Off the Beaten Path
Welcome to our online newsletter.  May it provide you with ideas & inspiration!

SPECIAL PLACES - Ecuador!                                                                         
EXPLORING ECUADOR, it's not just the Galapagos!                        

galapagosturtle

Last November, three Global Sojourners took a scouting trip to Ecuador and were amazed at all the country has to offer.  Our focus was on the mainland which often gets overlooked by those traveling to the Galapagos islands.  We found it to be a jewel of a travel destination.

What stood out to all of us was how Ecuador:
  • is close to the US and easy to get to
  • provides good value for money
  • is untrodden yet easy to get around
  • offers a wonderful and diverse array of landscapes and activities
A few of the things we recommend:
  • hiking... around lakes, up mountains and in the jungle
  • staying at Haciendas, especially small, intimate "working" ones
  • visiting the colorful and bustling local markets filled with fruits and vegetables, livestock, local wares and more (and not getting hassled!)
  • horseback riding in the Andes 
  • eating tropical fruits, locro (rich, thick soup) and ceviche with shrimp and popcorn
  • spotting toucans, parrots, butterflies, caimen and much more in the jungle
  • fishing for pirahna
  • climbing to 16,000 ft. and taking in expansive views and a day later, relaxing in our hammock at the jungle lodge, soaking up the greenery and the mysterious sounds
  • peacefully kayking in jungle lakes
  • exploring the "old city" in Quito

We'd love to help you plan a trip to this special country!

SOJOURNERS' FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORIES                                                    

 

Kendra

Global Sojourner, Kendra Howe of Seattle, WA, recounts one of her favorite travel memories in Africa:

I was at Little Chobe (a camp in the Okavanga Delta) and we had this great guide called Charles.  His father was chief, and when he died Charles was expected to become chief, but what he really wanted to do was to be a safari guide -- which was a big disappointment to his family and his village.  He would take us out and tell us all about what it meant to be chief, why he decided to give up all of those perks (and responsibilities), how long it took him to raise the dowry for his wife, how much of a dowry I (and my friend Jane) would each command, etc.  

 

We talked and talked and talked. We would look up and see elephants, hippos, antelope, and wild dogs, but we kind of got lost in our conversations. Until I looked out across the horizon and saw something moving in the distance.  I pointed and asked Charles what that was, and it was a cheetah!  He was so embarrassed that I had spotted it first, but thrilled to see something so special.  He gunned the Land Rover, and we took off to track that cheetah.  We saw him one more time, and then lost him.  And that's how Charles came to dub me JT -- "Junior Tracker"!

RESPONSIBLE SOJOURNER                                                                             

WHAT SIZE ECO-SHOE ARE YOU?  Becoming a responsible traveler is more important than ever, as travel is the fastest-growing cause of global warming today.  co2offset Every time a sojourner flies, tons of carbon dioxide is released into the earth's atmosphere.  Offset your carbon emissions each time you fly, by calculating your carbon footprint at http://www.globalsojourns.com/html/whatyoucando.html.  By selecting your travel options and making your contribution, you are investing in renewable energy efficiency projects in developing countries.  Go for it!

TRAVELTIPS                                                                                                 

TIPS FOR "TRAVELING LIGHT"

 

Both Peter and Priscilla Macy are "carry on only" devotees.  Whether their trips are for 10 days or 3 weeks, to Africa, SE Asia or Mongolia, for formal work or adventure, they always travel with just carry on luggage.  Peter contends:  My bags NEVER get lost -- as they are always with me

 

I don't have to wait for my bags to arrive on the carousel and I'm the 1st out to customs/immigration

 

It gives me complete flexibility to change flights along the way if I need to

 

It allows me to use the contents of my bag at intermediate airport stops (such as showering and changing clothes)

 

I'm comforted knowing that no one can add/subtract from my bag when it's not in my sight

 

Even if "checking in" works best for you, you can't beat the benefits of at least traveling light.  So here is the first of a series of tips for traveling light:

 

  • Tip #1:  Invest in Great Luggage

    Look for a lightweight (makes a big difference!), well built, wheeled bag.  If you want to focus on "carry on only", get a bag that is 22".  This size fits in the overhead on most international flights.   A brand that we love is Eagle Creek.  We've had a variety of their 22" models and have been happy with all of them.  You can find Eagle Creek and other good brands at REI, luggage stores and on the web. 

    For "carry on only" travelers, having a good companion piece is key.  Some people prefer a  backpack style (Peter), others (Priscilla) like a bag style.  Either way, make sure it has a  "back pocket" that lets you slip it over the handle of your wheeled luggage.  This way you don't have to carry any weight on your shoulders while traveling. 

TRIPS IN THE WORKS                                                                                   

In addition to customizing itineraries for individuals and small groups, we occasionally offer special outings for our clients.  Come join us!
 

Kayaking and Hiking in the Pacific Northwest:

This summer, join us on this explorartory trip as we fly into the Stehekin Valley by float plane and base at a private lakeside retreat.  We'll enjoy five days of kayaking and hiking,
relaxing, gourmet meals, world class guides and instructors set in the most remote and beautiful place in the Northwest.  No roads, no phones, no worries-

Mountain Lodges of Peru: 

On another exploratory trip, we'll experience the first Trans-Andean lodge to lodge trek to Machu Picchu.  Instead of camping on the much traveled traditional route, we'll be staying in cozy lodges on this pristine new route to one of the most spectacular sites in the world.

 

JUST FOR FUN                                                                                           
DID YOU KNOW...  
Panama hats are from Ecuador?  Panama Hat
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We hope you've enjoyed the online premiere of our newsletter, Off The Beaten Path and that you will share it with friends.  As we roll out the virtual red carpet, we hope to provide you with travel ideas, stories and tips that inform and inspire.
 
If you would like us to design your next trip, contact us at macy@globalsojourns.com or 703-528-2992.  Check out our website at www.globalsojourns.com.
 
Priscilla Macy
Global Sojourns

Global Sojourns customizes itineraries for individuals and small groups to Africa and around the globe.  Through a commitment to responsible tourism and relationships with local experts, we provide you with trips that balance outdoor adventures with cultural insights and authentic interactions with local people.  We are passionate about our work and providing you with fun, meaningful and memorable travel experiences.