dateline, which is about the biggest load of horse crap show there is) as long as I get a foot rub.

This is the last night Oreo, our cat, will chase…

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